Potty training is the hardest job a parent will ever have. First, it is a triumph that you finally managed to get the child to sit on the potty. To get the child to sit on the potty, you must convince the child this is something they want to do. Rewards work best to convince children they want to do something.
Every parent has a monster in their potty or their potty is a monster at some point. Two and three year old children somehow think this thing that they are supposed to sit on is going to eat them. You have to convince these toddlers that they are not going to be eaten. The potty will not swallow them. It does not bite.
Once you have convinced your child it will not eat them, it does not have teeth, and they will not be swallowed by this thing, you can let them sit on the potty endlessly. If your child is afraid of loud noises, do not flush. Flushing awakens the monster. The monster is in your toilet and who knows how long it will be before you can convince your child otherwise. The noise may even be the monster growling. Do NOT flush.
After your child has conquered his or her fear of the potty, the next step is to convince your child to USE the potty. The potty is a fun place. You need to let the bathroom become a playroom. While sitting on the potty, your child will get bored and start talking or playing with whatever is in the bathroom. Help your child hurry along and speed up the process by giving a reward. Make the reward suitable for your child.
Play games with your child. If he or she uses a little potty, you can use the big potty and have a race to see who can get done first. Children love to play games. Let them win, especially with going to the bathroom first.
When they are done using the bathroom, one of the best rewards to give your child is the potty dance. Every parent does it. You dance around the bathroom with your child “yeah”-ing that he or she went potty.
Make sure you are specific with your child as to when he or she will receive his or her reward. Be specific what the reward will be given for. If you promise a reward for sitting on the potty, don’t change the reward to using the potty as soon as the child sits down. He or she will stop trusting you and not see any reason to use the potty.
Some of the rewards I used that worked for my daughter were:
Small plush toys – If she used the potty she would get a plush toy. If she only sat on the potty she would receive a different reward.
Stickers – My daughter loved stickers. If she sat on the potty and really tried she could have a sticker.
Milkshakes – Milkshakes were a reward if she used the potty.
Chicken nuggets – We would go to McDonald’s to celebrate if she continuously used the potty without wetting her pants. This worked well.
Playing at the park – If she could go without having an accident we would play in the park. That meant that she had to ask to go to the bathroom and not wet her pants.
Happy face – We had a smiley face in the bathroom. Every time she would use the potty the face would smile.
Don’t get discouraged. Rewards that work for one might not work for another. These seemed to be what my daughter liked and they might help you.