Can Potty Training be Fun?

“I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by
the way (s)he handles the following 3 things:
a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights potty training.”

~ Maya Angelou
(Admittedly, the quote is slightly altered to better fit my current life situation.)

The Potty King - Can Potty Training Be Fun?~

I detest potty training even MORE than my never ending piles of laundry.
(And that is saying a lot.)

Potty Training Approach + Increased Laundry
= 1 Very Cranky Momma

Time and time again I have been unable to change this above mathematical equation.

For the record, potty training (at least in my book) will never be fun. I’d be happy if I could just make is less unbearable.

Adjusting the Equation

One might think that having “prior experience” training my two other children, I wouldn’t dread my third child’s experience as much. But rest assured…

I. Did. Dread it.

Enough so, that this time around I attempted to adjust the aforementioned equation – primarily due to the resulting sum of its calculation. I was determined NOT to be consumed with crankiness.

After some strategic thinking, I came to the conclusion that my efforts should lie in changing my approach. (Since I figured there was no way I was going to change my laundry load.)

Adjusting Potty Training Approach + Increased Laundry
= A very Much Less Cranky Momma

This modification seemed the most obvious to me, because in the past I’ve never really had much of an “approach” to potty training. The only thing I recall most from my previous potty training experiences was my own increased levels of FRUSTRATION.

Following a little bit of research, I made up my mind to undertake a 3-day method that a friend had recommended to me. I reminded myself that if all else failed, at the very least I could manage three days of crankiness.

Over our three day potty training time period I will admit that I did more loads of laundry than I thought humanly possible.

I wiped the same part of the bathroom floor down over and over multiple times. The skin on my hands became chapped and wrinkled from excessive hand washing. And, no matter how many times I accessed the Clorox Wipes, air freshener and Febreze, ultimately it took days before I could somewhat erase the soiled stench that lingered around my home.

Regardless, at the end of our three days, we were mostly successful. And in hindsight I think it was as a result of something that I had previously never taken into consideration.

I had in fact, completely missed an important potty training factor.

The Missing Factor

The potty training approach we used was dependent upon a lot of components*, however the one element I never paid much attention to prior was the ME factor. And (in my case) this detail turned out to be just as important (if not more) then the actual toddler training aspect.

The method I utilized strongly relied on eliminating the frustrations that parents often exhibit throughout the training process. It inadvertently focused on increasing my own parental patience by encouraging positive reinforcement and discouraging negativity.

There were no endless hours of obligatory sitting on the potty, under no circumstances were you to punish or yell at your child for having “an accident,” and at no point were you to force your child on the potty. (All slightly unthinkable and/or difficult suggestions for me to implement in the past.)

This method was just as much a training for the parents, as it was for the child.

Through the experience what I discovered what a missing factor in my past potty training equation. The secret to potty training lied not only in the approach, but also in the parents’ patience.

So I’ve adjusted my equation:

Potty Training Approach + Increased Laundry + Parental Patience
= 1 Bearable Potty Training Experience for Momma

Potty training will never be categorized under “fun” in my book, making it “bearable” is enough for me. This time it was miraculously a win-win situation – undeniably a milestone for my toddler, but also a BIG victory for me.

My only regret is that I didn’t adjust my equation earlier.


Leave a Comment: Have you been successful at potty training? What helped you feel victorious? (It has been my experience that oftentimes we successfully reach the desired end result yet still feel somewhat defeated.) If you have yet to potty train your own child, what do you think your plan of attack will be?

*NOTE: this post is not meant to be a potty training tutorial (obviously) but to offer a possible component to potty training that I think many parents (myself included) often miss. Different potty training methods work for different people. However, in case you are interested, I used this potty training guide and method. (This link is not an affiliate link)

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5 Responses to Can Potty Training be Fun?

  1. Susi says:

    Some of this sounds like what I went through with my first born. My boy. For some reasons my girsl weren’t hard at all… it took a little while with Middle daughter but it almost seemed as if my youngest trained herself. One day she was in pull-ups and the next in underwear and going to the bathroom by herself. I know, that I got very lucky with them.
    Susi recently posted..Picture Perfect Weekly #2 {The Things Only Edition}

    • Kate F. says:

      Oh how I could ONLY wish that my youngest was just one day magically potty trained 🙂 I, In fact, DID wish this for many a month prior to actually taking on potty training him. I do think that we as parents just tend to gain more patience as a whole the more we become familiar with our rolls as a caregiver. It is this patience that helps us so much in the end. (At least it did me!)

  2. Lisa KM says:

    Potty training with my first I think I blocked out – very hazy memories! But with number two I had a secret weapon- her best friend, whose mom decided to spend the Easter break potty training her daughter. I decided to take the lazy way out – and had a feeling that peer pressure would do the trick. Sure enough – first day back at nursery school, once she saw that her best friend was proudly wearing her big girl underwear- we were done. Whew…….

  3. Pingback: Thoughts on Patience and Support | On-The-Go Momma

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