Potty traing w.o rewards? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 20 Old 09-08-2013, 08:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i don't really agree with the concept of reward charts or stickers. I'm not sure why yet, I'm still reading about gentle discipline but for some reason praising to make my child do something doesn't sit right with me.

 

When potty training, what is the best method for something that feels this way?

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#2 of 20 Old 09-08-2013, 09:33 PM
 
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Encouragement yes,rewards I do not do. Like I do not reward for walking or talking.

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#3 of 20 Old 09-09-2013, 01:44 PM
 
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I never resorted to bribing my kids for potty learning. However, I was openly, authentically and enthusiastically thrilled with each advance. I also was exclusively a SAHM with plenty of time to actually sit patiently as they got used to it. We used little plastic potties that could be anywhere in the house. DS loved sitting on his potty and playing a drum or keyboard. DD liked to practice her potty when big brother was using the big toilet. Both sat happily for long enough if we combined potty time with story time. If you watch TV, there's an episode of Daniel Tiger (PBS kids) that's focused on using the potty. Good luck!
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#4 of 20 Old 09-09-2013, 01:49 PM
 
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It never occurred to me to do rewards! I just act really excited when he makes it into the potty.

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#5 of 20 Old 09-09-2013, 02:01 PM
 
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No rewards here. We congratulated her on her achievements and didn't make any fuss of accidents.

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#6 of 20 Old 09-09-2013, 07:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for starting the difference between encouragement/excitement and rewards. I understand that better now! Parenting is big learning process for me

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#7 of 20 Old 09-09-2013, 08:27 PM
 
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I got my DD a bunch of juice, a plastic potty, a bunch of underwear and spent half a day at home. She had a few accidents and a lot of success and I was encouraging the whole time. My mom watched her that night and she did reward her for pooping on the potty though. My DD told her she needed to poop and my mother told her if she did it in the potty she could have the enormous Brownie my mother had saved to eat later and that was all the motivation she needed. Having seen year long frustrations around this issue with parents in my classroom I have to say that I am fine with that one reward.
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#8 of 20 Old 09-10-2013, 07:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What would the long-lasting effects of giving NO rewards during potty training (which takes longer), versus the long-lasting effects of giving rewards? Does anybody know

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#9 of 20 Old 09-10-2013, 07:37 AM
 
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One effect would be that some kids will hold in their pee or poop if no treat is available. Others will eek out a tiny bit of pee every five minutes in order to get the most rewards. These are things that have happened to most people I know that used rewards, specifically sweet things like m&ms or raisins. Not that every child will learn to be so manipulative, and all would likely grow out of it eventually.

To me, it just wasn't ever something I felt I needed. Both kids started trying little potties at about the time they learned to walk and had it mastered long before age 2 ( with no pressure and little persuasion). I think people often face the mist resistance when they wait until the more willful/spirited ages if 2 or 3. That's probably when most start feeling the need for rewards.
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#10 of 20 Old 09-12-2013, 06:54 AM
 
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I've never given rewards for potty training/learning. I've never found it to take any more time than using rewards.
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#11 of 20 Old 09-12-2013, 08:19 AM
 
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I never thought to give rewards for potty training. My first wanted to undo his diaper and run around naked so had to use the potty. My second boy I'd have to just remind him to go try pretty often. Actually I still have to remind him at age 4, he'll get so involved in what he's doing he'll wait til the last second otherwise. I guess I cheered for them a bit. Accidents were met with "aw you missed, oh well let's clean you up". For a couple weeks each one couldn't use underpants, naked or in just pants reminded them they didn't have a diaper to catch it. Once the routine was changed briefs were fine.

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#12 of 20 Old 09-12-2013, 09:54 AM
 
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I try to avoid rewards and that kind of thing, but with my older child - who was just NOT potty training - I did try a sticker chart and rewards. It totally backfired and she become an anxious mess. I guess it was just not a good fit for her, and her temperament and response to those things are likely what led me away from punishment/rewards in the first place.

