Boys are generally ready to be potty trained between their second and third birthdays. While it’s rumored that boys are more difficult to train than girls, according to AskDrSears.com, this isn’t really true and reflects more on who is training the child. Since toilet training is often learned by imitation and most moms handle the toilet training, it makes sense that moms would report that boys are harder to train. While potty training is a process, it doesn’t have to be a difficult one.
The Sitting Method
Having a boy learn to potty train from the sitting position, rather than the standing position, is often easier. Sitting provides fewer distractions and allows the child to focus on the task at hand. When moms train their sons, sitting allows the child to learn by imitation, which is an effective tool for potty training. When boys sit on the potty, offer a small reward, like a piece of candy or colored cereal, to reinforce that sitting on the potty is desirable. If he performs, offer two pieces.
The Standing Method
Many parents prefer that their boys learn to urinate standing up from the get-go. An easy way to train a boy in the standing position is to place small, flushable and biodegradable items into the toilet water as targets. Toilet targets can be purchased or you can use small o-shaped cereal for targets. Encourage the child to hit the target with his stream of urine. Reward him when he successfully uses the potty. For bowel movements, boys obviously have to sit. If the child is resistant to sit on the potty, offer a small reward. If he performs, offer two.
The Daddy Method
Since imitation is such a powerful tool in the potty training process, having daddy train his son is often the easiest way to get a boy potty trained. The daddy method involves having dad take the child with him each time he goes to the bathroom so his son can watch. After dad uses the potty, he should encourage his son to follow suit. Dad can use toilet targets to help his son learn to aim his steam of urine into the toilet bowl. A reward should be given if the child uses the potty.