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Divorced co-parents can successfully potty train a child

If you and your spouse have young children, divorcing and sharing custody across two homes will have its challenges. However, with cooperation and communication, you can do it.

One of the biggest challenges that all parents face as their children grow from infants into toddlers is potty training. If you agree that your child has reached the stage where they're ready to transition from diapers and pull-ups to using the toilet, it's essential that you have the necessary items (and the same equipment) in both of your homes. It's also important to have plenty of spare pull-ups and clothes in both homes in case there's an accident.

If you and your co-parent can agree on the same training techniques, it will be best for your child. This includes games, books and songs. It's also important for both of you to use the same terminology for body parts and functions.

Developing and sticking to a routine is crucial. That means having your child use the bathroom at specific times of the day, like morning and bedtime, whether they have to go or not. You should both give them the same amount of time there before you give up if they don't have to go.

Rewards should also be consistent across your homes. If you have a chart with stickers, use the same one in both homes. If you reward your child for the number of days without accidents, make sure you count the days they're in both homes -- not just yours. This will help your child see that both their parents are working together with them on this. This should never be a competition between you and your co-parent.

If you and your co-parent don't communicate well, you can use an online shared journal, calendar or other tool to document your child's progress and any issues. If your co-parent is refusing to cooperate with this process to the detriment of your child, you may want to talk with your attorney about adding some provisions to your parenting plan to address potty training. However, it's best if the two of you can work this out together so that you can help your child master this important milestone and move on to others.

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Weinman & Associates, P.C.
8200 North MoPac Expressway
Suite 230
Austin, TX 78759

Phone: 512-472-4040
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