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Potty Training Secrets: How To Make It Successful and Fun

By Tamara Kauppinen

Diapers costing you a fortune? It may be time to tackle one of the most important challenges in your young child’s life… the dreaded potty training experience.

One of the most common questions that I am asked is in regards to subject. Many parents will ask me something like this:

“Do you have any tips on potty training a two year old, that has no desire to try?”

I have been very lucky in my own four children that they potty trained literally on their own, but I have had several daycare kids that were not as interested in this phase of their little lives.

First of all I know that everyone says not to push them, but it is very true. DO NOT try and force the issue. As a parent we must learn to pick our battles with our children and this is one that is not easily won, if they are not ready for it. I started out with “Potty Training” books. There are a lot of different ones out there at your local library, or bookstores (I saw a cute hardcover one at Wal-Mart yesterday called “I Have To Go Potty!” It was under $8.00). There are also many different videos on this topic as well, I know that Dora, and Barney have their own videos on potty training.

Second, talk to your child about the potty in their language. For example: “Mommy and Daddy go pee pee and poopy on the potty, do you think sometime you want to go potty too like Mommy and Daddy?” Make any conversation with them at their level and also answer their questions if they have any.

Third, this is a HUGE deal, so make a big deal out of it. Take your child shopping, have them help in picking out the potty chair or a package of their very own “Big Kid” underwear. Also make sure that you have rewards for them. Whether this be M&M’s, dum dum suckers, skittles, raisins, whatever is a motivator to your child. Purchase those items with your child and make sure to remind them, that the candy is for after they go potty on the potty. (If you do purchase candy, make sure it is something little that you can easily manage, because if you give them a whole bag of M&M’s each time they go potty, you will have one hyper child, just a few m&m’s or skittles at a time and that is why if you purchase suckers go with the smaller ones.) Once your child has the hang of potty training and you are working on night training, again take them to the store and have them pick out something special to them, a stuffed animal, new video, a new book, game, truck, barbie, etc. Tell them that once they are dry all the time and have no more diapers then you and your child will go purchase that special item, “because they are a BIG boy or GIRL.” I can’t stress enough to involve them and make them feel important!!!

If you child is hestitate about even sitting on the potty, do not push them, but make a big deal out of it, when he/she does finally sit on the potty. Encourage him/her to sit on the potty with their diaper on at first if they are too afraid. Gradually work to take the diaper off of them when they are on the potty. Also look for the signs that your child may have that they are about to go potty in their diaper, and then ask them then if they want to go use the potty (remind them of the treat at the end if they do go). Reward them for every little step that they take, so that they feel important. I use to make up a potty dance with my kids. Every time after they went, we would do the potty dance together, and many times even after I went to the bathroom, my kids would do the potty dance for me, because they were then proud of my accomplishment as well. This may sound corny, but it is a great way to motivate your children in not just potty training, but I’ll save that for another article.

You can never encourage your children enough in anything, so start the cheerleading team and “GO POTTY TRAIN!”

Remember, stay positive, go slow and have fun with you child during this trying process! Good Luck.

About The Author
Tammi Kauppinen is a proud stay at home mom with five wonderful children. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater with a degree in Special Education, she decided to find a way to stay home and raise her children. That hasn’t kept her from working with kids! She has run an in-home day care for ten years, worked in variety of school districts with children with special needs, acted as a foster parent to teenage boys and as a respite provider for other foster children. She continues to work with children – including her own – on a daily basis and publishes a weekly email on stay at home mom tips. To sign up for this FREE service go to

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