A reward system is very motivating to a child when potty training. A shoebox full of items from the dollar store becomes a great ‘Treasure Chest’. Who would not want a glow in the dark snake or a new hairbow for a successful trip to the potty? M & M’s, a song, a sticker on a shirt or reading a story are also great rewards.
Sonja Brouwers, Las Vegas mom of four says, “My whole family joined in when trying to potty train Kay – who was rather resistant. We would all sing “Kay’s a super, dooper pooper! Kay can potty with the best! Take a bow, she’s a big girl now, she’s the best pooper we know” cribbed from a training video we tried to get her to watch.”
Reward for a successful trip to the potty or an attempt at a successful trip to the potty. If a child has an accident on the way to the potty, consider this a success. Accidents are a normal part of learning any new skill and potty training is no different. The child recognized he needed to go, but just waited a little too long. Children are still learning the sensation of a full bladder and bowel.
With a boy, it is easier to potty train him sitting first, and then standing until he masters muscle control, since usually pee and poop come at the same time. Once he starts standing, work on aim by putting cheerios in the bowl. Show boys, or have Dad model lifting the lid, using the fly in underwear and how to ‘shake’. Peeing outside is also a great idea for boys when they are potty training. If using a potty chair, remove the urine deflector. One hang-up with his boyhood and he will lose all motivation to try again.
Night time potty training is more difficult with some children. This all depends on how hard the child sleeps or if he is afraid to get up and walk to the bathroom in the dark. Wearing pull-ups at night is not uncommon until a child reaches seven years old or so. Limiting liquids after dinnertime and walking with them to the bathroom before the parent goes to bed are both helpful in curbing night time accidents.
When leaving the house, have the child use the potty even if he says he does not have to go. “It’s ok if you don’t go potty, but you still have to try.” Relieving a half-full bladder may reduce the odds of an accident later.
Remember, potty training requires patience, time and consistency. Parents can lead a child to the potty, but cannot make him go. Do not cave in to peer or ‘in-law’ pressure. Just because grandpa was potty trained at eight months (ya, right!) does not mean it is the right age for your child.
Click here for Part 1 of this article!
Find me on Facebook! Click “Subscribe” above for new article e-mail alerts.
Next time: Routines: Setting up morning, homework, dinner and bedtime routines