This is the current state of my refrigerator:
Faces and various hints as to who we are are blurred, of course. 😉
We have been working with our 6 year old on being honest and to encourage her to go to the potty by herself. On the left is the Unicorn Potty Chart. One might recognize it as a potty training chart, but we're using it to just encourage our youngest to use the toilet. I've laminated it so that we can peel off stickers and just keep reusing the chart after it's full. Every time she goes to the bathroom without us telling her to go, she gets to choose a sticker that's hanging on the right. Since she's only with us every other weekend, her father and I decided that when she gets a total of 7 stickers, she gets to have a bath with a bath bomb, which she loves! Below the sheets of stickers on the right, there is a caterpillar chart. This is her Honesty Chart. Every day that our 6 year old does not tell any lies, she gets a star. If she lies, not only does she not get a star for that day, but she loses a star that she previously earned. We have told her that hiding things; lying by omission counts as a lie. When she earns a total of 5 stars, she'll get a prize. These prizes can be a toy that she's been wanting for a while, or an activity like going to the zoo, a special dessert, etc. - something that will bring her joy.
How it's been going:
It's been a bit of a struggle - a lot of highs with a lot of lows. Our 6 year old has still been wetting her pants and we have told her that she will not be getting trouble for that. She is highly motivated to use the potty because she wants the stickers and bath bombs. As time has been progressing, she seems to be able to not wet herself on days where it isn't busy and we don't have a lot of family coming and going. When there's a family gathering and things get chaotic, I will most likely end up changing her at some point during the day. We've been told by our therapist that it's just a matter of time before the soiling herself will stop. So we just have to hang tight and continue to reinforce the fact that wetting herself is not a big deal.
The lying seems to be more of an issue than the pants-wetting. It feels like our 6 year old lies primarily to get what she wants or lies so she doesn't have to do something she doesn't want to do. Totally understandable for someone her age, but we need to nip that in the butt. The hardest lie that we're struggling to break with her is lying about wetting herself. She won't tell us because she doesn't want to get in trouble and will therefore, sit in wet underwear for hours until they're dry. She'll tell us she's wet herself in the evenings, right before bath, in hopes that she'll get a star because she's "telling us the truth". It's definitely getting a little tricky. At first we gave her the star because she was being honest with us. However, we've had to step it up and start taking stars away because she is refusing (or perhaps it's just a bad habit) to tell us she's wet herself when it happens. As a result, there has been a bit of confusion as to what the stars represent. To battle the confusion, there has been a lot of verbal repetition happening:
Me: "Do you deserve a star for today?"
6 yr old: "Yes/No"
6 yr old: "Because I told the truth and didn't wet myself/Because I lied and wet myself"
Me: "No. It doesn't matter if you wet yourself. If you told the truth but still wet yourself you would still get a star. This star is for telling the truth. I. Do. Not. Care. If. You. Wet. Yourself! Let's try this again. Why do you deserve/not deserve a star?"
6 yr old: "Because I told the truth/told lies."
Just that same repetition. Over and over and over and over again. Hopefully it'll sink in soon! There are definitely days where she gets it: she goes to the potty herself, discovers that she's wet herself, tells us right away, doesn't tell any lies or throw any tantrums. Those days are awesome and we're so proud of her! On the days where she doesn't make it, it's disappointing because we're all rooting for her. I would say that the main challenge of only having her every other weekend, is that we have to re-teach her things that we've already taught her. The biggest hurdle of being a Bonus parent/weekend parent is that we don't really know what the other parent is doing in her home, and it isn't something that we can control.