My second one potty trained very quickly with no talk of rewards or charts. She just took to it. I think some kids just potty train more easily than others.
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#13 of 20 Old 09-12-2013, 01:35 PM
 
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We're in the middle of potty training our 2 year old (25 months). He's doing really well. We used the three day, no pants method. It's been three weeks now, and after the initial few days at home, he's been mostly accident free. We didn't reward him but used lots and lots of praise. This is in contrast to how we normally talk to him, which is to acknowledge but rarely praise him directly. No surprise, he really liked the attention. He also got excited about wiping with toilet paper, flushing the toilet and washing his hands, all things that weren't allowed prior to potty training (he likes to make a mess with TP and water). We don't praise him very often now that's he's "got" it, but he still gets to do all the fun things that I mentioned above. It's great because all those things are part of going to the potty.

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#14 of 20 Old 09-12-2013, 03:32 PM
 
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My daughter was 18 months old and my son 2 years old, Since my son was older we realized late that the sooner we did it the easier it was. All we did was take their diapers off. Never kept a diaper on them at home and within 2 - 4 weeks, there were no accidents. When there was we would just say, oops we pee/poop in the potty. When they would tell us they had to go or grab them selves, we all ran to the toilet and genuinely, enthusiastically celebrated them being big boy/girls! It was seamless for the most part. My daughter never has an accident, my son still has the occasional night time accident.

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#15 of 20 Old 09-12-2013, 05:14 PM
 
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My first two kids potty trained at a "normal" toddler time. They got a sticker everytime they peed in the potty to decorate it with. They got a mini m&m everytime they pooped. Dd1 loved the stickers and asked for them. Dd2 didn't care about them and after getting a few she kept using the potty, but didn't ask for them when I stopped offering. The m&m's were loved by both, but again, after a few days of consistency I stopped offering. They asked for a while, and would get them when they did, but eventually they forgot about them and stopped asking. I didn't finish the little round container with either kid. I didn't have any repercussions from the use of the rewards.

I started EC with Dd3 when she was 6mo. She never got anything other than excitement and encouragement from me, and was completely potty trained by the age her sisters had started at. It took a lot longer because I started so early, but it was not anymore difficult than with the first two.

Overall, they were all positive experiences for everyone involved.
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#16 of 20 Old 09-12-2013, 08:47 PM
 
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When I started with our 2 yr old we just took a week off going anywhere and stayed pants/diaper free the entire time so he could recognize the feeling to go easier. I honestly never even read anything about potty training, Ive always just kinda went with my instincts on alot of things. I personally didnt feel right giving my son a reward for something such as peeing in the potty, its a normal expected behavior anyway. He also didnt do very well the more I praised him, it was almost as if he was reluctant if I got too excited over it so I didnt make it a big deal at all after the 1st time. I always took him with me when I went, same with his Dad, so he could see how the grown ups do it, and we got lots of potty books from the library to read and learn. He realized on his own what was expected of him after the week was over, which was his greatest "reward", knowing that he could do it all by himself! Anything he can do "all by myself"(his favorite words) makes it that much easier for all of us!

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#17 of 20 Old 09-12-2013, 08:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by cheerioplaymate View Post
 

We're in the middle of potty training our 2 year old (25 months). He's doing really well. We used the three day, no pants method. It's been three weeks now, and after the initial few days at home, he's been mostly accident free. We didn't reward him but used lots and lots of praise. This is in contrast to how we normally talk to him, which is to acknowledge but rarely praise him directly. No surprise, he really liked the attention. He also got excited about wiping with toilet paper, flushing the toilet and washing his hands, all things that weren't allowed prior to potty training (he likes to make a mess with TP and water). We don't praise him very often now that's he's "got" it, but he still gets to do all the fun things that I mentioned above. It's great because all those things are part of going to the potty.

 

I just have a question.. is there a specific reason you don't praise him directly on a normal day-to-day basis?

 

And when is the earliest you can start potty training a child

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#18 of 20 Old 09-12-2013, 09:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Tutsi Roll View Post


And when is the earliest you can start potty training a child

Birth. Check out some of the EC threads!

