Let's be honest. There are few things more annoying than a partially potty-trained child. So we have been in no rush to train our younger daughter. Diapers are easy. And very few of us head off to college in a pull-up...so it was low on my list of things to do.
At a certain point, though, she took it on her own to join the potty club. She had been watching her big sister, I guess, and wanted to check it out for herself.
She pulled out a magazine (I can't imagine who she was copying there!)....and a minute later, woo-hoo!!!
I just loved watching the excitement on her face as she looked into the little green bowl. The whole family rushed into the bathroom and we sang the “I’m proud of you” song to her. She clapped her hands and jumped up and down and yelled “PROUD YOU, PROUD YOU!”
This is a song that I have taught my family, but I can't take any credit for it. My parents sang it to me and my brother when we were kids and we had a success that deserved (or desired) attention. It is actually derived from a Fred Rogers song…though I just listened to Fred’s version, and ours has evolved away from that over the years. We sing: “I’m proud of you, I’m proud of you, and I hope that you are proud of yourself too! YEA!!!” Here is Fred Roger’s version of the “I’m Proud of You Song” , a bit longer than I remember it. You can make up your own song, too.
What I have read (and since observed) in terms of early social and emotional development, is that it is important to underscore for your child that praise is connected to specific desirable behavior. So I try to make the children understand what I am proud of, and why we are singing the song both before and after we sing it: “I am proud of you for using the potty so well. Good job!”. This provides really positive feedback, and family recognition of a child’s achievement…or even a good try.
And it is not just for the kiddos. Sometimes the adults can use a dose of the "Proud of You" song too. It feels good all around.