||Subject: Will child ever potty-train?
I read a little about what you said on potty
training, "don't worry" and "don't think just because the
older child did it at a younger age something is wrong". OK, I
I know that my youngest is a little stubborn, but
I know that she is ready and I know she can do it, it is just that she
won't. What can I do to help her decide that it is time to stop being
stubborn and use the potty? Please help me before I have a 20-year-old
still in Pampers!!!!! Thanks for your much-needed advice. PS I am going
broke buying Pampers (ha-ha).
Thanks for writing. You haven't told me your
child's age, so I will answer in general terms. While it may appear to
us that a child is ready to move on to the next stage, it is only the
child who can really know this. She may give all the outward appearance
of being ready and capable, yet there must be a reason that she is, in
fact, not ready. There really is no way that we can "know"
what is happening within any other person, we can only make educated
guesses. Please trust your child to let you know when she is ready - not
only for potty training, but for every stage of her life.
Readiness is not only physiological - it always
involves the child's feelings about how the situation is being perceived
and handled by the parents and others. Even though she may be
physiologically ready, she may be feeling pressured to
"perform". No one of any age likes to feel that someone else
is impatiently waiting for a "performance". Children who are
consistently pressured to move faster than they are comfortable with
moving, may become adults who always feel pressured, and who rebel at
all requests from others. I'm sure you can see from this that we as
parents need to accept our children "as is", and allow them
the dignity of making their own determination as to their schedule of
Each child has his/her own built-in schedule,
which we would do well to respect and trust. Please read my article on learning
disabilities. Though the topic is different, the underlying message
is the same - trusting a child's natural rate of development. If you can
bring yourself to relax and stop worrying, that may in fact be all that
she needs to move on to the next step.
When a child appears to be at a standstill, it can
feel to the parent that nothing will ever change. When you find yourself
worrying about a child's "slowness" to move on, remember,
"this too shall pass"! In later years, you won't believe how
fast her childhood went. When she's twenty, you'll look back and wonder
where her childhood went. Relax and enjoy it while you can.