A lot of attention has been given to the potty training in a day method. It is appealing to many parents since it appears to be easy and not drawn out. Supporters of this method contend that if a child is ready to be trained, it is less confusing if you spend an entire day on the process. The method that is usually described is very specific. The training is supposed to take place in a room with easily cleaned floors, usually the kitchen. Drinks, snacks, and candies are provided. This approach avoids inconsistent instruction by the parents since they are not supposed to be disrupted by other daily activities. Only one parent should do the instruction. The child is usually naked or lightly dressed with loose clothing so quick placement on the potty is possible. Spending considerable time on the potty is required, and the child may need to be entertained and coached in order to stay there.
The instruction is all inclusive. The child is taught how to remove the clothes, use the potty and empty the potty, flush and replace the clothing. Staying on or near the potty will show the child he can go in the potty and be rewarded. As long as the parents are encouraging and diligent, the child may not view it as a forceful process. However, the classical teaching of this method included scolding and gentle discipline. Rewards are provided usually in the form of treats or stickers. The 5-10 hour method can be very effective if parents choose a time when the child wants to please their parents and if the child is truly ready to potty train.
Several child specialists have spoken openly against this method. It is sometimes viewed as an intensive program that gives parents unrealistic expectations. It is also perceived as a process that does not allow children any input to the process. Those against this approach contend that if the child is not “ready” then this intensive instruction will be detrimental to normal parent-child relationships. Opponents say this technique teaches kids to only go on command and not learn the correct process for themselves. Furthermore, they believe these children may actually take longer to train because they become resistant to forceful instruction.
On the other hand, this was a very common technique that was used when cloth diapers were commonplace. Parents were loving but motivated. Success was common and some flexibility was usually allowed. Children still loved their parents at the conclusion and many were well trained. The approach instilled good practices and responsible actions in regards to toilet training. All of the aspects of toilet training were usually incorporated with this approach and these included:
- Sitting on the potty
- Emptying the potty (including flushing) and avoiding messes
- Hand washing and good hygiene
Parents who love their child and do not want any ill will still use this technique today. Long-term studies have not been produced that show any adverse problems when using this approach in a loving and caring environment.
- Dr. D. Preston Smith