Fathering Magazine for fathers, dads, family

NOTICE: This website is FOR SALE. Buy Now!

What's New
Beginners' Tour
True Stories
True Soap

New Fathers
The Joy of Fathering
Importance of Fathers
Fathers & Sons
Fathers & Daughters
Single Fathers
Second Wives -
   Second Families
Gender & Fathers
Custody & Divorce
Father Custody
Child Support
Cyber Bullying
Sex Bullies
Family Vacation
Father's Day
Mother's Day

Book Reviews
Fathering Poems
Fathering Fiction
Cooking Recipes
Science Fair Project
US Constitution

Female Offenders
Juvenile Offenders

Child Health
New Baby
Signs of Puberty
Car Hazards
Child Obesity
Teen Smoking
Teen Drinking

Men's Health
Hair Loss
Muse ED Review

Stephen Baskerville
Michael Childers
Kirk Daulerio
John Gill
Paul Goetz
Sam Harper
Jim Loose
Mark Phillips
Fred Reed
Carey Roberts
Glenn Sacks
Clyde Verner
Archie Wortham

Child Support Policy
Child Support Math
Commercial Justice
Abuse Hysteria
Missing Child Money
Gender Equality?

Legal Disclaimer
When Willie Wet the Bed
Fathering poetry about a classic problem.

When adult control fails, the resulting power vacuum is filled by gangs and bullies. By Clyde Verner.

Teaching Children the Importance of Winning
Encouraging in our children the drive to win can be just as important as teaching them to lose gracefully. By Chris Call.

Suggestions for the New Single Father
Russel Wayne provides some immensely practical childcare tips for the man who has to go it alone.

Promoting Your Child's Balanced Development
Giving your children the opportunity to develop a special talent can provide them with a sense of their uniqueness and be a healthy enhancement to their self esteem. By Gerald Alpern.

Classical Fathering versus the Judeo-Christian Model
We interview historian Frederick Hodges about raising children with classical Western values by avoiding the methods imposed on the West by Middle-Eastern religions.

What Fathers Do
by Jack Kammer.

The Fathering Advisor
Selected Reader Mail Gets Our Response

Follow on

They Won't Be in Diapers Forever!

by Marnie Larsen Ko

© hellotim - Fotolia.com All rights reserved.

Although there seems to be an unspoken age of two years old for children to learn to use the toilet, two year olds are not always developmentally ready to toilet learn. I call it toilet learning versus toilet "training" because we're dealing with small children who need to learn how to maintain bladder and bowel control, not dogs who need to be trained to perform tricks.

First things first, don't bribe your kids with candy, television, or rewards to use the toilet. We're talking about giving kids candy for bowel movements? How ridiculous. Almost as ridiculous as your boss offering you an extra $5.00 a day if you only go to the toilet once during working hours. Bodily functions aren't easily bribed.

Bribery is never a good idea, for anything, including toilet learning. No one likes being bribed to do things, especially if it's something they don't want to do -- children are no different. It's much more positive for a child to learn to use the toilet because she is ready rather than because the parent is ready.

It's important to remember that all kids do things at their own time and their own pace. You cannot push your child into being ready to toilet learn before she is ready. When she is ready she'll do it herself. It's okay to encourage a child who wants to use the toilet, but a parent is going to cause problems by pushing and forcing a small toddler to gain bowel/bladder control on the parent's schedule.

Life as a parent will be a whole lot more enjoyable for you and your child if your time isn't spent with a power struggle over toilet learning. If you think of toilet learning as simply teaching your child (when she or he is ready!) how to use the toilet you'll be able to find the patience to get yourself through a little longer with diapers.

You're not going to "train" your child to use the toilet in a week. She may, between two years old and three and a half years old, decide she's ready to learn herself -- and it will likely take longer than a week but, children who are allowed to toilet learn at their own pace actually learn faster with less problems than children who are not pushed.

It's not a competition between your kid and the neighbor's to see who learns to use the toilet first. We're talking about body waste here, not IQ scores, intelligence or a child's (or parent's) value.

My strong recommendation to parents of two and three year olds who are thinking and worrying about toilet learning (yes, it is the parents who are preoccupied with it) is to buy the child some nice underwear, allow her to put it in a special place of her choosing, and tell her, "This is for you when you're ready to use the toilet." If you're really, really concerned about toilet learning, buy yourself some nice underwear too!

At some point, if your child wants to put her underwear on, let her -- and don't get upset if she has an accident which she probably will at first. At some point between two and three, most children begin to show an interest in toilet learning all on their own. The best thing you can do is to show patience, encouragement and respect for your child's own rate of readiness.

Really, most children won't still be in diapers at 18 years old. There's no rush. It's not a competition between your kid and the neighbor's to see who learns to use the toilet first. We're talking about body waste here, not IQ scores, intelligence or a child's (or parent's) value. If your child's not using the toilet at three, so what? It may mean changing diapers, but you've done it for three years, you can handle doing it a little while longer.

There's a big push for children to grow up, forcing them to do adult things, like using the toilet to eliminate waste. It's unfortunate that some parents spend so much time worrying about toilet use and so little time actually parenting.

Copyright ©1997 by M. Larsen Ko. All rights reserved.

The on-line magazine for men with families.

Must parents accept early puberty as normal? How early puberty wrecks your child's health.

Is the new baby a boy, or a girl? One out of every two thousand births presents parents with a sudden gender dilemma.

Fertility, Circumcision, Prostate Cancer

Protect Your Son
How a father discovered, too late, that circumcision is not a good thing. By Rio Cruz.

Children in Single-Mom Households "at Risk"
The fact that children raised by single mothers are at increased risk is found over and over again. Trev Martin asks, "What do we do about it?"

In Search of a History
"The Preamble, the Declaration of Independence, and the Gettysburg Address are the sacred scriptures of this nation." By Richard Hiatt.

Day Care - A Dangerous Experiment in Child-Rearing?
"Social science confirms that children raised in day-care centers and similar institutions are often emotionally maladjusted and mentally impaired." - The Wall Street Journal