Definitions

anal-phase

Toilet training

Toilet training, or potty training, is the process of training a young child to use the toilet for urination and defecation. In Western countries it is usually started and completed between the ages of 12 months and three years, with boys typically closer to the high end of this age range.

Cultural factors play a large part in what age is deemed appropriate, with the age being generally later in America.

Modern practice

Most advice is that toilet training is a mutual task, requiring cooperation agreement and understanding between child and the caregiver, and the best potty training techniques emphasize consistency and positive reinforcement over punishment - making it fun for the child.

Freudian psychology

Starting with Sigmund Freud, many psychologists believe that toilet training is among the most formative events of the human psyche because this anal phase is the child's first introduction to the fact that social imperatives can take precedence over bodily desires, and a child can have problems later in life if the toilet training does not go well, or is too strict.

For example, as an adult a person could strive for perfection or excessive cleanliness because they were too harshly trained.

Like many of Freud's original concepts, this is given much less weight by modern psychologists.

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