Making Potty Training a Family Affair: Grandparents

By Colleen Brunetti, MEd

grandpa and grandmaWe’ve looked at how to get dad and siblings involved in potty training. Today, let’s take a look at grandparents.

1)   Get on the same page: Sometimes navigating child-rearing philosophies with your parents or in-laws can be tricky. Parenting methods have changed a great deal in the last several decades, and Grandma may have her tried and true method that just doesn’t jive with your approach. Continue reading

Making Potty Training a Family Affair: Siblings

By Colleen Brunetti, MEd

monkey see, monkey do!We’re taking a look at different ways to get family members involved in the potty training process. To read about dads, click HERE. Today, let’s talk about those older siblings.

1)   Monkey see, monkey do: Toddlers are often in awe of their older siblings.  Use this to your advantage. Continue reading

Making Potty Training a Family Affair: Dads

By Colleen Brunetti, MEd

In the next few posts, we’ll offer you some quick tips to get different members of your family involved with the potty training process.

Let’s start with Daddy. Dads are great. They have a special way with their kids and a different roll than mom. But, the truth is, sometimes dads can be a little reluctant or unsure when it comes to potty training. Here are three quick tips to get them in on the action. Continue reading

The Making of Potty Time: Part Two

   Inspiration and Direction

By Colleen Brunetti, MEd

I recently had the privilege of speaking with co-creator of Signing Time, Emilie Brown, to chat about the making of Potty Time. Some of you might not know Emilie, but she is a driving force behind much of what you see in the Baby Signing Time and Signing Time videos, and sister to Rachel Coleman. You can read about their co-creation of Signing Time HERE. I wanted to learn more about what went into Potty Time, a project 10 years in the making!

Emilie Brown and Rachel Coleman

What was the inspiration for Potty Time?

For years Signing Time fans have been saying that there should be a potty training DVD with Rachel. They even went so far as to tell her, “If you (Rachel) tell my kid to go potty, I know she’ll do it!”

The truth was, neither Emilie nor Rachel ever used a potty training DVD or materials, and they didn’t feel personally compelled to do it.  Add that to the fact that Rachel wasn’t in a big hurry to sing about “poop” and “pee”, and the idea of a potty training program from the Signing Time folks didn’t seem like it was going to happen any time soon.

However, most of the Signing Time products are a response to a request or a need that fans have expressed, and the Signing Time creators were listening!

In addition to meeting the needs of the Signing Time fans, Rachel and Emilie (and their family) had a very personal inspiration for the Potty Time approach – their mom, Linda! She has nine children and over twenty grandchildren, and each and every time she would change a messy diaper she would say something like, “Wow! What a great poop! Good Job! Your body is working!” Emilie, Rachel and their siblings found themselves saying many of the same things.

This is a bit of an unusual approach! How often are we instead tempted to hold our noses and say, “Ewwww!”? And what kind of message is that sending?

But this is the opposite approach.  How many times a day do you get to send a positive message to your child about her body’s abilities?

What did you hope to accomplish with Potty Time?

The Signing Time team set out to make a program that would be not about a certain approach to potty training, but rather a warm and supportive tool to use with any potty training method or philosophy.

Potty Time characters, Alex, Leah and Hopkins

As with all of the Signing Time products, there is a special way of doing things – anybody can teach the vocabulary for bathroom needs, but the Signing Time team set out to do that with their trademark approach: making kids feel good about themselves and teaching values, all while learning a new language.

Potty Time uses the Signing Time signature feature –singing your way through your child’s day… all of their day! Signing Time always keeps it positive, and thus, the message from Potty Time is simple but profound: “You can do it! Your body is amazing. This is part of growing up.”

In our next installment we will talk more about how Potty Time was created and how the creators hoped families everywhere would use it. Stay tuned!

 

The Making of Potty Time: Part One

Potty Time Starts with The Signing Time Story

By Colleen Brunetti, MEd

We may have some people in our Potty Time community who don’t know the Signing Time story. Learn about the history behind this amazing series, and the people with a passion for bringing communication to all kids.

Rachel Coleman and husband Aaron welcomed their daughter Leah in December of 1996. When Leah was 14 months old they discovered she was profoundly deaf. Rachel and Aaron immediately began teaching American Sign Language (ASL) to Leah and by 18 months old it was clear Leah’s signed vocabulary was outpacing the spoken vocabulary of her hearing peers. People took notice, including Rachel’s sister Emilie, who began to also teach ASL to her infant son Alex.

Rachel, Leah and Lucy

Rachel, Leah and Lucy

A few years later, Rachel and Aaron had Lucy. Lucy was born with spina bifida and cerebral palsy, and doctors wondered if she would ever speak, never mind sign with her sister, Leah. As is so often the case, with the right love and support (and a little help from sign language), Lucy would grow to defy expectations and shine in her own way.

