When we first started the potty training process for my little boy, it seemed like it was going to be anything but fun. I got my hopes up that I could start him pretty early and he would just pick it up really quick and I’d feel like an amazing accomplished mom! That didn’t happen. What has happened though is I’ve learned that I don’t have to rush him, I don’t have to compare him to other potty training masters, and the whole experience doesn’t have to be miserable.
It’s really popular right now to do the 3 day lock-yourself-in-the-house-until-they’re-potty-trained method. Because of that I started out thinking that three days was the time limit I should expect before my kid fully understood how to go potty on the potty. From my own experience of trying it, and from talking to other moms who did it and “succeeded”, I now know that method is more like boot camp. When people told me their kids were potty trained after that method I literally thought they meant from that moment on, their child told them when they needed to go and went. Come to find out, for most people it just meant they’d put them in underwear officially now and dealt with occasional, and sometimes not occasional accidents. In my idealistic mind, I had a different definition of what it meant to be potty trained, and felt like a failure when my son wasn’t telling me he needed to go potty every time.
Since then I’ve heard the term “potty training journey” and can really get behind that. I guess I just want to remind other idealistic moms like me that accidents are going to happen because come to find out, potty training is just like everything else about parenting. There is no magic method out there that you should be following to succeed. There is a different kid and a different parent in every scenario. There are innumerable variables effecting the situation. You’ve just got to buckle in and do your best.
In my child-parent scenario I have a fun-loving son with a systematic mom. Potty training goes best for both of us when I back off a little, let him be in charge, and make it fun. If you think adding a little fun will help your child in the potty training process then try some of these!
Police Officer with a Walkie Talkie: Get a walkie talkie for them (Or even just pretend to talk to them on a walkie talkie. That is how this method started out!) and when they need a reminder to go potty get on your walkie talkie and ask, “officer ______, do you need to go potty?” Or encourage them to get on the walkie talkie to tell you when they need to go potty. OR when they are doing the potty dance and being super stubborn, you can send out a full on police call for the officer and tell him that he is needed on the potty case right now!!
Firefighter: In addition to using the walkie talkie to call a police officer, you can also switch it up to call a firefighter, Iron Man, Paw (potty) Patrol, etc. but I like calling the firefighter because he’s very prone to “put out the fire” I found in the potty. It has really helped my little boy aim.
Phone a friend: One thing that really helped get the excitement going in the beginning for my social boy was calling Grandma, daddy, or his aunt every time he went. He felt so special to use the phone all by himself and choose who to call.
Megaphone: Get a megaphone and set it on the back of the toilet. Whenever they go potty they get to announce it to the world on the megaphone.
Rewards of their choice: When we first started, I picked out his potty treats but quickly discovered that it worked much better if he picked them out himself. We most recently went to the dollar store and he picked out a few toys and is just dying to earn them! (Check out this Pyramid Potty Chart)
Reward for yourself: Bonus tip! Get yourself a reward. It can be a frustrating journey so make sure you let yourself have fun too.
What else do you do to make potty training fun?