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Potty Training a 5 Year Old :-)

Posted by on Jan. 21, 2014 at 4:27 PM
  • 23 Replies

Hi everyone....

Our daughter just turned 5 years old and we are struggling with her going potty.

Meaning....she knows how to go pee and poop in the potty however still has accidents at Pre-K and at home. We talked with her teacher and she said it is typical and in line with the other kids at school as it relates to having accidents.

However....having said that our perception is that our daughter might think it is a game when we are at home?

For example....we ask her to go potty every 1 1/2 to 2 hours however in between those times she will announce she is wet and she is sorry. We have her change, make it a non-event and move in (she is in panties during the day and pull-ups at night).

Not an hour to two hours later the same thing happens.

We have tried stickers, m and m's, charts, rewards from the dollar tree and even trying to swing the pendulum the other way and take things away that are important to her.

For some reason she is not interested in any of it.

She doesn't like the rewards that she gets to pick out ahead of time and helps us gather up all of the things we are taking away. It's almost as though it is a combination of control and a game.

We don't get upset and are very patient. In fact we get that it just needs to run its course and she will get there when she's ready.

Where we need your help is what to do next? How to handle? What to do? What do say?

You can only keep having your child change their clothes so many times....again the perception of a game to her?

Any help or feedback would be awesome. :-)

by on Jan. 21, 2014 at 4:27 PM
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by Ruby Member on Jan. 21, 2014 at 4:40 PM
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Make her go every 30 min. If she finds it annoying tell her until she can be a big girl this is the procedure.
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by Platinum Member on Jan. 21, 2014 at 5:05 PM
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I would push up the time as well to every 30 minutes.  Especially after she eats or drinks.  If she wets the floor or her clothing, she needs to help clean it up.  This is a natural consequence not a punishment.  If it is a bowel movement she also needs to help clean up the best she can.  This will usually help a child move forward in their training.  DD was a late trainer but she understood by age 5 not to have accidents and she has only had one a year since then in school, none at home unless she is sick.

by on Jan. 21, 2014 at 5:13 PM

Every 30 minutes it is.....starting now!

She just had juice with her afternoon fruit so this is perfect! Thank you again for the suggestion :-)

by Gold Member on Jan. 21, 2014 at 6:42 PM
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In my preschool pre-k class I have my children go every time we are as about to go outside. Especially if they are likely to have an accident. Some children feel a sense of control by going in their pants. There is not much a small child can control, but using the bathroom is one of them. I have some who withhold going and eventually their body makes them go. Often when not at home. My dd still waits till she gets home to poop in elementary school.

What I do with the children that do this is at school is make them go try often. I don't have to, no I can't make you go, but youyou need to sit and try. If they are pooping in pants, they have to push for 5 min or if it is a time they often go, they must stay on the toilet till they go. I tell them if they don't go, then they will be returning to the toilet and sitting every hour. I also tell them how important it is for them to listen to their bodies.

Sometimes children can create blockages and the Dr. place them on Miralax like they did my dd. It is safe and can be given after every meal until they go. I would start the regementon a long weekend though. If it gets severe, then the poop behind the blockage will force its way out and at that point they are having uncontrolable leakage and are in quite a bit of pain.

by on Jan. 21, 2014 at 7:32 PM
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Instead of earning a material possession how about earning something fun to do? Maybe after one week with no accidents she gets to pick a fun activity? Or go see a new kids movie? Something she really enjoys. After she earns that up the ante to 2 weeks or a whole month, etc. put all the power in her hands. Put a picture of whatever the prize is up next to her sticker chart to remind her what she is trying to earn. For my son, he earned a trip to toys r us. Then it was going to see Planes in the movie theater. Then we went to get frozen yogurt. Each week he got to pick the prize. Then afterward I would remind him. "Remember how you earned the movie? That was so cool! I know you know how to do this, look at all those stickers, etc..." This combined with the trying every 30 minutes might = success. Good luck!

by on Jan. 21, 2014 at 8:10 PM
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I teach preschool and it's not normal for 5 year olds to have accidents on a daily basis or multiple times a day. My potty trained 3 year olds rarely have accidents.

Is she allowed to use the bathroom whenever she needs to at preschool or only during certain times? Does she have an infection? Constipation?

Hope you find something that works with her because a school isn't going to do that when she starts Kindergarten.
by Bronze Member on Jan. 21, 2014 at 8:21 PM
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You are waiting way to long.  She needs to be trying at least every 30mins. 

by on Jan. 21, 2014 at 8:22 PM
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I know some would disagree with me but she is like you said playing the game.  So in my house potty in the pants gets a time out or something taken away.  if she does not go in her pants for a long period of time say 3 hours she gets 3 m&m's.  If she is good all day she gets things back that are taken away.  She is playing a game and knows just what she is doing.  This is a good lesson for teaching her who is in charge before she gets bigger.  Good luck I hope I was helpful.

by Silver Member on Jan. 21, 2014 at 8:42 PM
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I think it is a game too, and not a nice one. Honestly at 5 she shouldn't be having all those accidents, is something changing in the house? New baby, new pet, something that is taking attention away from her? I remember when my 5 year old was about 3, she had been potty trained for months and then I started dating someone and she would wet sometimes when he was there. Ever since then though she hasn't had an accident unless she was sick or had too much water before bed. It's been quite awhile since she had an accident at all and would be embarrassed to wet or poop in her pants..

I'd honestly ask her why she is doing it, she's old enough to talk about it. Why is she wetting? Is something bothering her? Does something hurt when she goes potty or is it hard to? Does she do it because it gets her attention? I would make her clean up any mess, even aside from just changing. She honestly in my opinion is old enough to not get rewards for using the potty, but get something for going a long length of time without a mess (maybe get to pick new undies or go do something). I'd explain that it is naughty to go in her pants and that she is supposed to be a big girl. If she keeps doing it I'd honestly do time outs or take away a stuffed animal. My 5 year old gets stuffed animals taken if she acts up and it works wonders.

by on Jan. 22, 2014 at 12:01 AM
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Quoting atlmom2: Make her go every 30 min. If she finds it annoying tell her until she can be a big girl this is the procedure.

Thank you so much for the idea of going potty every 30 minutes as it worked :-)

We all celebrated today and look forward to another dry day!

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