3.6 year old boy refuses all potty training tactics. Best way to proceed?
My son is 3 years & 7 months old. We have been potty training him since he was 2.5 years. He has peed in the toilet 1x and pooped 1x (MONTHS ago). Nothing more. I have tried incentives (stickers, sticker charts, lolipops, toy cars, parties, cake, balloons, presants, Wiggles concert tickets, trips to the Children's Museum, & a trip on a REAL airplane to Orlando...we're going in January either way). Recently, I said "No more TV & No more computer until you use the potty. Those things are for big kids." Each time he goes, he gets 30 minutes screen time. He has happily gone a week now without TV & Computer or the potty.
I have talked about "Babies in Diaper" and "Big Boys in underwear". I have tried asking him to "Help Mommy". I have talked about how "Proud Mommy, & Daddy, & Grandma...etc." will be. I have talked about all the big kids at preschool (He's the only one out of all 24 in diapers...including boys 1 year younger than him). The teacher at school works with him every day too.
I asked a child psychologist about it about 6 months ago and he said. "Just put him in underwear. It's messy, but who's going to get more uncomfortable first, him or you?" The answer: Me. My boy would lay in pee and/or poop soaked clothed for hours before concenting to "be responsible for himself" and take off his soiled clothes. After awhile, I would contain him (and the mess in his bedroom until he concented to get cleaned up. I never yelled, I just stated the concequences for his actions and followed through with them.
I have also tried dropping the subject entire. My boy is thrilled with that. It's his dream come true...never using the potty. I have never forced him to sit on the potty when he was upset. I usually ask him if he wants to...he always says no. Sometimes, I strongly encourage him with stories, etc. He will sit there. He has no fear of sitting there (pantsless).
I believe he does not want to let go of his "baby ways". I believe he doesn't want to be "bothered". I also believe he enjoys the power he has by "not doing what Mommy wants". I KNOW he is physically ready to be potty trained. He usually wakes up dry. If I mention it and suggest the potty, he immediately pees in his diaper. Then, he may or may not agree to sit there, but by then, there's no point. EVERY TIME he sits on the potty, he pees or poops beforehand...holds it while on the potty...then pees/poops again IMMEDIATELY after. Not using the potty is VERY deliberate.
My question is...what is the best way for me to proceed. He definately doesn't want to use the potty, but could care less about extrinsic or intrinsic rewards. I'm afrain if I completely let it go he will just think..."FINALLY, she's stopped bugging me." Also, my son has been wearing Goodnights underpants for over a year now because he is a very tall kid and outgrew all diapers & pull-ups before he was even ready to potty train. Help! This is SO expensive & frustrating! Thanks!
At some point, depending on the particular issue involved, we're left with one alternative: let it be. To the extent that he is responding to the interest you, not he, has in his accomplishing toilet training, letting it go will be helpful. But, helpful or not, what other option do you have? And, even though he is the only child in his pre-school who has not accomplished this task, he is by no means alone. There are many children, particularly boys, of his age who are exactly where he is. So, relax and be patient. Reward him whenever he uses the potty, but downplay the whole issue. And continue to have him sit on the potty a couple/few times a day, regardless of what he does.
I have a son almost 3 and he won't potty train either. Dropping the idea is great. He potties when he wants and the rest of the time you can't get him to go. Once in awhile when you ask, he will say yes,the rest of the time it is no. When he does say yes he will go.I have just admitted to myself to drop it and have patience.Hoping he won't wait forever.
Your 5th paragraph says it all. I went through this with our oldest, and the best advice I can give is to drop it, don't mention another word to him. He knows what he needs to do, but he will do it on his time, not yours. When he sees his peers using the toilet, he will follow. The key is to drop the issue, and it is no longer an issue. Our daughter was what I call a 'withholder'. Used a diaper until 4 1/2, and yes, that bothered me, but she wasn't ready to change. After the issue was dropped, she quickly converted to using the potty like a pro. It will happen...good luck. Just don't mention a word about it, and make sure he never hears you talking about 'it'.
