Potty training is intimidating to many fathers. After all, we’ve got garages full of tools for almost every problem, but we can’t just buy a toolbox for potty training.
Of course, you know the guy code—if you can’t buy it, build it! And when it comes to your potty training toolbox, it all starts with learning some specific vocabulary.
We know what you’re thinking: guys aren’t always known for our great communication skills. That’s why we’re giving you these four key phrases to memorize before you start potty training.
You’ll find these particular tools help you take care of most potty training issues you encounter!
1: “Everyone Does It”
This advice is pretty hard-coded into the lives and minds of dads everywhere: everybody poops. You can probably blame that old book for the phrase getting stuck in your head. However, we recommend a different one for your kid: “everyone does it.”
One of the biggest obstacles with potty training is that your kid might think it’s weird or gross, and they end up not wanting anything to do with it. Therefore, you should use every opportunity to remind your children that all of this is completely normal. Once they feel more natural doing it, they’ll feel more natural mastering it.
2: “How’s your tummy feeling?”
Maybe the hardest part of potty training is getting your kids to realize when they need to go to the bathroom. It’s one thing if you’re just putting them on the toilet every 30 or 60 minutes, but they need to realize the physical signs within themselves.
A great way to encourage this is to ask them something simple, like “how’s your tummy feeling?” This helps instill the idea that their body feels one way most of the time and another way when they have to go. Once you get them to recognize these signs, you’re more than halfway home on the potty training!
3. “Did you flush and wash?”
Many dads are surprised that potty training involves so much actual training. You’ll likely be developing checklists, routines, and other best practices to ensure that your kid is actually learning everything that you’re teaching.
Here’s a simple phrase that encompasses the last two items on the checklist: “did you flush and wash?” This helps keep your kid clean in the short term and, God willing, reminds them to always wash their hands. After all, you want your kids to have better hygiene than the random people you see in public restrooms!
4. “Great job!”
When it comes to potty training, everything comes full circle. And, in this case, part of normalizing the experience of going to the bathroom involves congratulating your kid on a job well done.
This feels weird to a lot of dads. After all, if you don’t like participation trophies, it probably feels strange to congratulate your kid for doing something so basic. However, “great job” is exactly what they need to hear: it’s positive reinforcement at a time when they feel scared and vulnerable. And no matter what kind of incentives or reward structure you may decide to use, there’s no replacement for hearing genuine praise from their father!