Aug 6, 2012

The blog in which I potty train a child over the phone

Yeah, I said it.  I potty trained a child over the phone.  Sorta.  Not really, but I do have a lot to say about potty training.  I did it.  I did it with an autistic son and a stubborn daughter, all in the same time period.  When Charlie was two and half, he was attending a special school for children with autism.  Along with the applied behavior analysis, also known as ABA therapy,  that they provided him early on with, they trained me how to potty train him.  And this model worked so well, I swear I can potty train any child on it.  I did not read one book on this technique, although, when people ask me what I did, they refer to it as boot camp.  It might be, but it works, and as with any thing, consistency is key.

First, no diapers or pull ups during waking hours.  Only cloth underwear.  Second, no books, portable movies, games, or toys while in the bathroom.  Third, offer much more liquid of choice during this time period to offer greater chance for success.  Fourth, do not discipline for accidents.  Fifth, be consistent.

You start by putting your child in cloth underwear.  I used about 12 a day.  Then, I began with an index card and pen.  Every 15 minutes you put your child on the potty.  IF you miss it twice in a row with accidents in between, set your time back to say every 7 minutes until you get a success.  Then, slowly move the increments out.  By the end of the first day, Shay was going every 45 minutes.  (The goal was urine, but she did get a number two by day two.)  You want the child to feel the wetness.  Diapers are amazing at wicking moisture away nowadays.

Your child should be focused on the sensation of going potty.  If they are focused on other things as a distraction, they will not link the feeling to the goal.

Increase fluids=increase urine output.   (Popsicles, juice, whatever to get them to drink more.)

Accidents ARE GOING TO HAPPEN.  If you frustrate over it, it will make the process stressful for your child, therefore, it will be damaging to them.  You are an adult, and you may also increase your liquid intake, and may I recommend a vintage adult beverage to calm those nerves?  Promise.. It makes it less damaging on you later.

Consistency.  Not on your shot taking, but on the process.

I did offer incentives.  I only gave a skittle or other little treat for a poop, but the sticker chart was very exciting for Chaz.  Shay has a dollar Ariel mermaid figure that I would let her keep with her all day unless she had an accident.  Then, she would give her to me, and as soon as she had another success, I would give it back.  She was amazing and easy to train, only because I found what worked for her.  We had to buy a few.  (For the car, back up, etc.)  For boys, it might be fun to aim at Cheerios, or other targets in the water.  Washing hands afterwards was a big thrill too.  I bought foam soaps that had a light up hippo on the pump.  I only allowed hand washing for success too.  There are a ton of other aspects, such as the little kushy tushy, etc, but that is here or there.  The basics work.   And well.

End of story... My mom was babysitting my niece today, and she and I talked on the phone.  Her birthday was yesterday, and she turned three.  She has yet to have success on the potty, but I asked her how old she is, and she told me four.  We all know it is not true, but it is what she wants us to believe, so I told her that all four year olds go pee pee on the potty, and she agreed.  So, after I hung up the phone, she asked my mom to put her on the potty- multiple times.  I think that some children naturally want to be potty trained.  Others, don't know they can do it, but if I didn't try to teach Shay reading at three years old, we never would have known she was capable of it then either.  Diapering a child is time consuming and costly, and not so great for the enviroment.  If you knew there was a better way, wouldn't you want to do it?  I hope that you share this post with anyone attempting potty training.  It trained my daughter before she could even properly wipe at 18 months old, but it was still nicer than the diaper process.

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