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Potty Prizes Gone Wild

Confession: This morning I let my 2 ½-year-old son, Jason, have a lollipop — at 7:15 a.m. He’d just gone pee pee in the potty, and given that he’d fulfilled his part of the bargain, he was ready for his treat. Which had to be a lollipop. A big one, and pink. We were running late. I had no other “healthier” treats and he wouldn’t have had it anyway. And so, he had a lollipop before even one morsel of real food crossed his lips.

It wasn’t always this way. A couple of months ago when he was just getting familiar with his potty, he’d go maybe two or three times a week, and then maybe not again for two. A DumDum or square of chocolate now and then didn’t seem like such a big deal. But now, now he’s going three or four times a day, and candy three or four times a day just can’t be an option (can it?!). I know, I know...not a great idea. But now that I’ve set up this deal, how can I break it in good faith? Can a sticker be just as satisfying? That’s a hard sell, even for me. Have you successfully made the transition from potty prizes to a good old pat on the back for a job well done? If so, please, PLEASE share your secrets!

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