A friend emailed to a group of mom friends this query:

We are finished with potty training but I was reading an article and don't really understand this. Can someone explain?

Discipline the lazy child. If your child gets busy playing outside, doesn't want to take the time to come in and go to the bathroom, then wets his pants and says he "forgot to go," stick to Dr. Leman's rule that "everyone only gets to use one pair of underwear per day." That means your child won't be able to play any more outside for the day. Then, the next time he'll remember to listen to his bladder.

So, what happens next? They come inside and be naked? Certainly, you don't put the diaper back on?! That makes it way too easy to not pee in the potty.

To which I replied:
We have a rule similar to that. Our limit is one change per day. If he wets his pants, he can have one more set of undies and shorts, plus no more TV or outside time. However, if he wets the second pair of clothes, we either had him go around pant-less (with undies) or put him pajamas early, depending on the time of day. In addition to no kid's shows and no more outside time, I also remind/instruct him to try to potty more frequently like every 30 minutes or hour. At our house, we no longer refer to peed-in pants as "accidents". And I'm flexible in that if his underwear is a little wet but not his shorts then he can keep his underwear if he wants (or trade for clean ones) and there's no penalty. I had to draw a line so he knew exactly when he was in trouble and when it was ok.

This technique gives intentional peeing a very undesirable outcome. On the positive, and because we got desperate, we began praising the good days (and halves of days) with verbal praise, high fives, smiles, shouting woo-hoo!, and even doling out treats like yogurt with candies mixed in, mini chocolate bars, and scoop of ice-cream. When he does good with potty training, he gets a sweet treat, TV, lots of praise and the option to play outside. And when he messes himself, he loses all that (except for praise on all other attempts throughout the day).

I'm happy to report that it seems Joshua has turned a corner and now takes himself more frequently and has fewer wet pants. I'm not sure if it's b/c of our rules or his maturity or physical awareness or some combination, but I am very glad he's finally improving! yay!!

To take it a step further, we also praise him and give a treat for going all-day with no pee in his pants. He loves getting a special treat and the praises that go with it. For a moment, it's all about him and something good he's doing. And I tell him frequently I'm proud of him.



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