Whether you call it potty training, toilet training, or toilet learning, teaching a child to use the toilet instead of diapers is a big task for both the parents and one that can cause a lot of frustration if you aren’t prepared ahead of time. MomRN recently shared several tips for potty training success on Great Day Green Country (Fox 23, Tulsa).
First, you should have plenty of patience and time! Some kids learn quickly, others need a long time to learn, so don’t rush it! They will learn eventually, trust me!
When to start potty training
Most kids are developmentally ready to start training somewhere between 22 and 30 months of age. Every child is different though so look for these signs that your child is ready to start the process:
- Your child is interested in using the potty or in wearing underwear
- Your child is able to tell you when she’s about to pee or poop, or shows signs that she is going
- Your child wants to be changed right after going in his diaper
- Your child is able to stay dry for at least 2 hours at a time
- Your child is able to walk to the bathroom on her own, pull her pants down and sit on a potty chair or climb up on a toilet
Even before a child is developmentally ready to start, you can do some pre-training by talking about using the potty as you are changing a diaper. Kids learn best by example, so your toddler can watch you or the other parent or an older sibling use the potty. Pretending to have a doll go potty is also a great way to introduce the concept.
A potty chair that sits on the floor is ideal, so your child can easily sit on it without assistance. If you prefer to use a potty seat that fits on top of a regular toilet seat, make sure you have a step stool to help them climb up and down and to rest their feet on, as it will help your child feel more secure and comfortable. There are some great potty training books and DVDs you can share with your child to help him learn. I used Toilet Training in Less Than a Day by Drs. Nathan Azrin and Richard M. Foxx and found it very helpful when my oldest child was a toddler. I did not follow it exactly and chose to spread out the process longer than a day, but I used many of their suggestions and the process went pretty smoothly, so I used it again for my youngest child. We also had a potty training video called It’s Potty Time by Learning Through Entertainment, Inc and Duke University Medical Center. It had fun songs and skits about potty training and my kids and the children in my daycare loved it. It is available on DVD now and I highly recommend it.
“Big Boy” or “Big Girl” underwear with your child’s favorite cartoon characters or other fun designs can make potty training more appealing. Cheerios can be used as “targets” for little boys to help them learn to aim and to make potty training fun. There are also flushable targets you can buy in bright colors and fun shapes. Stickers or other small rewards can be used to encourage your child to go to the potty. A doll that drinks a bottle and “wets” can also help teach your child.
When to wait or stop the training process
If you and/or your child are getting too frustrated or upset over the potty training process, you may need to put it on hold and wait a few weeks, then try again. Otherwise it could become a big control issue or battle of wills and may take much longer for your child to become potty trained. It’s also not a good idea to start potty training during a stressful time in your child’s life, such as a move, divorce, or the birth of a sibling. It’s better to wait until things are more stable. And setbacks and regression are common if stressful events occur after a child has been potty trained. Be patient and understanding if that occurs. If you are concerned about your child’s potty training problems, consult with your pediatrician or family doctor.Pin It
Morning – the most important part of the day but sometimes also the most stressful. Let’s face it, if we have a hectic morning full of chaos, it can ruin or at least put a damper on the rest of the day. If you’re tired of having to nag the kids to get ready for school, frantic last minute searches for car keys or lost homework, and feeling like you are always running late then you need these tips for calming the morning chaos!
Tip #1: Plan and Prepare
The number one most important thing you can do to make the morning run smoothly is to spend a little time each evening preparing for the next day. Take time to ask your kids for any papers that need to be signed and returned to school and check for important school event dates. Keep a family calendar where everyone can see it and add events, activities, & appointments and check the calendar each evening for the next day so everyone knows what to expect. Post it where you and your kids can see it and add activities and important dates as needed.
Also, make sure kids are going to bed early enough to get a good night’s rest so they are easier to wake up in the morning. That also goes for mom and dad too – if you don’t get enough rest, it will be much harder to get going the next day.
Tip #2: Prepare for Lunch the Night Before
You can also save time by packing lunchboxes the night before. If it needs to be kept cold, put it in the refrigerator. Packing a lunch the night before allows more time for kids to choose what they want to take and for parents to make a healthier lunch than pre-packaged boxed lunches. If they are eating the school lunches, check the lunch menu frequently so there are no last minute requests to take a lunch when they don’t like what the school is serving.
Kids can do many things themselves to help tame the morning chaos if they have a morning routine to follow.
Tip #3: Post a Routine for the Family to Follow
First, post a routine of all the steps each kids needs to do to get ready for school. For kids too young to read, you can use pictures.
Tip #4: Choose Outfits the Night Before
Each night have them pick out their outfits for the next day, including underwear, socks and shoes. Put these all together and ready to go for morning. Lay them out on a chair or put them all together on one hanger for each child using a plastic baggie to hold underwear and socks. If they have dresser drawers instead, you could fold and stack outfits together instead of separating shirts, pants, etc.
