The Only Potty Training Tip You'll Ever Need
Here’s the thing to understand about kids: they’re smart. Not the can-quote-shakespeare kind of smart or the knows-what-the-numbers-on-the-periodic-table-mean kind of smart. Not even the can-put-their-pants-on-the-right-way kind of smart. But when it comes to knowing exactly how much they can get away with, they’re freakin’ geniuses.
Maybe you think you can convince your kids to do what you want, maybe promise them a treat, even threaten or bully them into it if you have to. After all, you’re the adult here, right? Nope. You’re kids understand where the real power lies and who is holding all the cards. They’re clever little buggers, and their powers only grow over time.
Take potty training. You may be tempted to think that once kids get to a certain age, they will naturally want to leave diapers behind and excuse themselves in a real toilet. After all, diapers are inconvenient and uncomfortable. No one would want to walk around wearing their own urine or have poop smeared on their buttcheeks all the time. They might be attached to safety of their diapers, but if you take those away, they’ll quickly learn not to mess their pants. Boy, you could not be more wrong.
Your toddler is perfectly happy to leave puddles of pee on the floor or a present of poop in his pants on the sofa. It’s no problem for him. They can can just take it off and keep playing.
You know who it’s a problem for? You, the parent. You’re the one who is going to clean it up, not them. You’re the one who has to mess with diapers or do tons of extra laundry. Going to the bathroom doesn’t make their life any easier, just yours. If they hold their ground and refuse to learn, you’ll get increasingly frustrated and desperate. That means the kid holds all the cards in this scenario. You may not realize it, but your kid sure does, the little genius.
That leads me to my best tip for potty training. Really it’s the only tip you need. There are a million ways to potty train. Let them run around naked, keep them glued to the potty, offer treats as an incentive. Do whatever you want. But you have to do it early, before they become too powerful.
Around 18-months is perfect, 24 at the most. At that age, you still have a chance to convince them it’s fun or force them to do it regardless. You can get away with giving them a few marshmallows or an M&M. Wait too long, let them wise up to the game, and the price will only get higher.
They’ll be fine pooping their pants. You’ll be left holding the bag. And it will stink.