My kids haven’t been too hard to potty train, but maybe that’s because I’ve been relaxed about the process, figuring it would happen when it happened. Both of my kids were trained to pee in the toilet for months before they pooped there, but they always showed signs of needing to poop, and I eventually got them to the point where they asked for diapers when they needed to poop. After that, it took a bit of gentle, gradual nudging toward the potty. Sure, there have been accidents now and then, but I realize that potty training is a learning process, and that children who are undergoing potty training are still very young.

I don’t understand why parents take harsh measures with their children when it comes to potty training. Do they really think that anger and abuse will help the child learn to use the toilet??!? When my son was a baby, I remember a horrible story where a man beat his little girl (2 years old!) because she wet her bed. His beating (including biting her ears!) did not stop until she was dead. This kind of violence leaves me speechless. I feel shocked to the very core of my being, and cannot even express in words how I feel. Horrified isn’t even a strong enough word to express my feelings when I hear about a senseless death such as that little girl’s.

On the less extreme side, just last night, my mother told me a story that made me cringe. My stepdad’s friend, who I have known my whole life, and thought was a good guy, was bragging about how they got their grandson to poop in the toilet. This child is only three, and has been peeing in the toilet for a few months, but refuses to poop in the potty. To me, this is an obvious sign that he’s jus not ready yet!

 Instead of letting him use a diaper only for pooping, and gently nudging him toward the potty (the method that worked perfectly for me…twice!), they refuse to let him use a diaper, and then when he poops in his pants, they make him clean up the mess himself!!!!  When I heard this, I was shocked! This grandfather was speaking proudly about “housebreaking” his grandchild, as if he were nothing more than a trained animal! Where is the respect for human life??!? Should children be treated with less dignity just because they’re children? Wouldn’t this “potty training method” be considered abusive by certain officials in child services?

To me, the worst part of this story is that this repulsive method probably worked. I’ll bet that poor little boy felt degraded enough that he won’t poop in his pants again. I’m sure his grandfather will recommend this “wonderful” method to any and all parents of toddlers that he meets. But is it really worth it?