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Using the potty: should I offer rewards?

Rewarding a child for their success works, but you must be careful using this technique.

All children respond to praise. Using a reward system, such as stickers or a treat upon successful use of the potty can be a great aid; however, you must make sure that you are correctly using this tool.  Here are some tips

•    Only use a reward system when you are certain that your child is ready for potty training. If they are not ready, when they do not get the reward, it could make them feel bad about themselves for something that they cannot yet control.
•    Explain to your child that even at times when they do not get the reward, you are not mad or upset and they should not be either. Tell them they will get to try again next time.
•    Use small inexpensive rewards such as stickers. Rewarding extravagant items could cause your child to be extremely disappointed when they do not get the reward and could cause power struggles.
•    Remember, the child should focus on the outcome and not the reward. Always praise their successes and never scold or punish your child for any potty related issue.

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