a word on potty training.

So Quinn’s been using the potty for liquid business for a while now.  We’re in our second accident-free week, and it looks like we’ll be able to turn our backs on diapers for good (at least for Quinn, that is.)

There are many experts out on the Intertubes on every possible subject, and potty training is certainly one of them.  Quinn was pretty resistant to our earlier potty training attempts, and relapsed back into diapers every time.  (“Hey, Daddy will get rid of the mess, and I don’t have to expend any effort, so tell me a agin why I should use that thing?”)  We tried a few different methods with lukewarm results, including a disastrous weekend where Robin fed Quinn all the salty snacks and apple juice he wanted, with the stipulation that he either had to use the potty, or clean the mess up by himself. (Guess what happened, and who ended up cleaning the puddles?)

The method that finally worked?  Naked, unabashed bribery.  The negative reinforcement didn’t work, so we switched to positive reinforcement.  Robin brought home a few bags of halloween candy (the little orange cream pumpkins), and Quinn was told that he can claim one every time he uses the potty successfully.

Within a week, the kid developed iron bladder control.  The lure of the candies was so strong that he basically rushed to the potty every time he had a few drops of pee in his bladder.  There hasn’t been a single accidental release of what is now liquid currency to him–he’d rather redeem that pee for some fabulous sugary treats.  I had to curb his potty usage frequency by setting the bar for candy payout a bit higher, because he ended up using the potty every twenty minutes.  Now he’s so used to the potty business that he uses the thing even when he doesn’t get a reward.  Goal achieved, I’d say.

Next up is the part with the solids, which so far has eluded him, despite good efforts. As an incentive, we’ve bought a whole platoon of his beloved Thomas the Tank Engine trains, and he can start earning the collection piece by piece simply by redeeming some poop for them.

Some experts will undoubtedly shake their heads at our unabashed bribery, but you know what?  That kid can pee in the potty now, and all it took was two $1 bags of cream pumpkins.  You can’t argue with results.


13 thoughts on “a word on potty training.

  1. pax says:

    I’m all for bribery, when it works.

    Favorite trick for little boys who can’t have candy for one reason or another: drop a Cheerio into the toilet bowl and tell them to sink it. Oh, the joy!

  2. Grape Ape says:

    My wife doesn’t want to give our sprat that much sugar, but we had great luck using those tiny pickles and green olives for bribes.

  3. Deanna says:

    We’re into bribery too! lol Worked for us and our son. Poop in the toilet (he never wanted to use a potty, wanted to go in the toilet like his big sister) and you get a new Hot Wheels car!

    Eventually we weened him off the cars and told him “You’re a big boy now, you’re just like everyone else. You don’t see us getting new toys every time we poop!” lol

  4. theflatwhite says:

    It works for politicians too.
    Every time they shart out another piece of crap legislation, they get another term in office.

  5. theflatwhite says:

    Oh wait.

  6. Jay G. says:

    Marko, that’s exactly how we got both The Boy and BabyGirl G potty trained.

    Pure, unabashed bribery with sugary goodness.

    “This is [candy]. Strong stuff”

  7. crankylitprof says:

    Oh, yes. Bribery for potty works like a voodoo charm.

    So does letting them pick out their own underwear — though this is how we ended up with “Star Wars” boxer britches.

  8. George says:

    Heh, heh….He said “liquid currency”.

  9. JIGSAW says:

    luckily my girls basically trained themselves (i thought the youngest was too young when she declared “no” to nappies and ripped them off – but hey what do i know, i’m only the mum!).

    when it comes to raising kids i only listen to the advice of people with 2 or more …

  10. Michael says:

    With our oldest, he had no problems with the pooping part…for him he didn’t want to pee in he toilet. After a couple of weeks of his using the toilet to poop. I held up his new Thomas the Tank engine underwear and asked, “How about wearing big boy underwear?” With all the seriousness a 3 year old can muster, he looked at me and said, “But Daddy, where would my pee go?” Diapers are just too good.

    The silver lining…his younger brother, a month after the oldest was potty trained. Trained himself. We couldn’t get him to wear a diaper if our life depended on it. Good thing there were only a few accidents.

  11. Dan Brock says:

    Trains for shit… appropriately deposited.
    No flies on that.
    Whatever works.

  12. Rick in NY says:

    Our oldest took the longest, she was almost three before she was done with diapers. No, we didn’t think of bribes, we were young parents (both under 25).

    Had our other two kids, they’re only 10 months apart, because our son decided to come out into the big world a month early. Anyways, he was the best potty-training aid his big sister could ask for. It became a contest between the two of them, with them both being fully potty-trained at 24 months for her, and 15 months for him! Yup, no more diapers at 15 months, I’m sure that’s gotta be a record.

    No, we didn’t have to bribe our kids, but each one is different. Glad you got him over that hurdle. Way to go, Dad!

  13. Bribery is the only way to get it done! Take charge offer something of value and your kid will be out of diapers in no time!

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