Aa
A
A
A
Close
Child Behavior Community
14.2k Members
Avatar universal

3 1/2 boy resistant to potty training

My son is 3 1/2 and will NOT have a BM in the potty. We've tried rewards, bullseyes (toy ships)in the potty, discipline, encouragement, hugs and kisses, you name it.  My husband and I are now arguing about it.  We are both intensely frustrated but he is adamant that our son go immediately.  Is our son "not ready"?  Is he just headstrong (which he is)?  Do I need to use a different method or is there one?  I'm ready to cry as now it's becoming an issue in our marital relationship.  Please help!
15 Responses
13167 tn?1327197724
What would happen if you put him completely in control of this?  If you both sat down with him and told him very calmly,  no drama,  that you realize he's not ready to be toilet trained yet.  Give him the box of pullups,  and wipes,  and garbage pail,  and say when you need to change your pullup,  here's the wipes and the garbage.  We think you're old enough to make this decision,  and you'll know when you're ready to try to use the toilet,  and we'll be ready to help you with that.  

What do you think he would do?  Would he accept the responsibility and take care of it himself?  

This really sounds like he has found a way to cause disruption,  for whatever reason.

Best wishes.
164559 tn?1233711618
Is he anxious to go to preschool?  Most will not let him come until he is completely trained, that can be huge incentive.

Unless he has special needs, he should be trainable at 3.5 years.

Perhaps he is scared?  My daughter thought a bm was her insides coming out and was very scared.

135691 tn?1271100723
My sisters daughter was scared about going on the "big" toilet and once she went out and bought a potty, she was fine. You said your trying to use a potty - what about buying one of those seats for the toilet, and getting him to try that? Maybe it might make him feel like a big boy to use the big potty - I don't know. Potty training is so hard. My son wasn't fully trained until he was about 3.5yrs. It got to the point where I started to take his toys away when he pooped in his underwear - I knew he knew how to go on the potty, he was just being lazy. It worked! Good luck to you...!
Becky
173939 tn?1333221450
See RR`s first sentence: that`s the key. Make him feel like he is fully in control. This is one area that can not be enforced and is fully up to the child to develop.
As parents you can only assist him in the process. There can be at least 6 or more reasons for delayed BM training, one thing professionals agree upon is that parents should back off and treat it casually. Try to gather all research and child psychology advice from web sites and show it to your husband. You have to agree upon the same approach and make it a non-issue. Otherwise your son will be in permanent opposition.
Believe me, I know how frustrating is is. For almost a year, my son had unlearned the BM part of toilet training, I believe due to an array of changes like new home, surgery, new half-brother. Even though I lost it with him a few times, I did not much more than to remind him were usually the BM goes and that he could try again next time. I also offered him to wear diapers again if he wished, go potty and toilet seat shopping. We read books about the subject, and most of all we talked about our daily scenarios and what to do if he would have to go while we were not home. After the purchase of a cushioned toilet seat with handles he suddenly loved the whole business and never had an accident again. It is quite possible that he found the potty too cold and hard and small. So, go easy on your son and don`t discusss the matter in front of him. Once this time passes, the relief will let you forget about all those hassles.
Avatar universal
First off dicsipline is the WORST thing to do - Please don't make him feel worse about not going.  Did you know that during toilet training there is actually a rise in child abuse - That is sad - (I am not saying you are abusing that is just something I read somewhere :o) )  It is VERY frustrating but keep doing what you are doing - Try buying a potty chair and have him put stickers on it EVERY time he goes see if that works - Praise EVERY effort - Try not to fight with DH in front of your son either - He DOES listen even though you don't think he does.   Good Luck to you - It'll happen for you - It does sound like he is very scared.   Go easy on him.  
Avatar universal
Something else I may suggest - He may not mentally be ready yet - He may be old enough to physically go but they think that their BM's are a part of them - What I mean is toddlers take such possesion of things and the thought of putting something that "belongs" to them into the potty and having it flushed away to be gone forever is not good for him.  Just hang in there he'll do it when he is ready - Have you ever seen a Kindergartener in diapers????  Good Luck to you.
Avatar universal
he's only been in the world 3.6 years and did not ask to be brought into the world.  Suggestion....leave a toddler potty in the bathroom w/ water in it and let HIM create the curiousity to use it HIMSELF.  Put a few of HIS favorite books next to the pottie and let him read them.  Children are curious.   We had our son go sit on the pot each morning to read and eventually it happened.  We just told him to go in there and some day it would happen while he was reading.   Of course it happened after the 1st day but it was his curiosity of waiting for it that helped him go w/ the power of suggestion.  Ya can't MAKE them do this.  The big toilet is way too scary for a tot's 1st bm.
Avatar universal
Stop.  He will do it when he's ready.  Just completely drop the subject, and leave him alone about it.  Wait a couple of months, and bring up the subject again--in a gentle, and positive way.  The WORST thing you can do is push a child that is not ready, and he's not.  If he were, he'd be doing it, and you wouldn't be posting.
Avatar universal
My daughter had the same problem and when we left her alone about it ~ 1-2 months later she started to do it :) now the problem we have is my 4 yrold son sometimes waits to long and pees in his pants HUGH!!!
Avatar universal
I agree that he'll do it when he's ready. That's too bad that it's affecting your marriage : (. We did a couple of things that seemed to help my daughter . . . when she did have a bm in her diaper I would put the contents into the toilet and let her flush it. We also planned a party (talked a lot to her about it) for when she was finally going pee and poop in the potty. Definitely, positive reinforcement is the only way to go. To this day my daughter is so excited when she goes poop in the potty that she tells everyone . . . the waiter . . . the people in the grocery store . . . I'm trying to discourage that ; ).

Good luck - it's definitely a frustrating process. One last thought . . .does your son have anxiety about bms in general? Any constipation issues now or in the past? Our pediatrician said that would impact potty training.
Avatar universal
I have a 3.5 yr old son and a 2.5 yr old son (who is quite the character, always into everything!!)  My 3.5 yr old will not do anything on the big or little potty...we have put him in pull ups and he must think that is just a diaper because nothing has changed.  When he is in big boy underwear as soon as he comes off the potty (w/ 0 results) he will go sit in a chair and pee or stand in the kitchen and pee.... and then step in it as if it were water!!!  Yuck!  and now when he poos he has been sticking his hand in it!!!  Oh my goodness, I am so grossed out by all of this and have tried everything.... he likes the stickers, candy, toys but gets so determined to get those without having to pee or poo that it becomes a fight.  All the while I have the 2.5 yr old creating haveck!!!!  Help anyone!!  One other thing, I don't know what this means, my 2.5 yr old constantly says "TeeTee" and grabs himself or he will whine "Poo Poo" but when I change him or take him to the potty he has already done it.. does this mean he is ready?
Avatar universal
My 3.5 yr old son can not go without softener. He will go 14 days without going without it. My mother-in-law is pushing him to potty train (he is not ready). He is to the point know that he is withholding even when he has a diaper on. I have to put his knees to his chest to get him to go.
He will kick me if he gets the chance and I can't blame him!!! I talk to the doctors about everything but they have not helped. The one test they want to do he will have to stay overnight. We sit and cry together because I feel so bad for him. Can anyone help?
Have an Answer?
Top Children's Health Answerers
189897 tn?1441130118
San Pedro, CA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Fearing autism, many parents aren't vaccinating their kids. Can doctors reverse this dangerous trend?
Is a gluten-free diet right for you?
We answer your top questions about the flu vaccine.
Learn which over-the-counter medicines are safe for you and your baby
Yummy eats that will keep your child healthy and happy
Healing home remedies for common ailments