Raising children is a challenge. Even the most experienced parents don’t have all the answers and are still “learning on the job.” Potty training is no easy feat, and some kids are easier to train than others. But how do parents know how to train their toddler to go to the bathroom on the toilet, especially little boys? Below are some tips to help parents through what may seem like a never-ending, daunting task.
One of the first things parents can do to help prepare their little boys for potty training is to talk about it simply. Many children follow their parents, mothers, and fathers into the bathroom because they are curious. Kids, especially toddlers and preschoolers are naturally curious and want to be a part of what’s going on. Letting them follow you is excellent because it opens the door for a little pep-talk. You might want to say something like, “You’re going to learn how to go potty soon too.” By talking about it, gives boys a sense of what’s coming next and what is expected in a non-threatening way.
Another way to potty train your son is to let him watch. Now, I know that some moms may want to shy away from potty training their little boy because they may not feel “qualified” because they go to the bathroom differently than boys. But don’t let this discourage you. Moms are just as qualified as Dads to potty train their little boys. The main goal is to teach your son to recognize the pressure he feels when he needs to relieve himself and to do so in the proper place; the bathroom.
Let your son have a say in his potty training. It gives him a sense of control when he’s learning to control something that he can’t; the urge to go to the bathroom. For example, you may want to let him decide if he wants to sit or stand. If he chooses to stand, make sure he has a sturdy stool to stand on. If he decides to sit, then buy a potty that sits on the floor or an adaptable potty that rests on a regular size toilet seat. Some say that a potty that sits on the floor is best, but let your son be the judge. He’ll tell you which position is more comfortable for him. And whatever he decides, go with it and keep moving forward.
Parents.com has some great potty training tips for boys. If your son decides to stand, a unique tip that they suggest is putting cheerios, or fruit loops in the toilet to help him “aim.” Another thought is to use an old can from canned vegetables. Make sure the can is clean and hold it in front of your son. Tell him to aim into the can. He’ll love the challenge and the sound that he’ll hear when he “tinkles.”
Reward his efforts. Every time your child successfully goes to the bathroom on the toilet, reward him. Some parents give their son a prize, like a small toy, while other parents give out stickers, or M&M’s. If you decide to give him toys, you may want to consider a grab-bag or sit the toys on the counter as a visual aid to motivate your son to relieve himself in the potty. If you use candy as a reward, make it clear to him that it’s only for when he goes potty and not at any other time. This kind of reward might be a little more challenging to stick to since most kids have a sweet-tooth. The point is to use the rewards to reassure him and encourage his behavior.
Some parents may want to let their little boy pick out “big boy” underwear. Children don’t like feeling wet, and some little boys learn best if they feel wetness against their skin. The “big boy” underwear will also help him transition from a diaper and into regular underwear later. The underwear could also be used a reward.
Some people say that girls are easier to potty train than boys. What it boils down to is that all kids are different and will learn to go to the bathroom on their terms. The good news is that it will happen, even if it’s not in the expected time frame. The best thing parents can do is relax and be an excellent example of bathroom habits.