As a mom of 5, potty training is one of the topics other parents ask me about most. After all, I have successfully potty trained 4 of my 5 children, (the youngest is only 11 months old, so we’ll give him some time), and I worked for many years in the 2 year old classroom of a daycare center where the children had to be completely potty trained before they could move up to the 3 year old class.
Obviously, I have worked with many, many children through the years, and not one of them was wearing diapers to kindergarten! (Even though I was certain that some of them just might!)
Fourth, rewards are wonderful, but they can become a major problem. If you promise your child an M & M every time they pee on the potty, they are going to start expecting rewards for other things they do. And there will be fights, screaming fits, and temper tantrums when you decide to take the rewards away. A great way to avoid this problem is to implement a different kind of reward system, or maybe not even use one at all! If you feel that your child would do better with tangible rewards, try using a sticker chart. Then, once they fill up their sticker chart (after 1 week, 2 weeks, etc), allow them to pick out a small toy at the store. This tactic worked great with my our oldest. She was thrilled just to put the stickers on the sticker chart. Or, if there’s a larger item that they’ve got their heart set on, consider a bargain – “If you go 3 weeks without an accident, you can get that toy.” We did this with my second child. He had his heart set on a Spiderman blanket. After 3 weeks of no accidents, we surprised him with that blanket. It’s been 3 years, and he’s still never had an accident and still sleeps with that same blanket every single night. In all honesty, though, kids really don’t need rewards. Praise, cheering, and admiration by their parents, peers, and teachers, are enough to make them want to go on the potty.