The Blue's Clues Method
All parents want their child's toilet-training experience to be a pleasant one, but busy schedules and other parenting demands can get in the way. However, toilet training does not have to be stressful for you or your child.
"You're going to be in the bathroom for a while during potty training, so prepare yourself for it," says Dr. Alice Wilder, Director of Research for Blue's Clues. "If you're prepared, you're more likely to be relaxed, and your child will relax, too."
One approach to toilet-training relies on teaching your child to use the toilet as just another part of the morning routine while keeping a relaxed and unhurried attitude. "The goal here is to make potty time into quality time with your child!"
Dr. Wilder has several ideas for making your child's time on the potty more fun and productive.
Time to Talk
Get your child situated on the potty, and give yourself a comfortable seat as well. Start a conversation with your child on a topic you both enjoy. For example, recount the details of a favorite family trip, talk about the day he was born, tell knock-knock jokes, or ask him to imagine what kind of job he would like to have when he grows up. Whatever the topic, make sure to take breaks during your conversation to assess his "potty progress," and to ask him if he needs a few minutes of quiet time to concentrate on the potty.
After seating your child on the potty, ask her if she has a song she'd like to sing. (If she doesn't have a song in mind, suggest one of your own. Take breaks in between songs to check on her "potty progress," and, if needed, give her time to concentrate on the potty. The best thing about singing in the bathroom: The acoustics are great, so you've never sounded better!
Print these Blue's Clues songs sheets to keep on hand:
With your child on the potty, ease into some simple imagination and word games. Keep the tempo slow and relaxing, so that your child is not distracted from her "potty progress," and stop playing when she needs to concentrate. Two games you might try:
Memory Game. Start the game by saying "We are going on a trip, and we are bringing," then name an item, such as "socks." Your child then repeats what you have said and adds an item of her own: "We are going on a trip and we are bringing socks and popsicles." Each person takes a turn adding to the list and reciting all the things you are taking on the trip. After your child has the hang of the game, you can change it so all the items are things to eat or things to wear.
Bathroom I-Spy. Give your child a clue pertaining to an item in the bathroom, such as, "I spy with my eye something green with blue stripes" as a clue for your child's toothbrush. If she doesn't get the answer right away, give another clue, such as "I spy with my eye something green with blue stripes and white bristles."