potty training power struggle
Potty Training Toddler

Potty Training Power Struggle! 5 Do’s & Don’ts

If you have a toddler in your house, this is probably the time when you’re teaching them how to use the potty for peeing and pooping. While ideally, they should get it immediately, that’s not always the case. What are you doing wrong, and how can you avoid that potty training power struggle that most parents have to deal with? Keep reading to find out! 

Do’s and don’t’s of potty training

Have you been at it for a few hours, and your child still refuses to get on the potty. Is it something you said, something you did? Before you tear out your hair with frustration, some of the things you should keep in mind when potty training are:

  1. Do mind your language and your tone. When potty training, try to be as non-confrontational as possible and use leading statements instead of outright rules. Children will say no to anything, especially if they feel boxed into a corner, which will turn potty training into a power struggle between you two.
  2. Do find simple ways of reminding your child to use the potty. You can do this before they go to sleep or get ready to leave the house. Make it short and to the point so that your toddler doesn’t feel overwhelmed by request.
  3. Do be calm and patient. Remember that potty training will take some time, and you might have to suffer through several of your child’s tantrums as they try to assert their power.
  4. Don’t compare your child with others, no matter how long potty training takes. While it may seem like a good idea, hearing that other children can do what they can’t be counterproductive and make them less likely to want to use the potty.
  5. Do not force it. Even if you’re going to stand over your child until they pee into the potty, this will be very frustrating for you. This power struggle will make your child even more resistant to using the potty in the future. Never use threats or fear to get your child to use the potty, as this method will not work in the long term and may leave some psychological scars. 
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How to avoid a potty training power struggle with your toddler

The one thing that you should always keep in mind is that you cannot force your toddler to poop or pee when they don’t want to. When your toddler feels pressured to use the potty, they will resist, and that’s when your power struggle begins. 

When this happens, it is up to you to step back, give your toddler some space, and try again later when they are ready. You can use this time to review what you’re doing wrong and use a different approach to potty training next time.

It takes an average of three to twelve months to potty train a toddler to full-time toilet independence. So the next time you find yourself in another potty training power struggle with your child, take a deep breath, and remember it’s never that serious.

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