- Have your child learn to help in dressing and undressing him/herself. Especially in pulling their pants up and down. Even though they probably won’t be able to do it alone, encourage them to be a part of the process. For example, begin to teach them how to pull their pants up, once you have helped them get their legs in the holes and put them on.
- Teach your children the meaning of the words that you plan on using to train them, and be consistent. Words like wet, dry, sit down, and stand up. Also decide and then start using the words you prefer for the actual poop and pee. For some reason, I can’t stand the word potty. Ugh, just typing it is bad. So that is not a word we use in our house. Will you say potty, pee-pee, some other name? Decide the words you will use and be sure you and your husband and family are on the same page so there is no confusion.
- Let your child watch you and other family members use the toilet. While they are watching point out what you are doing. “See I am pulling down my pants, to go to the bathroom.” Let them lower the seat when you are done and flush. Show excitement for their help.
- Teach them to follow your instructions. Children very young are able to follow directions. Give your child instructions to do something and do not let the instructions go unfulfilled. Praise them when they follow your directions and don’t let tantrums discourage you.
- Bladder Control
- Does your child urinate (go quite a bit) at one time, or is it more dribbling throughout the day?
- Does your child ever appear to know he is about to go to the bathroom, facial expressions, gestures, do they pause in what they are doing to go, etc?
- Does your child stay dry for a few hours at a time?
If your child does all three, then they have passed the bladder control test. Even if he/she doesn’t do the second one, they might still be ready, not all children will give visible signs that they are about to go.
- Can your child walk from one room to another with ease and without help or assistance?
- Does your child have enough hand coordination to easily pick up objects?
If you answered yes to the above then your child is has enough physical development to be trained.
- Ask them to sit in a chair
- Ask them to touch their nose, eyes, mouth, hair
- Ask them to stand up
- Ask them to follow you to another room.
- Ask them to imitate you (anything will work)
- Ask them to bring you a familiar object
- Ask them to put that object with another object (will you put your block on the chair).
If they can fulfill most, 5 or 6 of the 7 then they understand direction well enough to be trained.
- Give instructions only when you are next to the child. Not from another room or upstairs.
- Make sure you have the child’s attention before you give instruction. Secure eye contact and get down on their level.
- Provide gentle manual guidance within one or two seconds after an instruction is given if the child does not start to follow the instructions on their own. Help them do what you asked and/or lead them to do what has been asked.
- Get excited and praise praise praise when they follow instructions.
- Don’t give more instruction until the first instruction is completed.
- Don’t let a temper tantrum stop you from working with your child. Stick with it and be sure the instruction is followed out.
Use these rules as you go about your everyday tasks, simple things, like asking them to pick up a toy, putting their shoes in a certain place, using their forks instead of their hands, etc…