We often base our parenting abilities on whether or not we can get our child to use the potty successfully and consistently by a certain age. But it is less about our parenting skills and more about the individual personalities and bodies of our children. Training isn't just about your child's willingness to learn. It's also about her body's ability to tell her it's time to go and allow her to get to the potty in time. Each child is different, so we asked some real parents what worked best for them and their kids.

Give Rewards

"I did a potty sticker book for my son. I drew out different scenes (a pond with field, the sky, a farm, a city) and then I got different-sized stickers to match the different pages (ducks, frogs, birds, flower, farm animals, super heroes). For #1 he got one or two small stickers and for #2 he got one big sticker and one small sticker. It was fun to watch him make the backgrounds come alive. And he loved it so much he would run and flush the toilet to try to get more stickers!" – Tasha

Go at Your Child's Pace

"We just let it happen when it happened. But we encouraged our daughter along the way by asking her often if she needed to use the potty. She was resistant to it at first, but started going on her own. Her sister is the same way." – Joe

Skip the Big Kid Training Pants

"The big kid diapers didn't work for us because our son had a hard time knowing when he had peed. We put on regular old training underpants and as soon as he started to go, he knew it. This helped him associate the feeling of having to go with actually going. That allowed him to know when to go to the potty." – Karen

It's All About the Timing

"We took our daughter to the potty every time we changed her diaper. She quickly learned that she should go potty before the new diaper went on. It happened on a regular basis so she picked up on the timing and routine pretty easily." – Adam

"I put her on the potty every half hour to 45 minutes. We read books while she sat for a few minutes. Sometimes she went, sometimes she didn't, but she learned what the feeling of having to go was. Plus I offered a treat if she actually went!" – Jasmin

Bribery Gets Results

"Nothing seemed to be working for my son and I tried everything! So, I ended up turning to bribery. I used peanut butter cups and M&Ms and that was that." – Kari

Give Up

"Give up. Seriously. I gave up and didn't push her anymore, and miraculously that's when it happened!" – Lisa