All the parenting books emphasize the fact that potty training boys versus girls can be very different. What works for girls may not work for boys, and vice versa.
For most children, potty training usually starts between 2 1/2 to 3. My boy-girl twins were right on target, with our daughter J leading the way.
The twins had matching potty seats (one pink and one blue) and they responded equally well to praise and encouragement when it came to doing #1 (pee).
Fast forward to conquering #2 (poop), which is where the twins diverged. Our daughter loved the idea of using the toilet and of celebrating her success doing both #1 and #2.
Our delightful son decided that he would do #1 but when it came to #2, nothing worked. And I mean nothing. We tried everything from TV to allowing the potty seat in the kitchen, and so much more. Getting M to poop became a running joke between my husband and myself.
Enter The Poop Jar
Then, one day I had an idea. Hang onto your potty seats — I created a POOP JAR for M. At first glance, this sounds awful, right? In fact, the poop jar was a clear and large container (like a cookie jar) that contained small prizes M could earn every time he successfully "dropped a friend in the toilet" as my husband called it.
The prizes ranged from pennies to stickers to lollipops and the occasional match box car. The idea of reaching into the jar and pulling out a prize was so motivating for M that I wish I had thought of it sooner.
How to create your own POOP JAR:
- Get a clean, clear, empty container. Plastic only. It can be Tupperware — just be sure it is transparent.
- Create a fun label with your child's name. Use stickers and other art to decorate it.
- Fill the jar with small prizes like gum, crayons, stickers, small toys. I went to the dollar store to fill up our jar.
- Let your child see the jar, touch it, and talk about why he or she has a poop jar.
- Leave the motivating container in the bathroom. Don't make a big deal out of it, but be clear with your toddler that a reward awaits him or her each time she does #2.
We still laugh about the poop jar. In fact, it is stored in our basement in a box so that I can secretly pack it up when he goes to college!
Humor continues to help me parent with the best intentions while also having fun. I hope this helps other families conquer potty training.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.