Frustration is a common emotion experienced by both parent and child when feeling out of control, overstretched or simply just exhausted. Dealing with toddler milestones can exacerbate feelings of frustration in what might be seen as a Catch 22 situation; successfully mastering milestones is a sign of your toddler’s growing independence but this can lead back to feelings of frustration from the adult when your child wants to assert themselves and won’t always do as they are told.
Your little one will also feel frustrated as they want to be free to explore their growing independence, but their physical and emotional capabilities, as well as safety and security concerns, may impede their plans.
Some mums and dads feel frustrated because they cannot strike the right balance between supporting their toddler’s growing independence and asserting their own authority over the situation. In turn, when feelings of frustration threaten to overwhelm toddlers, this can be detrimental to growth and development. This is why we constantly reinforce that you should only start potty training when they have clearly shown signs of readiness.
A key way to avoid frustration during the potty training process is taking a different approach to the situation. Instead of insisting that your child uses the potty or pressuring him or her into it (albeit with the best intentions), introduce a measure of choice to the situation.
This means enquiring as to whether your child might need to use the toilet instead of telling them that they must. Gentle encouragement in a relaxed environment will prove far more effective than stricter orders and leave both of you feeling much less frustrated.
One common scenario is when children are so caught up in the task at hand, such as playing with their friends or watching TV, that they ignore the urge to use the toilet and end up having an accident. Again, encourage them instead of pushing, be patient and make the idea of going to the bathroom into something fun.
You can start by singing their favourite potty song, asking them to check out their progress on their Potty Training Chart or talking about one of their favourite “bathroom books.”
Use your authority (e.g. turn off the TV) when necessary, as your child still needs to understand that you are in charge. However, you should always make sure that all actions are completed calmly without any evident frustration as this will work against both of you and hinder progress.
It’s always important to set realistic expectations or every situation to avoid setting yourself up for a fall. And while accidents can test our patience and be a real pain to clear up, keep your focus on the long game and never punish your child. If an accident does happen, ask him or her to fetch a set of clean clothes and try again. Once you every situation to your advantage and as an opportunity for learning, you’ll be firmly on the road to success.
The Family Seat Progress Chart and Door Hanger are a great way to set up a rewards-based system for potty training. Every Family Seat comes complete with these potty-training essentials and a 10-Year Guarantee, and the Talia Seat comes with a Soft Close Toilet Seat function to protect small fingers.
For advice on any aspect of potty training and for any help purchasing a Family Seat, email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org . Family Seat supports the children’s communication charity I CAN, who are experts in helping children to develop the language, speech and communication skills that they need to thrive in our 21st-century world. We donate 50p to I CAN on each and every seat purchased through the official Family Seat website.