Potty training is a big deal for toddlers. Hell, it’s a big deal for adults, too. Both parent and child are going from their usual routine of changing dirty diapers, to having the child do their business in a new device they’re totally not used to. It can be quite an adjustment, to say the least. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways men can help with potty training. Why the focus on dudes? Well, there’s already plenty written about how moms can help with potty training, and I figure this can level the playing field. To be completely honest, this stuff isn’t gender specific, but rather a checklist for those dudes out there who want to step up and show that they’re just as capable as their partner in all things potty training related.
Now, in order for this list to work, you need to be sure your kid is, in fact, ready to ditch the diapers. There are plenty of cues indicating your child is ready for potty training, from being able to take off their own diaper to making that adorable and outright hilarious “poop face.” You should also make sure you’re mentally prepared for the upcoming task (because, as a parent, you need to make sure you're ready to give your time, effort, and of course, patience). Once you've decided both you and your kid are ready, well, then it's just a matter of try, try (and try and try and try and try) again.
Perhaps the most important lesson is this: potty training isn't a gender-specific job. It doesn't matter if mom was the one to birth the baby or breastfeed the baby. It doesn't matter if mom is at home with the baby or working out of the house or the one who makes the majority of the dinners. Potty training, like any other aspect of parenting, is a two-person job, that requires both parents (if both are involved) to be actively participating. So, if you're a grown-ass man ready to roll up your sleeves and get dirty (sometimes literally) here's how you can help:
Buy The Supplies (Potty, Underpants, Pull-Ups)
Most people buy a few supplies to get ready for the big potty training marathon. Some essential items for potty training include toddler-sized underwear or training diapers (or both), kid-friendly hand soap, and of course, a potty.
Gather Kid-Friendly Potty Training Books
While these books could technically be considered a potty training supply, I feel like potty training books are essential. I’m just now starting to potty train my own kid, and he totally loves books like "Dino Vs. The Potty," and similar books that tell a captivating story while simultaneously encouraging my kid to do his business in the toilet. In other words, these books help him understand why we're asking him sit on a plastic chair with his pants off.
They’re Comfortable Talking About Bodily Functions
As an adult, I get what you mean when you talk about “doing your business” or “hitting the head,” but toddlers won’t. Grown-ass men will take it upon themselves to vocalize when they need to pee, when their kid needs to pee, why we don’t want to keep pooping in our diapers, etc. And hey, they’re kids, so unlike a work meeting, it’s OK to be totally goofy about it, too.
They Get On Board With Using Appropriate Names For Body Parts
Saying penis and vulva and anus shouldn’t be difficult, yet I have to admit it’s a slight challenge for me. I grew up in a very conservative home, and I still don’t say those words around my parents. But grown-ass men will shirk any conservative past off their new-age shoulders, in order to toilet train their child using straightforward words.
They Don’t Compare The Child They’re Potty Training To Any Other Kid
It’s never a good idea to compare your kids to others. No grown-ass man would do this, especially not during the potty training phase.
They’re Comfortable Using The Bathroom With Their Kid's Around
One tip that many potty training guides mention is that you should let your child watch you use the toilet. Some folks might not be too comfortable with this, but most grown-ass men will understand that it will help the child reduce any fear and anxiety they have have associated with using the potty themselves.
They Don’t Lose Their Cool When It Comes To Accidents
Potty training comes with many emotional stages. One of them is defeat; an inevitable feeling that is usually experienced directly after your child ends up missing his tiny toilet (again). Some not-so-grown-ass men might get angry, or whine and complain or those some ill-advised fit or even shame their child for this extremely common occurrence. But not grown-ass men. Nope, they play it cool.
And They Volunteer To Clean The Mess
The most grown-ass of grown-ass men are quick to appear with some baby wipes, paper towels, some heavy-duty cleaner, some plastic bags, a few towels or rags, I mean anything, depending on the situation. They will not just walk away and pretend they never saw it, essentially leaving it for their partner to clean up.
They Totally Celebrate Whenever Their Toddler Finally Does Use The Potty
Being a grown-ass person means you do whatever it takes to make your kid smile, and that includes celebrating big time when your kid finally does #2 in the toilet. Dance around, sing potty time songs, blow bubbles, hand out candy or stickers or toys, blow on a damn kazoo, it honestly doesn't matter. What it takes to get your toddler excited about this monumental act, is fair game.