What is the best age to potty train my child?

Small boy. Photo copyrighted. Courtesy of Films for Christ.

From the standpoint of readiness, the usual age for potty training is the mid-twos. Children are generally not prepared until they're right around two and a half because they just argent able to control that function in their body before that time. Some moms who have attempted to potty train their children much earlier have found that they had dismal success because their kids just weren't ready.

SUSIE [a guest on the radio program]: Right. Melissa looked as if she was ready. She was showing all the signs, but the first time we tried it, we quickly discovered she wasn't ready at all.

RANDY: I noticed you said “we”, Susie, which means your husband was involved too. Kevin, what do you think? Is it unusual for a dad to get involved in potty training the kids? Where are the dads in all of this?

KEVIN [Dr. Kevin Leman]: Oh, the dads are usually as far away as they can be. In my case, I was ordered out of the house when Sande wanted to potty train our firstborn. On the other hand, my brother trained his little son how to go potty outside. They live out in a very wooded area, and they have a few farm animals as pets and all that. So my brother--who is also a psychologist, by the way—taught his son how to go potty outside. Well, that was great until the boys mother took him to the mall and lost sight of him for a moment or two. When she turned around, there he was, watering the potted plants! I think I see our board lighting up. Somebody wants to join our potty training discussion…

Author: excerpt from Parent Talk by Dr. Kevin Leman and Randy Carlson of Family Life Communications

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