I let the pre-school do their thing, as they encouraged all the children to use the potty. But, even with that, she still withheld to the point of involving the pediatrician advising us to use suppositories, etc. In taking that advice, it made things worse, and that is when I decided to let it go completely. He knows he has control over this issue with you, and it empowers him (and irritates you). So, I would let the school do their thing, and at home make no mention of it. I know all kids react differently, so his reaction may be different. Changing a messy diaper at an older age can be a real challenge for us, but he'll eventually get with the program. He sounds very smart!
I agree, just drop it. My 3 1/2 year old refuses to poop on the toilet, peeing is no problem. She just gets upset when we mention the toilet when she needs to poop. I don't want to stress her out and cause her to hold her poop, which can very likely happen. Like you, I've tried rewards, punishment, being supportive, getting mad, etc. I think she just needs to do it in her own time (like her older sister who was 3 1/2 when she toilet trained, finally).
My son was also a VERY reluctant potty user. We tried everything. We finally let it go for about 6 weeks and didn't ask him to sit on the potty at all- didn't even mention the word to him. Then, we took a slightly different approach. We taught him to stand up to pee and didn't even think about sitting down and pooping. We were low key with this- no big rewards or overly lavish praise, just a "good job", and on with life. When he was 3 years, 9 months, his friends were moving up to the next class in preschool. I told him simply that he was not going to be able to move into the new class with them, because he didn't know how to poop in the potty yet (the truth). I assured him that it was ok, and that he could stay in his old class with the younger children (also the truth). Well, to make a long story short, that's the day he started pooping on the potty. He chose to do it so he could proceed with his friends to the next class in preschool. Give your son time- I'm sure he'll also find his own motivation.
Hi I am a gramma who raised 3 boys and now have 5 grandsons who I take care off while their parents work.
All the grandsons were easy to potty train except the little one who was on the verge of turning 4 and behaved exactly as you described. No interest and very deliberate ways of letting you know he had no interest haha
So I suggested to my daughter in law that she do what I did with my boys...back off, don't mention it and in a few weeks start over with a new tactic.
I told her I accidentaly found out that leaving their pants off while they run around the house almost always works.
She looked at me skeptically and then tried it...lol He was potty trained in 3 days and never has accidents anymore.
I don't know why it works, but I'm pretty sure he was more scared of trying to get his pants down , than he was of using the potty. For some reason it bothered him. AlsoI think they are more aware they are gonna pee if they don't have the pants to pee in. Does that make sense? i.e., he doesn't just want to pee anywhere because he knows it will make a mess.
Anyway...because of his age and height she left the potty chair out of the equation and went straight for the toilet...he's very happy and pleased with himself. Of course I would recommend you wait til you get a week off because I don't see the daycare wanting him to run loose with no pants on.
ANd when he does get potty trained, make sure his clothes are loose and easy for him to get down. Sweatpants work the best. Good luck
we tried everything with our son. if he was naked butt he'd use it but as soon as you put somthing on him he wouldn't. what finally happened is that I got sick of pushing it, then we went to the doc when he was sick and the doc did a pinky swear with him and told him he was too old to be wearing the pullups and didn't he think he should start using the potty like the other big boys..he agreed did the pinky things and the next day he was potty trained. I was stunned and the doc became our hero..
hello, I don't have any suggestions but wanted you to know there's someone out there in the same boat! My son will turn 4 in February and doesn't want to use the potty either. I too have tried every incentive & reward, method etc I have been suggested or dreamed up and he is just not interested & tells me "I don't like the potty!" Interestingly, he wakes up dry most mornings and will let me take him straight to the potty when he gets out of bed. (not awake enough to protest?) Also, I was fortunate to find a preschool that would take him untrained (most around me will not) and he is usually dry there and goes to the potty when they take the group mid-morning. Most mornings I get him to poop on the toilet before school, but that's with a lot of protest and as soon as he arrives home at noon from the time he goes to bed he doesn't want to go when asked and won't initiate anything. He doesn't mind being in wet or soiled clothes (training pants or underwear.) I have tried having him naked. I guess that works for kids that don't like to be soiled but I just ended up frustrated and grossed out- and it didn't phase him at all. The advice of HVMA-Ph.D.-KDK fits with what I've been doing lately, keeping a morning routine but not stressing it in the afternoons. Here's hoping our boys both have success soon!
i need some serious help.
my 4 year old will not poopoo in the potty, i have tryed sitting him on there, telling him he can get candy or a toy after he goes like a big boy.
am i do something wrong here?
he will pee in the potty every now and then but i dont understand why he wont do the other?
any help would be great.
he was behind with everything else he learned to do also.
like crawing, walking, talking, and now potty training.
i feel like this is all my fault, what should i do?
