I was not looking forward to potty training. I put it off way too long probably because I had no idea where to start. Since I had the twins first I knew I would probably be potty training at least two at once. The thought of all the pee scared me. On top of that I had been balancing work and raising them by myself. When I found out I was pregnant with number four I decided I was not going to be paying for diapers for 4 children. The boys had outgrown the cloth ones I had and it was just time.
First we tried a reward system. I made little charts with three columns:
- Tried to use potty
- Number 1
- Number 2
If they tried to use the potty they got to pick a sticker and put it in the column. If they also tinkled they got to put two stickers: one in the tried column one in the number 1 column. So on and so forth.
My oldest twin did really well with this sticker method. Once his sheet was completely full he was done. I think he has had one accident since and that was when he was sick.
My other two children still had a lot of problems. My little girl responded well when we stopped using diapers and got her regular underwear. She did not like the feeling of pee on her clothes. She picked out her own underwear and didn’t want to mess them up.
Now my other twin just figured out the potty training thing. We have been trying various different methods for two years now. He takes longer to figure out how to do many things, but what really worked for him was a routine. Ben has to try and potty at certain times. He has to sit down on try to number 2 at certain times and has to sit there for about 10 minutes. Ben also has a difficult time with generalized concepts. I have to use specific examples or explain even the small parts of instructions.
Not everyone learns the same.
We all need different things. I have four children who are all completely different in the ways they learn and the things that motivate them.
Don’t be discouraged by their differences. Each and every person on this planet has a gift. It is only a matter of finding it. Nurturing their gifts, and showing them through our own actions how to be good and just. There is beauty in their differences if only you can learn to see it as such.