The Age To Start Potty Training

October 2, 2008

Most parents are wondering if their child is at the age to start potty training. Here you will find some suggestions and advice on what the right age to start potty training is.

Some very lucky parents find their child easily potty trains without many issues. Other parents aren’t so lucky. Some will try for months without result or just as they are making progress the child seems to regress.

It’s not easy trying to decide what the right age for potty training your child is, The recommended age by many pediatricians is somewhere between 18 months to 36 months.

However, this doesn’t mean that as soon as your child turns 18 months you have to rush out and buy a potty. This is just a guideline and you should use your own judgment as to what age is best for your child to start, after all you know your child best.

Here are a few signs that may show your child is ready to start potty training:

She starts bending down or squats when she needs to go.

He goes to a more private place when he feels the need to go.

She starts showing an interest in your toilet habits by looking or asking what you’re doing.

He feels uneasy when his diaper is wet or filled and show relieve when you clean him.

She shows awareness of what she’s doing or will actually tell you when she’s going.

He understands basic instructions and interacts and responds to questions.
If your child is showing some of the signs above, it may mean she’s ready to start potty training. There are times though when a child will show the signs and still not want to sit on the potty. If your child refuses to sit down or wear big boy underpants then it may be best to wait a little longer.

Some children may show signs of being ready mentally or emotionally but physically their body may not be ready. They may just not be able to hold it for very long and this will lead to many accidents.

In cases like this, rather than struggle to potty train your child it may just be best to wait. When a child is fully ready for training they should respond well and train in a fairly short amount of time. When children take a little longer than expected it may be because they started training too early.

Ultimately the decision lies in your hands and you know your child best. You can always give it a try and see how your child reacts or you can buy a potty and put it out so your child can start getting familiar with it.

Additional Resources:

Potty Training Tips
Potty Training Advice and Tips From Moms & Dads Like You.

Ten Reasons to Tell Your Kids Stories

October 2, 2008

By Mark Brandenburg

In today’s busy world, many parents have lost the art of telling their stories to their kids. Here are ten reasons why these stories are so beneficial:

1. Use them to teach lessons about life.

Stories will stimulate conversations with your kids more effectively than lecturing or “trying to get them to talk. There are a lot of issues happening for your kids these days, and stories give them a chance to reflect on them.

2. Stories connect your kids with previous generations.

In a society that seems to have families spread out all over, it’s vitally important to have ways to have your kids feel connected to their extended families.

3. Stories stimulate your kids’ imagination.

One of the best ways to prepare your kids for the world is to engage them in vivid stories that stir their imagination. Kids who are exposed to these kinds of stories will be the creative problem-solvers of the future.

4. Kids who are exposed to stories will continue the tradition with their own families.

Knowing that your family traditions and stories will be carried on by future generations is very comforting.

5. Stories can encourage your kids when they’re discouraged.

Childhood can get pretty discouraging sometimes. Kids are encouraged by knowing that Mom or Dad have gone through the same kinds of things and have survived.

6. Telling your stories has you remembering your own childhood.

Telling your kids about your childhood is a great way for you to remember and reflect on what was important about your younger years.

7. Telling stories helps to create depth and soul in your kids.

In a TV and media-crazy culture, telling stories can capture your kids’ attention and convey real meaning. It’s a way to show your kids what’s really important in your life.

8. Telling stories to your kids tells them they’re worth the time.

Is there anything more important than conveying to your kids that you want to spend intimate time with them? They’ll remember it forever.

9. Telling stories is a great chance to convey your values.

Your kids will be getting quite a few messages from their friends and from popular culture. Stories are a great opportunity to sneak in a few of your cherished values for your kids to hear.

10. Well-crafted stories create a wonderful mind-set for your kids before they fall asleep.

Kids will fall asleep faster and with healthier images when you tell them your stories.

Don’t pass up the opportunity to connect with your kids, at the same time you tell them what’s important to you.

It will be a huge gift to your kids, and a huge gift to you.

Mark Brandenburg MA, CPCC, coaches busy parents by phone to balance their life and improve their family relationships. For a FREE twenty minute sample session by phone; ebooks, courses, articles, and a FREE newsletter, go to or email him at

Teaching Your Child Empathy

October 1, 2008

Teaching your child empathy is one of the challenges of parenthood.

5 Easy Ways to Teach Kids Empathy

We all want our kids to develop empathy — that essential knack for understanding how another person feels and responding with kindness.

Fortunately, some simple, effective strategies can help empathy bloom as our children grow. Here are five strategies that busy parents can use:

1. Help your child describe his or her own feelings.

Kids need to be able to label their own feelings in order to understand how others feel. “Mad,” “sad,” and “happy” will probably be the starting point. From there, your child can learn words like “disappointed,” “surprised,” “excited,” “scared,” “thankful,” “left out,” and more.

2. Read books or watch TV together and discuss the characters’ feelings.

Point out facial expressions and other “body-language” clues to feelings when you look at illustrations together.

3. Discuss how different behaviors influence the feelings of others.

For example, you could say, “Grandma looked so happy when you said thank you for her gift! Did you see her big smile?”

4. Model and practice consideration for the feelings of others.

When we treat our child with empathy, we provide not only emotional nourishment but also a model of kindness that our child can imitate. We can also help our child practice empathy by saying things like, “That little girl looks lonely. Do you think you could see if she wants to play with you?” or, “Dad looks hot and tired. How about if we take him a glass of lemonade?”

5. When your child does a kind deed, comment on it. “Oh, you’re helping me clean up the juice I spilled — that’s being KIND! Thank you!”

With these small, everyday steps, you’ll gently guide your child on the road to becoming a kind, compassionate adult.

(c) Norma Schmidt, LLC (limited liability corporation)

Norma Schmidt is a parent, a parenting workshop leader and the author of way too many articles and online publications to mention here. Her latest e-book, “The Parent’s Bag of Behavior Tricks,” is ready for instant downloading at Get Norma’s free report, “Boost Your Child’s Money IQ: 61 Ways to Raise Wise, Responsible Money Managers,” at

Additional Resources:

Baby Sleep Secrets
Get your child to sleep through the night with just a few tweak and finally get that good night sleep you both need and deserve.

Inspirational Kids’ Stories
A Collection of Children’s Bedtime Stories that nurture, inspire and educate.

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