Editor's note: This article was originally published on Becky Moseley's blog, Tales of Beauty for Ashes. It has been republished here with permission.
I have failed at potty training.
But, I have also succeeded.
Sometimes, you have to fail to learn how to master something.
Ladies and gentleman, my failure has made me the master potty trainer in my house.
After my abysmal failure, I diapered my little chica for a few more months. Then, on May 10th of 2014, my husband asked me what I would like to do for my birthday. Because I am a completely normal human being, I told him I wanted to spend my birthday potty training my daughter. (OK, semi-normal human)
It was a raving success. She was potty trained mostly that day, and completely potty trained by the end of the week.
2. When you potty train, make sure that it is warm enough
You don't want your little one running around naked in the middle of winter. Trust me on this one. We went outside for the first (and toughest) day, it was warm enough that she could just wear a little dress. Then when the timer went off, she would go to her potty seat, which was outside with us.
3. Celebrate the successes … but not TOO much
The first time my daughter went to the bathroom in the potty I did a potty dance and ran around the kitchen singing, "GRACIE WENT PEE PEE, GRACIE WENT PEE PEE, SHE'S A BIG GIRL NOW!" or something similar. After my dance was completed, I saw the look on my daughter's face and realized that I might have gone a little overboard. She seemed scared to death. The next time she went pee, she was a little apprehensive of the scary mommy dance … so I made sure to tone it down.
4. Make sure they can do it themselves
If you are having to pull down their pants every.single.time. then why are you potty training? Diapering the child would be so much easier on both of you. Wait until your little one can actually pull down their own pants.
If you are potty training today, and tomorrow you need to run errands with your little one, that is going to mess the whole thing up. Let them master the skill of learning to use the potty before you take them to a place where the potty is not readily available.
6. Take it easy
They are going to make mistakes. Heck, YOU are going to make mistakes. Give yourself and your little one grace. They aren't doing it on purpose. If you have a loving relationship with your child, then they want to please you. So when they have an accident, talk to them about it. Remind them where they are supposed to go … and then move on. Don't punish them. Don't get angry.
7. Bring the chocolate
For every piece of chocolate you give your little one, you deserve one too. Really. This potty training is HARD work!
Becky traded in her teaching degree for diapers and dishes. Her blog, Tales of Beauty for Ashes, has tricks on anything from how to have a better marriage, to toddler activities. She is the author of the book, "The 30 Day Marriage Challenge."