By Paul Jason James
Many parents approach potty training with the same enthusiasm they would have for gum surgery; it's a necessary evil to be tolerated. It doesn't have to be all drudgery though if you use a little creativity to make it interesting for everyone.
When To Get Creative
Certainly, if you are already in the potty training process and things aren't going especially well, getting creative is better than getting frustrated. You don't have to wait until you're at that point though. Using some creative ideas to introduce the potty training concept to your child can prevent resistance.
Introducing the Idea
If potty training is your child's idea (or he thinks it is) the entire process becomes easier. A few thoughtfully planted comments about big kids using the potty and little kids wearing diapers can spark your child's desire to be one of the big kids and have him asking you to help him learn to use the potty.
Let your child be part of the potty training advice planning process. Take him shopping with you and let him choose his own big boy underwear and stickers to use on his potty training success chart if you use one.
Some parents are reluctant to give rewards for potty training success because they feel the child is only doing what he's supposed to do anyway. Others have great success with potty training charts where a child places a sticker each time he uses the potty with a small reward being earned for every few stickers.
Rewarding children for good behavior reinforces the behavior. Rewards don't have to be candy or snacks and are better if they aren't.
A trip to the park, an extra story at bedtime, special recognition for an accident-free day all work to motivate the child to do well again.
By spending a little time thinking of creative ways to potty train your child, you make the process more interesting and less of a chore for everyone.
I am a preschool and primary school teacher and mum to 3 children. I have been involved in education since 1997 and have trained in a variety of educational specialist areas. It is with this expertise that I write articles to help parents and educators provide quality learning experiences for the children in their care.