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Potty Training
by Jodie Lynn

If you want to get the job done, you will have to put in the time. Summer is usually a good time to get the real potty training completed since kids can run around outside with big boy/girl pants on and get sprayed off with the hose for any accidents. Keep a potty outside and inside as well.

If at the end of two weeks, your child is not potty trained, try again later. Do not spank, yell or threaten. If you do, a power play will become the center stage in this overwhelming endeavor; unfortunately for parents, the kids win on this one. They can use potty in the potty or potty in the underwear as a powerful tool in retaliation. Also, keep in mind, a child may not be totally potty trained at night for a while. Don't become upset if accidents happen because they will. Expect them and go with the flow.

Here are a few tips that have seemed to work for others.

1. Concentrate on potty training only. Don't make it hard on kids but you will have to watch them almost every minute. Do not go anywhere with them for two weeks unless you can take the potty with you.

2. Use stickers as a reward. Let them pick out the stickers at a store.

3. Wrap up small gifts found at garage sales as rewards after each time they successfully go to the bathroom. Children love to open presents. Put them inside a big box and let them choose the one they want to open. Rewrap them. That's right. Use them over and over. After they begin to get potty trained, tell and show them there are only 6 presents left and then, "they'll be all gone." Each time you let them open one, say, "Look, there's only 5 more left, but we have stickers," -- or whatever else you'd like to use.

2. Do not use food as a reward. Sweets, candy, or any type of food is not good for a positive reward system at this age. It will only leave them anticipating food as rewards for other accomplishments and could lead to eating disorders later in life.

3. After each successful potty trip, clap and say, "Whoohoo. You are such a big boy/girl! Good job!" Go call someone and share the news. Let the child tell them about how good of a job that the did. This only reinforces positive experiences for potty training.

4. Make up a calendar with tons of pictures of your child on it. Make the days of the week large squares to have plenty of room for the stickers. Let your child put up a big star each time he/she goes to the potty on that specific day.

5. Put Cheerios in the toilet and let the boys aim at them. Since they are a little more difficult to potty train, there are other incentives on today's market to attract little boys to the potty. Check at your favorite discount store for such tools.

6. Buy lots of books at garage sales. Keep a box of books by the potty. If possible, read a page or two or share a picture book. Read one or two books, if your little one needs to go number two.

7. Monitor food and liquid intake. Take your child to the potty on a schedule. You will have to watch the clock to see when the last time something was eaten or drank.

8. Cut out liquids two hours before bedtime and no caffeine -- ever.

9. Ship your precious little one off to grandmas or an aunt's house, if things get too hairy. Sometimes, other folks can potty train our children better than we can. If you have a relative who is willing to help and your kiddo won't "walk the plank" for you, let someone else try. You might be surprised how quickly the job will be completed.

10. Buy my book, Mommy-CEO, 096591254X, (revised edition) for a few of the best tips collected from other parents over the last few years that worked on potty training for their children. Remember, accidents will occur at the least expected time. Stay cool and anticipate it as part of parenthood............this too shall pass

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