(Closed) Asking for FSIL: How to get a stubborn/uninterested child to potty train?

posted 4 years ago in Parenting
Post # 2
2141 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

when you say potty do you mean ‘potty’ like what babies use or toilet?

you can get seats to go on the toilet and a lot of kids prefer to be ‘grown’ up instead of babied so that might help, if it doesnt try talking to your pediatrician their could be a simple issue and they are most likely to know the answer

DONT make her sit on the potty all day… you might of actually set the wrong message and made the potty ‘bad’, sitting the for prolonged time is akin to the naughty step and will seem like a punishment – you should reward the good not punish her for not doing it yet

Post # 3
1378 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2015 - Chapel on Base

I used Skittles for my girls.  If they sat on the potty they got 1 Skittle, 3 for peeing, and 5 for a poop.  This was all done on the regular toilet seat.  They earned a lot of Skittles for just sitting but it worked for us.  

Post # 4
337 posts
Helper bee

Go to the dollar store and buy a bunch of cheap random toys. Dedicate a full weekend to nothing but potty training. Don’t leave the house. Leave the child in only underwear (or naked) and a shirt. Keep pumping the child full of drinks, juice and popsicles.  Put all of the cheap toys in a pillow case, allow her to stick her arm in and grab ONE each time she uses the potty. Don’t let her see the toys in the bag – that way they are truly a surprise and she can’t decide beforehand whether she wants to put forth the effort to get one. Have her place all of her diapers ceremoniously into the garbage because she’s a “big girl” now!

Post # 5
2538 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

View original reply
underblueskies1016 :  Ok so first of all – this is very simple advice however a lot of people make the mistake of asking children what it’s time to do. My husband drives me absolutely insane with this. “Is it time for bath?” “Is it time for bed?” “Is pee pee coming?” Unless the question is something reward driven not routine driven children will almost always say NO. You have try to change your language into telling them what the routine is. “Good morning, did you have a good sleep? Ok we go to the washroom when we wake up.” Make it a regular part of the day. Now the hard part to that is that you don’t want to make it a negative association, so you don’t exactly want to be dragging a resistant child to the washroom and force them to sit down. You wouldn’t be very successful anyway. My toddler always flips his tune if I turn it into a race.

My son was a teribble toilet learner. The thing that finally worked with all the other tricks? Naked weekend. Stay home and keep them naked all weekend. There will be no safety net of the clothing (my son didn’t mind being wet) plus super high reinforcement. After that just biting the bullet and getting rid of the diapers totally, putting up with the accidents and going straight to big boys underwear. Took him a year and a half before that, after we bit the bullet and got rid of the pull ups entirely –  2 weeks.


Post # 6
164 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

Does the mom take her in the bathroom with her when she goes? Sometimes setting an example is a huge part of it. I’m not a parent yet but have been a live-in nanny with lots of potty-training kids, and this is also the advice my mom gave me: I used to take the little girl who was potty training to the bathroom with me so she saw me using the toilet. That got her curious about it, too. Not like I dragged her into the bathroom or anything, but I let her come with me. She never wanted to leave me alone regardless, so it wasn’t hard… It really helped!

Post # 10
899 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

I haven’t done this yet as still pregnant but I plan to follow my mum and what she did with my brother and I. I’ll pass on the advice as I think it’s pretty good. We were both trained and dry by 20 months. 

Take the child to the bathroom with you so they see you doing it and it’s normal. 

Get rid of the nappies and put on underwear. Accidents happen of course but it’s easier to pick up their expressions of when they need to go when you can see the results. Everyone makes a face when they pee if you learn that face it’s easier. My great aunt never put nappies on her son she said she spent a week after he was born watching him and she learnt his behaviour leading up to a poo and pee as soon as he pulled certain faces she’d hold him over a toilet (sounds like a lot of work with a newborn I wouldn’t fancy it!) she refused to go through the hassle of cloth nappies as that was all they had back then so she potty trained him from birth!! So yeah everyone makes a face.

Rewards are always good but be careful not to over reward or it loses the importance. Have stages of rewards.

To begin with don’t ask do you need to go for a wee/pee/tinkle as she obviously isn’t bothered with explaining she does. Say ok now we are going to go sit on the toilet. While she’s there turn on a tap. Keep her very hydrated sit on the toilet every hour. 

Put her on a normal toilet if not already four is too big for a potty it would be very uncomfortable for her! 