Tip #5: Create a Launch Pad
Finally, have your kids create a “launch pad” where each night they can put everything they need for school in one place and ready to go out the door the next morning. If possible, have it near the door you will leave out of each morning. This will eliminate those last minute searches for any needed items.Pin It
All of our children will be faced with confrontation. Whether it is in school, their neighborhood, college, work, even in marriage, as they are older. It is important to prepare them to deal with confrontation now.
Start talking to your children when they are young. When appropriate, find ways to bring up the subject of bullying so conversations can ensure.
Don’t just talk, listen. Our children will drop little hints when there are bullying problems. We will miss the cues if we don’t actively listen to what they are saying.
Role-play with your children. THIS IS A MUST! Give your children different scenarios and teach them how to handle the situations. (“What do you do if someone calls you a name…takes your backpack…etc)”. Answers to these questions are going to be slightly different for each family, depending on how you want to handle things in your own house. There are some things about the answers that will be the same:
- Responses should be confident, direct, and void of emotion. (Emotion conveys weakness). Children should speak with their bodies as well as their mouths. Shoulders back, standing straight and tall, using a firm voice.
- Instead of “…that hurts my feelings… the response should be “…knock it off”.
- Instead of “I don’t like that…the response should be…quit it”
- So much of successful response to bullying is in the delivery. Practice directness, confidence, and strong body language.
- Go through each situation and teach them what to say and do. It will empower them, and when they are faced with bullying they wont be as intimidated because they will have had experience and practiced what to do. They will know just how to respond if necessary. This also gives your family the opportunity to teach your morals and values when handling these types of situations.
Talk to your children about conflict resolution. Talk to them about managing their anger, communicating, compromise and being patient. This is done through role-play and everyday situations. As conflict happens in your home between siblings, use it to teach. Be sure that as adults, we are being good examples of conflict resolution also.
Talk to your children about violence. Fighting is not the answer. Teach your children that it is not okay to fight, UNLESS there is a need to stand up for them selves in self-defense. They should know that if they need to defend themselves because they are being, or going to be physically attacked, then they do. And, that if they do have to fight in self-defense that you will understand and not get mad at them because things turned physical.
Research teaches us that helping our children build their self-confidence is one the best defenses against bullying. By talking to our children about conflict and role-playing challenging situations, we can build our children’s self confidence so they feel more prepared when faced with bullyingPin It
As a nursing student I had to sit through more than one nutrition class and frankly, I found them boring. I know healthy nutrition is important and understanding about all the different components of food and how they affect the body is a part of learning to make wise nutritional choices. But still, I wished for a better, more entertaining way to learn about eating healthy foods versus eating junk foods and what makes a food healthy or bad for you.
Enter a new app from Field Fresh Apps, LLC called My Food Fight!
The Field Fresh Apps website describes their new app this way:
“MY FOOD FIGHT!® is a fun interactive journey to combat the health enemies that we each encounter daily. Focused on nutrient density in food, players are rewarded for their consumption of high nutrient dense and organic foods.”
Great for kids and adults alike, this app is a game that rewards healthy food choices and makes learning fun! The creators, Eric Quick & Roger Cardoza wanted kids to learn how food affects health and impacts our lives. What better way to make it interesting and entertaining than to create an educational game app? Best of all, it’s free!
Currently the My Food Fight! app is only available for Apple devices but I believe they are working on an Android version too. Check it out and let me know what you think. And if your kids are getting bored during summer vacation, give them this game and they’ll be having so much fun they won’t even know they are learning!
Most kids at some point in time, will tell a lie. As a parent, handling the situation correctly will help put a stop to the lying before it turns into a habit.
When your child tells a lie…
- Don’t yell, raise your voice, or overreact. Stay calm. Overreacting will scare your child and they will be afraid to come and tell you the truth next time. If your child knows you are going to stay calm, they are more likely to tell the truth.
- Don’t call your child a liar, or accuse them of lying. Accusing will make them feel trapped and make things worse. Instead of ‘I know you broke the window”, say…”Looks like there was an accident, do you need some help cleaning things up, what happened”.
- Only talk about the facts. Stick to the things you saw or heard firsthand. “I can see the blinds are broken, please tell the truth, what happened?” Or, “your coach told me a different version. Please tell the truth.”
When your child lies, there should be a reasonable consequence. Help them understand that there are in fact two sets of consequences. A consequence when you do something wrong AND another for lying…and make the consequence fit the crime.
For example: maybe your child cheats on a test and then lies about it. Two sets of consequences….
- They have to right the wrong by telling the teacher they cheated, and deal with whatever consequences come from the teacher.
- For lying, they lose a privilege, such as not going out with friends for two weeks. If they hadn’t lied, you might be comfortable just expecting them to write the wrong by telling the teacher they cheated.
Help them to understand why lying is bad
Beyond just the immediate consequences for their actions, it is important to help our children understand why lying is wrong. Explain to your child that when we lie we get into trouble. Lying will also give us and our families a bad reputation, and it hurts other people. Others will not want to be your friend and they won’t be able to trust you when you lie.
We should also talk to our children about our own “honesty policy”. Make it clear that in your home you will always tell them the truth, and you expect them to always do the same.
Above all, we need to demonstrate honesty in all WE do as parents, and be sure to praise our children when they tell the truth.Pin It