Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Potty Training Tuesday # 9

Potty Training Rewards

Rewarding your child for potty successes is a good incentive to keep your son or daughter motivated.  I find that using stickers as a reward works quite well.  Stickers are tangible and visual for your child and inexpensive for you!

Create a sticker chart and put it somewhere your child will see it often so that it also serves as a reminder that he or she should try to use the potty.

In the beginning, your child's sticker chart can simply be a piece of paper with your child's name or a simple title, for example "Liam's Potty Stickers".  Let your child choose a sticker and place it on the sheet for each success on the potty.

As they progress, the chart can evolve to having a column for each day to track how many times they use the potty each day.

And again, as your child gets closer to being fully trained, you can modify the chart/reward system to getting stickers for staying dry for a period of time (ex. one for morning, one for afternoon, etc).

You can give your child bigger rewards for completing the bigger milestones.  For example, the first time they stay dry all day, you could let them pick out a package of special underwear to buy.  Or a small toy or book the first time they stay dry all week.

The thing to remember is that giving too many bigger rewards makes it difficult to stop giving them when they are no longer required for motivation.

For the same reason, I always advise people to stay away from using food (especially candy) as potty training rewards.  Most kids get more than enough junk food without adding in a candy every time they use the potty.  And it is a lot easier to wean your child off getting a sticker every time they pee then it is to convince them that they don't need a candy every time they pee!

Also, stickers on a sticker chart serve as a visual reminder for your child to use the potty as well as a way to track your child's success.

If you child is in daycare, you could check with their caregiver to see what kind of sticker reward system they use for potty training, in order to keep rewards consistent.

And once you are confident that your child is completely 100% potty trained, there is nothing wrong with giving them a one time, more substantial reward.  Potty training is not easy for kids and they do deserve some kind of recognition for their efforts!

Stay tuned for more tips, tricks and advice every Tuesday!  And please do share your own experiences!  I am always looking for ways to make potty training easier for myself, not only at work, but also at home as I will soon be jumping in head first to potty train Liam!

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