Cars and Stickers

potty training.  for those of you not interested in this topic, obviously quit reading.  it is just such a major hurdle pain in the rear milestone that i can't neglect writing about it.  some kids potty train quickly.  like, in a weekend from running naked in their backyard.  hmmm... not sure what the dumpster divers in the alley would think about that one, but i doubt it would have been successful for us.  we are talking about the boy who acted like i was cutting his arms off to wear a coat once it got cold last fall.  he resists change.

ethan has shown potty interest for quite awhile.  he could even do it if we set him on the potty back in the fall.  well... then we actually started trying.  surely i've written {or hinted} about failed attempts in multiple posts... we've changed the seat... i've sung, danced, prayed, bribed with candy, stickers, and cars.  we have watched elmo's potty dvd... pretty much nothing has been inspiring.  i couldn't bring myself to just let it go.  i was near tears on a week ago with a friend... so frustrated.  {people, i am talking he did.not.care. if he had an accident.  absolutely did not phase him} we tried the naked approach and you would have thought i was cleaning up after a puppy that needed to be house broken.  it was bad.

and then last wednesday came.  and i had a bad day.  on that day, i really did not care about the potty.  i didn't pretend not to care, i just really didn't care.  i had my own pity party to throw, and i did not have the mental capacity to care about someone else using the ding dong potty.

and then we turned a corner.

i don't know how, or why... but he wanted one of the car bribes... like, really really wanted it, and knew how to get it.  and even though we had been through it like 15 times already, that was the particular time that it clicked.  and then he got another car.  and then another.  and then we were at mama's pizza and he let me know he needed to go, and proceeded to earn more cars... {i had to go buy more cars, actually.  do you know anyone who wants to get rid of some matchbox or hotwheels cars?  this bribe is starting to add up}   faustino says... "you know, some people just give one m&m."  and i want to say, seriously, you think 1 m&m would motivate him?  no.



the system of stickers for pee and the cars and trucks for poo is working...  and he has not been testy about it.  he is actually excited.  you should hear his cheers after success.  he is bummed out that he can't get a car after each and every visit to the bathroom.

please comment and leave me advice if you can.  my question is really - - when do you stop rewarding for success?  how many cars is this kid going to rack up?  is there a way to wean them of prizes without losing the behavior?? 


  1. When we trained Emerson she got skittles for pee and to pick a prize from a bucket for poo poo. After a couple days I worried about the same thing- how long would these prizes last? Honestly, she naturally gave it up on her own- after about 10-14 days. We stopped offering prizes and she stopped asking. It was like she was proud of herself and that was enough and she just moved on. Every once and a while she still asks for a candy or prize and I just gently remind her that she is a big girl and doesn't need prizes anymore. Seems to work okay...

  2. I like that. i might be able to convince him that he doesn't need the prizes... if i could just get him to be consistent.

    today was filled with setbacks... better luck tomorrow. potty training is for the birds.


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