Archive for February 2011
Potty training is, once again, a hot topic. There are new and improved products being advertised that will “assist” in helping your child stay dry. Parents are starting to pay serious attention to potty success because their toddler is going to move up to an early preschool class next September. We are all thinking about summer. Summertime is a time of bathing suits and cotton shorts. Diapers are a required nuisance for toddlers and their families.
Here is some information and standard tried and true tips for potty training:
- Know your child – each child is not ready at the same time; don’t compare siblings.
- Typically, children in good health have potty success by the time they are 3 or are in their third year. While training older infants and young toddlers comes in and out of fashion, these children have difficulty “reading” their body’s message to eliminate. When they “go” it is typically because an adult knows the signs and can get them to the bathroom in time.
- Girls typically potty train faster than boys. Urinating is successful ahead of bowel movements.
- Help your child in all ways. Celebrate effort as well as achievement. Be patient. Never scold or belittle a child when accidents occur (and accidents always occur!)
- Daytime potty success precedes nighttime success. Many children will have nighttime / sleep accidents long after they use the potty with complete daytime success.
- Set up success – have a potty chair or potty seat in your home bathroom if you think your child will use it – keep it clean. Keep toilet paper in easy reach. Teach children to wipe carefully and wash their hands after using the potty.
- Routines are helpful. At wake up time, after snack and meals and before bed are critical times to set up for a visit to the potty. Make this a fact of life.
- Eliminate drinks and cereal with milk before bedtime.
- Once started, don’t go back on forward potty progress. It has been my experience and my training that mixed messages don’t work. When children start to wear underpants, diapers are gone. Children, at this point, know that cloth underpants are to keep dry as best as they can. Pull-ups (while convenient for bedtime and older toddler play) are diapers in the shape of underpants. It was ok to soil a diaper but now they know that they should and they want to keep underpants dry – so what should they do?
- Buy underpants that your children want. A Princess or Spiderman can be very motivating!
- Expect the unexpected. Have extra supplies, clothes, etc. in your car, at grandmas and at childcare.
- Most importantly…Relax about potty training. Stressful situations delay success. Work with your child’s childcare program or babysitter so that everyone is on the same page.
Consider this: it took your child over a year to walk and over 2 years to talk – give them some time to potty train!
“Remember, don’t pee-pee on Iron Man – he might get rusty.”
Dad talking to his little boy while in the middle of a successful period of training!
-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director
The National Center for Family Literacy http://www.famlit.org/ inspires me with down–to–earth ideas for families that will help their babies and young children become readers. The ideas the NCFL offer are far from cutting edge and they actually don’t cost a thing. But there is no doubt that the simple (yet critical) ideas presented actually work. Literacy seeds sown early will grow readers. Children will read better and with more interest as they grow and mature when their family sets reading as a priority.
Have you got a few minutes a day to grow a reader? Good!
Plant reading seeds – your blossoms will bloom forever.
1. Make reading a pleasure. Read to your child in a comfortable well-lit place that you both enjoy. Hold a baby on your lap. Snuggle up with a little one. Sit close to an older child. Smile and look at both the book and in your child’s eyes as you read. Take your time when you read to your child. Don’t rush and hurry. Reading is joyful!
2. Show enthusiasm as you read to your child. You know that you can bark and moo and cluck like chickens. I know that you can beep like a truck’s horn and choo-choo-choo like the train. Clowns are silly and bees buzz. Whisper & shout, tap & clap, laugh & cry when you read to your children. Reading is exhilarating!
3. Read to your child often. Whether it is reading labels in the super market or setting a reading routine that establishes time and energy spent with books, never miss the chance to read to your child. The world is rich with the printed word. Literacy is critical to success in every aspect of your child’s life. 5 minutes or 5 books—Reading is powerful.
4. Talk to your child as you read together. Point to pictures in the story and talk about them. Let your child ask questions along the way and ask your child What do you think will happen?…Did you see that cat?..Can you huff & puff, let’s try to blow that house down… Comment on what you think about a book and ask for your child’s opinions. Start a reading conversation. Reading connects people.
5. Encourage your child to explore books. Let your baby touch, hold and throw books! Board books and washable cloth books invite babies to look at, move and even chew on stories! A toddler loves a basket of books she can rummage through by herself. Toddlers never tire of story books about pets, animals and young children just like themselves. Preschoolers will “read” to their babies and carry books in their purses. Take older children to the library and bookstores where they can find books about anything and everything! Reading opens the doors of the world.
6. Read favorite books again and again. Children become attached to certain stories and books. They love everything about them. Adults who try to skip pages or hurry through a favorite story are told about it (even by very young toddlers!). Respect children’s favorites. Keep a journal. Take pictures of your child with their favorite book. Reading is your child’s best friend.
Are you ready for a Birthday Party? Dr. Seuss will be 107 this March!
Invite some friends over for some Green Eggs and Ham!
-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director