Many people differ on rewarding children for pottying. They have the notion that why are we rewarding a child for doing something that they are supposed to be doing. The answer to that question from my momma point of view is this: They are still young and learning the skill of independently using the potty. They have spent the last two years (or however old they are before you start training) peeing and pooping on themselves without any object from us. Now we want to teach them that it’s not good to potty on yourself and that you need to do it in the potty. We are retraining their little fragile brains. Kids learn by incentive and praise-it’s natural in our parenting whether we are cheering, clapping, jumping up and down or buying them a new toy because they did well at daycare their first week. Incentives are all around us and motivate us all, young and old, to do our best and excel.
For Duce we did colorful stickers, high fives, verbal praise, clapping, cheering, singing and dancing every time he went potty or made the attempt. This was very important the first week, because I wanted him to understand that he was doing a great big boy task and Mommy and Daddy were very proud of him. After every 3 successful attempts he would get a pack of fruit snacks (he pottied 6-9 times a day, so 2 packs a fruit snacks a day for a week, before I started to feel sorry for his teeth and passed on that incentive). At the end of the day he was awarded a small colorful car that he loved. After 6 potties in a day he got a freeze pop/popsicle.
We started scaling back by week 3 and Duce was very accepting of this and still performed very well. He would get an incentive after 6 potties and an end of the day incentive. Once we entered week 4 the incentives decreased drastically, but successfully. He still received a sticker and praise every time he pottied, but instead of fruit snacks/cars/popsicles every 6 times and at the end of the day, he was only given a special award at the end of the evening to celebrate a successful day of pottying.
The key with rewards is that as parents we have to choose the ones that are most effective. Then you have to decide when to taper back on the rewards as your child develops the skill. Rewards evolve and eventually disappear as the desired skill becomes a habit. Stick with it mommas. You know what your kids like, so use that to motivate them, but also remember and be encouraged that verbal praise goes a long way. Our kids love to hear that we are proud of them and love them. That especially reinforces the behavior we want to see, and in turn produces a successfully potty trained champion.
We are still on an uphill journey with potty training Duce. He has yet to master pooping in the potty consistently. Every now and then he will tell us that he has to poop and actually goes and poops. And believe me we make a HUGE DEAL! Yet, this is a task that Duce isn’t ready to champion yet, and that is okay. Our next goal is to get him to at least tell us when he has to poop so that we can get him to the potty or even in a pull up so he isn’t going on himself and messing up his undies. Mommy and Daddy have also realized when he usually poops because of successful logging, so we can put him in a pull up right before. We are working towards undies all day including for outings, and we are happy to say that Duce remains dry during most outings which lets us know that we are on the right track and close to our next goal.
Potty Training is a very sanctifying experience that God uses to shape and evolve our faith in Him and our faith in our children. Our patience grows tremendously and we get the opportunity to fall in love everyday with our children as they master potty training. Our love abounds in this time and our children’s trust in us grows even more. Patience is an understatement, but must be stated because what I learned about potty training Duce was that I could easily get upset and yell when he peed and especially pooped on himself every time, but what would that teach him? That he is supposed to be perfect? Because that is far from true, and especially in the eyes of God. I wanted to teach my son that as he learns new skills he can trust mommy and daddy to cheer him on along the way, teaching and molding him into the boy God designed him to be. We wanted to reinforce his smartness, independence and bravery for accepting such a challenge as understanding and controlling his body. Duce is proud of himself now. When he potties he doesn’t need mommy and daddy to tell him good job and clap for him, he does it himself (we still praise him verbally and give high fives). What better than having a child that encourages himself? Blessings to you mommas and your babies on this journey. I wish you a time full of grace, patience and potty training success!
WAIT! WAIT! Potty training wouldn’t be possible without the right potty, right? Don’t worry mommas, I got you! Check out PART III of this potty training blog as I review the potties that Duce and I used. I will share which ones worked for us along with pros and cons. You don’t want to miss it! You will save time, money and be able to successfully kick start your own potty training with your little one! See you soon!
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~Soli deo Gloria💜
Copyright © 2019 by Da’Quisha Whitaker
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