I always tell people that you can do anything in 3 days, when it comes to common parenting milestones. Like taking a soother away or bottle, getting your child to sleep through the night, changing a bad behaviour, or potty training. Now I know some of you are thinking I've fallen off my rocker, but I believe that with a lot of consistancy and patience you can do many things in three days.
Today I started training my youngest (and last) child. It is bittersweet to not have a "baby" in the house, to be rid of diapers, and "onsies", but every stage in a family brings new joys, and as good as these last stages have been, I know that the joy ain't goin' anywhere! :)
Isabella is the 6th or 7th child that I have trained. Having an in-home daycare in the past sure adds up the amount of times you experience potty training! I have learned several things when it comes to potty training that I thought I would share. Take 'em or leave 'em.
1. Set small goals. Very small. This leaves very little room for disappointment.
2. Flood train. A good friend of mine works with autistic children and they use the "flooding" method to train. She told me about it when I trained Savannah. This way there is no guessing game. You know they are going to pee, and likely a lot which hopefully allows opportunity for some success. (Thanks great friend....you know who you are ;) )
3. Be patient. Don't get frustrated with little puddles, and the 10 changes of clothes on the first day.
4. Be the ultimate encourager. I find that kids don't really need treats or bribbery. It may help you both, and that's ok, but what they need most is a LOT of encouragement. For instance, tell them how great they are doing just sitting on the potty. Every time. No matter how little or how long they sit there for.
5. Get excited! There is nothing that I love to do more then get excited after a little tinkle ;) I mean, I shout and holler and jump up and down and dance and sing and laugh and hug and kiss... which makes little ones giggle and smile and shout and holler and jump up and down and dance and sing and giggle and smile more and more!!!!! They beam with pride!!!
Isabella isn't trained...yet. But I just set a small goal today (see #1) I hoped that she would know when she was wet. That was it. And guess what....she did!! I guess that's what happens when you give them lots to drink (#2) By being patient with her (see #3) I didn't get frustrated with the puddles (or when she peed right on me, or in my chair....twice...little monkey), she wasn't nervous or unsure of anything. She was free to learn, even learnign to help clean up the puddles :). That goes right into encouraging her. (#4) Every time she had an accident I would get her to sit on the potty. And I would say, "this is where your pee goes" which she would reply, "oh" LOL. I know that she just needed some time, and finally I caught her at the right time, and she made it to the potty in time!! (See #5) WOOT WOOT!! Once a child sees that excitement and recieves all that love and encouragement, I know that it just helps the process along :) Now remember, it wasn't my goal to have her pee in the potty today (Although I was sure hoping for it) In my eyes as far as I was concerned, if it had ended there, and she just kept having accidents, I would have considered the day a great success. But it just kept getting better! All together Isabella had 10 accidents and 6 successes :) The very last time she went, she went all by herself to the potty, before having any accidents. And everytime she did have an accident this afternoon, she went to the potty right after without me even having to ask her!
Potty Training Day 1..... huge success!!! I'll keep ya posted on how things go tomorrow.
I have always admired those who take time to offer thoughts and advice through blogging. And I have learned so much through their words and have often been encouraged. With three girls, working on the family dairy farm, a passion for youth ministry, I find it difficult to find something just for me. I have had a journal for all of my adult life, and find writing very therapeutic, so why not. I don't know if my words will have an impact on anyone, or teach anyone anything. But I will be satisfied knowing that I am taking some time out for me. This is my great escape.