Monday, November 25, 2013

Potty Training? There’s an App For That…

Like most parents, we’ve had our struggles with potty training.  Luckily, our youngest gave up diapers earlier this year.  He still has the occasional accident, but he’s working on it.

If he hadn’t already ditched diapers, we would have had a new option, brought to consumers this holiday season by the twisted, lazy minds over at CTA Digital. 

You’ve heard of the electronic baby sitter.  Meet the electronic baby sh**ter: The iPotty.

This little number has rightly been nominated as one of the worst “toys” of the year – for good reason.  (It's been around for a few months, but is getting a big push this shopping season.  Get it? Big push.)

Not only does it prey on all the frustrated parents out there, leveraging the addiction to technology that so easily afflicts our kids.  But it ignores one of the most important aspects of potty training.  Kids need to know when they have to go, and then decide to go, and then control that urge until they are sitting on their potty.   

Doe it come in adult sizes?
Distracting them with electronics as they sit on a toilet, turning them into little Zombies until the tinkle or poo falls out of them only solves a small part of the problem.  In fact, it may even cause more problems later.

I certainly understand why some parents might like this idea.  Just getting little Jimmy to sit on the toilet can seem like half the problem.  It's not.  After that first "I did it" moment, you still have months of work ahead.   

Take it from a dad who’s seen it, even a well potty-trained toddler can have an accident when distracted.  In fact, that’s what causes most of our boy’s accidents these days: Distraction. I can only imagine how many more accidents he’d have if we’d used the iPotty to train him.  We’d essentially have programed him to pee or poop every time he’s distracted by electronics.  I can just imagine having to move a permanent potty seat into the living room so we can have family movie night without soiling the couch each time.

“I don’t know what’s come over him.  Every time we turn on a screen, he has to go to the bathroom.”
No thanks.
But this gift is offensive on so many other levels.  Sure many parents use television or other electronics on occasion to help control their kids – similar to how wardens use cable TV to keep the inmates calm.  That doesn’t mean we want to use technology at every turn to train their behavior.  Our use of the electronic babysitter is by necessity, not by design.  In fact, I believe we’d be better off training them not to be so dependent on technology.   Is there an app for that?
So now we have the iPotty as an option to help us hapless parents struggling with potty training.  What’s next, baby mobiles with iPhones dangling over the crib?  Strollers with built in DVDs?  Or maybe iPads attached to the ceiling over their beds to get them to go to sleep?

Hopefully, parents everywhere reject the iPotty, and this insulting idea ends up in the crapper -- where it belongs.


Larry said...

Who the hell thought of this? Uggh - sounds off.

Oren said...

I know what you're saying, and it's not like we would have bought this thing if our kids were in diapers, but...

When I was doing the potty training, I used to let the kids run around naked in the house, and then, every 10-15 minutes, I put them on the toilet. Now, THEY had better things to do than sit around, so they quickly tried to jump off and run around some more, maybe even pee on the floor just for fun. To keep them sitting there, I told them stories, I read them books, and I even let them borrow my phone so they could look at family pictures.

That last one kept them there entertained for a long time, and the only problem was that I was really scared of them dropping my phone in the toilet.

Which is why I understand this device. I don't think it's necessary, and I agree that it preys on parents' frustrations, but so do "Elmo's Potty Time" and pull-up diapers, no?

Cort Ruddy said...

Thanks for reading, guys. For the most part I'm a "whatever works" kind of dad. Heck, we were rewarding our son with salami when he would have a successful tinkle. (That was his reward of choice, not our mixing up the "dog training" and "potty training" books). I guess its just part of my struggle with technology, and how much it can invade every aspect of our lives. Maybe I'm wrong.