|The potty-training chart that is taped to the wall outside the bathroom.|
Monday, April 25, 2011
Our Potty-Training Experience.
book and a multiple articles, but when it came down to it, the most effective thing in training him to use the potty was cueing into him and letting him take it at his own pace. When he was barely two years old, he decided that he wanted "to pee in the potty". He would go in the bathroom, pull down his pants and pee on the floor next to the toilet. This was the week before we were moving into our new house. I didn't want to rock his world too much, nor did I have the time and patience to be potty training just then. A couple months later he was begging to use the potty again. So I bought a small potty that played music, superhero themed underwear and many prizes and treats. He did fantastic for about 2 days. Then he came down with an awful case of diarrhea and we went back to the diapers. After this we tried several times, but he just wasn't really interested in using the potty and I didn't push it. Occasionally he would come to one of us, tell us he needed to use the toilet, sit down and successfully do his business and request a piece of candy. I know it was all about the candy, but I did care because we were making progress, even if it was small and random progress. After he turned three I tried to encourage him more often, but he was pretty determined that he only wanted to wear diapers. I tried switching to pull-ups. He called them swim diapers and treated them like any other diaper. Finally one day I sat down and spent three hours coloring a potty chart. It's kind of like a game board with little prizes along the way, a big midway prize and a big final prize. He gets a sticker for going #1 and two stickers (or one large sticker) for going #2, after he washes his hands. The first couple of days he was only moderately interested, but after he started earning prizes, he started cruising through and I feel like he had it down pretty well by the time he was only a third of the way through the chart. (I overestimated how long to make the chart. For Thing 1 the chart had to be much bigger. I didn't know it at the time, but she struggles with bladder spasms, which complicated things.) Some of the prizes I used were: baking cookies, going out for ice cream, going to McDonald's, picking something from the surprise box (which I had filled with an assortment of inexpensive small boy oriented prizes), choosing a movie from Redbox, choosing something from the dollar store, getting a new movie or choosing a candy from the store. His big prizes were visiting Pirate Island and Jumpin' Jacks,
neither of which I really enjoy going to but have totally enthralled my children. It also helped that Thing 1 was very encouraging, because she also benefited from most of the prizes that he earned. And now we have four blissful months without purchasing or changing diapers.