Written and images on this blog are Judie Ryan's sole property unless otherwise indicated.

Friday, April 7, 2017


Once, our family had a nest baby birds on a screened-in back porch. The baby birds didn't seem to be able to figure out how to fly.  To help, we propped opened the screened-in-porch door, so that the babies could more easily fly into the yard. That didn't work. They still couldn't figure out how to fly out of the porch. We called the ornithologist at the zoo to find out if we should hang sheets over the screen to help the babies find the door. He said: "Give them a chance. Wouldn't you think it was pretty weird if you flapped your arms and found out you could fly?"

That's what some kids feel about learning to use the potty. The baby bird knows it has wings, but it doesn't know what it can do with them. Kids know they go potty, but they don't know they can control how they go potty. As parents, we need to give our kids a chance and be patient.

The fact that as a parent we really want our child to concentrate on learning to use the potty sometimes causes us to overlook the obvious. We get all stressed out about it and forget that the first thing a child needs is to feel that using their special potty is a safe thing. So creating a safe and comfortable potty environment is very important. We kept favorite books in a pile next to the potty to make it have a warm feeling. Let your learner bring their friends--favorite dolls, lovies, toys--with them to the potty just to make them feel safe and comfortable. As each child learns to speak or walk at their own speed, so will each child learn to potty best at their own rate. Pressuring them is not going to make them learn to use the potty faster.

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