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Fill-in-Blank News Release
For County Health Departments

The Perils of Parenting: The Potty

For Release: __________
Contact & Phone Number: __________

Is this the situation in your house? You are more than ready for your young child to learn to use the “potty” but your child is quite comfortable staying in diapers. What to do, especially when family and friends provide well meaning, but unsolicited advice?

“Being ready for toilet learning involves several stages in child development,” said (name & title), _____ County Health Department. “Parents simply cannot make their child use the toilet.” Instead, (s/he) suggested that parents look for these signs to tell if their child is ready for toilet learning:

  • The child must be able to use words to indicate urination and bowel movements.
  • The child must be aware that his or her body is signaling a need to go to the bathroom.
  • The child must be able to independently walk to the bathroom, remove clothing and get on the toilet.
  • The child must want to use the toilet.
  • The child must have the internal muscle development necessary to hold urine or bowel movement before getting to the toilet.

“Parents should provide support and encouragement as their child learns to have control over the toileting process,” _____ said. “Remain calm and relaxed while encouraging your child’s interest. Use words you are comfortable with to identify bodily functions. Get a potty-chair for the toilet and talk about what it is used for.

Let your child try sitting on the potty chair with clothes on. And read aloud children’s books about using the toilet. If your child doesn’t want to listen, that’s a clear sign she or he is not yet interested.”

_____ stressed that parents should not try to control the toilet learning process by rewarding the child for using the toilet or punishing the child for toilet accidents. “This creates too much pressure and stress and may prolong the entire process,” (s/he) warned.

_____ also emphasized that a child who has been toilet trained for months may need to go back to diapers during times of stress.

For more information about parenting, including how to help your child learn to use the toilet, call or visit the _____ County Health Department. (Additional information can be added here on well child clinics, parenting classes, etc.)


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