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As you might expect, I'm often asked this question by parents who have listened in on both sides of this continual "debate" and therefore, are understandably confused, and not sure how - or when - to begin potty training their sons. So, let's put this myth to bed once and for all... Here's the truth: 1. Toilet training boys is not more difficult than toilet training girls 2. Boys are not more stubborn or less cooperative than girls when it comes to potty training 3. Boys are ready for toilet training at the same age as girls 4. It does not take longer to potty train boys Okay, I hope that's settled once and for all. Regardless of your child's gender, you must believe the following: 1. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the vast majority of toddlers between the ages of 18 and 27 months are ready for toilet training (boys and girls). They also agree that developmental signs are much more indicative of children's readiness, so be sure to learn more about those indicators before beginning. 2. Your child has a deep and innate desire to learn and master new skills. This includes using the potty - even if he or she acts stubbornly or resistant. 3. Your child's success in learning to use the potty (or toilet) is directly related to your attitude, plan, consistency, and follow-through. In other words, your son's or daughter's achievement depends on your abilities as a teacher. Having said all this, there is one major difference between toilet training boys versus girls. Actually, it's more of a decision... that is, will you teach your son to urinate standing up or sitting down? If your answer to this question is "standing up," you'll simply need some extra equipment. If your answer is, "sitting down" you can proceed just as you would with a girl. My recommendation? Sitting down. (By the way, The American Academy of Pediatrics also agrees that it's best to teach boys to sit down to urinate and have a bowel movement when beginning the toilet training process. ) Here's why: 1. Your son is learning a new skill - one that requires his focused concentration and cooperation, so in my mind, it make sense to keep the process as simple as possible by not introducing too many "pieces" at one time. 2. If you teach your son to pee standing up, you'll need specialized equipment - e.g. a urinal, toilet seat reducer, step stool, and/or an extra toilet training chair - so your son can urinate in the toilet and poop sitting down. Again, this unnecessarily complicates things, in my opinion. 3. Your son's aim will be way off in the beginning and he's likely to dribble urine on and around the toilet seat and floor. So, if you choose to teach your son to pee standing up, make sure you have plenty of paper towels, mops, and cleaning solutions at the ready. (You might also try improving his aim by adding Cheerios to the toilet and encouraging your son to aim for the center!) Here's another thing to keep in mind... Boys who are ready for toilet training will often begin to imitate their fathers or brothers and stand in front of toilet like them (even if they have no idea what to do once there!). Additionally, once the potty training process begins, they may also ask to use the toilet like them. If your son does this, go for it! By all means, encourage him to be just like daddy or older brother - and if he insists on peeing standing up, let him! Power struggles are big no-nos when toilet training boys, so be prepared to remain flexible. Please also remember that consistency pays off (in fact this is one of the core principles of my toilet training system)! So, please see to it that anyone who comes in contact with your son during the process, reinforces your teachings. This is especially true if your son is enrolled in pre-school, day care or has a nanny or babysitter. In fact, some organizations have very specific rules regarding toilet training - especially as it relates to toilet training boys. Therefore, it's a good idea to check with your childcare providers beforehand, so you're all on the same page. Once again, I hope this information has been helpful and you'll take the time to check out my other toilet training articles!
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