Friday, April 14, 2006

"The Jealousy Method" - For potty training parents only

Lucinda over at Suburban Turmoil has reminded me about those halcyon days of potty training. I commented on her site about my proven method but it's such an important topic to so many parents, I feel a responsibility to share my knowledge with a wider audience. I know for a fact that at least one of my regular readers has an infant. If I can help even one person..... So, Lucinda, like I did for awhile, is going the naked baby route. Her very funny post illustrates the dangers associated with such a method. When Girlie was two, we tried the naked approach with similar results. Girlie would run around the house shouting, "Nudie! Nudie!" She'd play with her toys, engage me in a game of chase, and occasionally even take a little peek at her plastic safety potty. But the usual result was something like this: she would sit on the potty; do nothing; go play with her plastic toy food; poop while standing up over the plastic lettuce leaf; and say, "uh oh." That really happened. A plastic lettuce leaf spared our carpet. So what's a mom to do? Heh, heh. Find your child's most desired treat. For Girlie it was chocolate chips. Oh sure, you promise her that she'll get one if she does her thing in the potty but that's not the part that works. What you MUST THEN DO, is reward your mommy self with a chocolate chip every time YOU go to the bathroom. Make sure your child sees you eating those chocolate chips and exclaim quite loudly about their deliciousness. Then say something encouraging like, "I sure hope you get to have a chocolate chip today. Mmmmmm." Girlie was potty trained in about a day after I employed that method. You're welcome.


Dineen said...

I guess my question is, then what? Are you destined to feed the child candy for poop for the rest of his or her life? Not quite getting the "then what" has been the part that has stopped me from using this method with my 2.75 year old son.

Wendy Boucher said...

Yes. She's potty trained but has no teeth left. Hah, kidding of course. It was amazing how quickly she forgot about candy once going to the toilet was routine. We might have eased off slowly, rewarding each day instead of each time. Can't remember. But she's seven now and doesn't have toilet issues or a sweet tooth.

Addison said...

I'm wondering if it would work with kittens....although I don't see myself eating a lizard and then exclaiming how good it is to make the kitty jealous.....I also don't think I'd wanna do the whole litterbox thing personally, considering I'd still have to scoop it.

Writer Mom said...

We did this.
Chocolate chips and all.
Our eldest would rather crawl under his bed and poop his pants than sit on the toilet.
We tried everything. Even tried being stern and practical. Then one day I was eating chocolate chips to calm my nerves, and it struck me!
The first time he did his dootie, we made such a big show of our relief, he forgot about the chocolate. It became more like, 'You like that, huh? Check THIS out!' More poop.
And now I realize it's time to start my daughter. We're going right to chocolate this time, and skipping the 'rational chats.'

Suburban Turmoil said...

This is such a great idea. I'm glad I read this post, because it explains the whole thing in greater detail.

I have found lots of info on preparing your child for potty training, but very little on how to actually do it.

I can't wait to try this. I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks! :)

Wendy Boucher said...

I would love to hear your results, Lucinda. It looks like it worked with Writer Mom too.

All kids are different but I'm wishing you great success!

dineen said...

Ah, that makes sense. Bought some mini M&Ms and will give them a try this weekend. Poop is my nemises. He is making good progress on the pee front, but poop, not so much. Notice how when you become a parent you no longer have any compunctions about talking about poop!?!?!?