...is the process by which we create, discover, learn and grow with those we cherish most.


potty training - there really is a light at the end

We're potty training Noah - and before considering my offer to try, he politely asks, "do I get a prize?"

Now I'm a firm believer that children shouldn't be rewarded for things that are expected of them, like cleaning their room, getting dressed, or brushing their teeth. But for some reason, the transition from pull-ups to potty chair is a wee bit more challenging to make a case out of.

The incentive that they will be a "big kid" or that they must learn how to use the potty before they can go to school didn't even make him blink an eye. Instead, it was more like he was telling me - Is that all you've got Mom? I'm in no hurry for this place you call school. And quite frankly, I'm happy just doing my business when I feel like it, at my own convenience. Why change a good thing Mom? Besides, these pull-ups soak up real fast - so I'm good. But thanks for checking in.

His argument is a good one.
From day 1, we control our children - we tell them what to do, how to do it, when to do it.... From their clothes, to what they eat - it's a process that they quickly realize, wait a second, why do I have to? Give me a valid reason... {and it better be a good one.}

I really appreciate this way of thinking. So where appropriate - I let them decide "how" - like getting dressed. Granted, Ava looks like a gypsy sometimes, but it's the process of their independence and thinking that I'm embracing much more. And brushing their teeth - was the easiest case for me to make - I just showed them a picture from the dentist's office of a child with eroded black teeth, and explained the workmanship of food and sugar on our teeth if abandoned. Yuck. Will my teeth turn black? Well, first really yellow. So if you eat that brownie...

Potty training is a whole other case in point. From cleanliness - to growing up. It's what we all do Noah...
So I had to get dirty about the situation, and explain to the jury the hard facts:

Me: Noah, your pull-ups are not biodegradable. In fact, this little convenience is going to sit in a landfill for years and years.

Noah: but why?

Do you remember Wall-E? And then everyone had to leave the earth because of all the garbage? That's what your diapers are doing Noah if you keep wearing these. It's making our earth stinky. I'd sure hate for people to have to leave the earth...

Noah: But why?

And then I'm thinking - ok, this isn't winning me the argument either. I could buy biodegradable ones. But that's a minor detail he doesn't need to know. Hmmm.... Ok Noah, do you want to win a prize? If you pee-pee in the potty all by yourself, you'll get a prize, isn't that exciting?


And it appears unanimously so - because now, Noah's in control. He knows that if he stops what he is doing and makes a b-line for the bathroom, he'll get something. Not because Mommy sometimes faints when I open his diaper...{he actually would plug my nose for me with his toes} or that the earth's landfills will be spared his business...

So here we are - our first reward system - and its working.


Especially since I simply gathered what we already had at home - small toys from party favors, pinatas, and happy meals - dumped into an empty gumball container - for them to pick one prize. Since Ava has already been potty trained {through much hardship and even 2 trips to the gastroenterologist} - she still gets to pick from the jar if she does #2 all on her own.

If you want to give this a try - I would recommend a prize jar or small shelf that's out of sight. We keep ours in the hallway where the linens go, and I also tuck away small gifts the children have received from here and there. When the kids get loot bags from a party - I sort and set aside here because often, the kids forget about these by the time we get home. What was once before labeled as "junk" is now re-purposed and meaningful.

Finally desired and played with - these little toys now shine in their own light...



  1. Thank you for this. Potty training was actually quite easy for us (knock on wood), but it is the teeth brushing that is getting us. Ugh! The pictures haven't worked and we have tried a sticker incentive. Maybe I should try that again! Good luck with the PT!

  2. Oh I envy you Mrs. Bianca! Congrats!! How did you do it? As far as teeth brushing - as also keep a set next to our sink - so when they see us doing it, and want our attention, they have to grab a stool and join us in unison. Works every time they feel too "lazy" to brush their teeth :) Let me know how it goes!

  3. Nice job with the potty training. I would pay big $ to have my kids go away to a potty training camp so I could just skip out on that part. haha. Sounds like she's doing great though. I'd try just not letting her drink about an hour before she goes to bed and see if that helps before you try waking her up.

    Potty Training


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