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Why modeling behavior helps to make potty training easier

Mar 01, 2022

My philosophy around potty training is all about using an approach that is relatable and approachable for your kid to understand and engage with. 

Making your approach relatable to an 18month old is most effectively done through.... PLAY.

A playful approach helps to gently and effectively introduce toileting to toddlers in a way that they can consume and interact with.

And one of the most effective ways that you can be playful with your child is through modeling behavior. 



ModelIng behavior is either using a toy or through your very own actions to introduce toileting as a concept and help to normalize it over time for your child.

It is done in a non-pressure, casual setting which not only engages your child through play but also helps to reduce resistance in the long term and make the overall process a whole lot smoother.



Modeling behavior helps to make the potty learning process a whole lot more effective by:

  • Introduces a new, unfamiliar concept in a relatable way. Using a toy is a playful way to engage your child and spark their interest in toileting! 
  • Helps to reduce fear of the unknown - through consistent modelling, you are ultimately helping to normalize toileting which gets ahead of common fears and anxieties around toileting.
  • Getting your child involved in the process helps to give them the feeling of control, which will not only boost their confidence but help to reduce resistance when you begin potty training 



1. Your actions

Using your actions in a non-pressure setting helps to gently plant the seed for potty training.

Let's say you are playing with your child at the craft table when you interrupt the activity with your child. 

"I think I have the feeling I need to go potty!”

You take your child with you to the bathroom and begin to describe the actions you are making.

2. Using your child's favourite toy

Using your child’s favorite toy, whether that be their favorite stuffed toy, doll or even introducing a drink and wet doll.

For example, your child is playing and you may say:

“Oh! I think Sheepy has the feeling she needs to go potty! Let’s take her to sit on it.”

You then take your child and their doll to the potty and begin to talk about the actions of going to the potty. 




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