Potty training can come with its fair share of challenges. If you are among the 1% of parents whose child potty trained effortlessly, good for you. For the rest of us, potty training entails a hodgepodge of treats, bribes, triumphs, and frustrations. For many children, the “value add” just isn’t there. Why would they use the potty? What’s the point of being a “big boy” or “big girl”? The diaper is working just fine, thank you very much. For many, even if the peeing is going well, the pooping is causing a stand-off.
As a parent and preschool teacher, I have seen this time and again. Potty training challenges are normal and expected (although that doesn’t make them less frustrating). Through all my years of potty training kids, I have noticed one common question they have – how does the potty work? A good question, if you think about it. They have to sit on the (sometimes huge) potty, deposit something from their body into it, and then flush it down. It makes a loud noise (a whole other issue for some) and can actually be kind of scary. Adults don’t think much about the actual potty – it is just another thing that we have to fix and clean. Still, it bears mentioning that this can be a concern and curiosity for your child when potty training.
I had the idea to write a book about how the potty works and where the poop goes ( put on a long list of other things I have to do). So yesterday, They were giving out free books at the pediatricians and look what I found:
I have long been a fan of David Macauley’s books. They are amazing. The illustrations are so cool and they answer all sorts of questions about how things work. My sons have the one about the castle, the mosque and the cathedral, as well as an amazing one about the human body (links below).
Toilet: How It Works goes through all the parts of the toilet, the pipes, and even the waste water treatment plant ( which, of course, will be interesting in a gross way to your child). It essentially answers the question, “What happens after you flush?” with amazing illustrations and facts. This book is marketed as an early reader and is targeted towards older kids. However, I would highly recommend it if your toddler is struggling with toilet related issues. It will be interesting and might help him or her make some sense of the big contraption that will be a part of life from here on out. Sometimes less isn’t more with toddlers. They are learning so much everyday and want the facts. Giving more information, especially when something is causing anxiety, can be comforting and validating to your child. So if your child has questions and concerns about the potty, answer them (and feel great that your child has the curiosity to ask).