Sometimes, getting a kid to do something is like pulling teeth. Or dragging a horse through a knothole. You know... like doing something really hard. So, parents tend to use whatever tools come to hand and seem to work.
My Keebee adores her big sister; and most other "big kids". I've mentioned that she would rather be in a diaper and slippers than anything else; she's practically a nudist. Well, I discovered that for Kee, the words "like a Big Girl" work a very special kind of magic.
She hasn't worn socks... ever. Really, ever. And I didn't push it much, because it just wasn't worth it. Recently, I had to stick my hand into her winter boot to pull out a rock that was bothering her. The funk in that boot was unbelievable. Just really... ohmygod... dead bodies... unbelievable.
I decided that the time had come to get the kid to wear socks. I pointed out that her shoes would be stinky if she didn't wear socks. I tried to tell her that her feet would be lovely and warm if she wore socks. I told her that it would make mummy "super duper happy!" if she wore some socks. Finally I said, "if you can't wear socks - like a big girl - then you won't be allowed to go to school!" (She's on a waiting list for 2 days a week at preschool)
"Like a big girl?" she asked, looking up at me. "Yes honey, big girls wear socks. Promise." While she'll still only wear the socks - and it's only the blue pair with sheep on it that she'll wear - when she's going to put shoes on, a victory was definitely won.
"Like a Big Girl" has also worked for wearing pants, brushing teeth, cleaning up after herself and holding my hand while walking.
So I figured I'd try it with potty training. We're pretty late with the potty training, I know, but it's never seemed like good timing. We're going to go at it in earnest over the summer because they really won't let her go to school if she's still in diapers.
I explained to her that big girls don't wear diapers and that they wouldn't let her go to school if she wasn't wearing proper underpants and using the potty.
Later in the day, when I told her it was time to get ready to go to school, she started taking off her diaper. A little confused, I pointed out that we'd just changed it and she didn't need a new one, so she shouldn't take it off. She just started bawling and pulling harder at her diaper.
I kept trying to keep her diaper on her and she kept trying to take it off. Soon, she was beside herself and screaming at me. Eventually, she took her diaper and threw it in the corner. After she finally calmed down, she explained that she needed underpants or she wouldn't be able to come with me when I took Beege to school.
It took about 20 minutes to talk her down. I guess I'm going to have to be more careful with my magic words.