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Going to the Potty

Date: 1986
Author: Fred Rogers
Photographs: Jim Judkis
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Series: First Experiences
ISBN: 0399212973
Purchase: Amazon (Paperback)


Text and photographs copyright © 1986 by Family Communications, Inc.


Going to the Potty is a publication from the Mister Rogers' Neighborhood First Experiences series. In this book, real life photos are used to help young people feel more comfortable with any fears or reservations they may be feeling about potty training.

A Note From Fred Rogers

Learning to take charge of body functions may not be an easy task for a young child, but it is as natural and inevitable as learning to use a spoon or to tie a shoe. Nevertheless, few aspects of a child's development arouse greater concern among parents or invite more conflict between parent and child than what we call toilet training.

It seems to me that the "training" that happens in toilet training is really a joint effort. We parents train our children in the mechanics of the process, but we also learn how to respond to cues of our children's readiness to be trained. Only when a child has a certain measure of mental awareness and muscular control can training ever begin to be successful.

It's sometimes hard for parents not to measure a child's success by what the books say or by the standards of another sibling or a friend's child. But for each child, the timetable for learning to use the potty is as individual as learning to walk or talk. Expecting too much too soon can lead to frustration for both parents and children.

When we parents have realistic expectations about the toilet training process, we are more likely to approach it with a comfortable balance of gentleness and persistence. And our children are more likely to gain from the experience not just mastery of their body functions, but a stronger sense of self...of the unique human beings they really are becoming. Toilet training for parents and children is another way of saying "I love you."

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