Throughout all this, Rachel and her sister Emilie teamed up to create a program that would teach sign language to children in a fun and playful way. In May of 2002 the first volume of Signing Time was released. Rachel, three-year-old Alex  (Emilie’s son) and four-year-old Leah taught signs set to music and simple animations.

The response was overwhelming, and word spread fast. Within a few years, people all over the United States, and even the world, wanted Signing Time in their homes, daycares, and pediatric practices. Children with communication needs, including Lucy, were showing tremendous growth. Families with typically developing children discovered Signing Time as the trend of signing with babies took off all over the country, and Signing Time was the perfect vehicle to meet these needs.

The formula for Signing Time and Baby Signing Time has been simple and profound: provide a tool for communication for families and teach kids values like friendship, responsibility, and compassion in a fun and interactive way.

10 years later, Potty Time came about. Following the same formula, Signing Time fans and people new to the brand alike were introduced to a fun and interactive way to teach children about the potty. More importantly, Potty Time teaches children to listen to and respect their bodies, and celebrate the amazing accomplishments they are capable of. Time to celebrate with your kid, teach a life skill, and get out of diapers? What could be better?!

My Potty Training Adventures: Three Children, Three Lessons

By LeeAnn Mason

LeeAnn the Marketing Assistant for Signing Time, which includes a roll as Signing Time Academy Administrator.  She has been a fan since 2002 when her oldest received Signing Time on VHS for her first Birthday.  In July of 2003, she became the first Signing Time Distributor and started volunteering for Two Little Hands Productions where ever she could. In June of 2005 she was offer a temporary position helping with a special project and her responsibilities have grown and changed based on the needs of the company.

Here LeeAnn shares her own potty training story!

While working in a childcare center before I was even married, I worked with the 2 year old class which meant potty training. At our center the policy was to assist the parents with which ever method they chose. Some preferred to use Pull-Ups® or Easy-Ups®, some preferred us to leave their children in diapers and take them to the potty every half hour, and others preferred bringing several changes of clothes letting their children tell us when they needed to use the restroom. We accommodated all of these approaches. At the time, I was confident that I knew how to potty train. I also believed I knew exactly how I would potty train my own children when the time came. Boy was I wrong! Here’s what I learned from potty training each of my three children: Continue reading

Potty Training and Autism: Tips and Techniques

By Kim Fries, MA CCC-SLP

Kim Fries

Kim Fries is a Signing Time Academy instructor as well as a speech therapist. Here she takes us through some tips and techniques for helping potty train a child with autism that she has successfully used and seen implemented over the years. Kim can be reached through her website at www.LittleHandsFL.com and via Facebook at www.facebook.com/LittleHandsFL 

There has been a lot of interest on the Potty Time website, Facebook page, and here on the blog, about potty training children with special needs, especially children who have an Autism Spectrum diagnosis.  As a mom of a child on the spectrum and as a pediatric speech therapist, I have worked with many children, families, and occupational therapists to address potty training.  Here are a few tips, tricks and suggestions I have used, heard and learned. Continue reading

Night Time Accidents

 

Potty Time tips for night training

By Sue Rouillard, MEd

Does your child always stay dry throughout the day but when night comes she’s always wet?  Fear not, she’s normal. It is a complicated process learning how to control your sphincter muscles and knowing when to nudge your brain to tell your tired slumbering body to get up and go to the bathroom. Continue reading

Funny Stories from Facebook: Part Two

Thanks to our Facebook fans for sharing their hilarious potty training moments!

I think our funniest was the first time my daughter pooped on the potty. She looked at it and was shocked. She said,  “What’s that? Where did it come from?”  (Jo K.)

Baby Hopkins from Potty TimeWhile my oldest son was potty-training he had a poop accident. He didn’t want everyone to know so he tried to vacuum it up. My vacuum cleaner was sooo nasty and so was the carpet where he tried to “clean” it up from. (Esmi M.)

Continue reading

Funny Stories from Facebook: Part One

Baby Alex from Potty TimeRecently we asked our Facebook community to share their funniest potty training stories and got some great ones. Here is the first installment of funny stories, with more to come later this week. Enjoy!

My son went potty in the middle of the night the other day. After going Potty he asked “Call Rachel! No Rachel sleeping, call in the morning!” (Mickelle G.)

Last year I was letting my daughter, probably around 18-20 months, go naked. I thought keeping her off the carpet would keep any mess from getting out of hand. Then I looked over and saw her sitting on the heater vent in the floor. Just then the heat came on, her eyes got big, and by the time I got to her, sure enough she had peed into the register! (Clara W.) Continue reading