Potty Training: Is There A Right Way?

The internet provides us with countless resources on potty training from research articles, websites, and blog posts like this one.  While the sharing of ideas can be of great benefit, it can also be overwhelming for those looking for concrete answers.  Potty training feels like one of those topics that has been written about by just about everyone.  In fact, in doing a Google search for potty training, over 15 relevant websites were listed.  Some even offer programs that “guarantee” success in a matter of days!  With all that we know about individual differences among children and various styles of parenting, someone like myself wonders how anyone can really know the “right” way to toilet train a child.  What may be a more important question is, what makes one method the “right” method?

In my experience working with children and their families, I have met many parents seeking the “right” or “best” way topotty training the right way teach their child a new skill.  The fact is, people (and families) are especially complex, so it’s near impossible to determine the one “best” way to do things when it comes to parenting.  What has been concluded about potty training is that there are many ways to do it successfully.  One research study I read recently examined the impact of toilet training method on dysfunctional voiding (having toileting accidents).  It very clearly stated that “there was no significant difference in dysfunctional voiding between toilet training methods.”

If you or someone you know are about to embark on the exciting task of potty training a child, here are 4 points that are consistent for success, no matter which method you choose.

Potty Training The Right Way:

  1. Be consistent and persistent— yes, it isn’t always easy but in the end it will pay off!
  2. Be flexible and expect setbacksaccidents will happen, don’t expect otherwise!  Just as all new life transitions, there is no way to be certain of how your child will respond.
  3. Celebrate successes—One mother recently described how she had a “potty party” for her child to kickoff an intensive potty-training weekend.  Be sure to provide praise for even the smallest successes (for example, if a child has an accidents on his way to the bathroom, praise him for making the attempt to go in the toilet)
  4. Remember, it’s a family process—The potty training process can be challenging for everyone involved, not just the child.  Practice patience as your young ones acquire this new skill.

Do you have more tips or suggestions about potty training?  What worked for you? Please leave comments below!

Click here to read 10 Do’s and Dont’s on Potty Training.

potty training
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