Potty Training IS Easy

10:46 AM Elizabeth Seckman 0 Comments

Last week I bragged that I had a fool proof potty training plan. I suppose I shouldn't brag without dishing out the details.

All of my kids (I have four boys) were potty trained by age two...well, Carter, boy #3, by eighteen months, but the little freak pretty much potty trained himself. He hated diapers; they were for babies and he was a big boy. "Fine." I said, "But pee your pants and you're back in diapers." He never had an accident.

For the other three? This was THE PLAN

Potty Training Boot Camp~

1. Shop
          ~Let child pick out several packs (unless you're a laundry wiz) of 'big boy (or girl) pants 
          ~Construction paper
          ~Stickers
          ~Juice boxes
          ~Marker

2. Prepare
           ~Hang a piece of the construction paper on the bathroom wall
           ~Take single squares of toilet paper and draw happy faces on them

3. Potty Train!
            ~Let your toddler pick out a pair of underwear. Be sure to be awesomely impressed by how MATURE he/she looks in them.
            ~Forget the complicated clothes. This potty stuff is a new skill; don't complicate and frustrate.
            ~Bring on the drinks. And just like a puppy? Once they drink...time to visit the potty.
            ~Throw a square of the happy face TP into the bowl....he's the target. Ready, aim, fire! (My oldest nicknamed this step, 'sinking Mr. Brown')

4. Reward time!
             ~Even a dribble gets a happy dance...and a true happy dance should be so over the top exciting that  your neighbors will think you've cracked, or are on crack. But clap and dance...you won't be buying diapers soon!!!
             ~Then give your toddler a sticker and let him/her put it on the paper.
             ~Repeat the process till a whole sheet is filled up. I'd then let my kids cash that sheet in for a toy.

 That's pretty much it. It's that simple.

A few footnotes...
              ~The big potty for #2's is scary. Tiny bottoms, big openings...scary from a small fry's perspective. The potty chair is a perfect alternative.
              ~#2's are boring. Read them a book or have a chat while you hang out with your young pooper. 
              ~Long before potty training time, keep baby clean. Change that diaper frequently. Teach them early that being dry and clean is sweet. A child who is comfortable in wet/ soiled diapers is tougher to train.
              ~Pull ups? I never liked them. Sure they might be convenient on the go...but what a confusing message. Once you switch from diapers, leave them behind. To me, it seems like switching to snuff to stop smoking.

And remember, accidents happen. Clean up and move on. I never scolded my kids for accidents. Any new skill has a learning curve and you can't expect perfection over night.

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