Tuesday, December 11, 2007

My First Works For Me Wednesday Post

One of my blog roll people hosts a really neat and not so little thing called Works For Me Wednesday. Bloggers post tips on all kinds of topics and I have finally come up with one I thought might be worthy of sharing.

Potty Training - the bane of many mommies' existence, causing a whole lot of tears, hair pulling, and desperate pleas for help.

My oldest was a *breeze* to potty train. In fact there was very little "training" involved. By 2 1/2 years old, I introduced the potty, let her sit on it a few times, then she found some Dora panties she had to have. I explained that panties meant going potty every time and she agreed. One day and one accident later, she was completely daytime potty-trained.

Fast forward to daughter #2. We adopted her at 20-months and waited awhile to introduce the potty. We finally got one, used the same laid-back approach as the oldest, and nothing. There was no interest. We waited some more and her 3rd birthday passed. We tried pressing it a little harder and still there was no interest. I was determined we were going to do this, so we tried all the common techniques - running around naked, rewards, books, princess panties, even an Elmo doll that went potty. She could care less if she was wet (or worse). I had almost given into despair when I read a blog post about "toy jail".

And I thought about the fact that toys are L's weak spot.

So I picked a large box and showed it to L. This is toy jail and every time you wet your pants, one toy (or set) gets put into toy jail. To make it relevant, I told her which toy set she would lose at the next accident (dishes, leapster, Barbies, ponies, etc.). When she had an accident, I put the designated toy in the box, put the box up high in her closet where she could see it as a reminder, and tell her which toy was next.

This went on for several days and she'd almost filled up the box, but then she made it through a whole day dry. That night we celebrated and I had a sticker chart with 6 spots where we put one sticker. When she had made it through 6 days without an accident, she could get her toys out of toy jail.

She had 3 stickers before she had another accident and since there were extenuating circumstances, I told her she got one freebie and she didn't earn a sticker that day. However, if she had another accident, she would lose all her stickers and have to start over.

L made it through and earned the rest of her stickers without any problem, getting all her toys back. She also learned to have pride in the fact that she *can* stay dry and we haven't had any further backsliding in the potty-training area. It's been especially difficult for her as she is currently on a diuretic post-surgery and so the potty trips have been more frequent and urgent, but she still *wants* to wear panties and *wants* to stay dry and does a fabulous job of it.

I think the toy jail worked so well as it was a novel concept to my girls, so they had fun with it, and the fact that L *loves* her toys. I just had to find L's personal motivation. And I don't have to worry that L will pass her (fast approaching) 4th birthday still in pull-ups. Thank goodness!


Ms Eva said...

My little guy is approaching 3 and I may have to give this a try. However, I sent him to time-out once and he started banging on his door and kicking the wall. When his older sister does this, I take away a toy for each offense. I attempted the same with him and actually started giving me the toys himself.... even those he considers his favorites. So, I'm not sure it would work. I must keep an open mind though, perhaps that was just an off day. :{

Thanks for the idea!

Lindsie said...

Welcome to WFMW!

Thanks for your potty training tip, I'm getting ready to start potty training our son and this is a great idea if I need it.

Dimple Queen said...

Great Idea...we have tried everything with our 3 year old. Her older brother was completely potty trained by 2! Not her...she is so strong willed! I am hoping though that we have finally made it through! If not, and we have another set back, then I will definitely be trying this one!!!

SAHMmy Says said...

Great idea! I know that most potty training advice tends toward positive-only methods, but this is a real from-the-trenches idea--love it!