The Poop on Potty Training

Dear Dr. Bill,

 

I need some information on how to get our son potty-trained.  We’ve been trying since he turned two-years-old.  He seems afraid of sitting the regular toilet even though we try using a training seat for him.  He is just a bit over 2|1/2.  What should we do?

 

–George

 

Dear George,

 

Potty training is a messy subject, but it’s something a lot of parents get stressed out about.  One of reasons for the stress is pressure from family and friends.

 

You should know that the AVERAGE age for mastering toilet training is three.  That’s just an average, which means a lot of kids are trained closer to two, while others don’t reach this milestone until age four.

 

The toddler who succeeds in potty training is the one who WANTS to be trained.  Kids forced into potty training before they’re ready may develop a negative attitude that will only delay success.  Here are a few signs that can help you figure out if your son is ready:

 

Does he know when he is about to go?  This awareness will help him get started.

 

Are his bowel movements predictable?  Don’t laugh…regularity can help you figure out the times of day when potty training attempts are most likely to succeed.

 

Does he want to wear “big boy” underwear?  This is a sign of wanting to be independent.  Underwear can also serve as a reward for your son’s interest in toilet training.

 

Can he pull his pants down and pull them back up by himself?  This is important skill…it allows for easy access when he feels the urge to go.

 

You can find more potty training advice at focusonthefamily.com.

 

Thanks for writing, George.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.