My son was in preschool for special needs and I got some awesome information to use at home, approx. 2 pages, which included some techniques. He could have cared less if he sat in a dirty diaper all day. Rewards was one that worked GREAT with him. It worked fast too --- he was SO ready! He too was 3.5 mo. when I said "no more" and never put another diaper on him again. I dodn't care if I changed him 100x/day. Anyway, let me know if you;'d like me to email it to you, and what your email address is? Good luck either way!
thank you very much, i was out of town for a while and i just got the e-mail, i also just found out i am gonna have another baby so i need to get a move on with this potty training, thank you again, and i hope you have a very merry christmas and a happy new year.
I am a Grandmother and I am raising three of my daughters children, the youngest is a girl who just turned 4,she was pretty much potty trained about a year ago. she now will not use the potty,we have to ask her 90% of the time,and usually she says no she does not have to go, but if we put her on the yoilet she will usually go,or not go and then stand right in frony of you and pee or poop her self,we have also tried all of the abuve with no change.she will start school this year,Im not sure how she will do there.although she is always clean abd dry while attending sunday school. please send me your email at ***@**** any and all advice is welcome. thank you
My son just turned 5 and will NOT use the potty to do poopoo. He's great at using it to do peepee but says he's "scared" to do poopoo. I've tried it all. This is driving us nuts! He has no problem asking for a diaper when he has to go and doing it there. He'll go to his room and say he needs "privacy" and returns when he's ready to be cleaned. We've tried rewards, ignoring, etc. etc and nothing seems to work. If we do't give him diapers he just holds it in for days. I don't like him doing that. He's NEVER had any type accident at home or in school. What can I do? We're desperate for help. Thanks in advance.
HELP! I have a 3 year 2 month olg GIRL child that REFUSES to go on the big girl potty, despite her big sisters encouragement, bribs, etc..... She, also, wakes up dry. I sit her on the potty, she won't go. This morning, she went right downstairs and peed- all over the floor. I would LOVE the 2 page information on potty training advice!
For the 5-year-old who is using pullups in his room--we had the same issue at 4 with my older son. And while I didn't want to push too much, I did insist that he use the pullup in the bathroom because "that is where everyone poops, not in a bedroom." It was at least a step in the right direction even though it took several more months to get him to use the toilet for pooping.
On the other hand, I am apparently engaged in a pooping power struggle with my 3 1/2 year old. Most days he goes pretty regularly right after lunch. He lets me know that he needs to go and we get a pullup. But when we have to break schedule and are not at home during the regular "zero hour" he often withholds for the rest of the day and sometimes even the next. This means a big pileup that makes him uncomfortable and cranky. And the crankier he gets, the meaner he gets and the less likely to give in and go. He has similar issues with schedule changes--if it violates his expectancy, he blows up and is very hard to console. This happens even if the outcome would be the same but the process is different. I am starting to believe that this internal power struggle he is having is the root of all our behavioral issues at the moment (refusing to participate in preschool, generally being defiant when he is withholding). Anybody have a similar experience or advice?
