• Mary Carlson Pap

5 Easy Ways Dads Can Help Potty Train

Let’s take a second to think about dad's role in potty training children. While historically moms have been the primary caregivers to small children in the home, and daycares are typically staffed with female caregivers, we need to make room for dads in this process!

1. Let's be honest! On average, boys take a bit longer to potty train, and it makes us wonder if it is because boys are primarily having females teach them how to use the potty chair? Dads can play an important role in potty training for boys because they can show how it's done. They have the same body parts which makes it easier to show them how to go. 

2. It seems like men talk about going to the bathroom. A LOT. Plain and simple! Let dad connect in this way to lighten the mood, talk about what's happening and just bring awareness. Share with them that when you drink a lot of water that you need to pee.  Keep it simple and keep it interesting. Kids are sponges and will soak up what you teach them.

3. Learn your child's signs together for when they have to go to the bathroom. Having a second set of eyes can help catch those cues and get your child to the bathroom in time. It can be really hard to be there at every second, but knowing and sharing those cues with anyone helping you with your child will appreciate knowing what to look for. Helping them get there will help them feel confident and capable.

4. Dads tend to bring in a sense of competition. Check out the Sports Camp method or just create a little healthy competition. Racing to the bathroom, counting how long it takes for them to go, or just how many times a day they go successfully can be just the thing they need to make it fun and interesting. Give them a high five (after they wash their hands!) or use a chart to show your child just how many times they were successful.

5. Last but not least, we all love an independent child. A child has to be ready to be independent with potty training. Dads can encourage this independence by reinforcing what their caregivers do all day long. Bringing the learning home in a consistent, loving, fun way is key to successful potty training. Using the same words, phrases, and how to use the toilet is key to helping a child be successful. Trying to do things differently can cause confusion, so get on the same page. Encouraging your child by reminding them of the things they CAN do can help them see they can do this too.

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