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The Challenges You Might Face And Their Solutions When Potty Training

By Micheal Webb

Potty training is one of the biggest milestones in your child’s development. In psychology, potty training success or lack thereof affects the person’s personality during adulthood. According to the famous psychologist Sigmund Freud, parents’ approach to potty training affects the child’s personality. It is during the anal stage that the child learns to control his bodily needs, including his need to pee or poop.

When parents or caretakers use positive reinforcement during potty training, a child grows up to be a creative, competent and productive individual. If parents are too lenient in their potty training approach, a child can develop anal-expulsive personality that would result in the child having a messy, destructive and wasteful personality. On the other hand, children with parents who are very strict in toilet training or start too early, a child can become too orderly, rigid, obsessive and stringent.

Your child will show readiness to potty training in as early as 18 months up to three years. Signs include discomfort in soiled diapers or asking to be changed when their diaper is soiled, showing interest in potty chairs, becoming aware of his need to go to the potty to pee or poop. Unless your child shows these signs, you should hold off potty training as starting too early or forcing the issue will only lead to more problems for both you and your child. Physiological and emotional readiness is key to successful potty training and your child will eventually know that it is time to leave his diapers.

When your child shows readiness but still refuses to go to the potty, it is an indication that there are other reasons that are stalling your child’s willingness. It could either be emotional or psychological – some reasons include the arrival of a new baby, moving to a new home or start of day care. These reasons can put a certain degree of emotional stress on your child and you should wait until your child becomes comfortable with his new situation before you start initiating the process even if it takes a few months.

Control issues are one common problem especially for parents who have a strong-willed child. If you think your child needs to go to the toilet, ask him. If he refuses, accept his answer and do not try to persuade him to go. Forcing him to go against his will would only make him develop seeds of rebellion and resistance. It will create a power struggle between you and your child and will cause him to hold off his bowel movement that will eventually lead to constipation.

If your child is still getting accustomed to using the potty chair, he may feel scared because it is a new challenge that he needs to conquer. Accidents and mistakes tend to happen. When they do, try not to overreact as this will trigger fear and shame in your child. This will alleviate his negative feelings towards potty training and will resent the process even more. Although it is hard to stay calm when there is poop and pee everywhere, keep the smile on your face and reassure your child that it is OK. This reaction will give your child a feeling of encouragement and reassurance and will motivate him to go to the potty without your help.

There are many reasons for potty training problems and you can solve each one with patience and love:

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Webb, Micheal "The Challenges You Might Face And Their Solutions When Potty Training." The Challenges You Might Face And Their Solutions When Potty Training. 2 Jul. 2010. 6 Dec 2015 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Webb, M (2010, July 2). The Challenges You Might Face And Their Solutions When Potty Training. Retrieved December 6, 2015, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Webb, Micheal "The Challenges You Might Face And Their Solutions When Potty Training"

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