I too am in a similar situation. I have a 4.1 y/o boy who could care less if he sits if pee or poop for the day, has not responded well to rewards/praise (at least not past the first 5 minutes after going on the potty). He is fully capable of going on the potty, but chooses not to. Our pediatrician (a year ago) told us it was a behavioral issue and suggested that we seek the help of a behavioral/potty training specialist. We decided to continue trying on our own, but here we are a year later with no progress. Sometimes my little guy will go to the bathroom if you ask him to (only to pee), but often times he throws a full-blown tantrum (hitting, screaming, pinching, biting, scratching etc). Of course when we are on the road or in a store, he is more than willing to announce each time that he needs to use the bathroom (to pee). He has been in pre-school for eight months now where the majority if not all of his classmates are fully potty-trained. He attends two full days a week and goes to an in-home daycare three days a week. Although he tends to have some good days at school (when it comes to going potty), he displays the same outrageous behavior with the babysitter as he does at home. He is not phased by the other children around him being fully trained. We've done the stickers, the treats, the possible trip to Disney World, cool big boy underwear with characters on them (we've got them all) and we've also taken priveleges away (probably not recommended, but we've done it). As for pooping, he has an interesting way of doing it. They only he goes (other than the 3-4 times he actually went on the potty), is on all fours (yes, on his hands & knees). He never had a true constipation problem until a couple months ago and we started him on a pediatrician recommended oral aid that he takes every day. The thought was that this would not only help him out of the temporary constipation situation, but would probably also help him come around to pooping on the potty if he was having trouble going. Unfortunately, it hasn't changed a thing (other than curing the constipation). I'm at the point where I feel like our family life revolves around his pooping. Because if he needs to go and it takes him a while to do it, he is absolutely unmanageble. I have recently let him run around naked, but only 50% of the time did he care to use the potty (to pee). He was more than happy to pee all over the floor. It did seem to bother him when he needed to poop though, but he wouldn't go on the potty, he just screamed and begged for a pull-up. I have also tried to get him to at least do his deed in the bathroom (thinking it was a step in the right direction since it's the right location), but that also ends up being a huge ordeal. And, yes, we have tried ignoring the subject, but probably not for a long enough period time (couple of weeks). We have tried all of the little tricks several times over the past two years with no results. It just causes my husband and I more and more frustration. We couldn't send our son to the school that he was supposed to attend because he is not potty trained. The pre-school and babysitter will go along with whatever we ask them to do and they have. Overall, my son is a very loving, fun little boy. He is not a problem child at school and is well behaved for his age. So, while I'm waiting for a miracle to occur, I'd like to find out if anyone has enlisted the help of a professional. If so, can you tell me more about that and how it worked for you? The saying, "Don't worry, your children won't go to kindergarten in diapers." is becoming less and less comforting to me.
it is really not a comment but i need help. My son is going to be 4 in march and is not happy with potty training. when you let it go like not make a big deal about it do you keep putting some diapers on him or do just let him be in underwear and hope for the best.
email me at ***@****. i would really would like all the advice i can get.
I felt like crying when I read all your postings. I am so glad to hear that someone is in the same boat as I am. I have a little boy that turns 4 in a couple of weeks. I would love for you to send me the two page report that you've been talking about. Me email is ***@****. Thanks so much.
Oh my gosh! i fell on this post when i was actually looking for something else and am so thankful..!!!! i too have a little boy who will be 4 in April and refuses to poop on the potty. uhg! and of course everyone else around me has an opionion or wants to give unsolicited advice. don't they think i've tried everything? duh! Anyway, would one of you mind emailing me the info to ***@****. I'll let you know how i make out. I'm also curious to hear how some of you made out.
If you could I would greatly appreciate the 2 page helpful info on potty training. My son has been potty trained for a year now and just turned 4 in december. For some reason has just been regressing for the past three weeks. I am also 32 weeks pregnant but does not really seem to bother him and I sense no jealousy so far. If anyone could help me with this that would be awesome. I need all the help that I can get at this point since the baby is coming withing 6 more weeks. Thanks and my email address is stephanie.***@****
O.k. I don't feel like such a horrible mommy! My four year old son Jackson will NOT poop in the potty. He will be (im almost embarrassed to say it) 5 in July. He requests pullups when he has to go. I have tried to be patient, but my patience wears thin. He is so intelligent and he just amazes me sometimes. I still have no idea why he is having trouble. He has peed in the toilet on his own since he was two. He came off the bottle and pacifier easy. He has had one accident in his pants (he couldnt get his pants down fast enough)and has wet the bed twice. I have tried toys, treats, stickers, trips to chuck e cheese. I have even resorted to bribing him with the $120 RoboRaptor. I am desperate. His doc prescribed a laxative to just help him along, but I dont have the heart to give it to him.
