Potty Training can be a JOY, and NOT a CHORE

This worked for my 7 kids: Make a ladder like the one here, (from adding machine paper, etc., or print this out), and tape it on the wall right near the potty. Choose an inexpensive prize to buy that you know your child will enjoy (a small toy, a lollipop, a candy, etc.) plus a pack of small stickers in advance (and HIDE IT!). Draw or paste a picture of the prize in the square above the ladder. Each time your child goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE (on the pot) they will get a sticker, starting at the bottom of the ladder. Praise him enthusiastically, and mention how each time he does, he will get a sticker, and when he gets to the top, he will win the prize! (If the prize is candy – DO NOT give him ANY Candy AT ANY OTHER TIMES UNTIL HE HAS EARNED IT by doing his ‘JOB’! Many kids enjoy placing their earned sticker on their chart by themselves – and show them where it goes. That in itself will be a temporary satisfaction for their good behavior until they have earned their ‘big’ prize on top.

If he has an accident outside the bathroom, instead of scolding, just say, “I’m sorry, I can’t give you a sticker this time. But next time, when you do it on the potty, I can give you a sticker!” Make another chart after they complete the chart and win the prize, and before long it will be a habit, even without the prize!

You get a PRIZE, too:

a potty-trained child!

Question: What if they pee on the pot but poo in their pants and then hide it?
Be calm, don’t mind the mess, and never shame your child for natural functions. Someone along the line has made them feel bad about pooping.
You don’t want your child to hold it in and get constipated, so l
et your little one to know it’s quite natural to poo – and you can’t wait till you see them pooing on the pot! If you stay with your child and sit and talk, it will be fun and not something to be ashamed of. Let them know how proud you are when they do it in the right place. Usually after a meal people have the urge to go – especially if they get enough liquids. Give ’em more liquids and watch ’em go! But above all, Don’t shame them for ‘accidents’. I LOVE the approach of a wonderful mom named Tara. Check out her blog on potty training here. What she is doing is really the thing that makes any ‘technique’ work- the love and cooperative spirit that you show in being there for your kids. You are on their side, and they can feel it, see it and know it for the great support that it is. How could they NOT want to cooperate with someone like that?

Question: What about while they are learning? Should I use ‘pullups’ or regular underwear?

HEIDI (a fantastic mother of FIVE) made this wise observation ABOUT ‘pull-ups’:
“Pullups = a diaper ; a DIAPER = go ahead and pee.”

I agree! SMART MAMA, HEIDI! THANKS for your contribution to the mom’s and kids of the world! I could never afford pullups anyway and thought they were probably invented to get more of my hard-earned money! Some ‘experts’ believe that children actually learn faster when they can feel their ‘mistake’ running down their legs, but you do have to be able to
 afford the time and handling more mess to allow it! But what about kids DOESN’T involve mess? There’s no avoiding it – JUMP RIGHT IN FOLKS! Join the FUN!

Question: What  about CONSTIPATION?

In Constipation, the one thing that always seems to be the problem is a need for more fiber, probiotics, plus more water in the diet, (grape juice works wonders too!). To show the kids how drinking more water helps them go to the bathroom easier, you can demonstrate the mechanics this way: Stuff a wad of toilet paper into an empty toilet paper tube, hold it over the sink and try to shake the paper out the bottom of the tube. Then tell them, “This won’t come out, because it’s dry. BUT – if I pour water into the tube, it will come right out the bottom!”

Brenda Watson tells all about FIBER and it’s benefits: She calls it the HOPE method to improve health – Have you heard about her on PBS? Hope stands for:
H= High Fiber
O= Omega three oils
P= Probiotics
E= Enzymes
I’ve learned a lot from watching her, and now I’ve lost 10 lbs without trying, plus never have constipation if I follow the diet that way. I heard someone say long ago:
“CONSTIPATION IS THE THIEF OF HEALTH” and it seems to be true!
Though it is a rather ‘crappy’ topic to discuss, it is important. Learn what you can, do your best and don’t worry – everything will come out all right in the end!

What about teaching them to WIPE? 

Here are some great links to help kids learn to wipe:

LINK 1: http://en.allexperts.com/q/Pediatrics-1429/teaching-child-clean-BM.htm
LINK 2: http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/8/586186

—From this site I read a cute ‘game’ you can make of wiping skills:
“We make a game of how many wipes it will take, so I will say, ‘I think it is a 3 wipe poo’ and he will say, ‘nope it is 5’, and promptly wipe and check, wipe and check and see who had the best guess before his bottom is clean!”
LINK 3: http://parents.berkeley.edu/advice/potty/wiping.html
LINK 4: http://www.thelaboroflove.com/articles/how-to-teach-your-child-to-wipe-while-learning-to-use-the-potty/