Potty Time

Princess Potty ChairWe haven’t reached the point in Potty Training where we go cold turkey — that is, just put her in the Big Girl Underwear and deal with the mess until she learns.

We’ve decided to try the Potty Chart route, first. My wife printed up a Potty Chart, and we bought little star stickers. Everytime she sits on the potty, whether something happens or not, as long as she makes the effort, she gets a star. When she fills a row with stars (10, in this case), she gets to pick a toy from the Toy Bag or Toy Box – we haven’t yet decided.

We bought a bunch of toys for the local Dollar Store. We let her help pick them out (not surprisingly, many toys are Disney Princess toys), which may have been our mistake.

You see, we have repeatedly tried to explain to her that she gets to pick one toy, and one toy only, but only after she fills a row with stars.

I think she understands this — wait, let me correct that — I think she’s capable of understanding this, but the allure of toys is dumbing her down to the point where she is struggling a bit with this concept.

See what happens after the jump…
It all started with, “let me see potty chart!” We’d show her the chart. “That’s not potty chart! Where’s my potty chart toy?”

Apparently, she thought Potty Chart == Toy at first.

Then, I think she started to get it*. We’d explain it to her again, “Each time you sit on the potty, you get a star. When you get enough to fill the row, 10, you can pick a toy.”

“I wanna sit on the potty!” Now we’re getting somewhere. So, we’d sit on the potty, she do what she needed to do, then jump down off the potty. “I went potty! Now I get a toy!”

Eventually, as the day wore on, and she got more and more tired, it devolved into, “I want my toy! I want my purse!” She had picked out a $1.00 purse that she fell in love with.

Finally, she got the purse. I think things are going to get better. I think she’ll be happy for a bit while we work on row 2.

Wait, what’s that, sweetie?

“I want my toy glasses to put in my puuuuuuuuurse!”

Sigh. Anyone have any hints for Potty Chart Success?

(Many places, including PottyTrainingConcepts sell the above Princess, and the corresponding Prince potty chair for around $69.00, if you are so inclined — our daughter uses one of those GrownUp Potty Adapter thingies.)

*UPDATE: I almost forgot – I knew my daughter was starting to understand the concept that she needed to fill a row to get a toy when, after going potty, I told her we needed to add a star to her chart and she said, “lots and LOTS of stars!”


3 Responses to Potty Time

  1. Terry says:

    We used a potty chart, with stickers and a toy reward. It worked… ehhh, well, with about the same result. It’s a great primer, but for us it wasn’t the end all be all.

    What did work was that we bought and borrow potties, we had about 4 of them around the house and one that we would carry to be in close proximity. We then let the kid run with Big Boy underwear for a short time, making a big deal about the privilege he had of wearing them. We showed him where the potty was and everything. As it progress we let him watch some TV on the potty. Then we he became regular and predictable, we started taking the potties away one at a time.

    All of the potties that we had were different, so that he would get used to different toilets and not have to use “That Special One”. One of them even made trumpets sounds.

    Good Luck, because once you get Potty Trained inside the home, there’s that whole “outside the Home” potty training too… cheers!

    [Kaz: The way it is going, if we get her Potty Trained in our home, we’ll just never let her leave the house. Takes care of the whole “dating” thing at the same time!]

  2. Karen says:

    I was very frustrated as well with potty training. When I was researching potty training a common theme seemed to be praise and positive reinforcement. I came across a website called http://www.pottytrainingrewards.com. We hung it in the kitchen and named the little boy on the front of the package, Bobby. My son could not wait to go to the potty so he could push the button, hear the praising message, and get his chocolate reward from, Bobby. It really got my son excited about using the potty himself and it was fun for him. Because he became so involved, potty training was easy. So give it a try.

  3. I agree with Karen about positive reinforcement. I really think this works for everything.

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