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How do I get my child to use the potty without constantly reminding her?

SHERI [a parent]: We potty trained our two and a half year old daughter this past summer. It took a couple of months and then we thought we had arrived. Lately, she has stopped telling us when she has got to go, and we see her dancing up and down and we know its time for her to get to the potty, but were always having to tell her. How can we get her to realize its her responsibility to get herself to the bathroom?

ANDREA [a guest on the radio show]: When you started training her, did you tell her that she was to tell you when she had to go, and then would you take her? Or did you teach her from the beginning that it was her responsibility to go and take care of it herself? How did you start out with her?

SHERI: I'm not sure I remember, but at the very beginning I think we told her to tell us when she had to go and then we would take her.

ANDREA: I just wonder if that might not be part of it. We went through that very kind of relapse with our little Benjamin, and then we finally decided to focus on the fact that he should be responsible for himself. We even trained him to take his little potty and dump it into the big potty and flush it. He had to do everything himself and be completely independent from us.

SHERI: When we got to the point where our daughter would dump it herself, I just stood there with my fingers crossed, hoping that she wouldn't spill it all over the bathroom.

ANDREA: I know how you feel… we have carpet in our bathroom!

RANDY [Randy Carlson]: I was just wondering… how long did it take to potty train Kevin Leman?

KEVIN [Dr. Kevin Leman]: A day. No problem. Mom just said, "Cubby, be toilet trained," and I was.

Author: excerpt from Parent Talk by Dr. Kevin Leman and Randy Carlson of Family Life Communications

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