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TOILET TRAINING FOR WORKING MOTHERS

Just this week I spoke to two groups of mothers. One group consisted of mothers employed outside the home, the other was made up of stay-at-home moms. Both were concerned about when to start training and how to do it.

But the employed mothers had some anxiety about what one called part-time training. The question was, “Can a child be trained by multiple caregivers?” The answer is yes.

After all few mothers working outside the home today are able to arrange a leave of absence for toilet training. I myself trained two children while working full time at a demanding job so I know it can be done.

Basic Steps:

o Talk with your child’s caregiver about your philosophy and approach. Both of you should read my ParenTip entitled “Toilet Training Today.”

o Involve the caregiver in the decision about when the child is ready. Here is an area where two heads are better than one. Each can fill out the checklist so you can compare and discuss your answers.

o Use the same terminology and reward system.

o Communicate frequently about the child’s progress. Every early success should be praised not only by the person who witnessed the brilliant act but by the other person as well. You can use yellow stickies on the bathroom door so both of you know what happened (poop or pee) and know what to praise.

o Tell each other about any balking or problems. Try to figure out why a problem occurred. Constipation? Fatigue?

o Don’t be discouraged by setbacks or try to rush the process.

Remember every child has a lot to learn about using the toilet. Children must figure out what adults expect them to do with their excretions. They have to realize what it feels like before they have to go, know how to get to the potty, how to remove clothing quickly and sit down in time, and how to relax the sphincter muscles to let the feces or urine out. This is a monumental task for a two or three year old.

So obviously the child should be ready to learn and the parents, working outside the home or not, should give the child plenty of time to learn all this stuff.

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