I will never forget the look of frustration on my wife’s face. She had been trying for weeks to get my daughter to sit on the potty and to no avail. She had tried everything. It really was cute to see the dedication she had to this task and all the hard work she was putting into it. She checked out all the tricks and tips, and tried everything under the sun. She used rewards, she used toys, and she even sent my daughter on the potty in front of the television only to have her get up at The exact minute she actually needed to use it. In the midst of all this potty training for us, my wife had to go away for the weekend on a business trip. Half joking I told her that I would have my daughter potty trained by the time she came back. I certainly don’t think that she had any inclination that what I was saying what to be true anymore than I did.
After she had left however I thought it would make for a pretty good challenge and was up to the task. Seeing what already had not worked, I figured out almost everything not to do and had no idea where to start. I racked my brain not worked, I figured out almost everything not to do and had no idea where to start. I racked my brain and finally came up with a plan that was a bit of a joke at first but ended up getting the job done with some tough love. My daughter had some cartoon character under pants that were meant to be a reward for her eventual potty training. Covered in her favorite cartoon character she really was looking forward to wearing them and couldn’t wait to finally be a “big girl.” I decided she could go ahead and wear them. I told her that she was a big girl and that was the end of it. I gave her brand new underwear and you could see how proud she was when she put them on. She was delighted in herself and felt very very cool. I then let her know that she could wear them all she wanted, but if she went to the potty in them I would throw them away. No more mistakes, no more being a baby, she was a big girl with big girl underwear and if she didn’t make it into the potty in time, she would have one less pair of her favorite character underwear. I guess I didn’t really expect it to work, especially after all her fussing and pleading with me that my solution wasn’t fair.
Not even 10 minutes later she walked up to me and told me she needed to use the potty. She sat down and there it was. Her first time by herself on the toilet. I had to laugh at myself thinking that it was too good to be true. Weeks and weeks have gone by with elaborate attempts by my wife and this just seemed all too simple. However she repeated the process again and again, every time not wanting to lose her favorite underwear. We laugh about it now, but truth be told, sometimes the simplest solutions are the best. I wasn’t as creative by any means, or even half as patient as my wife have been with the process but I guess sometimes that’s what you need. A little tough love and the next thing you know the problem was solved. Now if I could just get her to clean up her room, that would be a real amazing task.
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I was selected for this opportunity and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.