Has the newness worn off? Not so fun to just sit anymore? Maybe it never was fun for your kid to sit.
Sitting is hard for toddlers. Releasing pee and poop is hard for toddlers. To sit and release…hard.
But there is also nothing more frustrating than to wait with your child and then have an accident on the floor ten minutes later. That is not a set up for a top ten parent moment. We need them to sit and finish.
Now, I hate to say it’s time to “trick” your toddler. But maybe it’s time to
manipulate fool be creative. Here are some things that could help.
- Do something fun at the end. My kid loved his “potty song,” complete with my dance. I’m telling you, I think he would squeeze something out just to get the dance. As the book says, we don’t want to bribe our kids but celebrating–yes! Celebrate! I clapped and twirled in a circle and sang about pee and poop. Important note: wait until you flush to do this. Do not scare your child with the dance at the moment of release. I did this once as a teacher (sorry kid!) and have since learned to give a silent little clap or a knowing smile and celebrate at the end of the potty routine, with the flush (which, coincidentally can help a kid afraid of the flush…if it’s part of the fun, it might be ok).
- Read a book. Seriously, do this. It doesn’t have to be a potty book. I knew a kid majorly into Silly Sally. Her parents read that book so many times on the bathroom floor of their home that once, in public, the mom recited it from memory in a restaurant restroom when the kid was scared to sit on the potty. It worked. She sat and pooped. So…pick a good book and sit for a while.
- You go too. There is no real privacy with toddlers, am I right? Pull up their little chair next to your big porcelain throne. You each get a book. You sit. You go. Turn on the water to a drip. You know how it makes you have to use the restroom when your friends go? Toddlers? Same.
- Sit where you are. Are you building with legos? Pull that potty up the the LEGO table. Drawing? Rig up a lap table. Playing outside? You can hold that fun stick on the little potty!If your child has trouble sitting, make sure you have a little potty nearby. Don’t throw out the little potty because “he can make it to the big potty.” The little potty is your friend. If your child is having trouble sitting, make it convenient for him rather than convenient for you. (PS: There are some don’ts with this one. Don’t watch tv. You want your child to pay attention to what they’re doing and you want your child to know tv can be stopped and returned to. Think of the end goal–leaving the room at tv time to run to the potty. Also, don’t eat on the potty. Just, nope.)
- Count. I’d do this with a kiddo who’s been potty trained a while bit is still having trouble “finishing,” for example, a boy who likes to stand and get it over with but has an accident soon after visiting the potty (read: he didn’t finish). Say, “let’s take a breath and count to ten to be sure it’s allllll gone.” And make it fun! Count in a funny voice. Speed it up or slow it down. Count by halves. You know when they’re done by now.
There are so many fun, creative ways to entertain a toddler–send me your best way!