Potty Training a Strong Willed Child (Part 3)

By Adriana Vermillion



In Part One of “Potty Training a Strong Willed Child" and In Part 2, Daniel Wagner from Peaceful Parenting  shared with us his struggle along with Manda and Sophia regarding Potty Training.
This is a great example of a child who in my opinion is shy or slow to warm to the idea of change and more exact to potty training.

Experts say there are three broad categories of toddler personality:

- Easy or happy, but not full-tilt constantly
- Shy or slow to warm - often thoughtful and quiet
- Spirited (a nice term for "Get down off the refrigerator right now!")

When I am blessed to work with kids like Sophia, and parents like Daniel and Manda I know from the start that this is going to be a great challenge, and when I think of the challenge I do not think of Sophia, but instead of Daniel and Manda because parents, and especially parents who have more than one or two children think they got it when it comes to just about any milestones.

Thankfully that was not so with Manda and Daniel, as you can see from Part 1 they tried just about anything except Castor Oil with no lasting results, and that is because the shy child needs a lot of transition time from activity to activity and resists change, and will often study, with intensity, how a game is played before jumping in. Dr. Karp says, “Their motto is, 'When in doubt, don't!" 

The shy child is a gentle soul and should be protected from harsh criticism and ridicule. Rejection plays a very important role as well since it can make a shy child fearful and extra careful throughout life.

Parents need to offer children with this personality the stability and time to process the curve balls of life; they can't be rushed into anything and especially not potty training, however if the child is not potty trained at the right time and a parent will wait to long to start the process more problems can arise since a shy child tends to be busy in the developmental arena and they would rather not deal with something as difficult as potty training.

If Sophia was in my care, I would have given her a few weeks to learn about what is to come, teach her her role and make it a family adventure. A child like Sophia needs to feel safe, loved and accepted in her family environment, outside the home and especially in her imaginary world. 

If we go back to the part where her room odor took Daniel and Manda on a quest to find soiled clothing carefully tucked in under Sophia's mattress, in her dresser and on her shelves we see how shutting the door to the outside world Sophia found a way to deal with something she knew it was not ok, it was now a form of shame and if I may say fear. Sophia learned how to make it acceptable to herself and everyone else.

Children like Sophia have a gift in art, are able to see beauty beyond what a naked eye can see and they seem to be very gentle to animals and most people.

©Daniel Wagner
In our practice we offer custom potty training plans and while I can't say exactly how we would have worked with Sophia I can say for sure based on her personality that ones Sophia got what she needed, learned her role and was allowed to learn from some of her own mistakes, training could have been so much easier and shorter.

In our experience with children such as Sophia the initial training took about three weeks. After the
initial training (basic/moderate) a form of repetitive behavior or practice takes place for another four to six weeks until we can say Sophia is completely potty trained for night and day with very few or occasional accidents.

I would like to answer your specific questions so please comment bellow with your opinion on how Daniel and Manda finally managed to train Sophia without my help or another professional, and of course share with us your successes and struggles.

You can follow Daniel (@parent_progress) and I (@potty_whisperer) on Twitter. I am also on Facebook where conversations get to a whole new level.

Adriana Vermillion is the Founder and CEO of P.O.T.T."Y" Generation®, The Potty Whisperer™, a Lead Trainer and Parenting Coach with over sixteen years of experience in potty training special needs children and coaching parents. Adriana is an Author, Freelance Writer, and a frequent Motivational Speaker available for your event at www.adrianavermillion.com

1 comment:

  1. Hey Adriana,

    Thank you for your thoughtful response. You mentioned that children like Sophia need time to warm up to new situations. This reminds me of how she is about trying new foods and activities. She needs to see others enjoying themselves first before she will commit to trying it herself.

    I will be sure to keep this advice in mind moving forward with her. She's certainly one-of-a-kind.

    Keep up the great work you do for everyone
    Daniel Wagner - POP