October 14, 2016 – Orange Country, CA, USA – When it comes to potty training a child, not only is it challenging but it requires delicate handling. Luckily, for less than the cost of a month’s-worth of diapers and wipes, parents can now feel confident in their potty training method, and begin potty training as soon as they are ready. Michelle Swaney, a potty training expert from Orange County is offering online classes to help parents learn to communicate with their children from a young age and reduce children’s dependence upon diapers.
In a brief interview with Roger, Michelle shares her insight and reveals how is she helping parents worldwide potty train their kids.
Roger: Could you tell me a little bit about yourself, your background, and where do you hail from?
Michelle: I’m a California girl, born and raised, and it’s where my husband and I are currently raising our three kids (4-year-old, 2-1/2-year-old and 5-month-old), and from time-to-time host kids through a sort of pre-foster care program we volunteer with.
It kind of all started in college, I suppose. I graduated from a top-ranked U.S. University and completed the honors program, a leadership development program, studied abroad, and afterwards won awards for speaking through Toastmasters, Int’l., and finished another leadership development series through a non-profit for which I worked. Then, numerous years later, I was sitting in a birthing class with my husband watching a video about how to breastfeed a baby…and I left upset. I was angry actually.
My husband asked why and I said “I graduated with honors, and I have to watch a video to learn how to breastfeed?! What is wrong with our society that I don’t already know how to do this at age 29?!’ That’s when it hit me…there were a lot of things I didn’t know how to do to sustain and care for another human’s life…and my friends didn’t know how to either… I asked people about potty training methods and they said “I have no clue!” That’s when I realized I needed to do something to help this knowledge gap, to provide resources and encouragement, using my personal experiences coupled with my Elimination Communication and Potty Training Certificate Training to teach and help others in an area I actually did know about.
I don’t do my job because I love poop and pee, but because I love being able to help parents learn to communicate with their children and love to reduce children’s dependence upon diapers through elimination communication and potty training.
Roger: What kinds of potty training programs you offer, and to date how many parents have benefited from your program?
Michelle: The Potty School has several different options for families to choose from. We offer both in-person and online classes…personalized potty training plans…support groups…and soon to come…a membership site!
We teach Elimination Communication for ages 0-18 months using a sound association similar to how much of the world has “potty trained” for generations. We also teach Gentle Potty Training which is for ages 18 months and up.
Through classes, consultations, support groups and personalized plans I have personally served several hundred families since the initiation of The Potty School in March of this year, let alone the tens of thousands of readers of blogs that I’ve been featured in since then. There is obviously a need, and parents seem to have a desire to seek knowledge and encouragement on their potty training journey. I’m just glad to be here for them.
I also run two free pottying support groups – just a place for parents to encourage each other and ask questions.
For ages 0-18 months: www.facebook.com/groups/EliminationCommunicationSupportGroup
For ages 18+ months: www.facebook.com/groups/PottyTrainingSupportGroup
Roger: How long did it take you to create these programs?
Michelle: I first learned about (and witnessed) Elimination Communication in action in Nicaragua 16 years ago when I was volunteering through Mercy Ships Int’l. I’ve been practicing Elimination Communication with my own kids for 4 ½ years and have potty trained others’ kids as well over those years.
Roger: When did you decide that you wanted to go digital?
Michelle: My job first and foremost is to be an available Mom for my kids. As much as I like teaching classes in-person it’s just not practical to offer enough small individualized classes to meet the need with three kids under age 5, including a 6-month-old. Parents want help as soon as they find there is help to be had. I’ve felt horrible saying “Yes, I’d love to help! But, the next class isn’t for two weeks.” That just crushed the momentum a parent had who was desiring to potty train their child. I want The Potty School’s resources to be accessible all the time – during the middle of nursing, or the middle of the night, anytime a parent has time…I want to be able to help.
Roger: Tell us something about elimination communication and conventional potty training methods.
Michelle: Isn’t not an “I do Elimination Communication” or “I potty train” kind of thing. People have definitely segmented the two groups as either/or. But, they aren’t “either/or”. Some people who practice Elimination Communication (EC) wrap-up their EC journey with conventional potty training (often at a younger age, but the same process). Some who wait to potty train until they deem their child is ready at age 3 ½ have also practiced some form of elimination communication at some point. The Potty School helps parents figure out what is right for them in the season they’re in and encourages them along the way, whichever path they choose to take.
Roger: When is the right time to potty train a toddler? Are girls easier to train than boys?
Michelle: The questions people like to debate!
I think the “right” time to potty train is when the parent is ready. I had a client whose child was physically and mentally capable at age 2, but she had so many other things going on in life – tending to another child who was in and out of the hospital – that it just wasn’t best for their family to focus their efforts on potty training him at that time, and I supported them in their family’s priorities at that time.
Others “wait” for their child to show readiness signs that never happen because the child has already been taught that the bathroom is not for them, and that diapers are what they use. All that to say the “right” time, in my opinion, is when the parent is ready…and in many cultures and in many families, even in the U.S. there are parents who are “ready” to start Elimination Communication at birth…with the first passing of meconium.
We don’t wait for a child to verbally ask for food, or to ask to sleep through the night, why should we wait for a child to ask for a child to use the potty? We are the parents, we’re allowed to initiate such teaching…this is me giving you the go-ahead.
As far as girls vs. boys I think it is totally child-dependent, not sex dependent.
Roger: Where can parents find out more about your methods?
Roger: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Michelle: Roger, it’s such a pleasure to be here! Thanks for having me.
I’m hoping that this article will help and encourage at least one family on their potty training journey. It really is my honor and pleasure to help people along this process. I hear so many “horror” stories about potty training their child, and it really doesn’t have to be like that. It can be focused on the milestones they hit, the self-mastery skills they can learn and the encouragement that you as a parent are able to provide better than anyone else. I love being able to encourage and enable parents along their way.
I’m also the author of the upcoming “The Potty School’s Potty Training Coloring Book” and “The Potty School’s Elimination Communication Coloring Book”.
Samples are available for free download at: www.thepottyschool.com/coloring-books
Roger: Your advice to parents.
Michelle: Focus on the progress. Nothing with kids is an algebraic equation. There are ups and downs, there is progress and there are setbacks, but keep at it! You can teach them, and I’d be honored to help you and your family achieve this huge milestone together!
To learn more about Micelle Swaney and her potty training methods, visit: http://www.thepottyschool.com/
About The Potty School
Founded by Michelle Swaney, The Potty School is a fast emerging company that has proved a huge hit among Orange County parents.
“We help you start, guide you through, and help you complete your baby or child’s pottying journey. We do this by offering services to the parent, or caretaker, to guide the process,” says Michelle.
Company Name: The Potty School
Contact Person: Michelle Swaney
City: Orange Country
Country: United States