Potty Training Boys – You Peed Where?

June 5th, 2013

Potty Training Boys

Yes, those are my two boys – Emil and Corin.  Adorable right?  You may think that at first glance, but when it comes to potty training boys, there is no cuteness that can overtake the frustration you may feel as a parent.  Been there.

Ok, Corin, we can still chalk up to being a baby.  He’s about 10 months.  We’ll give him time.  Emil, on the other hand, is 2 3/4.  He’ll be 3 in September of 2013.  So, we’ve come to expect a bit more out of him.  And up until recently, we were having no success whatsoever.  What changed?  I don’t know.  I think it’s a complicated algorithm.  But, I’ll share our story, and maybe you can learn a few lessons from us when it comes to potty training your boys.

Here are a few common statements / tips we’ve heard and our experience with each:

He’ll be ready when he’s ready – This one we heard a lot.  I’m still trying to way the truth behind this statement.  For a long time, when someone told me this, it just made me mad because I figured I could train my kid to use the toilet.  On the flip side, after fighting the potty for months and months, the boy did seem to turn it on like a switch one day.  So, I would say there is an element of truth to this.

Just let him sit on the toilet, and he’ll go – What’s crazy about our son is that he went on the potty at 4 months old.  I could tell when he would start pushing, and would place him on the throne.  He would go.  Mommy and daddy thought we had a Wonder Child on our hands.  Then, everything began to reverse course.  We tried books.  We tried the iPad.  We tried treats.  We tried songs.  We tried everything.  It didn’t matter how long we would leave him on the potty, he would not go.  After a while, we felt that putting him on the potty would have a negative affect if he didn’t correlate it with going #1 or #2.

Just put him in underwear and let him learn from his mistake – Uhhh yeah, didn’t work.  17 accidents and 4 packs of underwear later, my wife gave up on this one in a hurry.

potty-training-boyWatch videos and movies – We watched every Elmo video there was about potty time.  All it did was give Emil some new songs in his vocabulary.  There was a positive response to the videos, but not the results we were seeking.

Peer Pressure – The standard dialogue went like this, “Come on Emil, Daddy goes on the potty.  Mommy goes on the potty.  Isaac, Uriah, Ajax, Uncle Spencer, Aunt Mckenzi, Uncle Suke, Mimi, Grumps, all go on the potty.”  Everyone and their mother goes on the potty!  Don’t you want to?  No.

Let the boy run free – For us, taking the pants off and letting the boy bear it all to the world was our biggest success.  We recently lived in a place where this wasn’t possible.  Then, we just moved where we have a semi-private back yard.  Warm weather and no pants got Emil excited about peeing in the grass.  It wasn’t long before that transitioned to the potty, and even realizing when he had to go take a poopy.  Mom even let him stay in the house with no diaper, and while there were a few accidents, this seemed to be the best bet.  He was able to tell when he really had to go, and didn’t waste any precious time trying to take clothes or a diaper off.

What’s the conclusion?  If you are potty training boys, hang in there.  It will come.  If you have the opportunity to let them run around with their pants off, do it.  If they and you feel safe, then it’s a great, natural way for them to learn to listen to what their body is telling them.


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