Potty training for boys isn’t necessarily a walk in the park, and you’ve probably experienced this first hand. Boys are dare devils, and especially at a young age. Every toddler will push the boundaries in order to find the limits, but boys will push so hard and so fast you won’t know what hit you. Potty training for boys isn’t any different from what you’ve experienced in the past, your child will still be pushing these limits and acting on impulse. In fact, your child will likely be pushing the limits even MORE than usual. Your young boy hasn’t ever learned to use the toilet previously, so therefore this is truly uncharted waters. When the waters are uncharted, who knows where the boundaries might lie. When Learning potty training for boys, we must understand that our children’s nature is to test us and when teaching new things and having new experiences, they will follow their nature. You may hear phrases like this in your future-
“We don’t take off our clothes until we are inside the bathroom”
“Please sit down and sit still while we go to the potty”
“We don’t touch the poop, that isn’t clean”
Yes, believe it or not that last one is more frequent than you’d like to believe… As an author and parent myself, I believe it’s my duty to reach out to fellow parents and help chart those uncharted waters through my books. I may not be able to completely map out the unknown due to every child’s different temperaments and personalities, but I can sure as hell try.
In my writing debut, Tic Tac Toddler: The 7 Step Method in Raising Articulate Children, I discuss the importance of seeking help as a parent, how to stop those ugly tantrums and of course, potty learning. You may not have heard the term “potty learning” before, but you’ll be an expert by the end of this post! Let’s discuss the difference between Potty training for boys and Toilet learning for boys.
The reason we prefer the term “potty learning” is simply this- Potty TRAINING for boys is a reflection on your ability to teach a skill, and if you don’t manage to succeed the first go round, then you have failed at training your toddler. Toilet LEARNING helps us understand that this is a collaborative effort. It takes both teaching and understanding from you and your toddler in order to succeed, and you can’t be successful without both. There is no failing in toilet learning, simply unsuccessful attempts. Potty learning is a much more productive and less daunting term to use for the situation, as it puts less pressure on you as a teacher.
Let’s dive into an excerpt from Tic Tac Toddler and see what the Tic Tac Toddler Method has to say about toilet learning vs. potty training for boys.
Step Seven: Toilet Learning
I’ve experienced some unforgettable moments in the potty learning phase. The sight of my toddler’s bum in the air and head on the floor as they tried to wipe themselves sure leaves an imprint. I mean, who could forget the sing-along songs as our kids dropped a deuce. I’d be chatting to a neighbor at the front door when suddenly, with the volume of a foghorn, the words “strike one” completely blew our conversation out of the door. After regaining my composure and knowing what was to come, I was trying very hard to get rid of the neighbor at the door when suddenly, the echo of “strike two” hit our ears. Being it an early Monday morning, my neighbor began asking questions, “Are you watching a rerun of yesterday’s game?” This could open up a new conversation altogether, and I just wanted this woman to leave. My soul was crying for her to get the hell off my porch. I knew time was running low as I quickly smiled and nodded to confirm. I started explaining that I must go as I’m getting ready for work when the inconceivable interrupted my conversation.
The voice resonated through the house as my tot finally dropped a deuce and proclaimed his success so that every neighbor could hear him loud and clear. “Strike three, and mister poop is out!” I’m not sure how long the silence lasted, but my tot’s proclamation was followed by the eeriest kind that was deafening. I could feel my face changing temperature as I was turning into a tomato of note. The sweat started oozing down my back and forehead as I stared blankly at the woman on my porch. For what felt like a long time, I watched as this woman’s face turned from surprise to a roar of laughter in slow motion. She had kids of her own and immediately knew what the strikes were about. It was at the moment of our shared gaggle that my tot came running along to tell me all about his big poop. Let’s face it, potty training is an unavoidable part of growing up. The best thing we can do is remember the times that cracked us up like a sideways donkey. This chapter will help you face toilet learning with an entirely new outlook.
