Dubai: Believe it or not, a self-proclaimed ‘Potty Queen’ based in Dubai has become all the rage amid the pandemic.
Lisa Sherrington-Boyd, principal of Kangaroo Kids Nursery in Dubai, who claims she is the UAE’s first specialist potty trainer, said she began to provide her services when families could not send their toddlers to nurseries and had to keep them home in the wake of the COVID-19-related restrictions.
A Briton in her late 40s, Lisa said she has been working with families for the past 30 years.
“I was a qualified British nanny back in the UK and have been working with children since my late teens. During the lockdown now, I received a number of calls from frantic parents seeking help to potty-train their children as they had heard about my potty training skills at school,” she said.
According to Lisa, “Becoming toilet trained is a rite of passage for all children, however, potty training seems to be happening later these days, and this could be due to the convenience of modern nappies keeping babies dry and the demands of busy family lifestyles. This casual approach can bring a set of extra challenges and with the pressure of school looming, parents often feel overwhelmed.”
She said what began with some virtual guidance over Zoom calls soon became a licensed service.
“Since the recent launch of The Potty Queen, at least 27 families have mastered the art of potty training after the classes,” she claimed.
Six potty personalities
Lisa said she genuinely loves potty-training and supporting families. She has even created six “potty personality” characters which encapsulate the average learning styles of children when it comes to potty training. She uses them to determine the best approach for training.
She said she uses everything from bubbles to teddy bears to engage and prepare kids for the task at hand.
She said over the years, she devised a simple no-nonsense approach that is easy for parents to follow and she coaches them to potty-train their kids. She said laying a firm foundation of early skills will prepare any child before starting to toilet train and these skills help a child to be ready and prepared.
“Toddlers don’t just wake up one morning and say hey Mum and Dad, I’m ready to potty train, we need to support our toddlers just as we did when we helped them to crawl and walk. We need to help potty-training readiness signs to develop into practical skills that empower these little toilet trainers. I also find quite frequently that the toddler is ready to start to leave diapers behind, but the parents aren’t,” she added.
The Potty Queen believes that being ready to potty train means demonstrating skills in a few areas of child development such as language, physical, emotional and cognitive development. “For example: Can your child name or point to parts of their body? Can your child sing a few nursery rhymes, or repeat parts? Can they follow a verbal instruction? Are you using less nappies? Most experts agree that the first signs of being ready to start potty training begin to emerge at around 18-20 months and will continue to develop over the coming months. This creates an optimum window of opportunity,” said Lisa.
“Quite often, I speak with tearful parents who have tried their best and yet their child is having lots of accidents and they are now very reluctant to use the toilet. These parents are often worried and don’t know what to do. Thankfully I do, I have a treasure chest of little hacks, tips and tricks to remove any fears and stress by replacing it with fun and consistency,” said the Potty Queen.
Parents are very thankful
One mother Moira sais, “Lisa helped potty-train Nefali in three days and at only 23 months. She made the potty-training such an easy transition for the both of us. It was like a cake walk! I found it more challenging to stop breast feeding as opposed to potty training with her help.”
Laura Morgan, mum to Ralph, aged two, said, “The Potty Queen helped us train our son during lockdown just via Zoom and WhatsApp. Lisa supported our family by suggesting practical and profound advice that we could actually work with.”
Another mother Krishma Suresh said, “Lisa’s potty method worked so well, our son was potty trained within a very short time span and at night as well, it was totally stress-free.”