Raising a child who is a different gender than you presents a whole other set of circumstances than you would have to deal with if the child was the same gender as you. Potty training is just the start of things.
In the future you will also have the pleasure of dealing with puberty and questions that may make you uncomfortable, but which you have to answer anyhow, especially if your son is not able to communicate with his father or another trusted adult about these issues.
Don’t get overwhelmed just yet though; you have plenty of time before the lengthy showers and acne kick in.
Talk to Dad
A woman who is going to potty train a boy has to get creative about it. Of course, it is helpful if the father is on the same page and can help out with the process during visitation. If not, you may be in for a long battle with potty training. If you send your child over there potty trained and the father is not on the same page, your son could be wearing pull-ups instead of boxers when you pick him up.
Get Back to Nature
At two years old, children are kind of young to be getting the “difference between boys and girls” speech, so you are going to have to accommodate his needs in a different way, using what he already knows. For instance, if he is outside in a private area and someone indicates that he can urinate outside, this could be to your advantage. Some children do not like to urinate without doing it on something. This means that he may enjoy the act of peeing on a tree or a bush and may find a certain amount of liberation in urinating without having to wear a wet diaper afterward. You can take advantage of this by allowing him to run around naked at home because he will want to find something to urinate on or in, which is when you introduce the toilet. However, you may want to put the plants up out of his reach at this point.
Get in Touch with Your Masculine Side
Children usually learn better through demonstration than they do through instruction. This is one method that forces you to get creative and keep a straight face at the same time. Try using a small squeeze bottle, like a small child’s drink bottle with a squeeze spout. Without letting your child see the bottle, fill it with water and demonstrate how to “pee” in the toilet. If you want to start things off right, you will also make sure to lift the seat and put it back down when you are done. Of course you need to follow this up with a good hand washing as well.
You can actually make potty training kind of fun. Using this method allows you to not only teach your son to use the toilet, but to use it the right way and actually get the bodily waste into the toilet water. Take a small handful of cereal and toss it into the toilet bowl when you take your child to the bathroom. Ask him to try to sink the cereal by peeing on it. As disgusting as it sounds, the more fun your son can have with this new task, the more likely he will be to keep doing it.
Children have small bladders so they don’t have to wait very long after they eat or drink something to need to expel it. About twenty minutes after he has something to eat or drink, take him to the bathroom to see if he has to urinate. You have been changing his diapers long enough to know his schedule, so make use of this knowledge to be timely about getting him to the bathroom.
You should offer some type of reward to your son for using the bathroom correctly. Punishment should not be a part of the process because he is learning a new task, not trying to modify a deliberate behavior. To that end, you need to reward his effort. You can use something small so you don’t go broke through the potty training process. Even verbal encouragement or a short activity rather than a material reward may be in order, depending on how your child responds to this type of positive reinforcement. Certainly there should be talk of what big boy he is as well as what a good boy he is.
It doesn’t hurt to set the stage either. If you buy underwear with his favorite super hero on the front of it, he is not going to want to pee on his hero. You can also buy a potty chair of his favorite color or one he will think is cool. Make a big deal out of the fact that he has his own potty to use so that the thinks it is a big deal too.
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