Doodooityourself

Joy Berry's toilet-training kit has the standards: stickers, reward chart, a CD of potty songs. Not so standard? It's designed as kid self-help, so your child directs the whole operation. "Every time you successfully use the toilet, put a sticker in a square on the Potty Training Progress Chart," read the instructions. Later, the iittle bugger reminds you to give him his potty-training diploma. Now that's useful delegating! (Do-lt-Yourself Potty Training Kit, $18.95; joyberrybooks.com)

When a friend moves away

After 4-year-old Natalie Dayton's best friend, Jake, moved, "she'd cry whenever we went to the park where they'd played," says her mother, Jennifer, of Levittown, PA. "Months later, she still asked for him." It's hard for 3- to 5-year-olds to grasp the concept of moving, says Karen DeBord, Ph.D.. professor of child development at North Carolina State University. She offers advice on how you can ease the transition:

■ BROADEN HER SOCIAL HORIZONS Enroll her In a music class or sport, or have several playdates before and after the move. This will cushion the blow and keep her from relying too much on one pal in the future.

■ SKIPLONG GOODBYES

Wait until a week before the move to tell your child that her buddy is leaving.

■ DON'T CONSOLE TOO QUICKLY The news may barely faze her. If it does, be positive: "Send a letter—you'll get one back!"

■ MAKESOME MEMORIES

Put together a scrapbook, tape, or video of your child and her friend, remembering to make a copy for the pal, too. A memento like this means more to young kids than a call would. -MARGUERITE LAMB

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