Laughing All the Way…Potty-training Advice

CL in NY: One day my 3 year old son explained his bodily functions to me in a way that truly said it all. Apparently he was experiencing some problems with gas and told me that he burped, but it came out his butt.

MM in OP: I thought I had potty training in the bag when my two boys were about 2 and 3. It was easy! We were campers and hikers, so we started the procedures with both of them during the summer months. All you have to do is give them the freedom to go outside, near a tree or in the stream, in the grass…wherever – as long as they get the feeling of what should be done and how much better it is to be dry.

Yes, I had this usually-crazy part of life down to a science; I was amazing; I should be writing out my methods for Parenting Magazine!

Until one day I realized what was happening inside the home after our outdoor excursions. Being that we are all about nature and the outdoors, we decorated with indoor potted trees and such. It seems that young boys must be told the full procedure of what’s expected in the bathroom. They did not automatically catch on to the fact that the toilet replaces the tree once indoors.

I discovered this one morning when I was casually walking through my living room. There was my oldest son, not a care in the world, leaning into the Ficus tree in the corner of the room, proving that my miraculous, near-perfect method was, in actuality, “Potty-training-gone-terribly-awry!”

Dan in Ohio: Potty-training stinks! No pun intended. (Our staff loved this one!)

Tina in Texas: Like many moms, I knew my child’s personal habits very well and my son had a habit of moving his bowels directly after lunch every day. It was like clockwork. So, to train him, I would put him on the pot with a book at that time, and sure enough, he became trained that way.

My advice is to note your child’s habits and work with them rather than against them.

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