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 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.
Parents are always on the look-out for tools to help make potty training easier.
One of the tools available is the potty training doll.
Dolls that wet have been around for ages. The doll "drinks" a bottle of water
and then wets into a diaper. The potty training doll is the same concept only
it's designed to "wet" when it's held upright over a potty chair or toilet.
The theory is, if the child sees the doll using the potty, she will get the idea
and use the potty herself. There isn't any hard and fast research either way on
the effectiveness of the dolls in potty training a child.
Worth a Shot?
If the price of the doll is within your budget and you feel your child will
respond positively to it, by all means give it a try. If, for some reason, your
child doesn't like it or is frightened by it, don't use it again.
Anything that makes potty training easier should be explored and used if your
child responds favorably to it.
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.