My 4 year old daughter is very intelligent and also very stubborn. We have been working on potty training since she was about 2 1/2 years old and only at times would have minimal success. We have tried every single tip that can be found online or in books and even suggestions from our pediatrician.
About 6 months before my daughter's 4th birthday we looked at the calendar together and I told her that when she turns 4 she will need to start wearing underwear. I told her that we can work on this any way she wants or at any time in those next 6 months. If she chose to wait until her birthday, she would just have to start wearing the underwear. She chose to wait and at first was very against the idea of wearing underwear but has since given up on complaining. It has now been 3 1/2 weeks of wearing nothing but underwear during the day, and only ONE TIME she actually peed on the potty. We are always accepting but firm with her. First we tried reminding her all the time to sit on potty or let her pee out, etc. Then we tried ignoring it, by telling her that it is her decision and responsibility to put her pee in potty and that we would stop nagging her about it.
Again, we have tried just about every suggestion out there... sticker chart, rewards, new potty, placement of potty, books for her, books for us, her being naked during the day, her changing herself and cleaning up herself, etc.
I honestly believe now that she knows when she has to pee or poop because her new routine is to shoot me a frantic look, deny that the look meant anything, and then a minute or so later go to a specific spot in our house to pee or poop in her underwear. When I see the initial look on her face, I acknowledge it and encourage her to go to the potty. I give her all the options I can think of... I will come with and hold you, you can go by yourself and we don't have to talk about it, etc, but she refuses to go to potty or toilet and cannot give me an actually reason as to why.
She has told me that 2 years ago her babysitter made her sit on the toilet by herself and she was scared that she would fall. Other than that, I cannot figure out why she would be so scared and I have tried to address this by walking her through the process by pretending she has to pee and actually putting her on the toilet to show her how the toddler seat supports her and how I can hold onto her. When she is in a less stubborn mood, she will agree to sit on the potty when we ask her to, but she will literally HOLD her pee or poop (she has admitted this!!) until she gets off and gets her underwear back on.
Only when she pees a very large amount in her underwear and we are out at a store does it bother her to be wet. There are times when she doesn't really even care or want to be changed when her underwear are wet.
She does have 2 good friends at her babysitter's house that are potty trained and that doesn't influence her at all. In fact, she told me that they used to make fun of her for still wearing diapers, but that wasn't enough encouragement either.
We have a pediatrician appointment for her at the end of this week, but I'm not convinced there is anything wrong with her psychically. Maybe we will get referred to a behavior therapist? I am just wondering if anyone has any tips or advice. This is getting very frustrating and I am at a complete loss. Thank you.
This probably started as a bit of stubbornness that took on a life of its own. The habit is now so ingrained that she can't change without "losing face." Using the potty means to her that you win and she loses.
I am not sure how to handle this. I might try by putting her back in diapers and ignoring the subject of peeing, potties, etc. Stubbornness requires opposition. Don't give it to her.
I agree in taking a break, but only a short one. Maybe for 2 weeks? Don't even mention it or practice it. Then start up again. My daughter has autism and potty training was a struggle, but she did it. First, I gave her a training potty and she kept that in the living room. Then she graduated to a cushy top for the toilet. Meanwhile we always had candy on hand to give her every time she was successful. She really liked that. Night time was more difficult. We just kept her in a pull up until she stopped having accidents. I wish there was a trick I could tell you about bed wetting, but she just got in the habit of getting up to go. We never made a big deal of it, just dealt with it. One question I do have, is your daughter in school/daycare? Many preschools won't allow little ones to attend who are not potty trained. Many will also help with potty training.
When I potty trained my four, I never made a fuss about it and simply treated it as something people did. I never rewarded or punished. And I had them go on their own. This was made easier because I removed their underpants and always kept the potty in the same room. I found that my three girls trained at 18 months and my boy at two years. I would think that Adalia, started the process a little late. Her toddler was two-and-a-half. They may not be as tractable at that age.
My second son was very stubborn about potty training. He would say to me " I'm the baby. Babies don't use the potty." I mean, really? Ugh. But I realized that this was one of the things that I could force him to do. I just backed off. I did use pull ups then and of course, hated this.
My older son was potty trained ealier but it was a six month process.
so, what ended up happening with my younger son is that I looked at him (he'd turned 4) and said "honey. Would you PLEASE get potty trained." He looked at me and grinned and said "okay". And that kid was potty trained from that minute on.
That is the advantage to an older potty training age. They get it and just do it with very little process if any.
You can't force this and I agree above to just put her back in pull ups for a bit and then just ask her lightly if she'd like to try some underwear."
(PS: I took my boys to pick out cool underwear that they hated to 'go' in. Great motivator for them. ALSO< my big potty training tip--- skip the kid potties as they are uber yucky to clean and instead, just get a ring that she or you can put on and off the regular toilet. They make them in different characters --- we had a dora one and a go diego go one. )
I do wish you luck. It's frustrating but like childbirth. Once it is done, it's done and after a short bit of time, you kind of forget how hard it was.
Our manner of training and our experiences are dramatically different. Whereas you think it works better when they are older, I found no resistance when they were young. And I gave no rewards, such as pretty underpants because I did not want them to think they were doing something special. The only time they wore diapers after being trained was at night, and that ended when I stopped giving them night-time bottles of milk.
Well, they all get to the same point, don't they? She's got a four year old already and is working on this and I was relating my experience of potty training my second child in an effort to help her.
I did not 'reward' for potty training but instead found that my boys found incentive in not wanting to ruin something they thought was cool such as a pair of Batman underwear.
Good luck to the poster. All kids are different and one persons sure fire method may not work for a child while another method does. You have to find what works with your child. I wasn't thrilled by any means that my child was stubborn on the issue but hey, that's life. I was simply giving you what I found to be a benefit to older potty training rather than having you think it is all bad or you are alone, again, good luck
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