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Toileting accidents are part of the learning process and are to be expected. Your child may be so interested in something else that he forgets about going to the bathroom until it is too late. Use an accident as an opportunity to teach and to reinforce using the toilet instead for elimination. Keep your feelings of frustration and anger in check; give a calm, matter-of-fact response to your child.
Although most professionals recommend a neutral response to accidents, some add the use of positive practice after an accident. When using positive practice a caregiver may:
If you sense that your child may be having accidents to see your reaction, remember to stay calm and neutral. If an accident has already occurred, respond as described above. Then, reflect on the circumstances of the accident. Sometime accidents occur when the caregiver and/or child are rushing to get to the bathroom on time. Once you become aware of your child’s elimination patterns, try to take your child to the bathroom 10-15 minutes earlier. Trial and error on the timing may prevent accidents. If your child becomes restless on the toilet, use relaxation techniques such as listening to music or singing a song, reading a book, or playing with a toy to encourage the child to continue sitting.
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