It’s spring time. Well, not exactly. It is March 1, and the sun is shining more brightly and more often. I’m excited looking forward toward warmer months, less snow and wearing shorts. I’m also feeling a little unsettled at this transition. I can’t quite put my finger on a reason. It just feels like change is upon us.
When approaching change, it is best to have support.
In my potty training consultations, I commonly notice clients’ anxiety as they approach the start of potty training. The shift toward potty independence and a world free of diapers is big. It’s unsettling to not know exactly how things will turn out. Will it take 3 days or 3 weeks? Am I going to be good at this? Is my child going to freak out? Be resistant?
When I do a one-on-one consultation, my goal is to make the client informed about the steps of potty training and confident about the process. Confidence comes from being informed, but also from knowing you have someone to lean on for support… in this case, me!
Post consultation, clients almost always are eager to start potty training. As part of my consultation package, clients get a couple of check ins during the potty training experience (PTE). This aspect is vital, as there is often a brief pause in the progress (or a stronger, albeit brief, push back from the child) several days into the PTE. During these check ins, my role as coach is to foster a renewed sense of confidence in the client so that s/he can finish the PTE. Sure, I typically often a few tidbits to refine the process based on the individual child and family, but mostly I lend an ear, acknowledge the progress, encourage steadfastness and commitment and lend my approval to the parent’s decision to have a drink at the end of a day of accidents.
Reflecting upon the support I offer as a potty training coach, I found myself wishing that more families, friends and day cares could and would potty train together so as to have a support network. Here’s how I picture this working: Potty training communities would select an approach – I’d highly recommend The Tiny Potty Training Book by Andrea Olson – and get informed together, book club style. Additionally, the potty training community would choose to potty train roughly at the same time and commit to lending support to one another during the PTE.
The beginning of the PTE as described in The Tiny Potty Training Book recommends several days at home one-on-one with your child. This intense focus and home isolation intimidates a lot of families. With a potty training community in place, I believe you could explore more flexibility in Phase 1 of the PTE and schedule short get togethers in each other’s homes and yards because ultimately everyone’s focus is on potty training. Later in the process, as potty training evolves into potty independence, having social time and play dates with your potty training community will feel supportive. All the families will speak the same language as far as recognizing potty signals and offering opportunities to potty at transition times. Possibly the greatest attribute of the potty training community is that everyone could offer support and compassion toward other members during a developmental transition that sometimes creates a degree of fear, doubt and anxiety in families.
To support you in creating a potty training community, I am now offering Potty Training parties. Essentially, the Potty Training Party will be a private potty training class, but potentially more fun and convenient because you’re participating with friends and in the comfort of your own home. Every party goer will receive a copy of The Tiny Potty Training Book. At the party, I will offer a detailed overview of the book and explain the steps of the Potty Training Experience (PTE). I will be able answer your personal questions, whether you’re new to potty training or have already started/tried, offer some hand holding and boost your confidence that you are ready to potty train. I will offer a couple of fun giveaways. Most importantly, we will establish a community that will offer all of its members support throughout potty training.
Not sure how the potty training community will come together? Here’s a suggestion: You invite two friends. They each invite a neighbor, who in turn, invite a friend or colleague. And the potty training party invitation list grows.
Ultimately, I want you to feel supported throughout potty training. What if potty training wasn’t something you postponed out of fear/dread? What if it was a process you felt supported in? What if you could do it with your girlfriends or maybe even your day care? What if potty training started with a party? What if all the information and support made potty training easier and you were able to complete the process faster than you could even imagine?
Spring is a time to start to look toward longer days and warmer temps. And potty training.
** While this blog post speaks directly about potty training, Pottytunities will also offer Elimination Communication parties for families interested in starting EC with the support of a local community.
**Andrea Olson has created a similar community on Facebook for those who own her book The Tiny Potty Training Book. I always encourage families to participate in this forum, as everyone is using the same approach and the forum is extremely supportive. It is a great way to receive feedback and troubleshoot at any stage of potty training. Your post/question will receive multiple responses in hours. This fabulous support system comes with simply owning the book. If you don’t have a group to potty train with locally, I recommend joining the private Facebook group for book owners. Click here to purchase The Tiny Potty Training Book. Use coupon code POTTYTUNITIES to save 15% on your order.