You will see a similarity between Dr. Phil’s potty training method we discussed yesterday and the Azrin and Foxx method of toilet training. Dr. Phil incorporated their ideas into his potty training method.
The Azrin and Foxx potty training method is studied and has been proven successful, although much preparation is needed by the caregiver. Plus, caregivers should read the book before using the method, so it may take more than one day to potty train the child as the title suggests.
In their book Toilet Training in Less Than a Day Azrin and Foxx also emphasize the importance of timing. Not all kids are ready for their approach. In their book, the authors specify that kids should be 20-months or older, and they should meet several developmental criteria.
In particular, kids should be able to:
• sit up by themselves
• stay dry for a couple of hours at a time
• recognize a full bladder
• point to body parts that you name
• retrieve objects for you, and
• follow simple instructions like “put the doll on the potty.”
There are medical and emotional criteria, too. Parents should also avoid these toilet training techniques if children are ill, constipated, or uncooperative. As you read the summary below keep in mind that this is not a substitute for reading their book.
- Conduct training in one room.
- Eliminate or minimize all interruptions and distractions, e.g., toys.
- Have a ready supply of child's favorite drinks, snacks, and treats.
- Use a potty chair designed so a child can easily remove the pot from the chair and replace it.
- Have a doll that wets to demonstrate to the child the urination process.
- Make up a list of the persons and characters (real or fictional) the child admires to use to praise the child and indicate how pleased they will be to hear of the child's success.
- Have at least eight pairs of training pants large enough for the child to easily lower and raise.
- Have child wear a short T-shirt that will not interfere with lowering and raising training pants. Teach child to grasp pants in the middle of the back, palm facing backward, and mid-front for easier lowering and raising.
- Provide immediate, varied (juices, edibles, treats, hugs, etc.), positive reinforcement at every instance of correct toileting skill, e.g., approaching potty, grasping pants, sitting on potty, etc.
- Do not reinforce non-toileting acts.
When There are Accidents:
Verbal reprimand, omit reinforcement, have child change wet pants to dry ones by herself, conduct 10 rapid “positive practice” sessions as follows:
1. Use the doll that wets to imitate the processes of toileting and teach specific actions. Manually guide child through the proper actions, then let the child guide the doll through the process.
2. When the doll urinates in the potty, teach the child to remove the pot, empty it into the toilet, flush and return the pot to the chair. Once this is learned, begin training child.
3. Teach the child to check and identify dry pants from wet pants. Reward/praise dry pants. Perform checks every three to five minutes and keep track using a training reminder sheet.
4. Give child as much to drink as desired to create a strong, frequent desire to toilet (at least 8oz/hr). Use as a positive reinforcement.
5. Instruct child to walk to the potty, lower pants, sit down quietly for several minutes, stand up, and raise pants. Watch to see if urination begins and praise/ reward immediately.
6. After urination takes place, have the child wipe him or herself, and empty and replace pot as in number two above.
7. Increased number of trials: give prompted potty trials every 15 minutes in the beginning, decrease frequency as child acquires skill.
8. Conduct “dry pants” checks every five minutes, have child do it as well.
9. At first, have child sit on the potty about 10 minutes; after two to three successful tries at urinating into the potty and much praise, the child will begin to understand and prompting and sit time can be reduced.
10. Gradually change from directing child to “go potty” to asking child if she has to “go potty” to general questions such as, “Where do you go potty?” and “Are your pants dry?” Once the child goes potty after a general question, only comment on dry pants.
11. As the child acquires skills and performs actions correctly, give approval only at the end of an action rather than during it. Eventually reduce to praising only dry pants.
12. For next several days, do dry pants checks at meals, naps, and bedtimes and praise each time pants are dry. If there is an accident, reprimand the child, have the child change by himself, and perform more practice sessions. No reminders to toilet are given.
These methods are found in Potty Train Your Child in Just One Day: Proven Secrets of the Potty Pro by Teri Crane which outlines a three-step program that includes role playing with a doll, practice runs with the child, and a “potty party."
Azrin and Foxx’s techniques can also be found in Narmin Parpia’s Potty Training in One Day: A Guide for Today's Parents.
We also find their techniques in Dr. Phil’s potty training techniques which we discussed yesterday.
Have you been successful using Azrin and Foxx's techniques? Do you have any potty training tips to share with nannies and au pairs?