One of the most challenging phases of parenting is to teach toddlers how to use the toilet, but some parents are hiring professional potty trainers when they've had no success at this basic routine with their kids.
Aside from working extensively with children, potty trainers or consultants usually have a psychology background since they use tried and tested behavioral methods to achieve good results. They also work hand in hand with the parents to chart a plan to break down potential obstacles and resistance from the kids.
These professionals work on a variety of technics, depending on the needs of the family. A half-day session is enough for some potty trainers to determine the game plan, while other professionals need at least two days to work with the family. Some trainers may also conduct consultations via phone or video calls, but others conduct in-home consultations and charge a higher rate.
According to Kimberly Walker, who works as a professional potty trainer at Parenting Unlimited, parents hire their services because this task is "extremely stressful and anxiety-inducing," resulting in a negative experience for the child. The dynamics of a parent-child relationship include some form of a power struggle that potty trainers can take this out of the equation.
It's Been Around for Some Time
While most people might not have heard of a professional potty trainer before, this service is not a novel idea, and it's been around since the last decade. In 2008, a trainer from Chicago grabbed the headlines after being featured in a TV show because she helped the child of a popular TV personality, Al Roker, in just five hours.
Many celebrities in New York also use potty trainers, with NYC Potty Training becoming one of the most successful services in the state. Developed by Samantha Allen, who has a background in early childhood education, Allen told Huffington Post that she has been doing professional potty training "for so long" and understands that the key to its success is consistency and making the task more fun. She also said that potty training requires a lot of commitment, and some parents aren't entirely invested in teaching this basic routine.
Some trainers said that their biggest challenge is not with the kids but with parents who do not listen to their advice. They also think that some parents give up too easily after one accident, thinking that the child is not yet ready to be potty trained. However, based on experience, some children learn to go in the potty in fewer than five hours of training.
The Difference with Potty Training Classes
While consultants work per family, potty training classes, which are also popular with many American parents, are group sessions that impart technics to the parents. However, Allen believes that classes aren't as effective as one-on-one training sessions, especially for children that resist or have anxieties.
An anxious child's guidance needs to be personalized or individualized as opposed to group training. It may also be too awkward for the child to go potty with a group of people.
Professional potty trainers may charge around $50 to $300 an hour, depending on their credentials. Intensive training for a day may cost above $1,000, and most trainers will have to conduct a follow-up session.
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