Stick and Carrot

The Feminist Breeder wrote recently about how a fish potty trained her child.  Her post really got me thinking.  I’m sure you all remember reading about the issues we’ve been having with Jack only using the potty at daycare.  Potty learning has been going on for about a year now!  And while I don’t really want to get Jack a fish in order to get him potty trained (I have a fish and two cats to take care of already!), I really couldn’t come up with any better solutions…it’s been A YEAR, after all.

Stickers, candy, games – none of it was working to entice Jack to use the potty at home.  I tried laying off completely and that didn’t make a difference either.  I bought him awesome underwear with Buzz Lightyear on them and “special” SpongeBob foam soap…no go.  But yesterday, I put a little more thought into it.  I attempted to make it more personal.  I know Jack is a lot like me, you see.  So I asked myself what I would be motivated by…what bribe will get me almost every time?  The answer is money.  Money is like magic.  Money can get things!  Money can get almost anything your heart desires!  Money is power and clearly that is what Jack wants.

I proceeded to tell Jack that I would give him money for using the potty.  I explained that he could save up the money he gets (LOTS of money for using the potty LOTS) and when he had enough, he could buy a Transformer.  He has been rather stuck on Transformers and loves robots in general, so the bribe had an immediate impact.  He started asking questions – what color Transformer?  What would the Transformer’s name be?  And that kid couldn’t get his pants down fast enough!

He’s used the potty twice, so I’m not going to go and call this success just yet…but it’s progress for sure.  Right now Jack gets to put his money in a piggy bank.  After he woke up this morning asking if it was time to get a Transformer, I decided we needed a way for him to see how much money he has.  I plan to get a clear container and pick a decent spot to mark with marker…when he fills it to the marker line, I’ll take him to buy a Transformer.

I just hope I can find somewhere that sells them…any suggestions?

The little beast

We try really hard to give Jack choices and autonomy as much as we are able and is appropriate.  We want to avoid the major power struggles that come with the “terrible twos” if at all possible.  Alas, sometimes the kid just wants to throw a fit anyway.

He no longer wears shoes when going to daycare.  It’s always a time crunch in the morning, so if he throws a fit and kicks off his shoes, shoeless he will go.  They don’t wear shoes unless playing outside at daycare, so it’s not a big deal for the most part.  I do have to carry him down to the car (2 floors down), though.  I am not sure why shoes are such a bone of contention these days but I suppose it’s one of the only things he can find to argue about.

Jack has started throwing tantrums at bedtime, too.  He seems to object to taking his shirt off to change into pajamas.  Maybe because it’s cold?  He doesn’t say what is wrong, just starts wailing and will go on and on for 20 minutes if we don’t distract him from his fit.  He even cries real tears!  I’m sure by now our neighbors think we are abusive or something since this is becoming a common occurrence.

Tantrums are stressful but also funny.  Why does he blow up over these simple things?  Sometimes hugs work to calm him, sometimes we wait it out, and sometimes a distraction works wonders.  Reasoning with him never works but it doesn’t stop us from trying.

High drama in toddlertown, man.