Who knew a high five from Dad could be so effective?
That’s all my 2 ½ year-old son needed to reinforce his recent breakthrough with toilet training. Apparently, the “toilet learning” class I took in January, the repeated attempts to coax my son with books and toys, and the ever-stylish Blue’s Clues toilet seat can't compete with a good 'ol high five.
The potty training product industry has really taken off as parents continue to push back the time at which they start training their children. Books, videos, dolls, charts --everything a desperate parent needs to get their child out of diapers.
By far, the high five is the cheapest.
My son had become quite the expert at peeing anywhere except in the toilet: on his bedroom floor, while brushing his teeth (must have been the running water), in the bathtub (again, the water) and on the floor next to the toilet.
The heartbreak came during those times he sat on or stood in front of the toilet without success.
“It’s not working,” he’d say in his tiny voice. “It’s not working, Mommy.”
“It’s OK, baby. Maybe you don’t have to go to the bathroom,” I’d respond, certain the experience was shattering his self-confidence.
He still has a long way to go to be completely potty trained, but all of us in the Vasquez household are absolutely giddy about the most basic of bodily functions. Every parenting book will tell you that positive reinforcement is key to successful potty training. So when my son marked his first potty training milestone, I hugged him, kissed him, told him what a big boy he was. Then I told him we should go run and tell Dad. Enter the high five:
“I did pee-pee in the toilet,” my son mumbled with a wide grin.
“You did? Give me a high five!” my husband said.
Since then, every time my son goes to the bathroom, he seeks out high fives –- from Dad, our beagle Chico and even the big Mickey Mouse that sits in my son’s room.
What has worked for your kids?