To start off with, I don’t profess to be an expert in this field. In fact, it is something I completely dread and loathe with every fiber of my being. Ok, maybe not quite that bad, but it’s definitely not on my top list of favorite things.
Potty training is one of those things we just have to do if we have small children, whether we like it or not. Today I’m here to show you a method I have used with all 3 of my kid and tell you why I like it.
I call it “The Rock Method”. Kind of weird, I know, but it’s the best thing I could come up with. It’s easy in the fact that there are no sticker sheets to keep track of, and no food involved (unless you want there to be). It’s made up with two simple clear plastic cups, and a handful of colorful rocks. (You know those pretty ones you can buy at the dollar store for fish tanks? Yeah, those.)
I let my kids choose their own rocks. It helps them feel a little more involved in the process and it is just one more way to get them excited about the whole thing. My oldest like blue. His rocks were blue. My daughter likes pink. You guessed it, her rocks were pink. My youngest….how did you know?! Yes, green!
You start by labeling one cup with a happy face and one with a sad face. Place all of the rocks in the sad cup and tell your child that every time they use the potty, they get to put one rock in the happy cup. When starting out, I let them move a rock every time they used the bathroom. After they start getting the hang of things, tell them they don’t get a rock if they go, but their undies are wet first. You get the idea.
The biggest kicker with this, and the way it’s worked for us, is that if they have an accident either on purpose and/or don’t make it in time, they have to take a rock out of the happy cup and put it into the sad cup. There were even a few times if it was a major accident (as in the undies had to be dumped out and rinsed out before going in the washer), the ENTIRE happy cup was dumped back into the sad cup.
It kind of broke my heart when we would have to empty cups, and I’m sure you can imagine how broken hearted the little ones were, but it truly did help them learn.
Now, with this “Rock Method” you can choose if you want another reward system to go along with it. Every child is different and some will think the reward of moving rocks into cups is enough. If you do need to add another reward to it, that’s totally your call. For instance, once the sad cup has all been moved into the happy cup, they get a bowl of ice cream, an extra fruit snack, etc.
So, there you have it. An idea for you to try the next time your toddler is transitioning. Sadly, this is the last of potty trainings for me, but now we’re on to other wonderful adventures that motherhood brings!