Im surprised her friends bullying her hasn’t prompted her to do it it might be worth a trip to the doctor to just check everything is ok. 


Post # 11
1701 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

My son declared at 3.5 ‘no more diapers mommy’. This was on a Wednesday. He had been dry overnight for 2 years. So, that was the end of diapers for us. No pull-ups, ever. We added padded undies for daycare. We did naked weekend that following weekend and then sent the next months running to the potty every hour (and many a day he peed outside because theĀ toilets were too loud and scary at certain locations) . But, it went without a hitch. But, HE was ready.

This sounds like a kid who is not ready.Ā  There is no magic chronological age by which all kids potty train. I know some kids that were still wetting overnight in Kindergarten. My friends 4.75 year old girl is dry during the day, but still needs a pull-up at night. My brother pushed my nephew to the point where he would hold pee and poo to the point of agony rather than use the potty. One day, the kid went into the closet and placed a diaper on the floor to find relief. That convinced my brother to back-off and let the kid decide when to train (which occured just a few short-months later of the kid’s initiation).

I’d tell your friend to relax and stop pushing. Leave the potty chair in the bathroom and be totally casual…as if she does not care. The more she pushes, the more the kid will refuse. By The Way, I’d say this is not a stubborn kid, but an unready kid. After a break, try looking up the The Brazelton child-oriented method.

Have the kid choose a potty. I recommend the Prince Lionheart PottyPod. My sonĀ dispised the first chair we got him, but loved this one (so do all the folks we shared this brand with, girls and boys; they clean well and are soft on the tushie). After getting one that she likes, add one to each level of the house in a non-scary place. Treat them as if they don’t exist initially and let her check them out.Ā  Then, follow the Brazelton method or some other method that lets the kid lead.

Post # 12
7191 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

We did the naked weekend and it was great. And I’m a big neat freak myself so I was a bit concerned about it. My son didn’t like to stop what he was doing to use the bathroom so that was our challenge (still is sometimes). We got him a potty seat to go over a regular toilet (rather than a separate toilet) because he liked to feel like a big kid (and because adding rinsing out a toilet to my to do list wasn’t something I was willing to do). He got to pick out the one he wanted. He also had books that we read about using the potty and we looked up videos on youtube and spoke with him a lot (in an open way- inviting his input). He was trained for pee within a weekend- We continued the diapers in the evenings (one diaper per night so he could poop) for a few more weeks until he was able to sit on the toilet himself and request privacy to poop on his own. 

He had a bit of regression at times in different areas (stopping to go to the bathroom, night time accidents) but the foundation was pretty set after that first weekend.

Post # 13
3230 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

View original reply
glitterysala : as a K teacher – I get kids wetting over night in kindergarten like you said. But a kid who is about to be kindergarten aged who is in diapers all day long still? Unless the child is not averagely developing in other ways, I think that is totally inappropriate. I would be pissed if a kid came to my classroom still having regular #2 accidents – much less a kid who was in a diaper still. Actually, I don’t even think they would be allowed to attend school in a regular ed classroom. 

Post # 14
1701 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

View original reply
carolinabelle :  Agreed. But, she’s four. There is, presumably, still most of a year before she could even begin Kindergarten. Pushing is not working. This momma’s advise was take a break and try again with a new approach. If it came accross as ‘give up’ that was certainly not my intention. But, the kid is the only one that can make this happen.  

Post # 15
1294 posts
Bumble bee

Are you sure that there is nothing medically wrong with the child? I mean , I would hate to think that the adulls are seeing it as a  control thing if it really is a physical issue. I would take her to the pediatrician just in case. 

It also sounds like she’s just not emotionally ready to give up the diapers. My own daughter was like that. She could tell you what needed to happen (push with your tummy! Wipe!  Flush!) But she just didn’t want to do it. I  took the stance of backing off altogether,  but I  put her in charge of her diapers or pull ups. She had to take them off, throw them away  and get a  clean one . I also gave her some wipes to clean herself with. 

Since this child is almost 4, she is capable of getting a clean diaper when needed. It’s got to be her idea to use the toilet and if this is a control thing,  then she is back in control when she has to take care of the diapers and resulting poop/ mess herself. 

I just told her…..tell me when you are ready for the princess underwear. You can wear them whenever you like. Ithen i shut my mouth and never mentioned it again. I think it took about a week or two and she was ready. ….especially since her preschool friends were so proud that they were big girls and going to the potty by themselves. 

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