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How do you REALISTICALLY potty train a strong willed 3.5 y/o boy?

I've tried the bribes, putting him on even though he's screaming and crying and everything else. And I don't want my kid peeing all over our home, especially the furniture. The only reason I try again with him is because my in-laws make snide remarks about it, my father-in-law even going as far as calling my son "stinky". Pre-school programs, even church ones, reject him, which I would expect from public organizations but not Christian ones. I am a fulltime mom (aka stay-at-home mom) and I know that all these expectations about 2 year olds being potty trained stems from cheaper daycare costs and early acceptance into pre-schools. It's really frustrating.

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Asked by Anonymous at 1:11 PM on Feb. 15, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (18)
  • My son wasn't fully potty trained until he turned 4.  Before then, it was hit and miss.  First off, don't do crap just because someone is putting you down for it.  Kids will potty in the potty when they are ready.  It can be frustrating all on its own so don't let what other people say frustrate you even more.  My hub taught my son how to pee in the toilet.  He also taught him his bad aim.  :)


    Answer by MrsHouston47302 at 1:13 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

  • ~*Smiles*~... have three boys of my own and they DO NOT train until they are ready... last one it took me explaining that if he wanted his videogames, I'll get my "big boy" and he'll use the poty!!! Hahahaha... if he used a diaper he got no games...

    Answer by MommaClark3 at 1:20 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

  • I think if you really want to potty train him you have to realize that he is older and has a mind of his own. With my children this is what I did. I took them shopping for underwear and stickers. They got to pick out whatever they wanted. When we got home I put a calendar up in the bath room and every time they went potty they put a sticker on the calendar. After "X" amount of sticker they got a special treat either going out for ice cream or making their fgavorite dinner. I must say I am a SAHM and my children were all potty trained at 2 years old so I don't know if it is that. If you want to wait to potty train him then I think you have to be understanding of programs not wanting to take him.

    Good Luck!

    Answer by cornflakegirl3 at 1:26 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

  • I had quite a struggle and found that nag, nag, nag backfired and so I let him be for a few weeks and just reminded him every time there was a big mess in his pants how much better he would feel when he didn't need those-otherwise I gave it a break. He might not be ready, lots of boys are late. Unfortunately I think the key is having them want to learn. Peer pressure played a big role, do you have any similar age potty trained kids he can hang with to emulate? For fun and for your bathroom's cleanliness I found my son loved to do target practice with either those little corn starch things (biodegradable packing peanuts and cheerios do the same thing). This made potty training a game. I tried the potty monkey after the hiatus and I won't credit with the success but it did make the process start off smoothly. Also brain washing helped which included Bear in the big blue house potty, Elmo potty video, no more diapers for ducky

    Answer by hotelmom123 at 1:32 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

  • My son was the same was. We live out in the country, so we waited until the summer time. We would let him go behind a bush or a tree and pee. Whenever we were inside, about every 15 minutes, we would take him to try to use the potty. He couldn't pee outside the next day unless he used the potty at night. Within a week, he was peeing on the potty. #2 was a little harder. We weren't about to try that one outside, but again with the every little bit, we would have him to try. As long as he could pee outside when it was warm, he was okay with using the potty when he was inside.

    Answer by kymuddgirl at 1:32 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

  • I'm a stay home mom too and we started trying to potty train my son at 2 per the day care is was in (I was trying to go to community college). My son was around 4 when he finally stopped making messes in his pants. We tried everything with him too. Part of his "problem" were to very huge life changing events, to him.

    What worked for us: 1) made a calendar and got stickers. 2) told him that if he could go 10 DAYS accident free he'd get to go on a ferry and get ice cream on the other side, his favorite thing. Nights came later. 3) Let him squat on the toilet seat to poop so the "monsters" wouldn't get him. That last one really did the trick for us. He DID NOT like the feeling of the splashes on his little butt.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 1:44 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

  • Bless all of you for taking the time to help. But that's just it; I've tried the stickers and charts, candy, favorite food, games, new Toy Story underwear, withholding toys, TV, etc., letting it go, then trying again a few weeks later. I've done it all, with NO results. My son has no underlying health issues per his doctor, he just flat out refuses. He does everything else we tell him to do, sometimes it includes a swat on the butt but we will not apply that in potty training, and perhaps he has that figured, I may just have answered my own question. *sigh* And cornflakegirl3, I am fine with public/private child programs excluding my child, but no child should ever be turned away from learning about Jesus because they aren't potty trained.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 1:44 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

  • My son is 3.5 and I just now got through to him to go potty in the potty. I had tried many times before and he didnt even care. Them about 2 mths ago he did awesome no accidents for a entire week I thought we had finally done it. But the next morning he woke up and refused to sit on the potty. so i let up for a while thinking he would come back around. i knew he knew how to and what he was doing, so it didnt have anything to do with being ready anymore just a control issue. then last sun nite he pooped in his diaper and he cried when i was trying to clean him up and i said it would be as bad if he would do it in the potty. so so mon morning i was getting him dress and i asked if he would try to go potty? he looked at me with smile Nope i am gonna wear baby diapers forever. i took the diapers away and made him sit on the potty no toys or tv until he at least tried. and no he has been in under wear all week. No accidents.!

    Answer by brooklyndm at 1:48 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

  • My grandson wasn't potty trained until he went to pre-school. Peer pressure is strong. The other kids went potty so he wanted to do it too. That worked better than anything his mom did

    Answer by admckenzie at 1:51 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

  • I thought maybe the peer pressure thing would work too, but you can't put your kid in any pre-school programs if they aren't potty trained. I am new to my area and have no friends here, so neither do my children. Been searching the internet for months and it's white noise now. Part of me is just trying to get used to the idea that I'll have a 6 year old that is in diapers and not allowed to attend school because of it. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. My father-in-law says I should put him on the toilet until he does something, even if it takes hours and spank him if he tries to get off. So I give up, cause I've tried everything but I sure as heck won't try that! Or suppositories, found that on the internet as well, disturbing...

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 2:03 PM on Feb. 15, 2011

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