Going to the Potty

By Fred Rogers



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In 1986 Fred Rogers launched a series of books called First Experiences, founded on his belief that talking openly with children about waht something new will be like can lessen their fears about facing something new and difficult.
The book Going to the Potty uses real life photos to help explain potty training to young children by framing that this process is part of growing up and explaining what to expect with this new experience.  
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." 
This is a piece of work that reflects the educational intention of Mister Rogers and may not be currently up to date with the latest toilet training curriculum. The intended goal of this text is to introduce children to the topic of toilet training to help ease anxieties and fears so that everyone feels safe and comfortable.  This text is a reflection of the time it was written and has not been edited since its original publication in 1986. 

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