I am begging for some sort of suggestion to help me to help him. He really has no interest in pooping in the potty. He could care less. I have been at this since he was two. It doesnt help that when he is at the grandparents house that they give in and give him a pullup. Please help. If anyone has any suggestions please email me @ ***@****
I feel so much better knowing I am not the only one with this issue also! I felt like this big looser mom with an almost 4 year old still in diapers. I am trying to do the "not bringing it up" thing, but family members are not to helpful on the situation. My son is VERY stubborn, and I am having a hard time not fighting that. Thank you to everyone who is in the same boat as me and I wish ALL good luck.
I also would like the email about the hints please. Thank you
So last night I posted a comment out of sheer frustration and desperation. This morning, Jackson gets out of bed and I decided to lay there a little while longer while he got up and went in the living room and turned on the T.V. Well I heard him go in the bathroom to use the bathroom. He proceeded to call my name. (Not panicky but in fact normal) I groan as I get up and walk into the bathroom to find him sitting on the toilet. He had pooped. He pooped all by himself with absolutely no help. I could not believe it. We danced, we jumped, we called everyone we knew. As I said before I promised him a roboraptor, therefore we went to Circuit City and picked one up. I am not sure what happened, but he did it. I am crossing my fingers that this was not an isolated incident.
I tell you I began praying and as weird as it sounds I know that it worked! I had been trying to get him to do it for 2 years. A few weeks ago I began praying, not for my sanity, but for whatever it was that scared him about pooping in the potty. I prayed for him and it worked. I had been trying to lay off of the issue,amd I guess he did do it on his own time.
So my advice is to pray...and give him/her the time that they need to figure it out.
I am so happy to hear I am not the only one! I have a 3.5 year old that will pee on the potty if you put him on it (if you ask he says he does not have to go) and has only pooped on the potty 3 times. When he goes in his diaper and I ask if he did he says no. I have tried making it a game, I have tried big boy underwear, I have tried the "Daddy doesn't go in his pants" I have tried "Babies can't play with that / do that" I have tried letting him run naked. I have tried bribery, I have tried letting him sit in it. I have tried washable training pants (those worked for about 2 days) His best fried has even told him several times she thinks he needs to go potty. I have even tried blowing it off completely for a couple months, NOTHING works. I am sooo tired of it I was crying until I read everyone else's posts (misery loves company.) If someone finds the magic answer, please share it with all of us!
I am so glad to hear that other parents/grandparents are having the same potty training issues that we are with our 3.7 year old grandson. He has no problems with the peepee part, but will not go poopoo in the potty for anything. We have tried everything that any one has ever suggested, but nothing helps. We believe that it is a control issue also. He will sit on the potty, but will not go and asks for a pull-up and then will go immediately. When refused a diaper to go in, he held it for 2 days whining and crying that his "booty" hurt. Finally my daughter-in-law gave in and put a diaper on him and he promptly went. I would sure appreciate the report mentioned from d99go3 about the helpful hints. Please e-mail me at ***@****. Any other comments on this subject would be great.
Thank goodness I found this forum. I have a 4.1 year old boy who has peed in the toilet only once (and that was at daycare). He's never pooped in the toilet either. He has at times expressed interest in using the potty and at other times, has flatly refused when we take him into the bathroom saying he'll do so when he's as big as mommy and daddy. I quit work in August and have been home with him full-time since then. I really thought a nice benefit would be that I'd be able to support him in mastering the toilet. I've made him responsible for changing all his pee pull-ups himself and he knows if he's going to choose to pee in his pull-up, he must do so in the bathroom (which happens 75% of the time). He doesn't respond to typical potty training rewards and I've tried every other trick in the book including 'running out of pull-ups'. He was positive about this event and said he'd pee in the potty once the last one was used. However, he held his pee so long he became very agitated and began crying in pain. Prior to it getting this bad, we tried to get him to put his pull-up back on just to relieve himself but he refused (due to earnestly wanting to use the toilet?). Finally, when it became unbearable to him, he put on the pull-up. This was in October '05 so we waited to bring up potty training again until after the holidays (based on advice from a parent educator at our preschool co-op and our son's pediatrician who evaluated him to determine if there was any medical problem interfering with his potty training ability). The Dr. talked with my son and my son agreed that he would be using the potty by the time he came back in for his 4-year Dr. visit which will be next week. When I brought this up with my son he replied that he'll be embarassed to see his Dr. because he's not potty-trained yet. I'm so exasperated because I don't know what to do to help him. He won't offer any insight to me on what he needs or what could help him use the potty). I've called our health plan to get referrals to a child psychologist but haven't been able to bring myself to contact them yet. I keep thinking I could just 'wait' and it will magically happen but then again -- I could be sitting here with him turning 5 years old and writing again! If the person who offered the written tips is still monitoring these messages, I'd really be interested in receiving a copy as well. Thanks too for any other tips anyone can pass along (either for my son or me!).
