Q: I’m trying to potty train my three-year-old without much luck. He will go everywhere except in the toilet — a corner by the window seems to be a favourite place! I talk to him all the time and let him know that this is not the place to pee, but he doesn’t listen to me. Any advice?
A: Your son is perfectly normal; only half of all of boys are trained by age three. My advice is to back off and wait until he’s ready for toilet training. Some signs he’s ready are that he can recognize the physical sensations of needing to go; he’s aware he’s wet or dirty (and cares); and he can stay dry for several hours at a time. Besides the physical readiness signs, your son also needs to be interested in the process and want to get out of diapers before you start potty training again. Let him wear diapers until he’s ready to use the potty or toilet. You can ask if he’d like to wear his training pants occasionally but, besides that, your patience will win the day. If you let him set the timing, it will work better for both of you.