When is the right time to begin the process of potty training? Well, every child is different, but it usually ends up being about the time that you realize you’re spending approximately seven thousand dollars per week on diapers.
The first thing you’re going to need is a potty. You can attempt to train on a full-sized toilet, but chances are that your child isn’t yet six feet tall, and therefore can’t reach the lid just now. For the time being, he’s going to need his own.
You’ve got some options when it comes to buying a potty. The manufacturers of children’s potties make them in all sorts of kid-friendly shapes. Most are cute animals, like frogs or bunnies. Through this type of conditioning, every time your child encounters an actual frog or bunny, he’ll try to pee on it. For this reason, it’s important to keep your child indoors at all times while he’s potty training, a process which usually lasts about nine years.
It will take a while for your child to adjust to the idea of peeing on his new potty. At first he’ll be intrigued by it, then scared, then happy, then scared again, then confused, then scared again, and finally just bored. By this time you’ll have given up on training and you’ll be using the potty to store old nails and light bulbs.
When your child actually does pee in the potty—which usually happens by accident the first few hundred times—be sure to make a huge deal of it. You’ll want to heap congratulations on him, and make verbal affirmations so positive that he’ll think his pee cures cancer. You’ll be so elated the first time your child pees on the potty, pointing into the bowl and clapping in euphoric celebration, that you won’t even notice that his pants are still down and he’s now peeing on your shoe.
Here are a few techniques that can be used for potty training:
The Reward Method — Here’s how this one works: Every time your child successfully uses his potty, he receives a reward. The incentive you use for this purpose is entirely up to you, but it’s usually best if it’s something the child actually wants. Cookies make a better reward than broccoli. A small toy works better than a coupon from Office Depot. You get the idea.
The Helicopter Method — This method is so named because it causes the parent to closely resemble a helicopter hovering directly over the child’s shoulder. In order for this to work, you must have absolutely no life (and as a parent, you already have no life, so you’re halfway there). You’ll have to follow your child around all day, every two minutes asking: “Do you have to go potty? How about now? Do you have to go potty now?”
Most of the time, your child will answer, “No” or “I think you need therapy.” Every so often, however, he really will have to go potty, and success is achieved.
The Duct Tape Method — This technique involves duct taping the potty directly to your child’s butt, thereby guaranteeing he won’t suffer through the embarrassment of “accidents.”
There are downsides to this method, though. Your child will have difficulty negotiating corners, at least until he gets used to the extra girth he’s carrying. His social standing will likely suffer as well. All things considered, these are minor inconveniences when compared to never having to purchase another diaper again.