What age were you (the parent) potty trained?? - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: At what age were you (the parent or grandparent) potty trained?
0-12 months 4 4.94%
13-14 months 6 7.41%
15-17 months 6 7.41%
18-20 months 23 28.40%
21-23 months 11 13.58%
24-26 months 16 19.75%
27-30 months 7 8.64%
31 months + 8 9.88%
Voters: 81. You may not vote on this poll

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#91 of 91 Old 03-27-2012, 05:46 PM
Jamie Glowacki's Avatar
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Hey! Man, did I get to the party late! WHAT GREAT CONVERSATIONS happening over here! Love it!


I wanted to share a couple of studies that have been done regarding the "right" age to pt.

This is from the Journal of Pediatric Urology

And this is from Parenting Science

What I particularly like about the latter article is that the author clearly separated out age from method.

"Early potty training got a bad reputation because it was once associated with bad training methods".


I don't think there's a right age but I do think there are windows of opportunity. I think largely what's happened is "ready" and "capable" got confused somewhere along the way. I believe this happened when Pampers started lining the pockets of some very vocal pediatricians and they mucked things up.


I usually ask parents what "ready" looks like. Most people think it's some version of the child pretty much asking to use the toilet on their own. This can happen but not usually. For me, ready means capable. And being a mom, I know we all underestimate our children's capabilities. To nudge us the parents along, there are pretty standard age markers for things. I was by far not the only mom crying on the first day of Kindergarten. None of us thought our babies were ready for the cold world of school. They all were and are thriving.


I often use the example of my son learning to tie his shoes. He never really asked me if he could learn this. Velcro has certainly made my life easier. And yet, I know tying shoes happens sometime around Kindergarten and I think it's a pretty important life skill. I made a concerted effort to only buy tie shoes (because I knew if I bought Velcro, I'd cave in a rush in the morning) I set aside 30 minutes every morning to teach this. There was a fair amount of frustration (me feeling inept that I was not being a good teacher, although I've been tying shoes for years) and a fair amount of patience required for both of us. But after 6 days of consistently attending to this...voila, my son can tie his own shoes. Did he show signs of readiness? or did I use spidey mom sense to know he was CAPABLE. I definitely used an outside age marker and some of my spidey sense.

In my experience, kids are capable and may even show outward signs of readiness. But I think in our very busy lives, these subtle signs go undetected. I also think most people think the desire and willingness to sit and go will increase with time. So if he asks to go on the potty once in a while, next month he should be asking to go everyday. Again, just my experience but I've found if you don't seize that window, the kid just moves on and forgets about it.

I also know that individuation begins at around 3. This is when kids learn they are different and separate from you. They push against you, testing limits. This is typically the age of ye ole' power struggle. I just don't think it's the easiest thing in the world to add pting to individuation. Remember: this is probably the first and only time your child actually, literally has the power.


And yeah, Pranava: I hear you!!!  It does take a village, for sure. By "it's all about you", I mean...your overall vibe and the idea that you can guide your child towards something you know they are capable of. The bummer about a daycare not being helpful is that for most moms who work full time out of the home, the next move for your child is pre-school. Then you're screwed. Daycare wouldn't help and now you have to be pted. It's a mess and disheartening. (I'm working on a daycare program)


Yay for no more diapers! Whenever you choose to do it!

Peace and Potty Training, Jamie

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