Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Potty Training Tuesday #6

Potty Talk . . . It Can Be A Good Thing

I once had a toddler at the daycare who often talked about "his Willy".  He told me that he got to see "his Willy" and play with him when he was at home but not at daycare.  I assumed that Willy was a family pet. Then we started potty training.  That's when I learned that this 2 year old and his father had nicknamed the child's penis Willy.

No matter how you approach potty training, it is going to involve many conversations about private body parts and bodily functions.  There are lots of words and phrases that can be used to to label and discuss these parts and actions.  Some are very anatomically correct and others are crude and vulgar.  Again, like most other parenting issues, it is your choice what words you use.  But remember that your child may not always choose the privacy of your home to discuss these matters.  So, if you want to each your son that his penis is a pecker (and yes, I've known parents who have done this) you will have to expect some looks of disgust when you son starts to talk about his pecker in the middler of the grocery store!

Personally, I think that it is best to teach children the proper names for body parts from the beginning.  Not only is it the easiest way to keep things consistent between home and daycare, it also eliminates confusion when you child is older and needs to know the proper names and words for things.  Besides, there will be lots of opportunities for your child to learn the slang and vulgar terms as they get older without you teaching it to them!

All discussions about potty training, body parts and using the toilet should be kept positive, even when the child has done something that you see as wrong.  It doesn't take much negativity to turn the whole potty training experience bad!

Here are some examples of how to talk about potty training to your toddler.s  Hopefully these will help you figure out your own version of potty talk.

Introducing the potty:

"It's time to learn to do your pees and poops in the potty."
"You are a big boy now.  It is time to sit on the potty to pee and poop."
"You can sit on the potty while Mommy sits on the toilet."

Making sure everything goes into the potty:

"Point your penis into the potty."
"Sit back all the way so the pee goes into the potty."
"Wait until you are all finished to stand up."

Success should ALWAYS be praised:

"Wow, you did a pee on the potty!"
"Great job, going pee on the potty."
"What a big girl you are for peeing on the potty!"


"Oh-oh, let's go change your wet pants."
"Next time we will try to get to the potty faster."

Stay tuned for more tips, tricks and advice every Tuesday!  And please do share your own experiences!  I am always looking for ways to make potty training easier for myself, not only at work, but also at home as I will soon be jumping in head first to potty train Liam!


  1. Was the willy kids family British? Because while yes, the anatomical name is penis, British kids and men do call it a willy and that is so common I didn't even think of it as a label. Just trying to explain that that kid using that particular word might not have been as weird as you thought.

  2. No, they weren't British. And it really wasn't that they called it Willy that surprised me, it was the way the child would talk about it like it was a pet or a toy or something that was so funny to me once I found out what Willy really was!!!