Toothpaste does the trick!
Recently my 1 yr. old took permanent marker to my hardwood kitchen floor. Yes, I made the same face you did! It was an area of 3 ft by 2 ft! Well, after trying every chemically induced cleaner and household remedy, the only thing that worked was rubbing toothpaste into it, then scrubbing with a wet washcloth. I used Colgate, but I’m sure any ole brand will do! – Chris McK.
Knock-knock…and that’s it!
When we are doing our bedtime reading routine, the kids pick out their books but when it is time for the last book, I knock on that book and say “knock – knock, last book”. The kids usually knock on it too for fun but they know that this is the last one that will be read. There are never any arguments or pleas for one more because the signal has been given and acknowledged. An added and unexpected bonus is that this technique has carried over in other areas…. last chip, last cookie, last anything. The knock – knock has some nice transfer power! – Amanda A.
Is that a raisin in your nose?
My son shoved a raisin up his nose this winter. I called the doctor on call b/c it was a Sunday night and while I was waiting for the on-call doc to call us back, I jumped on the computer and it said to block the other nostril and blow a quick breath in their mouth and it should come flying out. Yes, it sounds very strange, but It worked! My son wasn’t too happy with me that night, but his nose was raisin-free. – Julie T.
To potty-train my toddler, we tried everything from offering her fruit snacks, cookies, trips to the mall, money…nothing stuck. I realized I wasn’t offering her the right motivation. Her favorite thing to do is color. So, I created a coloring game. I drew stars on the top half and heart shapes on the bottom. Whenever she would pee, she’d get to color in a star. When she pooped, a heart-shape! We taped 2 crayons to the wall next to the drawing and the minute she got off of the toilet, she’d grab a crayon and color in her shape. At the bottom of the sheet, I wrote “I’m a big girl now! _______” with a place to enter the date when she colored in the entire drawing. I also took the risk and had her go diaper-free during the day. We only suffered one accident (and of course it was out in public!) After close to a year of off-again, on-again potty-training, she was trained within a week and has a nice piece of art for her baby book!” – Erin S.
The following section is contributed by Laurel R.:
Use the Books My son is a strong-willed child. If he doesn’t want to do something, chances are it won’t happen. I wanted potty training to be his idea, not mine. Shortly after his second birthday I gave him some potty-themed books for kids (Once Upon a Potty by Alona Frankel and The Potty Book for Boys by Alyssa Satin Capucilli). I thought it would take a few months for the idea to sink in but it was almost immediate (beware of how early you introduce the books!). He would tear off his diaper, run into the bathroom, and sit on the potty. It took another several months before he did anything but sit.
Show the Videos Like the books, the videos make the child interested in the concept and make them feel like they have company along the way. Our favorite was Potty Time with Bear in the Big Blue House. Before committing to a purchase we borrowed videos from the library. Some were horrible and some were not very engaging (including Once Upon a Potty), so be careful.
Get a Potty Chair I tried to skip this step because I thought a potty chair would be a crutch that we would have to overcome later in order to use the regular toilet and toilets away from home. He went for months sitting on the toilet but not using it. Then, I read an advice article written by a pediatrician that spelled out why a potty chair is important: the child can easily sit on it him/herself and the child’s feet reach the floor. For some kids, using the potty is a big enough leap without feeling unsafe and intimidated by an adult-sized toilet filled with water that makes a loud noise. As soon as I bought a potty chair, he started to use it.
Rewards Work Once my son started using the potty we needed to overcome the idea that this was a novelty; it was a lifestyle change. I resisted edible rewards and tried to use a sticker chart that lead to a small toy. The sticker chart was a failure and so were concepts like collecting Skittles during the day and eating them later. Sadly, saving for future enjoyment did not work for my kids; they required bribes and immediate fulfillment. Once I accepted this, it was just a matter of figuring out what the “price” was to get the behavior I wanted. For both, 5 Skittles per pee worked. Poop required a hefty reward of a $1-3.50 toy per day but it was worth every penny spent. Hopefully, you can negotiate for less. . .
Make Pull-Ups Work for You I used Pull-Ups with my son for the last couple months of fine tuning. We used the dry design ones so that we both knew what was going on. He understood that it was never okay to use the Pull-Ups like diapers. There were two styles of dry designs in the box and he preferred one over the other. He got the preferred design if he stayed dry and the less favored when he wet. The threat of reverting back to diapers was always there and sometimes employed. When he got to the point he could go through the night dry and we got down to one accident per day (always after lunch before nap!!) I took the Pull-Ups away. After a week of 1-3 accidents per day he figured it out and has never looked back. I think because he was interested before he was physically ready for potty training the process took us a while but he was finished by three years old.
Every Kid is Different My children are less than 13 months apart and my daughter was in the bathroom with her brother before she could walk (not by my choice!!). She would happily pee as a novelty from time to time. I thought training her would be easy – that would be my just reward for slogging through months of trial-and-error with my son, right? Wrong. I tried cold turkey with her one weekend about three months before her third birthday. She clearly was not physically ready because she had SOOO many accidents in the space of two days. I waited until after the holidays until within one month of her third birthday. The plan was to tighten the time span of training for the second kid. When she learned that it was now HER turn to change her ways she really dug in her heels. She would stand in the middle of the room with fists raised yelling phrases like “DIAPERS FOREVER” or make nonsensical statements like “Underwear is for babies, diapers are for kids.” The more I tried to reason and prod, the more difficult she became. Unlike her brother, she was not easily bribed – there was nothing she wanted that badly: she did not care if she ever went to school, she did not want underwear, etc. All we could do was control our part of the bargain: we made everything available to her (Pull-Ups less so because she only used them as diapers), we made it clear that potty training was not going away, and we told her we wanted her to do this for herself because we loved her. Eventually she came around and is 98% of the way along at 3.5 years.
It is Not About You Unlike most things in life, no matter how much you apply yourself and the resources available to potty training, you may not get the results you expect or deserve. There comes a point when you realize that your child’s lack of interest in or ability with potty training is not a reflection on you. Some people put zero effort into this department and reap the maximum reward of a child training him/herself (all kids are different!). I caught myself a few times thinking that if only I did not work and stayed home every day that I would have better success. Not so! My sister and neighbor are both stay-at-home moms who put in as much or more effort than I did and had the same issues. You can only truly control your behavior and level of support, not your child’s. There likely will come a time when you realize you have done everything you can and that’s probably when things will begin to turn around because the child will sense you are no longer pushing so hard. – Laurel R.
As a mother of a 13 year old daughter and an 11 year old son, as well as a 2 year old son, I can give a bit of advice on this topic. With my oldest, I tried to train my daughter at around 2 before my second son was born in order to make it easier on myself. Not a good idea. It took months on end and resulted in endless frustration for both of us. She just wasn’t ready, but was smart enough to figure out she was in control. She eventually got it (as they all do) at around 3. Consequently, when my second son was approaching 3, I asked him when he wanted to start using the potty like his sister. He promptly responded ‘Don’t know, don’t care.’ I left it at that. The weekend of his 3rd birthday, he asked to use the potty. He was fully trained by the end of the week, not one accident. With my youngest son, who just turned 2 in July, I will not even give it a thought until next spring. He’s very bright and will pick up quickly, like my daughter did, that he’s in control and he’ll do it in his own good time. My advice – patience, patience, patience. Don’t try to rush it, it will come in time, when they are ready. – Donna R.