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When to Give Up on Potty Training

by Maggie McCormick

Toilet training is hard on any parent, but when you find yourself cleaning up the 10th accident that day, you might start to wonder whether you should give up altogether. Most children eventually do pick up potty training, but it might not be on your schedule. If you're both getting frustrated, it may be time to reevaluate the situation to see if it might be better to wait.

Meeting With Resistance

Some children start out excited about the potty, while others will fight you tooth and nail over the issue. If your child resists using the potty by refusing to sit down, throwing tantrums or even intentionally urinating or defecating in an inappropriate spot, you may want to postpone the training. Interest in the potty is a big sign of readiness, according to KeepKidsHealthy.com and if your child isn't there yet, you don't have to force him.

Upset Child

Some children are naturally more sensitive than others. If your little one is getting noticeably upset by accidents, consider waiting a bit longer. She may not have the physical ability to control her pottying, yet, and the failure can hurt her self-esteem, especially if she's aware that you want her to use the potty. The Better Health Channel suggests refraining from making a big deal out of accidents when they happen.

Lack of Readiness

You may find that your child just doesn't seem like he's ready for potty training after giving it a try for a week. In order to successfully potty train, a child needs to know when he has to go. If your child doesn't pick up on his bodily cues, he's going to have a lot of accidents. He may also not have the mental capabilities to follow simple directions yet, nor the motor skills necessary to pull down his pants. Waiting until he shows these signs will yield greater success.

Outside Factors

Potty training requires a commitment on the part of the parent as well. Times of upheaval are generally not conducive to potty training. If you're starting a new job, bringing home a new baby or moving house, you probably won't have the time you need to focus on your toddler.

Take it in Stride

Accidents are a normal part of the potty training process. Bedwetting can be particularly difficult to master. These are not reasons to give up on the potty training process if your child is generally happy and enjoys trying to master the potty.

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