Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Can you really Potty Train your kid in 3 days?

In the recent past, I have been reading several articles on Potty Training kids. Honestly, it appeared to be a universal parenting problem for several parents across the globe. And rightly so! At some time every parent definitely need to potty train their kids! Also, it appeared as if most parents went through more stress and anxiety than their children. Again rightly so! Because in case of an "unexpected / unanticipated mishap" from your child, as parents you need to face the consequences in public! - Again not a very pleasant situation to be in!

And so many parents are exploring many ways to effectively Potty Train their kids in the shortest time duration, with minimum effort and in the most effective way (so that there are no public mishaps!)

I was personally surpised to find that there are blogs, forums on parenting sites, magazine articles, tips and tricks, guidelines, best-practices, books and even business ventures around this - To enable a parent to effectively Potty Train their children using "Tried and Tested BEST PRACTICES" which have yielded favorable results in children between the age group of 1.5 to 4 years.

The one common observation that I made was this : Most of the literature suggested / claimed that children could be potty trained in 3-5 days! My first he reaction was "Is that all it really takes?".. I mean then why so much fuss about it? 3 -5 days is really an abysmally short duration in the life of any parent or child!

Hmmm.. Well! I have wondered if there is a reason to these magic numbers. I mean why 3 - 5. And why not 10 or why not 2? As I observed my own daughter who is in the phase when she is to be "potty trained" and reflected more deeply on this subject, I realized that there is some truth that a child can be potty trained in 3-5 days.

Here's why? Honestly, I think potty training is really about helping your child develop a HABIT! One which will stay with them for life. And there is ample research which states that one of the most effective ways to develop a habit is to REPEATEDLY do it 30 - 40 times to baseline it.
On an average, most children need to use the potty at least 6-8 times a day. So if you do the simple math, In 3 - 5 days if you ensure your children use the potty at every given opportunity, then this will be repeated atleast 18 - 40 times - which is probably just about enough repititions to develop the habit. Moving forward, re-inforcing it by repeated practice on a day-to-day basis will ensure that it will soon become an unconscious HABIT!

So extending the thought of habit formation beyond "Potty Training", is there a universal SUCCESS MANTRA which can be effectively applied to cultivate any habit?.. Evidently the answer is NO!
So then what does it depend on.. Well! It depends on the current level of skill of the individual, the complexity of the task, the will of the individual, how supportive and conducive the immediate living environment is (people, process, technology, etc.) and most importantly, how frequently do you REPEAT this activity till it becomes becomes an unconscious HABIT!

In conclusion, Pause and Reflect...
* "How did you cultivate the most important everyday HABITS in your life?"
"How do you enable someone cultivate a HABIT for life?"
*"How do you consciously develop a positive HABIT in life?"
* "How do you replace a negative HABIT with a POSITIVE one?

Leave a comment to let me know....

1 comment:

  1. "I think potty training is really about helping your child develop a HABIT! One which will stay with them for life." - Absolutely. Like my drive to beat the diapers at their job. And the "hanging", which preceded the 3-day challenge. Some sites do make it sound miraculous. It's not easy and not all kids are the same. Having said that, Dr. Google does seem to have something for all kinds actually. The first step is to understand your child, know what will suit him/her, and then borrow ideas from elsewhere. Nice read! :)