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what to do when your 3 1/2 year old doesn't want to use the potty

he stays dry wearing pull ups for most of the day, but when I put him on the potty or ask if he's ready to use the potty....the tantrums start. If I do get him on the potty, he's there for a few minutes and nothing happens. Any suggestions??

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Asked by 03244Mom at 9:16 PM on Aug. 19, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 2 (7 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • He is three and a half? He knows what to do, he just doesn't want to do it! Just start spanking him when he poops his pants!

    Answer by luvsmysonjames at 9:18 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • No but tell me when you find one because my almost 3 year old kicks and screams about the potty and he can't wear pull ups because he;s so far allergic to every one I have tried so its either diapers or underpants and he REALLY goes to town and peeing and pooping then in those just to get a "new pair" on..arg...

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 9:19 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • Ok well I would NEVER suggest hitting a child for fearing potty use. Some kids take longer than others to train. Have you tried a sticker chart or awarding an M&M for going pee? Those are the little steps we took to get our DD to START using the potty. They worked very well.


    Answer by KairisMama at 9:21 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • I understand that he knows what to do, but he's just holding back. One last thing that he has control of. I don't want to push him to the point that he never wants to. I try to get him to watch other kids in his preschool, just so he sees what they are doing and that it's allright to "let go." But, he's not interested. Still looking for an answer. I know that he will, but when??

    Comment by 03244Mom (original poster) at 9:23 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • I am just saying at three and a half I would be way to embarrassed to wait and try to figure it why he won't do it. I would just want to get him trained and as fast as I could.

    Answer by luvsmysonjames at 9:27 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • I know this sound a bit out there.... but I've seen it work 100% of the time. (8 kids age 2-2.5) There are these new anatomically correct dolls which actual 'poo and pee'. So you tell your child that the doll needs to go potty and show them to doll doing its busy. Then cheer and throw a party for the doll. Each time I've seen this work (which consistent use) in 1-2 weeks. The next stage is your child telling you when the doll has to go. And finally the child taking the doll in to show the doll how he/she can go potty also. It's worth a try, and there are more expensive and less expensive options.


    Answer by lmt_mom2010 at 9:27 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • I have heard of those dolls as well. I think that I might invest in one and see what happens. He's got his own potty, tried the M&M's for going on the potty, so I guess I can try this one as well. Thanks.

    Comment by 03244Mom (original poster) at 9:31 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • My son was the same way. He knew what to do but did not WANT to do it. He got a treat whenever he did use the potty but other than that I did not push the issue. Just after his 4th birthday HE decided that he was going to use the potty and it took not even a week and he was potty trained. It took him longer than some but he did it in his own time-when he was ready. Just give your son some more time and I found the less I talked about it or asked him if he needed to go the more he did it on his own. Good luck.

    Answer by Carajust at 9:31 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • You could try to give him something to do while he's on the potty to keep him busy and then he'll probably stay on longer perhaps with some success. You could also start a reward system to encourage his participation and a special treat when he is finally trained, like a visit to the zoo or to the amusement park, etc.

    Answer by Evergreen12 at 11:21 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

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