In starting the potty-training process (and in life generally), Richard and I decided that we wanted Parker to value our praises to him above any tangible prizes or treats. After all, our opinion should be all that matters to him, right?!? We didn't want to have to bribe him endlessly for going to the bathroom. Let's save bribery for the bigger ethical battles!
The first hurdle in potty-training was just getting his underwear on. He hated them. (Note: I did read a potty-training book, and kids usually like to wear cool-looking underwear...not Parker). He would kick and scream and lunge for his diapers.
After a cupcake, a popsicle, two stickers, and a racecar, we got the underpants on.
But after we got the underpants on, Parker was actually pretty darn good. As long as he could get a prize from the "Jewel Box" everytime he went pee-pee in the potty, and as long as we sang and danced and gave him effusive praise, he loved going potty. Had you heard us, you would have thought he just won the superbowl or discovered nuclear fusion.
Parker's haul from Day 1 (excluding treats that were consumed immediately by him):
While Parker was mastering the potty, he decided that Brookey should do so as well. He peer-pressured her into wearing big-boy pants.
The rest is history.
*In the interest of historical accuracy, we never really believed the non-bribery route would work.