Creative Potty Training 101
You know, when things begin to take a long time, they can become tedious and boring. What began with excitement, adventure and hope turns into drudgery and a real chore over time. Since potty training can really take longer than a day or two, or a week or two, or even a month or two, it's really worthwhile to become creative in your methodology. Creative and toilet don't really seem to go-together in the same sentence, but we'll make it work.
Ready, Set, Get Started
Let's assume your child has given you the signals that he's ready to begin toilet training. He is pretty consistent with the time of day for his bowel movements and he isn't too thrilled anymore with walking around with a wet wad between his legs. We're happy now - it's the beginning of the end of diapers.
You get to decide whether the potty chair will be a toilet model or a floor model, but by taking him with you to make the choice of color, he will feel like this is his potty chair since he picked it out by himself. If you have a floor model, allowing him to choose from a selection of spots to park it reinforces his ownership and just may have an effect upon usage. If he thinks the whole thing is his idea, he may be much more inclined to use it.
That Special Spot
Create a space in the bathroom designated for his things - toys to play with, books to read - so he makes the association with those things and the bathroom. Again, you're just reinforcing the fact that going to the bathroom is done in a specific place and not in his pants.
You're Such A Good Child!
Rewards always go a long way to positively reinforce good behavior. How will you reward your child for such wonderful successes as letting go in the toilet, wiping afterward, washing hands, or flushing? Some parents have found that stickers in a sticker book or on a chart on the bathroom wall work well.
Little kids love stickers and knowing they get to put one up is often the cat's meow. This works well for children around the age of two or older. Younger children are thrilled with a playtime, tickle fest or a special story from a special book. It's a good idea to refrain from rewarding with candy or snacks.
Mommy, My Dolly Has to Go
Another popular method of encouraging your child to use the toilet is by use of a wetting doll. Your child feeds the dolly with a bottle and then puts the dolly on the potty. This way, your child is able to make the connection between drinking and peeing. Theoretically, she sees the doll using the toilet and decides she's going to do likewise.
You've Gotta Do It - Might As Well Make It Fun
Potty training is a given, but it's up to you to make it as easy and successful as possible. Certainly there may be challenges along the way, but persistence and creativity will always pay off.