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Don’t Sit on the Potty

Okay, I guess the title of this week’s tip is a bit perplexing. So is the whole subject of potty training little tykes who’ve developed “throne aversion syndrome.”

Once this sad condition takes hold, the resulting power-struggles can be enough to bring even the strongest adult to their knees.

If you’re beginning to fight with your little one over using the potty, stop right away. That’s right! The more you battle, the longer it will take-and the more tears of frustration will be shed by both you and your child.

In our book, Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood, we teach the single most powerful technique for teaching young children anything:

Model the behavior with great joy and excitement.

Sure, it may feel a bit embarrassing to some folks, but it goes a long way toward teaching the skills you want and replacing anger and frustration with smiles and giggles.

Another powerful strategy involves using a little paradoxical or “reverse” psychology. The only thing that would get our youngest to start sitting on the potty was looking at him with a faux-stern look and saying:

“Whatever you do, don’t go into that bathroom and sit on the potty.”

Being just like his father, he couldn’t resist the challenge! Over the years, we’ve met many parents who were desperate enough to give this strange approach a shot. Time after time we hear them say, “It was the strangest thing. As soon as we backed off trying to make her, she began wanting to do it on her own.”

Wishing you and your family a safe and happy Thanksgiving!


Dr. Charles Fay
©2009 Jim Fay, Charles Fay, Ph.d.& Love and Logic® Institute

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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.

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