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.