Now that your toddler is ready, you can start teaching them. There’s a simple way of doing this; you don’t need your mother on speed dial. Please remove your mom’s contact until you’ve reached the goalposts. Trust me, she trained you but, you’re not teaching your kid like some drill sergeant. You’re helping and guiding your child, compassionately, and gently. The first rule of toilet learning is to start when you’re at your peak of relaxation. Don’t try to start this process when you have deadlines to meet, a vacation coming up, or find yourself under a mountain of stress. Learn to meditate or sign up at a yoga studio if you must. The bottom line is that you shouldn’t even attempt potty learning until both you and your child are in a blissful state of comfort. Now you understand why you must cut communication with your mother. One voice should guide a child because having three people instructing them is the biggest mistake you can make. Close your home to visitors while you’re doing this too.
The second rule is to allow men to teach boys and women to teach girls. There’s nothing sexist about this. Boys must learn by watching their dad stand and pee. Girls must learn the proper ways of wiping themselves. Having a same-sex adult teach you this essential part of life will remove any confusion from the learning process. The third rule of potty learning is to agree on cue words. Make sure your words are safe for public expression as well. You want words to describe whether your toddler needs to go number one or number two. You also need to teach your child to use cue words for body parts. Can you imagine your toddler running into the lounge where the book club is in full swing and talking about indescribable words? I can because I’ve been present at such awkward moments. The words you agree on should be comfortable publicly and, more importantly, easy enough for your child to remember.
The fourth rule of potty learning is to help your child understand what’s happening. This is especially important for kids who freak out when their poop flushes down the drain. Talk to your child about what’s happening to their body as they pee and poo. Imagine seeing your finger fall off and watching it flush away. Your child doesn’t know that poo is the body’s way of making space for more food. The body isn’t capable of keeping infinite amounts of water and food. You can even talk to them about what’s happening to your body if you’re comfortable enough to have them hang around while you go. Focus on verbalizing how great it feels to be dry and empty. Now the lower tummy feels good again after urinating. Speak to your child about how awesome it feels to have dry underwear. The fifth rule tells us to keep their abilities in mind. We can’t expect a child to sit on an adult toilet without falling in once in a while. Buy or borrow a potty chair or an attachment for the toilet and make sure your kid can reach it easily. You can buy steps leading up to the toilet and another set for the light switch. It’s a good idea to get your child used to the big toilet if you can.
The sixth piece of advice tells us to start reading potty books to our kids. You can try Once Upon a Potty or Skip to the Loo. Reading potty books to your child will emphasize how natural and normal going to the potty is because everyone does it. You can even download some potty songs to teach your kid. The next bit of advice is that we use training pants and easily removable clothing. I know our kids look like rock stars in denim pants and the reboot of the overalls, but the problem with this is that they can’t get the darn zipper down. Soft cotton underwear is also great. You can even show your toddler that you also wear these easily removable undies, and so does everyone else. Many kids will need a bit of assistance for the first few times.
That brings us to the next key element of remembrance. As soon as you realize your child needs to go, stop what you’re doing and help them. They don’t have the ability to pinch as we do. Kids who have accidents shouldn’t be reprimanded like a soldier either. Instead, parents should focus on their success and praise them when they finish their potty visit successfully. Any accidents should simply be reassured with compassion and reminding your child that it’s okay to make a blooper. Being upset with them is completely unfair because they can’t control it. Toddlers already feel bad for making a mistake as their emotional maturity is still developing.
Now we come to another valuable piece of advice. I know your mother says that you should leave your child on the potty until they go, but the truth is that you’re turning a teachable moment into a punishment by doing this. The punishment goes both ways too. Some kids love attention and would sit on the potty as long as you allow them to. After all, they’re bathing in attention. However, other kids hate sitting on the potty and will remember this experience as a bad one. Negative experiences turn into resistance. It’s recommended that you limit potty time to five minutes and not the endless standoff ancient beliefs tell you to do. Limiting potty time can have one more crucial benefit for you. It can spare your sanity. The final learning curve for kids is to learn about hygiene after using the potty. They don’t know how much toilet paper is enough, and we don’t need to wait until their fingers go through the paper before we help them. We also don’t want to find our toilets clogged up with an entire roll at once. The second part of toilet hygiene is to teach them to wash their hands. They must be able to reach the basin and turn the tap themselves.
That’s it! All a parent has to do is guide their child. There’s no yelling or pulling our hair out of our skulls. Toilet learning will come with a few challenges until you find the right time and method. Don’t allow this to make you think you’re a bad parent. Very few kids learn how to use the toilet in days, and even when they do, accidents often happen for some time after that.