4 Potty Training Mistakes Every Father Should Avoid

potty training mistakes

Chances are you like to get everything right the first time. Moreover, you like to do things on your own. That’s part of being a guy: we pretty much invented not asking for help!

When it comes to potty training, getting everything right is more important than ever. Mistakes translate to messy kids, messy clothes, and an even messier home. You want to avoid as many potty training mistakes as possible.

Fortunately, we’ve got the definitive guide to the potty training mistakes to avoid at all costs.

Mistake #1: Training Them Too Quickly

When it comes to potty training mistakes, number one is trying to push your kid to potty train before they are truly ready. This is because all of your training hinges on things like whether your kid has both the necessary control of their body and the basic level of maturity needed.

Rushing them into potty training too quickly creates a potty training nightmare. You’ll end up with a lot of messes you have to clean up. And it might sour your kid on the potty experience, which will make it that much harder to complete their training.

Mistake #2: Making It a Boring Chore

You may have noticed that a lot of potty training literature emphasizes trying to make the whole thing fun for your kid. Using everything from potty decorations to an ongoing reward chart is a way that parents try to make this fun for the kid. However, these parents aren’t doing this out of the kindness of their hearts.

If you’ve ever tried to get a kid to clean their room, you know how stubborn children can be about doing what they have to do. If you’re not careful, your kid will start associating “going to the bathroom” with the same kinds of boring chores they always try to avoid. Basically, if you make this too boring for your kid, you make potty training a nightmare, making training harder in the long term.

Mistake #3: Yelling at Them for Accidents

Another potty training mistake is yelling at your child over a potty accident. However, potty accidents can make even the quietest dad passionately shout. This is human nature: you’ve had a lifetime trying to avoid things like the poop of others, so it must be weird when your kid is getting it all over the place.

This is one of those times when you need to go against your nature, though. Yelling at your kid for potty training accidents will make them feel ashamed of their mistake. And if you do it too much, going to the bathroom will be a nightmare for them. They will eventually associate going to the bathroom with fear and shame. You may end up making the potty training lasts much longer than it otherwise would if your kid thinks it is shameful instead of natural.

Mistake #4: Switching Back to Diapers at Times

One of the biggest problems with potty training is that life happens. It’s easy enough to stick to your potty training routine when you are in the controlled environment of your own home. Eventually, though, you’ll be staring down the barrel of a vacation or family visit that forces you to be on the road for a long time. When this happens, you’ll be tempted to switch your kid back to diapers for the drive.

However, changing it up is a huge potty training mistake and sends your child mixed messages. It disrupts the pattern of your training, which can naturally slow their progress. Worst case, it may make your kid think they only have to use the potty at certain times and not at others. Avoid this nightmare by packing extra outfits and making several bathroom stops along your long drive.

Is it annoying? Sure. But not as annoying as adding a month or two to the potty training schedule!

Additional Potty Training Resources

Boy Mom Alert: 7 Potty Training Mistakes to Avoid

10 Things I Wish Knew Before Potty Training My Child


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Dr. Chris Snellgrove

Dr. Chris Snellgrove is an English Professor and veteran freelance writer. However, his most difficult student has always been his own son! He struggled and eventually succeeded with potty training his son, and went on to apply those skills to training his nephews.

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