It’s an open secret that most mums and dads feel a little dread with the onset of half term. Yes, it’s lovely to be able to have the little ones around 24/7 but it can also prove exhausting keeping everyone entertained all day every day. Not only that but a break in routine can play havoc with other parts of a child’s life.
When older siblings are around more often during the days, or the child in question is spending more time at home than usual, it is far too easy for them to become confused when adjusting to new habits. This is especially true for toilet training.
The number one rule is never to begin potty training at a break in routine. While you might think that having older siblings around more to help in other areas might make it easier to start training, this often has adverse effects. Kids will be more sensitive to their surroundings when learning a new milestone, and more easily distracted by others. While we don’t advise stopping the potty training process if you have already begun, we definitely advise against beginning when other changes are already going on.
Children are often highly sensitive and aware of their parents’ feelings, and even more so during milestone training when they are picking up habits from their elders. If you’re feeling extra stressed by the disruption in routine that half term brings, don’t let these feelings show. Potty training is a time when confidence should be at an all-time high, helping to boost your child to accept their newfound independence and habits. Don’t let your negativity rub off on them to the detriment of the process.
Half term is usually a time when there are many more people round at your house or vice versa. Instead of panicking, take advantage of this opportunity. Plan ahead and ask your parents/in laws to buy a Family Seat for their own bathroom. That way, your child will have a sense of continuity during the process.
The key with potty training during half term is to avoid distractions at all costs. When the older siblings are playing a computer game or the cousins are running around the garden, keep your potty training tot’s attention with fun incentives. Put the Family Seat Potty Training Chart and Door Hanger up in the bathroom together and remind them to track their progress. You can also introduce your own accessories to the mix. Tailor the fun to your child’s personal preferences - Peppa Pig stickers, toys and books are usually a popular choice!
The worst thing you can do on the way to achieving a milestone is put a stumbling block in the way. While it might be tempting to pause potty training during half term, don’t give in. You will risk undoing all the hard work your toddler has put in and may set yourself right back to square one.