Yes, it's true...I went from battling and bargaining to....effortless potty-trained toddler! I read the books and articles, took some of the ideas I found and added a few of my own.
I originally started by trying to having my son sit on the potty throughout the day... 'practice'. The idea is that your child gets used to it and at some point might actually, by accident or on purpose, go potty and then be able to get a reward that will reinforce the desired behavior. Well, that sounded all well and good...except for the fact that my son wouldn't sit on the potty at all! He showed absolutely ZERO interest in doing this. So, how was I supposed to give him the reward and get him to want to repeat anything. Argh! The more I wanted him to do it, the less HE wanted to do it. Sound familiar?
Grabbing at straws, a neighbor lent me a video...to tell you the truth, I forgot the title, but I still have the song running through my head, 'Yes, I'm going to my potty, potty, yes I'm going to my potty, potty,....' I started showing this 15 minute video to my son (they had a boys' and a girls' version), and then I got THE IDEA....
(drum roll, trumpets, drum roll, trumpets)....I made a 'video' of my son himself. While he wouldn't sit on the potty to save his life, he thought the camera was pretty cool, so we 'pretended' that he was going to the bathroom. I took pictures as I talked him through all the steps starting with taking off his diaper, sitting on the potty, now pretend you're 'going', now wipe, then pretend you see the 'product' in the potty (cheering, clapping, woohoo!). I uploaded the pictures, added some of his favorite music, BAM! I showed him, and he loved it!
Now, he didn't immediately run to the potty from there...I started showing him his own video and the neighbor's video every day. I didn't get stressed or try to get him to the potty. We just happily watched the video together and a couple weeks later, bam! He just started doing it himself. Ta da!!