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Potty Training Boys Vs. Girls

Katlyn Joy | 8, August 2012


It's one of those milestones in childhood, and in parenting. Potty training is not a one approach, or one time schedule fits all. And the differences in gender with potty training adds one more variable to the process.

How Their Different

Regardless of how they are raised, there will always be some undeniable gender differences in children. Although every child is unique and potty training should be adapted to a child's individual growth and development, knowing some basic gender generalities will prove helpful.

Boys are action-oriented. Little boys interact with their world physically. They discover by actively touching, pulling, pouring, tussling and throwing. They enjoy tasks that allow them to prove themselves or explore their surroundings by actively testing themselves and their world.

Girls are verbal beings, and this shows up most definitely at the beginning of their language development. Girls interact with their world by labeling and categorizing, and learn through listening and sharing communication.

Girls develop some early nervous system maturation earlier, particularly in regards to picking up on clues that they are needing to use the bathroom. Some boys will need more time before they can recognize the need to toilet. Pushing them too soon will frustrate them.

Boys often have shorter attention spans and will having trouble concentrating on learning a new skill, especially one that doesn't excite them. They will have more difficulty staying still and waiting for a shy bladder, for instance.

Boys and girls have different physical equipment and boys have more choices when it comes to toileting options. Will he stand or sit to pee? This is something which may also create some distraction and delays in the process for little boys just learning to use the potty.

Strategies for Little Girls

- Buy a book on toilet training for your daughter and after reading it together, talk about the exciting news that it is time for her to start using a potty too. No more diapers! Have an enthusiastic attitude and it will be contagious. It's important for her to have a chance to talk and ask questions. Conversations are learning experiences for little girls and they thrive in learning this way.

- Teach her to sit back on the potty seat or toilet seat so that she will not accidentally spray out the front of the toilet. Also instruct her to spread her legs apart in order to allow her urine to have a direct line to the toilet below.

- Make sure her clothing is simple to unfasten in order to eliminate time related accidents.

- Teach her the proper way to wipe, from front to back to prevent contamination and possible infections.

- Praise all attempts, even failed ones. Let her know you are glad she stopped to play outside to come in and potty, even if she waited a little too long. Encourage her that next time if she comes in sooner, she will havce success.

- Using a potty chair or a stool will help her with her bladder muscles, as having her feet on the floor or supported will enable her to relax better.

- Consider a reward system or chart in order to build on her success.

- Realize while most girls do potty train sooner and quicker than boys, not all will. Each girl has her own clock for such development.

Strategies for Little Boys

- Rather than starting with a book, with a boy start with a game. Make potty training fun in itself by adding cheerios, bright paper bits, or food coloring or shaving cream as targets in the toilet.

- Make sure your son has a male role model. He will learn more readily by watching how a man pees.

- If your son is going to pee standing up, make sure he is standing close enough to the toilet with feet slightly apart.

- Expect a lot of two steps forward, one steps back when potty training your boy. Boys may not learn in a logical, progressive pattern. One week he may have no accidents and the next he may have one every day. Just be patient.

- Praise your son for attitude, willingness and attempts. Never berate or put down a boy for his mistakes. He will learn better and faster with praise for all he does right.

Related Articles

When To Start Potty Training

Potty Training: How to Know When Your Child is Ready?

Potty Training Methods That Work!

10 Steps to Successful Potty Training

Choosing Potty Training Books


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