Why dads should not potty train (and how mom’s do it!)

Thom DickFamily, Featured3 Comments

Occasionally I see the need to raise an issue and then silently walk away to let the better qualified experts take over. I’m willing to bet even though this may be among the shortest blogs I have written it will be one of the most read and most commented upon. Here’s why: Potty training SUCKS! I remember the horrendous stress we experienced when Malachi was in that stage more than a decade ago (actually Tara felt the stress… I don’t think I ever gave it a second thought – unless I was inconvenienced in a mall or restaurant with a scheduled pee break.) The best advice we got at that time was from our friend Sandi Hamm. She made the profound assertion that no matter how tough it felt in that season of our lives “when Malachi was 18 years old he would be potty trained.” (She knew from experience.) Now that actually was profound and here’s why, potty trainers tend to think that all life, outside adult contact and fun in general will need to be put on hold as long as you are potty training and that it will last forever! This isn’t true; at least it doesn’t need to be.

There are many interesting theories of how to properly and efficiently potty train a child. Of course, most parents kids past this stage of life are MORE than happy to tell you ALL their strategies and how you are doing it wrong. For example we had one mom tell us that her kids were potty trained at 10 months old. When I, dumbfounded and in wonder, told my mom that she laughed and responded, “No. SHE was potty trained when her kids were 10 months old.” In other words Ms Super Mom of the Millennium could tell when her baby was going to tinkle and would book it over to the potty before that sigh of relief left their face.

Another friend employed the “kids who are naked won’t pee” strategy, which made it awkward to try and visit at her house – you know with the naked boys running around and whizzing in the hallway.

And then, there was my strategy. We had already bought Malachi a “throne” potty that had a sensor that would play a little “do-do-doooo!” if something solid passed in front of it but he was still struggling to poop on the potty (oh I hope his friends read this post). This was when I got the stellar idea to tell him that we need to poop on the toilet because there are alligators that live in the sewer and they eat poop. That might have worked but I followed up with this little gem, “And if you don’t poop on the potty they come up the toilet and nibble your butt.” Rookie mistake. And that my friends is why dads should never, ever potty train.

This is where my expertise really winds to a close; I told my kid that an alligator would nibble his little backside if he didn’t start to poop on the potty. Thus this is where the sharing must begin. I am looking for the following people to comment:

  1. Parents who have successfully potty trained their kids. Please share all your theories about your perfect children who not only pooped but wiped by the time they were 18 months old. Us parents in the middle of potty training will either roll our eyes and move on or possibly find a trick or too to adapt for our own kids.
  2. Parents who are currently potty training, anticipating potty training or just past potty training. What are the latest trends and ancient potty training techniques making a come back?
  3. Dads who thoroughly messed up the potty training regiment of their home. This will simply make me feel better.

So light up the comments boxes, Facebook shares and reTweets and let the collective wisdom of the global parenting community flow!

(FYI for all you bloggers out there… using the word “flow” to conclude a blog on potty training is either witty, gross or downright in bad taste. You be the judge!)



Potty Training

3 Comments on “Why dads should not potty train (and how mom’s do it!)”

  1. Hahaha. This made my day! We are in the very, very early stages of potty training Paisley because I REFUSE to have 2 in diapers come July. However, I do know that forcing it on her will most likely backfire. We’ve put her on her potty a few times with luck and have also let her run around bare butt…and ended up having a few messes to clean.
    I’m praying so much for God’s wisdom and grace as we head into this….interesting? Season of life.
    P.S. having a child that is determined and strong-willed is great….but mixed with not sitting still for longer than 5 seconds? Oy. May the odds be ever in my favor! Hahaha.

  2. Well I’m a single mom so as my sons dad I made the mistake of putting some of his Cheerios in the toilet to try and help him aim.. He just had a monster meltdown cuz I wouldn’t let him eat those Cheerios.

    He was potty trained in just less than a week though. I started training him a month before he turned 3. Later in life than when most parents try but he caught on really quick then.

  3. I honestly think potty training has to be tailored to the child. Here are a few techniques I used for the kids I have trained while nannying and as a mom with the personality type it might work for. The caveat: the kid HAS to be ready. Bladder control develops different for everyone. Usually just before 3 is most successful for boys and just before 2 1\2 for girls is when muscle control is well developed. (oh and for the record I am in favor of kids wiping their own bums only around kindergarten age because I dont love my bathroom having brown finger paint in it, or bacon strips in the undies!!!!)
    1. The structured pooper: timed visits to the potty. Same routine every time. NEVER miss a step or meltdowns will ensue. Sticker charts and rewards usually work.
    2. The fearful pooper: allow them to poop in their diaper just in the bathroom at first. Then graduate to them sitting on the potty and going in their diaper. Then start dumping poop from the diaper in the potty once they finish and making them flush. Then try just sitting on the potty. Then just peeing.then finally pooping. Lots of prayers too.
    3. The stubborn pooper: coax them onto the potty with a special toy they can only hold while on the potty. They must give it back if they get off of the potty.
    4. The shy pee-er: run the tap just a little to mimic the sound of pee. Also feet in warm water works.
    5. The independent pooper: just put them in undies, let them pull them down, sit down and do it all alone. Some kids dont train if pushed, they want to do it themselves. If you act nonchalant about it and leave them to their devices they will pick it up quickly.
    6. The i-won’t-poop-on-the-potty-for-love-nor-money: not ready yet! Wait a few mos until they’ve forgotten the potty woes and try again.
    7. The rebellious pooper: they get fully trained, then realize it isnt convenient for them, and they begin to poop and pee in their pants just because they want to and can. Make a garbage bag in the bathroom. When they don’t use the potty put some of their toys in the bag. Tie it shut. Do it EVERY time they go in their pants on purpose. (accidents do happen let’s not be too harsh!) they will miss the toys…..especially if they all go away in the bag…and start going potty!
    Most often HUGE encouragement and rewards work with most kids. I found that the more relaxed I was about it the better it went. They have their own ideas….and we have ours! I heard of one family throwing a “big boy” party for their son. He had to throw his diapers away, he got a cake and everything. They sang happy big boy to you…..and he was pretty successful. It really comes down to what makes the child motivated and are they ready?

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