‘Toilet whisperer’ charges £2K to potty train children
That’s potty! Meet the UK’s first professional potty trainer – who’ll wean your kids out of nappies for the princely sum of £2000.
Mum-of-three Amanda Jenner, makes a living potty training other people’s children.
For two grand, she’ll move into your home for up to five days and nights to make sure your little darlings are well and truly done with nappies.
And she’s now got a waiting list that’s almost a year long – with British families asking her to help potty train kids who are up to NINE years old.
Businesswoman Amanda, who started a Potty Training Academy, said: “I go to the house for three days and live with the family, but if it takes more days then I will stay an extra couple of days.
“It always works and I’ve never had any problems with any children after I have visited them.
“It’s really taken off and I’m quite booked up. I’m going next week to potty train some twins.
“It’s mostly children over the age of three that I go to visit.
“Some of the clients are very wealthy, but some of them are actually quite average. The sad thing is that almost all of them think they have failed, when it’s just a really difficult thing to do.”
The £2,000 buys a giant box of toilet training goodies and Amanda’s undivided attention. Like Jo Frost, better known as Supernanny, she spends the three days not just toilet training, but observing the family life and even advising on the child’s diet to ensure they get a toilet friendly diet.
Amanda said: “I have been likened to Supernanny and even called ‘the toilet whisperer.’
“I go in with a lovely big box of goodies to encourage children to use the potty, such as charts and rewards, but I look at absolutely everything.”
But even when she’s at home Amanda does not stop the toilet talk.
She often stays up until midnight answers emails from thousands of parents who submit questions to her via her website.
Amanda said: “I’ve read some real horror stories, and it just makes me so sad as it should not happen.
“Parents are constantly asking for my help, telling me that their children are being bullied for soiling themselves at school.
“The oldest child I have been asked to potty train is nine-years-old!
“It has such a huge effect on the child’s life. They can’t go to sleepovers, they can’t spent time with their friends, and they are worried about going to school.
“It’s becoming an even bigger problem, but I’m passionate about making a difference about it.”
Amanda is waiting for a report by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers to be published on the crisis of children who aren’t potty trained at primary school.
As well as providing support to parents, Potty Training Academy also has a programme and resources for primary schools to teach pupils potty etiquette.
She said: “In one class of 26 five-year-olds, several of them were not potty trained at all. It’s crazy.
“The teachers cannot teach properly if they keep having to look after children who have wet themselves, and they don’t have the time to devote to teaching children how to use the toilet.
“They just have to hand the parents a bag of wet clothes at the end of each day.”
Amanda says the blame lies more with societal change than it does with individual parents.
She said: “In the 1950s the average age at which children were potty trained was 15 months, as they always had family members with them.
“Now, as parents are having to go back to work and children’s care is left to a combination of parents, nurseries, and sometimes nannies, the average age is now three-and-a-half.
“I often have parents blaming nurseries and vice versa.
“The other thing is it has to be fun! That’s why we provide parents with reward charts and encourage parents to give children prizes.”
Amanda’s first experience of potty training problems came with her own children.
Her eldest child refused to use any toilet other than their own potty, so she was forced to carry it with her everywhere.
One day, as she was emptying its contents into a drain in the street, a passer-by stopped to complain to her.
From there she invented My Carry Potty, and has spent the last 18 years providing potty training support to parents and schools.
She said: “When I left school I never thought I’d be training kids to use the toilet. I thought I would be an air hostess.
“But this is a huge problem and I’m determined to make a difference.”