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Mum Shaming and Potty Training

There’s one particular aspect of raising children that can be very challenging to handle and that’s “shaming” from other parents. It’s so important for those with a platform to speak out about their experiences and help other parents to feel confident in their decisions, and Jessa Duggar isn’t afraid to do exactly that.

As an American TV personality with a high profile, she is used to having her actions under close scrutiny. Earlier this month, things were taken to an unpleasant new level when she posted a photo of her two-year-old son on Instagram to her two million followers. The tot was pictured happily playing on a riding lawnmower, but one user took the opportunity to randomly criticise Jessa for the fact that her son is “still” wearing nappies.

Expectation vs. Reality

There are many things wrong with this scenario. One is that two years old is an entirely acceptable and normal age for a child to still be wearing nappies, therefore this should not even be something to flag up. This is even if it were acceptable for a stranger to comment on another child’s development, which it is not.

This comment also plays into the challenge of expectation vs. reality when it comes to learning and development. Many parents feel unduly pressured by their peers - and perhaps even strangers on social media – for their children to instantly master all milestones without any issues. In reality, many toddlers will take some time to grasp the concept of potty training especially when it comes to pooing in the potty.

Developing at Different Paces

While some parents will strike it lucky and their little ones will catch on very quickly, this is often not the case and no parent should be made to feel inadequate or overly concerned if getting to grips with new habits takes their toddler some time.

If, for example, the other children in your peer group have all left nappies far behind but your toddler is taking a little longer to get used to the idea, try not to let it worry you. It is only natural, and every child develops at their own pace.

Any anxiety that parents do feel about the process will only create negative associations with potty training which may transfer over to the child. Indeed, any rushing can impede progress and perhaps even lead to potty training regression, which is why it’s so essential to shut out the noise however difficult that might be.

Signs of Readiness

Thankfully, Jessa Duggar is a mum that is confident enough in both her decisions and herself to respond to negative comments in a powerful way. In a lengthy response, she explained that “if they aren’t able to do the whole thing from pulling their pants down and getting themselves on the toilet, to pulling their pants back up and washing their hands, then they aren’t ready.”

She continued by saying, “I’ve been around kids and I’m aware of the signs of readiness. My 2-and-a-half-year-old is getting close, but not quite there, so we’re not rushing it.”

Confidence in your Own Decisions

Her response is so important because it reinforces the need for parents to inform themselves on the signs of readiness and give their toddler the best opportunity for success. She also emphasises the importance of recognising that potty training is a full, independent process with many elements for the toddler to learn.

This includes learning how to undress and redress themselves appropriately before and after using the loo, as well as good hygiene. i.e. washing their hands properly with warm water and soap after each use.

At the end of the day, we all know our own children better than anyone else. Make yourself aware of the key signs when your child might be ready to potty train, such as their ability to follow simple commands, display discomfort with their dirty nappy or voice a need to use the loo, as this will help you to know the right time to get started.

Prepping the Scene

It’s also important to have all the equipment ready to go to ensure a streamlined process, including buying your Family Seat and helping your child to familiarise themselves with the potty training tools.

Once you have completed these steps, then you can feel confident that you are making the right decisions for your child’s growing independence and milestone learning. Every child is different, and you will achieve this milestone together.

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 as well as a 10-Year Guarantee.

For advice on any aspect of potty training, creating a toilet training plan purchasing a Family Seat, email our team at 

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.


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