A Path to Success

  We have used the Path to Success for several of our kids with great, ummm, Success! 🙂  We have also done this same sort of path to reward First Time Obedience.  They loved it, and Dale and I enjoyed the focus on catching them doing good.  We called that one the Cheerful Heart Chart.  I found some OOOOLD pictures on the blog to show you:

  More of these kind of ideas and tips for starting chores young, are found in the Big Picture Parenting section of this blog.




  As of August 5th, we decided to make Paxton a Potty Path chart.  The little stinker has been potty trained in the day time since last fall.  I wrote about it here and shared the 3 Readiness Signs, one being “Stays Dry At Nap”.  If you are thinking about jumping into potty training, please go read.  Let me tell you, I banged my head on the wall many a time over that tiny potty, because I was introducing the idea when mommy wanted, and not when the child was ready.  Serious. Save your head, and the wall, and read it first.  Winking smile

Here is sweet little Destiny with the toy she earned, after 6 months of tears from her and mom, during potty training.

age 2 potty trained

  With her, I finally gave up, packed everything away and quit.  3 weeks later, she was at a cousin’s house who went in the potty and had pretty big girl panties.  Destiny came home and announced she wanted to wear her big girl undies, and go in the potty, too.  She rarely had an accident and never wet the bed.  Hmm, think Mommy learned a little lesson on readiness?! YUP!
She earned a doll  house for pooping in the potty regularly, because that was the area she struggled in.  She once held it so long, she stood at her little table, her eyes closed like she was drugged, she broke out in shakes and sweats and then she vomited.  It was BAD, you guys.  Ugh. Poor baby.

   Children often fear #2. It hurts a bit at times when it comes out, and it feels like they are losing part of their body down into the water.  Apple Cider is a treat that will help things move without much effort.  Thankfully we have a little Mom and Pop shop down the road that makes their own fresh Apple Cider that is unpasteurized, and quite frankly, AMAZING! 

  Showing your child a chart of the body and explaining the process can help your child not be fearful as well. 

  The food goes into our mouth, and down this big slide, weeeee! It splashes into the tummy water and the body gets to work, breaking up the food and using it to make you healthy and strong.  But there is some stuff leftover the body doesn’t want or need.  So it has to leave the body, or it can make you very sick.  That is called poop.  It goes down, down, down this winding path and then it has to leave into the potty…… 

  I am aware that pottying at night is a bladder maturity issues, a lot of times, little bladders are too weak to hold a large amount of urine for a long amount of time.  I went into this, knowing it could be a mute point, because if Paxton’s body wasn’t ready to hold urine 10 hours, no amount of stickers would make it happen.

  HOWEVER, I also knew, if I could increase his awareness, he might catch himself going potty in his diaper too, while dozing. 

  And quite frankly, after 3 babies 3 years in a row, with 2 in diapers 2 times, I have changed enough diapers to last me SEVERAL lifetimes.  Hallelujah, there is light at the end of the poo poo diaper tunnel.  

  I announced to Paxton that we were going to get him a special toy.  We don’t typically buy toys other than Christmas and Birthday, so he was quite excited that I had made such an announcement!
BUT, there was a stipulation….

  It had to live on top of the fridge until he earned it by keeping his diaper clean and dry every sleep.  Remember, he has stayed day time dry since last summer, so it’s nap and night we are focusing on.  And rarely does he potty during his 2 hour nap, but once in a while, he is soaked.

He didn’t understand at first, why his front loader had to be up so high, but once I showed him the chart and he earned his first nap time sticker, he met the idea with great excitement. 


    2 days after starting the chart, a very excited boy woke me at 6:30 am with his diaper in hand.  “I woke up, took off my diaper, and peed in da potty” he says. 

  His diaper was the littlest bit wet, but in this case, we TOTALLY let him get the sticker!  Progress 2 days after we start?! YESSSSSSSSSSS!

  We had a huge set back week 1….

  He woke up, then hid, to poop in his diaper. That hasn’t happened in so long I can’t recall. I was furious!  I actually packed up the chart and toy for 24 hours, until he was ready to work harder.  

  He asked for it the day, very sorry, and ready to try again.  

  We had some successes and some failures.  Anytime he stayed clean AND dry at night, he got 2 stickers. One for no pee and one for no poop.  He has the chance to earn 3 stickers a day now.

  One night, I looked at his little belly and said to be silly,


He thought it was hysterical, and he woke up totally dry.  He asked me again the next night, “Mommy, can you talk to my body again?”  Sure, sweetie.  

  So we did it again, just as above.  I poked his tummy and he giggled…..next morning, DRY AGAIN.  I mean totally dry, not one spot of wet!

  The next day, he asked to nap in his soft undies.  I agreed, and he succeeded.

  I don’t know what made this click for him, but it finally did.  He turned 4, he was working for a goal and daily earning stickers, and we talked to his body.  Magic combo?!  haha 🙂  Each child is so different, who knows why it clicked, but praise God it did!

    I hope you can think of some cool ways to use these Paths to Success in your home, whether it’s for morning chore completion, a cheerful heart, potty training, making bed and getting dressed without being asked, and so much more.

  We are big believers in firm but loving discipline for inappropriate behavior, and there are times that it’s necessary, but how fun to focus on the good, and reward accordingly for things like this!


Look at this proud face! YAY Buddy, you did it!

Hugs, T

3 thoughts on “A Path to Success

  1. Yahoo! No more diapers!! It’s only been 11 years 🙂 My daughter was also 4 before she was night trained. I used to use Pull-Ups (disposable diapers but styled more like undies) and I used to buy the cheap ones, however there was one brand that had Disney princess pictures on it. At twice the price. And Lord, how she wanted those ones! Eventually, I caved in and bought a packet and wouldn’t you know it, she didn’t need the whole packet before she was dry at night. Ratbag. I sometimes wonder if it would’ve made a difference had I bought the pretty ones earlier in the process?

    Good job Paxton xx

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