Why Having Potty Trained Kids Isn't Always the Greatest Thing

Family Matters on 02.13.12
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So many parents love to hoot and holler about how early their kid potty trained. When you hear, "Billy was trained at two." the following sentence is usually another mom saying something like "Oh, Suzie trained at 18 months, but you know, they say girls are easier." I didn't push my kids into potty training at all. My son wasn't fully potty trained until 39 months when I literally had two weeks to get it done before he started pre-school. My daughter showed more interest earlier on and was potty trained at about 30 months. Sure, I have been thrilled to be saving a lot of money on diapers, but I think that for every diaper I have avoided, I have spent five minutes in a public restroom. In the three months she has been potty trained, that is over 1,500 minutes in public restrooms! Was she really ready?

One day last week we spent three hours out and about going to pre-school gym and out to lunch with friends. In those three hours I had to take her to the restroom six times. I am the type of person who is always telling my kids "in a minute." But when it comes to two-year-olds and bathrooms, you can't really do that or the results can be pretty ugly. She has certainly been known to drag us into the bathroom for no reason in the past, but this day that wasn't the case and how do you encourage a child to potty train and then tell them they can't use the potty? You can't.

I don't think my daughter trained too early. She very rarely has an accident so clearly she was ready. But she also is at an age where either she just really enjoys what she thinks is a game when we are outside of the house or at this age just can't hold it quite as long as kids a few months or year older can. However, we're not the type of family that's going to sit at home while our kid learns to hold it longer. All the hype over potty training your kid as early as possibly is quite overrated as far as I'm concerned. And if you need to know more about why, just look for me holding a stall door closed in your nearest public restroom.

Top Articles on the Ups and Downs of Potty Training:
The Poop-O-Phobe's Guide to Successful Potty Training
Yippee! We're Diaper Free. Wait, Why Does That Make Me Sad?
Potty Training 101