Potty Training & Babysitters, Caregivers or Child Care
I'm an aunt that cares for my 2-1/2 year old nephew. His mom says he should start potty training, but I'm not sure he is ready. I Whenever I put him on the potty seat, he screams! I'm afraid that this will make it even harder for him to learn if it is a bad experience now. I'm exhausted and he is nowhere near getting this right. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
I can only imagine how frustrated you are! I remember back in the day feeling pretty frustrated myself with potty training. I recall as the deadline for preschool enrollment loomed, I became more and more desperate. My husband had great intentions, but he was actually hindering the process. Like a lot of dads, he was taking an authoritarian tone with our son, subtly demanding that he begin going to the potty by himself, like a big boy. I knew enough about potty training by then to realize that the authoritarian approach was doomed to backfire. According to everything I learned from experts and other moms, kids typically dig in their heels when adults make demands about potty training and pressuring them makes them actively hostile.
Resigned and feeling very much like a failure, I decided to put the whole project on hold for awhile. The potty-chair went into the closet; the big boy underwear and training pants went back in the drawer from which they came. And we did not mention another word about anything potty related for a good month or so. Not until we felt he was completely over his hostility towards potty training. I suggest you do the same with your nephew, because it doesn't sound like he's ready. Meanwhile, I'd try to have a frank conversation with your sister that as her child's caregiver, you don't think he's ready, and should hold off for a few weeks, or even months, until he shows the signs of potty readiness. (Have your sister even take the potty readiness quiz!
When your nephew is ready to potty train, bring back out the potty and try doing the potty training boot camp again. By then, he'll be older, and will probably have forgotten all about his fear and trepidation!