By Kathy Kuperman
Kathy KupermanJust the mere word potty training strikes fear into the hearts of mothers and fathers everywhere. Why isn’t there a manual that could solve all these issues? There really ought-to-be such a manual. Instead, you give yourself a pep talk, procure all the necessary paraphernalia, and brace yourself for the worst. Then you start to second-guess yourself, people have been doing this for thousands of years, why can’t you toilet train your child, is there something wrong with you? Maybe your child is that one child that goes off to college in diapers?

Toilet training it’s difficult, messy, and tedious. Yet when you accomplish the task, you wear it like a badge of honor. Often the problem lies with not knowing where to start and who to turn to for advice. The advice you do get is conflicting and overwhelming and doesn’t necessarily gel with your parenting style. You hear start now, start later, wait until they tell you, take the lead, take it all off and let them run around naked. For crying out loud what’s the answer?

In my 18 years of parenting and potty training three children of different sexes, I have come to realize that the key to success is finding the courage and strength to start the process and to be consistent. To always remember that your children are individuals, structure potty training to meet the individual needs of the child.

Take a step back and look at this in the grander scheme of things: this is your time to really bond with your child to establish what kind of person and learner they are and to establish your parenting style.

Kathy Kuperman is an educator, mom of three and the owner of