My readers know that I wrote an e-book on potty training kids with low tone ( The Practical Guide to Toilet Training Your Child With Low Muscle Tone: Potty Training Help Has Arrived! ) but I have to admit, I learn a lot from other authors. Jamie Glowacki has written a terrific book that speaks clearly and directly to parents who aren’t sure they are up to the challenge of toilet training. Oh Crap Potty Training is a funny title, but it is filled with useful ideas that help parents understand their toddler better and understand training needs so they can tackle this major life skill with humor and love. I have to admit, I am really happy that she suggests parents of kids with developmental issues ask their OT for advice. So few parents actually do!
Here are a few of her concepts that illustrate why I like her book so much:
- She gets the situation toddlers find themselves in: using the potty is a total change in a comforting daily routine. Jamie points out that since birth, your child has only known elimination into a diaper. The older they are when you start training, the longer they have been using diapers. WE are excited to move them on, but they can be afraid to sit, afraid to fail, and afraid of the certainty of the diaper always being there. You can’t NOT get it in the diaper! She also gets the power struggle that can be more enticing to an emerging personality after about 30 months of age. Just saying, she gets it.
- Potty training success opens meaningful doors for kids, diapers keep them back. Some great activities and some wonderful schools demand continence to attend. By the time your child is around 3, they can feel inferior if they aren’t trained, but not be able to tell you. They express it with anxiety or anger. If you interpret it as not being ready, you aren’t helping them.
- Some kids will NEVER be ready on their own. I know I am going to get some pushback on this one, and she already says she gets hate mail for saying it. But there is a small subset of kids who will need your firm and loving direction to get started. Waiting for readiness isn’t who they are. If you are the parent of one of these kids, you know she’s right. Your kid hasn’t been ready for any transition or change. You have had to help them and then they were fine. But this is who they are, and instead of waiting until the school makes you train her or your in-laws say something critical to your child, it might be OK to make things happen rather than waiting.
- You must believe that you are doing the right thing by training your child. They can smell your uncertainty, and it will sink your ship. She really sold me on her book with this one. As a pediatric therapist, I know that my confidence is key when instructing parents in treatment techniques for a home program. If I don’t know that I am recommending the right strategy, I know my doubt will show and nothing will go right.
If you are looking for some ideas on training kids of all stripes and needs, check out my posts For Kids Who Don’t Know They Need to “Go”? Tell Them to Stand Up and Toilet Training For Preschool And Stuck in Neutral? Here’s Why…... Of course, if your child has low muscle tone or hypermobility, my e-book will help you understand why things seem so much harder, and what you can do to make potty training a success!