I recently wrote an article about the Utah mother who was "potty training" her toddlers while they dined at the table of a deli. This mother's actions bordered on child abuse in my humble opinion, since her children sat with their clothes around their ankles, perched upon their portable potties, in front of everyone dining in the crowded restaurant.
After that article went to press, I was contacted by a mother who had potty trained her own children, obtained a PhD, and recognized the need for a realistic potty training methodology book for parents everywhere! Stephanie Berk has a degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Cornell and a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from University of Connecticut. In addition to her eduction, she has 4 boys of her own! She's more than qualified, in my humble opinion, to be giving me advice on potty training my children so I welcomed her expertise into my life!
Stephanie so generously sent me her book, How to (Potty) Train Your Dragon (Child) to review and, upon my request, she offered to let me give one away to a reader!! Keep reading for my thoughts on the book and giveaway details!!
First of all, I loved that this book wasn't a one size fits all kind of program. There were sections on recognizing potty training readiness as well as how to overcome life obstacles that may interfere with your training. So much more information than I've seen in other guides on the issue.
The actual potty training plan outlined in the book seemed very reasonable to me. Emma will be 2 years old the week of Thanksgiving and we haven't started any formal potty training with her yet so I enjoyed being able to read all of this in order to feel really prepared for the experience. For parents in my situation, pre-potty-training so to speak, there was plenty of information on readiness, preparation, what you need and what you don't, and even a few paragraphs on how to proceed if you've tried to potty train and failed.
The meat of the book is a very specific day-to-day plan to follow for people like me who want everything laid out very specifically but Stephanie does a great job of giving examples of how things should work when the plan can't be followed for one reason or another.
Stephanie deals with concerns that every parent has and troubleshoots how to best deal with life as it happens. She discusses regression, illness, when your kid won't get off the potty, and there's a whole chapter on nighttime potty training!
As a fellow mental health professional, my favorite part of this book was the back! Stephanie has sections on the battle of wills that inevitably happens when a child starts to exert control over things and refuses to use the potty! There are brilliant examples of how to not engage in power struggles while phrasing your request for your kiddo to use the potty in a way they can't refuse! Also, a great couple pages on ways to praise without saying the same phrase over and over again. This part is useful every day, not just for potty training!
I wholeheartedly recommend Stephanie's book and it's worth mentioning that I've seen her give potty training follow up advice on the book's facebook page!! She's also donating proceeds to local schools and plans to start a way for schools around the country to request funds from her book sales as well! Truly, this book was and will be a public service venture for this mother and PhD and I'm so grateful she listened to the requests of others to write it!
The book is completely affordable and available through Amazon in both paperback ($5.99) (what a neat gift for a baby shower!!!) and e-book ($3.99)! It's also available at two local stores (local to her, not to me) at Kangaroo Kids in St. Louis and WeePeat Kids in IL. In stores, it's a tiny bit more expensive but you don't pay shipping and don't have to wait for it so... there's that!
Buy it for you or for your friend with a 3 year old who just can't get it, for whatever reason! Personally, I think it would be an adorable gift for the parents of a 1 year old as a gift basket with a little potty and a potty training DVD or something!
Now, the fun part! Want to win a copy!!!??? Leave a comment, telling me what you fear most (or are struggling with most) with potty training! Is it cleaning the carpet? Accidents in the car seat? Feeling stuck at home for weeks while your kid figures the whole thing out? Tell me!!
For an extra entry, go LIKE How to (Potty) Train Your Dragon (Child) on Facebook and leave another comment telling me you did!
***You must leave your e-mail address as part of your comment so I can contact you directly if you've won!!***
Giveaway will be closing in a week (11/6) and winner will be notified on Wednesday, November 7th!
Winner will be chosen at random from the comments on this post!