QUESTION: Does the old "running water" trick really help kids pee.
ANSWER: Yup. Running water while your child is on the potty or toilet does indeed stimulate their need to pee. If your child is having trouble releasing the pee, this is a great route. Running BATH water is even more effective.
Of course, your child has to be pretty close to needing to pee in order for this to work. What happens for some kids is they really do almost have potty training down but they can't release when they want to. I think of it as almost a switch. And for some kids that switch gets stuck on "off". If you suspect your child is having trouble releasing, try running the sink water. Then try running the bath water.
If that still doesn't help them, you can try putting their hands in a bowl of warm water while they are sitting. If THAT doesn't work you can actually pour a little warm water on their genitals while they are sitting. Before you get all weirded out...this was a very common practice of yesteryear...before we, as a society, got all weird about bodily functions. I will say this about that particular trick: some kids LOVE it and some kids HATE it. If it looks like your child is going to hate it, abort mission asap.
Calm jars, reading, singing, horse lips, giggling and blowing through a straw or trying to blow up a balloon can also help with the release.
Once your child has fully released a few times, they get used to that feeling. In other words, these aren't tricks that you are stuck with until they leave for college.
These are all tips and tricks for the child who is a willing participant in the pottying process but really just can't seem to let go once sitting. There are some children for whom the release become dramatically hard. But these tricks will definitely always be the first line of defense, regardless.