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Avatar universal

potty training my 4 year old son

I have a 4 year old son who will do every thing in his power to not use the potty.  We will have to sit on the potty and he will hold it until he gets off the potty and as soon as he get a diaper or a pull up on him will go in his pants.  He is always happy to talk about using the potty and says that tomorrow he will use the potty.  We have have tried rewards, stickers, candy, and praise.  We have to get him potty trained to keep him in the school he goes to. If any one has any other ideas please HELP.

11 Responses
242606 tn?1243782648
Not having achieved potty training is not a sign of emotional disturbance and therapy is not required. B epatient and supportive, never impatient or punitive. Make the potty available as you are doing, use children's books and videos (but don't go overboard) to enhance motivation. Toilet training occurs when the child is ready, and children vary in this regard. There are no tricks or shortcuts - patience and support are the best guidelines.
Avatar universal
my son started use the potty around 2 yr old, we made it available easy to him, had it in the living room, always around him.
This week my 2 yr old girl is without diapers all day, she started to use the potty next to the living room table, i hi 5 her and we did a little dans, she is soo proud, my now 4 yr old is emptying the potty and helping her, it is so cute.
good luck.
631996 tn?1232566939
Hi there,

I am in exactly the same position as yourself at the moment. As you have....I have done reward charts, stickers , praising , ignoring the whole thing, trying to get him to sit on the toilet at regular intervals, you name it.......I've tried it. So I know how fustrating this can be for you.

I have tried a psychotherapist but I can't say that I'm convinced that it has made any progress. At the moment I am waiting for an appointment to come through from the hospital , for my boy to see a "play therapist", on a weekly basis. I don't exactly know what it entails, but it is something that they work with the child in play, so that there is no pressure put on them. If you want me to, I will keep in touch as soon as this starts and let you know if I find it helpful.

One thing I can say , is that putting pressure on my boy, telling him off or any punishment has NOT worked and infact made things worse. The best thing to do at the moment is to keep the encouragement, and try to make your child understand that you are always there to help him and that you won't be angry if he has an accident.

My boy , at one point wouldn't even tell me that he'd done anything in his pants, he would sit in it all day , if I had have let him! It's only just recently that I have managed to get him to tell me when he has done it. And now, we have moved forward a little by saying "if you have to do it in your pants, you must do it in the bathroom, and tell mummy straight away...." so it can be dealt with.  It turns out that although my boy has NO fear of the toilet at all, he DOES have a fear of actually deficating in the toilet. Something to do with the feeling pushing it out. He will even drop it in to the toilet if it is half way out, but he will not go through the motions of pushing it out.

(Sorry to be so graphic, but sometimes you need to , to understand what is happening)

Does any of this ring any bells? It would be interesting to see what your views are on this.

But for now, it will take some time and I feel that, in my experience, you have to take one small step at a time. The worse thing you can do it put the pressure on. Be strong!!
We can get through this together!!  xx
631996 tn?1232566939
What you are saying does make sense, however, with out sounding too pedantic, I have read alot about other children who are still experiencing these difficulties at the age of 9 years old. As you can imagine, I can not help but have this fear that if something isn't done to help me with my son, I will eventually be in the same boat as those I have just mentioned.
I would be interested to see what your views are on this.
Many Thanks .
631996 tn?1232566939


Spanking a small  child because they have a fear???


Do you not think that I have tried all the things that you have suggested in your post? OF COURSE I HAVE! This is why I seek further help! I presumed that this forum was for being constructive and supporting one another for those who have similar problems.
How disappointing. I'm begining to regret answering to this thread.

I'm sorry I didn't realise that having 5 children qualifies  you as the perfect mother. I'm so glad that mother hood has come so easy for you. But not every one is as stable as your kind self.

If you do not agree with what you have read, I have no problem at all listening to constructive critism, but rudeness I can not abide.

I'm sorry but I am very upset.
242606 tn?1243782648
Try not to look too far into the future - it will only serve to make you anxious and upset. Yes, there are a few children whose toileting problems persist, but they are few and far between. If you go into your average kindergarten class, you will see that all the children are toilet trained. It does happen, and placing your confidence in Mother Nature will not be a poor decision.
Avatar universal
Who ever you are.......

