The positives of potty training

 Posted by on January 11, 2011  Add comments
Jan 112011

It’s been roughly a decade since I’ve potty trained a boy. There were two girls since then. So, I’ve put off this round of bathroom skills for what seems like a very long time. Avoided it. Taken a ‘la, la, la, I don’t hear you’ attitude when others have talked about it or updated a Facebook status on the same subject.

But it’s time. And I find myself wondering why I put it off so long. Maybe it was the sage advice of that mother of 10 who waited until each child had turned three?

Today, I will not share what I think is the best way. I’ll let you, my friends, do that in the comments. Those things I’ve listed below are the side benefits I’ve discovered. Maybe they will encourage you too.

The positives of potty training:

  • Rediscovering board books on our shelves because of all that time to sit. (Finding the young mouse on all the colored pages of Goodnight Moon. Time to read Nursery Rhymes!)

  • The chance to discuss hygiene with all ages in the house.

  • Sibling togetherness.
  • Tag teaming. “Oh, you need to potty too? Ok, littlest, run along with big brother.”
  • When you potty train immediately after a holiday, there’s plenty of potty treats readily available. I remember Kerri sharing that she was potty training one time right after Easter. For us, right now… all those Hershey kisses from Christmas stockings. The same applies Valentine’s, Halloween…
  • Also, thanks to Kerri’s comment on the Prayer Calendar, I now have a copy posted in the bathroom. Prayer time is definitely a positive!
  • More chances for hugs and hoorays!

  • A precious, precious habit we’ve added this time around from Quinn @ On Just A Couple of Acres, her Toddler Hand Washing. While washing up afterwards, we sing… What can wash away my sins? (We’re making bubbles) …Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. He’s learning a hymn while washing little hands. Be sure to click over for the rest of her practical: 10 Potty Training Tips.

In a few weeks, we’ll pull out the carpet cleaner and all those spots will be gone. Because, this time around I’m finding the positives. And realizing, though it doesn’t seem like it at the time, it all goes so quickly.

… Just as quickly as an accident when he’s distracted with his toy cars.

How about you? Your encouragement, your tips? What’s your potty training habit?

-Tricia homeschools five children from preschool to middle school, mixing up a classical and Charlotte Mason style. You can find her facing that daily dose of chaos at Hodgepodge. She contributes a mixture of writing for The Curriculum Choice, $5 Dinners, Passionate Purposeful Parenting and is a.k.a. Hodgepodgemom.

  14 Responses to “The positives of potty training”

  1. Thanks for the reminder of the positives in all of this! We have had a rough few weeks(probably because of the holidays) and I need to find something positive in this 🙂

    Potty training boys is a good reason to have tag-alongs with daddy! The 3 year old boys especially want to be just like daddy, so why not let them see how daddy does it 🙂

    I completely understand putting it off, I certainly have for many reasons, mostly for myself though.

    • Yes, Heidi, putting it off mostly for myself but maybe with these snow days and not going anywhere… Thank you for your post on potty training. Lots of great tips!

  2. I’ve been doing the “la, la, la – I don’t hear you” thing too. I should get on with this as well – yes, thank you for the positives! Blessings!

  3. My tip for new potty trainers: I used to get annoyed at those mothers who were completely done potty-training in a week! Never worked with mine. I needed lots of patience, m-n-m’s (that was more for me than them! =), and a waterproof mattress pad! But I’m happy to tell you that my three children (two teenagers and a middle-schooler) are all potty-trained. It will happen, just not always in your time. =)

  4. I hear ya Dawn! Yes, I agree Kim. My mama always told me… they won’t going into kindergarten not potty trained.

  5. As a mother of four boys and one girl, I can officially say . . . . every child is different. I never potty trained any of my children the same way.

    The only recurring theme we had goin’ for us with each child was the reward system. Skittle or M&Ms for going potty. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes . . . not so much.

    I’m super helpful, no? *snort*

  6. Right there in the trenches with ya! My goal was to be done before the holiday…then it was before she turned 3 – she did not have the same goals 🙂
    We took a short break, then when things settled down, she just did it. I’m happy to report less than a handful of accidents over the last week! So now I can say that my goal was to be done before baby came 😉

    (And yes, all the candy was a help this time, too)

  7. Thanks for this reminder… I’m in the potty train mode too with my very first girl and it’s good to remember the positives 🙂

    Semalee @ Nailing Jello to a Tree

  8. I loved your humour and wisdom here! Every child is so different, and like most maturity-related things, potty training is best determined when the child is really ready. Then it may be just a few days at home with a simple routine – and you’re there!

  9. Thanks for the reminder that potty training can be fun. I’ll be potty training my youngest son. It actually makes me a bit sad, as it means she is growing up. One of those bittersweet moments… I found your blog via the Homeschool Showcase BTW, it’s always nice to find new homeschool blogs!

  10. Ladies, I’m happy to report that Lil’ Buddy is doing very well! Thank you all for your encouragement. A few days at home is what did it for us Nadene! But I’m also with Maureen… it’s bittersweet. Still… finding the positives definitely helped us all 🙂

  11. Oh, I needed to read this. I wil be potty training our 8th soon and am guilty of putting it off too! Thanks for pointing out the positives. With a big family, it really is a family affair!

  12. Thanks so much for the post.. I have been putting it off as long as possible.. I started by saying I would do it at 3 and that was a couple months ago.. So now I am starting, but realizing that we will have to stay home for a few days in a row! Oh my, my first experience, candy is helping, but I sure was hoping that I could have put it off long enough to where he would just do it all by himself ;). Thanks for pointing out positives!

  13. I agree ladies. Sometimes it just take a little bit of looking at the positives to tackle something we’ve been avoiding. Building the habit…

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