On the weekend we hosted a dinner party with 4 other families and since we are all parents of young children, no topic ever seems to be off-limits, including those relating to bodily functions. Two of the 10 children are in the midst of toilet training and as these two parents shared their current trials and tribulations with us, the rest of us who are past this stage shared our words of wisdom on the matter. Essentially be patient and despite what many of the text books say rewards do work but you need to find the one that works. The conversation triggered many memories from when we went through this stage with London, including throwing a Yellow Party.
I can’t remember exactly when we first started the whole toilet training endeavor but we know it was just before her 3rd birthday in March. When we started, most of her little friends in her daycare class were going through the toilet training process as well, and we thought there would be nothing better than a little bit of peer pressure knowing that others in the class were using a toilet instead of diapers. However, we quickly learned that apparently when you are 3 it doesn’t matter what others are doing around you, you decide when you are ready to do something and not a minute before. At first we subscribed to the industry experts and avoided the reward based approach by trying the encouragement route saying things like “how good she must feel when she would pee in the toilet.” We felt ridiculous trying not to own the process but rather transfer the success onto her and truthfully I don’t think any of it had a positive impact. Instead what worked was telling her that when she no longer needed a diaper we would throw a party.
She promptly asked “can we have cake?”
And when the time came in early May, we decided that we would call it the Yellow Party for we figured it would be easier to get the local Bakery to put those words on the cake instead of ‘Congrats on losing the diapers’ or ‘Yahoo, a successful Toileter!’ The bakery never questioned our request and no one was the wiser. At home we celebrated London’s success on losing her diapers.