One of the big things about guys is that we like to do things on our own. To our exasperated wives, it often seems like “just let me do that” were the REAL first words out of our mouths.
A word to the wise, though: potty training is unlike anything you’ve done before. And if you think you should handle it on your own, you’re out of your mind.
Sure, single dads don’t have a lot of choices, but if you and your wife live under the same roof, it’s important you learn how to tag team this whole potty training challenge.
We’ve made it easy for you; here’s four potty training tips to get started!
Potty Training Tip #1: Model Behavior
One of the best ways to show your child how to use the potty is to show your child how to use the potty. No surprise, right? This can mean everything from helping them with different steps to letting them see you actually use the toilet yourself.
However, this will go much better with your wife’s help. Try to alternate taking the kid to the potty, so the child gets insight from both of you. Your wife may be able to explain one of the steps better than you can. And if you have a daughter, she is likely to do a better job of demonstrating what to do!
Potty Training Tip #2: Stay on the Same Schedule
Not all potty training team-ups between husband and wife go very well. The problem usually comes from the parents not being on the same schedule. One parent might be expecting a child to no longer wear pull-up diapers, for instance, and the other parent might pop them right on.
Try to get on the same schedule by establishing a potty training timeline together. You’ll naturally be taking turns with the potty training duties, so this schedule makes sure that both of you are on the same page. If you’re feeling fancy, you can even write it in something like Google Docs so both of you can access it from anywhere!
Potty Training Tip #3: Day and Night Shift
Normally, people think of potty training as this monolithic thing. That is, they imagine it’s a series of steps and rules that apply at all times and places.
In reality, potty training is more fluid (explains those diapers, right?). And different ideas and techniques are going to work better at night while others work better during the day.
Different work and life schedules between partners often makes it easier to set up a kind of “day shift” and “night shift.” This is particularly better if one partner works full-time and the other partner either stays at home or works part-time.
As always, communication is key. The two of you must figure out your goals for daytime and nighttime training and then delegate who is handling what!
Potty Training Tip #4: Alternate Rewards
The most persistent potty training tip in literature is the use of “rewards.” All children like getting free stuff, so adding rewards for potty training successes are a great way to encourage them to learn.
You can take this to the next level, though, by having you and your wife give out different rewards and taking turns. This plan works on several levels: it goes well with taking turns as parents help with potty training, and it reinforces potty training tips because the child is consistently hearing it from both parents.
Finally, alternating rewards keeps things fresh for your kid. They will be so focused on the cool rewards that you and your wife will be able to train them together in no time!