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Help with potty training

What do you do when your 4 year old refuses to potty train?
I have done EVERYTHING! If it has been recommended I have tried it. I have talked to his Teacher and she is not concerned and gave me some pointers but nothing has helped. He doesn't care if he sits in it. Going naked and being wet doesn't bother him. I have tried setting the timer and making him sit there for an amount of time (he will even try to go sometimes, you can see he is trying) and then a few minutes later he will pee or poop after getting off of the toilet. I have tried the reward system (he used to be scared of the bathroom,the reward system helped). I have been going through this for 2 YEARS! I am at my wits end! I try this stuff for a few months to keep it constant. Now when I change his diapers I make him sit on the potty. But he says NO! He does have speech delay but seems to be better. WHAT DO I DO!!!????? I am NOT lazy (that is a common answer here)


Asked by Anonymous at 9:29 AM on Jul. 19, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

This question is closed.
Answers (7)
  • I do feel for you. I know I felt like a failure with my oldest daughter; she was my first and I decided I didn't know anything. I didn't learn until much later that she has ADHD and that was possibly part of the problem. Maybe you need to meet with your pediatrician and let him/her know how badly it is going and ask what the next step should be (long shot I know - my pediatrician always says the same things about potty training). If your kids have speech therapists in addition to their teachers you might get some guidance from them too. I know speech delays can also cause problems in other areas. My younger two are twins, and my boy twin has a speech delay. They are almost 3 and I am just beginning potty training with him.

    One other thought is to just take a break for a few weeks and try to come up with a plan and some renewed energy. Maybe even just try them one at a time starting with the least resistant one.


    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 12:57 PM on Jul. 19, 2010

  • My son wasn't potty-trained until he was 4, don't worry. First of all, you need to get him out of the diapers. Or do you mean pull-ups? And just ease up for few a days - don't say anything and don't make a fuss. Just keep changing him and then readdress it in a week or so. He will get there, mama.

    Answer by beckie66 at 9:34 AM on Jul. 19, 2010


    See if there's something you haven't tried here.

    Answer by 2autisticsmom at 9:36 AM on Jul. 19, 2010

  • Take away the diapers/pullups and put him in underwear. It may take a few days, but he will get the hang of it. Praise and reward him when he does go on the potty, but don't punish him for accidents.

    Answer by andrea96 at 9:45 AM on Jul. 19, 2010

  • My son was a little over 4 before he was potty trained I tried everything come to find out it was not going to happen until he was ready

    Answer by mscamp0235 at 10:02 AM on Jul. 19, 2010

  • I think the potty training techniques that have probably failed you are aimed at a younger audience. My oldest daughter was between 3 1/2 and 4 before she was trained. I tried all the things I read about plus came up with a few of my own, but nothing seemed to motivate her. When she started pre-K-3 I thought she'd see all the other kids wearing underwear and using the toilet and feel embarrassed, or at least interested, but she came home BRAGGING that she was the only one in her class that still wore Pull-Ups (I know Pull-Ups don't train, but were required for school) . I couldn't believe she was PROUD about not being potty trained! What finally made it click for her was when she started talking about her upcoming birthday and out of desperation I told her that she wouldn't be having a birthday and couldn't turn 4 if she still wasn't using the potty; she believed me and started using the potty from that point on.


    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 10:32 AM on Jul. 19, 2010

  • Thanks but believe it or not I tried that (the birthday). I was anonymous because usually people are so quick to say the mom is lazy on these kinds of questions and I already feel like such a huge failure. My twins refuse to potty train. I want them to potty train SO BAD. I tried putting them in the underwear for two weeks and my carpet cleaner went nonstop. I am a member to quite a few groups and read just about every question about potty training for tips NOTHING works. The youngest kills me, I ask if he has to go potty, he crosses his arms and screams NO! They are still in diapers. Both of the twins teachers are not concerned but I read all of these questions and see where people are successful at 2 and 3 years old and I break down wondering why not ME? Why not my boys!? Thanksgiving I pushed so hard that they would not go near the bathroom for 2 months. I felt horrible. Its embarrassing. I feel like such a failure.

    Answer by kc932 at 11:04 AM on Jul. 19, 2010