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#19 of 20 Old 09-16-2013, 06:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Tutsi Roll View Post

I just have a question.. is there a specific reason you don't praise him directly on a normal day-to-day basis?

to sum it up really concisely, if you praise kids for things you want them to do, many kids receive the message (whether it was your intention or not) that they need to keep doing those things to earn your love. even if this succeeds in producing more of the behavior you want in your children, they haven't learned to do those things for the right reasons. for example, they should choose to verbalize their discontent rather than hit another kid, right? but they should make that choice out of the desire not to hurt the other child, not out of the desire to please you. kids who do things just to make the adults in their lives happy often don't develop any intrinsic motivation to those things, which makes them less likely to do them when they know they're not being observed, and you want kids to be actually good, regardless of who is watching, not just to keep up appearances or earn rewards or praise. the idea is that you want them to develop a healthy moral compass based off real values relevant to the thing they are making a decision about at any given moment, and you make it harder if you deal in rewards/praise and punishment b/c then the focus is on the consequence for themselves (a selfish mindset) instead of, as in the example, the consequences (inflicted pain) for the other child (an empathetic mindset). it might sound far out there, but it is actually really extensively researched & a large number of people on this site can give firsthand anecdotes of the amazingness of this method as well. so even if it sounds hokey at first, i think you'll find it resonates with you if you read about it from someone who describes it better than me, and give it time to sink in. =)

look up a book called "punished by rewards" by alfie kohn – just read some of the reviews on amazon and you will get the jist of this idea (better than my description) if it is new to you. if you are curious to know even more, there are lots of people on these forums discussing these ideas & the various books they've read that promote the idea of not using rewards (praise is an emotional reward, a very powerful one, in fact, b/c kids are super invested in us) or punishment. i really liked the book by alfie kohn called "unconditional parenting", which talks about not using the reward/punishment style of parenting, plus many other concepts as well.

there's at least one thread specific to that book, on here, that you might wanna check out if these ideas resonate with you: http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1097324/unconditional-parenting-support-thread/100_50

and then there are 3 more books that i have not yet read that people on here have recommended that are in the same vein, that i intend to check out (already sent the samples to my kindle!) but can't comment directly on yet:

"teaching children self discipline" by thomas gordon

"playful parenting" by lawrence cohen

"between parent and child" by haim ginott
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#20 of 20 Old 09-16-2013, 07:08 PM
 
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What would the long-lasting effects of giving NO rewards during potty training (which takes longer), versus the long-lasting effects of giving rewards? Does anybody know

 

 Here's how it went with my kids...

 

Ds1 was born when I was a teenager.  I knew nothing, even less than most FTMs.  He never seemed really interested in pottying.  I did stickers, candy, special toy treats, begging, crying, and yes, sadly, some yelling and butt-swatting.  He was 3y9m before one day he just gave up and quit pooping and peeing in a diaper.

 

Ds2 came a decade later.  I made no mention of pottying but he watched his big brother and one day at 18mos just sort of became potty-trained.  Giving no rewards didn't take longer.  Instead of spending the better part of 2 years bribing my kids to pee in a bowl, in one day and with no help from me, the little brat was all done with diapers.

 

I would say that it depends on the kid.  I learned about EC too late but if I had it to do again, I would EC.  I learned that babies are sort of born with an instinct not to mess themselves and by using diapers we force them to ignore that instinct.  Then, at some arbitrary age, we try to bribe them to relearn it.  If for whatever reason we decide to suppress their need to stay clean by using diapers, I feel that we should wait as long as it takes for the child to gain the maturity to be ready to PT on their own, with minimal involvement from us, and certainly no rewards.  How many mothers reward their 7mo for crawling?  Or their 14mo for walking?  We smile, we cheer, we may even cry a little.  But we don't give them toys and candy.  Keep the pressure off, just let the kid do it on their own timetable, even if it takes longer than we'd like.  Or better yet, allow your newborn to use a pot from day one so they never technically have to potty train at all!


Bring back the old MDC
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