Spanking a child in NEVER the answer.  This is a safe place where people can get support and answers to help them through a stressful time in there lives.  We are just looking for supportive answers and ideas to help us out.  

Never ever would CHILD ABUSE in a correct answer to this question or any other question dealing with a child.  If that is the only idea you have please keep it to your self and I will pray for you that you are able to find a better way to parent your children.
631996 tn?1232566939
Thank you for that, I must admit I have found that the less stressed I am , the more progress we make .

376008 tn?1312481156
I have a 7-1/2 year old son who has had this same issue since he was about 4.  I posted awhile back asking if anyone else had ever had issues like this.
When we first potty trained him, he was very good about going poop. Then, for no reason that was obvious to us, he started holding it.  I mean he would hold it for DAYS.  His stomach would hurt, he would pass a lot of gas, and eventually, he would go in his pants because he could no longer hold it it.  Then he would get extremely upset with himself for doing it.  
We too tried everything we could think of from rewards, stickers, praise.  We even tried to make a game out of it.  We talked to him about why he didnt want to go poop on the potty.  He said he didn't like the way it felt.  We thought that maybe because he is very small for his age that possibly he had a very large bowel movvement at one time and it hurt. That would then cause him to hold it, and then it would just be worse for him when he finally did go.  He was never consitaped, even after holding it.  But when he would finally go, you could tell he'd been holding it for a very long time.  

But during one of our talks, he said that it doesn't hurt, he just doesn't like the way feels.  

With respect to Ms. Vain;  I could not even imagine why anyone would spank a child for this.  Seems to me that would just instill a fear in the child about coming to you at all.  How could that possibly help the situation?     As stated above, Patience and positive re-enforcement is what has helped.  A LOT of patience :-)  He has had periods where he does very well with it.  Then for some reason he'll backpeddle and we have to start again.  But each time he backpeddles, it's not for quite as long as the previous time.   I try very hard to pay attention to what is going on in his life when he has setbacks.  As of yet, I cannot figure out if it is a stress related issue or if it's just him.  Now, when he goes, he will yell from the bathroom, "Guess what mom - I'm going!!"  And I'll praise and praise and praise!   A constant work in progress.  But believe me, they are right when they say that patience is what wins in the end.  Helps to know that he's not the only one with this issue.
631996 tn?1232566939
Totally agree with you!
Lots of praise does seem to help things along. I mean for instance if my boy was doing this for attention, then it would have stopped when I ignored it for 1 month completely, (which is a damn long time for a 4 year old.......and for me!) So it's not attention seeking.
And my boy does have his moments, but he is not what you would call a naughty boy. He's the sort of child who just wants to please you all the time. So I gather we are not looking at bad behaviour, (there for how could I possibly punish him?) .
Which only leaves the possibility of a fear of deficating. A fear of the feeling or the urge to pass the stool. Hense holding it in. So yeh , I can see exactly where you're coming from.
It's almost like we have to break down that mental block somehow, to proove to our children that there is nothing to be frightened of, which however takes a lot of time, where the child needs to build up their trust in you as a parent, to know that you are on their side and there to help, not to punish.
I think that sometimes it does make me feel like I've done something wrong to make my child do this. But the for the life of me I just can't find any answers.

376008 tn?1312481156
Me too. This is my only child.  I kept thinking that I was going about potty training the wrong way; that I had failed somewhere along the line in how I was suposed to react in the potty training process.  
My son is extremely sensitive.  About a lot of things, so while I try very hard not to baby him too much, (which is SO easy to do with an only child) I also try to be empathetic to his feelings and understand that just because I see things logically as an adult, that doesn't mean that he's thinking along that same path.  I mean he's 7 for goodness sake, so logic doesn't always enter the picture if you know what I'm saying.  As far as behavior, while being very sensitive emotionally, he can be a handful.  He very much likes to push the limits and see how far he can go with something before getting into trouble.  That being said, there's a very distinguishable difference between that behavior and the whole "going poop on the potty" thing.  Its a totally different thing.  
I am not afraid to discipline my son when it is needed, but this is not a discipline situtation in my opinion. I totally agree with you that they need to know they can come to us and that we are on there side to HELP them with their fears, not punish them for it. I've read many posts where the book "The Highly Sensitive Child" is referred.  I am picking it up at the library tonight.  Possibly I can obtain some insight into why he may feel the way he does.
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