Potty Training with Dora
Months ago I wrote a diatribe against Dora the Explorer, accusing the show’s producers of peddling baby crack. I still think it turns toddlers into zombies looking for their next fix, but I’ve since discovered the show’s other benefits. It turns out that the promise of a single episode of Dora is compelling enough to get a recalcitrant toddler to use the potty.
For weeks we’ve been trying to potty train our daughter. It’s been a disaster. She’s peed on me, on my husband, all over the house. Everywhere save into the bright pink potty we carefully chose.
She’s grown really clingy too and insists on sitting on my lap to eat breakfast, color, play with Legos, etc.
It’s all very sweet to be sure, but I’m a bit of a neat freak and so not that into being peed on.
The books and advice sites say you can’t get angry. You’re supposed to smile and say encouraging things like “great job” and “you’re getting to be such a big girl!” and “let’s call Grandma to tell her what good work you’re doing!” as you scoop poo off the kitchen floor. Something tells me grandma didn’t potty train this way.
We’ve tried every treat you can imagine. Stickers, ice cream, other TV shows. On day ten in round three of training, I taped five episodes of Dora. Setting aside my strong aversion to this loud and manipulative show — and overriding our house ban against it — I offered it up as reward for a successful pee or poop in the potty.
Think of it: the allure of Dora is so profound that it can get a child in her terrible twos – one who the day before refused to sit on the potty for ten seconds in return for ice cream – to properly use her potty. That’s a little worrying.
And wonderful. It’s day two under the new incentive scheme and – although I hate to jinx it – our daughter is three for three. And so, I guess all I can say is: thank you creepy wonderful Dora.
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