All parents go through it at some point, potty training. It is quite possibly one of the most difficult times that you and your toddler will go through, next to them being sick. You can surf the internet for help but every kid is different. A Google search for “Potty Training Tips” over 6 million pages are found and the first page is littered with pages of tips for your toddler.
Having just gone through potty training myself, no one told me how to make it through as a parent. So in my expert opinion here are some tips for getting the parents through Potty Training.
Get a magazine subscription. If you’re a man like me, you already have a few magazine subscriptions. You also probably already have a place in the bathroom that you place your magazines for when you are taking the Browns to the Super Bowl. This might be a good time to move them into the bathroom that you will be teaching your child to use the potty. You will be spending more time in that particular room than any other room in the house. You better just sit down and enjoy it.
Find a good app for your phone or tablet. Admit it already, your 2 year-old already knows how to use your iPad or iPhone better than you do. Since they won’t be able to understand what is in your Men’s Health, you better just let them play with your phone. They have nothing else to do because they told you they had to go potty and they really didn’t. Find a good app for them to use, or download Netflix and let them watch Elmo’s Potty Time.
Accept that what you are saying will make you sound like pedophile. This was a hard one for me, “That’s what she said!” When you walk into a public bathroom with someone doing their business in the stall next to you and you say “OK now pull down your pants” You can only imagine what the other person is thinking. Saying “Come on you can do it” also doesn’t help your cause. “Watch your Pee-Pee and make it go” or the “hurry up and make it go, come on” just sounds awful. The moment you walk out of the stall and see someone looking at you walk out with your 2 year-old is the time to you hope that you can say “yeah potty training” before they call the cops. Reality is this, anything you say during this time just sounds sick. Get used to it.
Show by example. After you have accepted that you sound like a pedophile, you will feel better about asking a child to come into the bathroom with you. Children watch you, and they learn from you. What a better way then to invite them into the bathroom and watch you do your business. My son actually enjoys coming to the bathroom with me. (I’ve accepted I sound like a crazy sicko during this time) He comes in and goes “Daddy go pee!” and will actually flush the toilet for me! It makes my life easier by not having to flush myself. The downside is, the bathroom was my only quiet sanctuary and trying to keep my child’s hand from running into the stream of pee is difficult to do while aiming.
Don’t post pictures on Facebook or Twitter. Yes, your child is cute. I love seeing pictures of them. That picture of them taking a bath is slightly worrisome. But there is no way to hide anything when they are going to the bathroom. Just give me a status update that “Little Johnny went Poo Poo in the big boy’s toilet for the first time.” I don’t need pictures of that.
Just remember that potty training is a difficult time for you and your child. This time will pass and it will all be over before you know it and have fun with it.