I have a daughter who just turned 4 with the same issue. We have tried everything we can think of! I would love to receive the list of helpful hints. Could that mom please e-mail it to me too, if you are still reading these posts? Or if anyone has it from her? thank you so much. We need all the help we can get! meg-***@**** Thanks, Meg
Someone needs to help. My son is 3.5 years old and had refused to use the toilet or potty to poop. I read online about an approach to get children to use the toilet to have a bowel movement. First you get them to go to the bathroom to poop they can use a diaper they just have to be in the room. Then you get them to sit on the toilet while they poop once again they can still be wearing a diaper. The last step is to either remove the diaper or create a magic diaper and have them poop in the toilet. Well we went through the first two steps without much of a problem, but when I introduced the magic diaper my son refused. Then yesterday he decided he was going to use the toilet to poop and he wanted nothing to do with the diaper. Well to make a very long story a little shorter he had no success and I think it's because he is constipated. Today he had horrible episodes of screaming because I guess it hurt to try to poop. I offered him a diaper and he rejected it. I was so confused, then tonight he sat on the toilet and after a long time produced a small poop. Then he wanted a diaper. It really hurts me to see him in so much pain. I also forgot to mention that he leaked poop all day, I guess that's called encopresis, but he hasn't been constipated in fact he had been having regular bowel movements up to yesterday when he didn't have one. I really have no support and need some help. I finally thought I was making some lead way on the potty training and now I know I'm back to square one. If anyone has any advice please help.
I'm glad I'm not the only one with these issues. My son is 3.6 years old and will not poop on the toilet either. It seems as if we are going backwards in the potty training. He was wearing underwear everyday and going pee and would tell me when he had to poop. That was about 3 months ago. Since then we are back to wearing pull ups because he will go about a quarter size (poop) in them about 10 times a day. He just won't let it come out and says he is scared of the toilet. I've tried everything from rewards to scolding to sitting in the corner to buying an M&M machine to Chuck E. Cheese. I am getting frustrated and don't know what to do anymore? Any suggestions or could someone email me the 2 page information??
Hi all. I have a 3 yr old boy who will go to wee on the potty only if I take him. Everytime he will try to produce something, even if it's just a dribble. He has never done a poo on the potty and shows no signs of wanting to. He is quite happy to stay in soiled clothes but will tell me that he has done a wee. I do try to reward him positively with sweets, stickers etc when he does a wee but it is so tiring constantly thinking about it and clearing up the mess if I don't take him to the potty. My question is, do I carry on taking him all the time and hope one day he will do it himself when he wants a wee or let him tell me either when he has been or needs a wee and hope he gets there in time? This has been going in for about 4 months now. I know it's early days still but I NEED HELP!!!!
Lol I just tried on having my 3 yr old child naked today, to see wether he would feel inconfortable .after an 1 hr he cried desperately for a pull up so he can poop, but I didnt provide him with one, we went straight to the restroom and after 3 minutes he was pushing n finally did his #2 wow im so surprised it worked...thnx Kathat...
Hi. I posted a while ago but noticed that no posts when the problem has been solved to help others. Not long after I posted. My son did his usual poo in his pants. I asked him to sit on the potty whilst I sorted his clothes out. Completely by accident some poo fell into the potty( he didn't realise). When he stood up- he was amazed to see it and very proud of himself!! He had lots if praise, songs and special 'poo poo' sweets. He was quite happy to sit in it again to see what happens. Eventually he started going on his own and now it's all cracked. He still gets his ' poo poo' sweets and everyones happy. So don't worry out there. It will be alright, just stay calm- it won't last for long!!
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