The Potty Boot Camp: Creating that "Added Bit" of Incentive to Toilet Train
Many parents ask me throughout their training process just how to give their child just that added bit of incentive to use the potty. A common sense and straightforward tip I have given is to make the child help in the cleanup of accidents. Instilling a sense of personal responsibility truly helps to motivate your child to use the toilet instead of the floor!
The manner in which you act and talk while cleaning up is pretty important. When she has an accident, make a look on your face that conveys "ick!" Tell her she needs to clean up her icky, yucky, pee pee or poo clothes and the icky mess on the floor. Don't act angry or irritated in any way, but make it clear to her that this is something that is yucky and she needs to fix. Make her take off her own clothes. The first time you do this, show her step by step what she needs to do - but after that make her do it on her own, and make her do every step. Clean the floor first. This makes her stay in her wet clothes a little longer, which is a motivator to not have it happen again. Then make her wipe herself down - if it's really messy you can take her to the tub and have her give herself a mini-bath. You'll probably be silently cringing during this whole cleanup because she's likely to make the mess worse instead of better!) After she takes off the dirty clothes, pick them up like they are contaminated with nuclear waste and carry them over to the sink. (Obviously dump the poo out of the panties into the potty first.) Tell her she needs to wash her icky clothes because they are now smelly and dirty from her pee or poop. Show her how to run the water, put the panties under the faucet, squeeze and rinse. Then take her to the place you want her to put her dirty panties. Show major relief - "Whew, that's so much better now that you're not dirty and icky any more!" Go get some clean panties.