16 answers

Potty Training Stubborn a Almost 4 Year Old

Hi Everyone, I have the cutest, stubbornest almost 4 year old grandson ever!! Out of all of my children and grandchildren he is the stubbornness! I do really enjoy babysitting him during the week.. We really need some advise though.. When he was a little over 3 we tried getting him to sit on the potty! He refuses!! He throws the biggest fit! I use the little potty, but I think his parents have tried both... We have bought him the Thomas the Train little briefs, he cries and cries and wants his diaper back on, and he loves Thomas the Train... His Dad tried the peeing on the cheerios! We have bought him the best books and DVDs, but he refuses to listen and watch them.. I have tried talking to him and telling him what a good boy he is and when he goes potty in the potty chair he can go to school, but he says ( I am NOT a good boy grandma). They have bought him cute stickers, I have even started bribing him with candy and I hardly ever buy him candy... He has a 8 year old brother who he idealizes and has to do everything he does, so we have asked him, to take his little brother with him when he goes to the bathroom, but he refuses to go in with him!!! We finally gave up and just left him alone for about 8 months! Well now his parents are trying again. They have had a couple of people tell them to just take away the diapers and he won't like the feel of it and will go potty in the chair! So they took the diapers away except at bed time.. They told him there are no more diapers so you have to use the potty!! Well that's not working so well.. This is day 4 and he wonders off and pees.. He refuses to wear briefs or anything so it's quite the mess. I feel so sorry for him and them too.. Plus he's only had one bowl movement in 4 days!! That probably isn't good...Today he is at my house..were all trying very hard to be patient. I tried to get him to put the training pants on and he just keeps kicking and hitting me so of course i stopped trying.. I try talking to him very positively and telling him like how happy he will be with himself, can't wait to tell mommy, we can go swimming in the pools this summer and just everything i can think of.... He is not going for it.. I'm trying to be supportive of the parents but truthfully I'm having a hard time because i hate making him so upset and i just can't handle letting him pee all over my couch and carpet. (they have hard wood floors) I don't no what to do!! I just put him down for a nap and I'm pretty sure he is going to pee my bed!! Poor guy this has to be stressing him out. HELP!!! Do we give in again??

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank You Everyone for you great responses!! We stuck with it.. I think it helped my daughter in law to know she wasn't alone.. I took the advise to keep him in the rooms were there wasn't any carpet, which at my house it is in the kitchen... I put the potty chair in there with toys and stuff for us to do. It helps that there is a TV in there.. Monday my first day with him he absolutely refused to sit on there or wear any type of briefs, he wet himself 2 times that day. I did put a diaper on him at nap. I keep telling him you'll get this and you'll have accidents at first. The second day was a nightmare. he started getting diarrhea, it was so frustrating, the potty chair was 1 foot in front of him and he had his pants off (i was still cleaning it up from a minute ago) I keep telling him to just sit on the potty!!! Still nothing.. He is a stubborn one but obviously the poor guy was getting the flu!! So we took our bath and i put a diaper on him. That night at home he said mommy i don't want to poop in my pants no more and i don't want to get it on Grandma's floor, will you please help me go potty!! YEAH!! He has gone in the potty ever since. Today is Monday the following week, he was so excited to come to grandma's and tell me that he decided he was going to wear briefs!! YEAH another break through!!! So again Thank You so much for all the advise.. It also helped me to stay strong and not give in..

Featured Answers

What stuck out the most to me was you saying that you can't stand to see him upset. Oh well! Let him get upset. If you're going to toilet train then you have to be consistent in the method and take charge about it. If he's a typical child and doesn't have any sort of developmental delays, then there's nothing wrong with taking away the diapers and saying, "Hey, this is it. When you're here at Grandma's house you're going to use the toilet and wear underwear." Don't let him on the couch until he can learn to hold the pee and use the toilet. Put plastic down on the floors.

1 mom found this helpful

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My son was stubborn too (and still is at age 7!) and what works is to find what will motivate him to want to do it himself. I had to quit mentioning potty training all together. He had heard it all and knew the right thing to do...he just did not want to. Constantly bringing it up just made him dig in his heels even more. What I did was I took him to his future preschool for a tour. The wonderful teachers gave him this amazing tour and he wanted to stay and play with some cool things he saw SOOOO badly (mostly the sand table). We told him, no you have to be potty trained before you go here. This was in the spring. I stopped harping on him about using the potty all summer but I would remind him that he could not go to preschool in the fall unless he was using the toilet and not diapers. 3 weeks before classes started he potty trained himself...I did nothing. I don't know if that will help or not. What would be something he would LOVE to do...something that would be very very exciting for him. Take him to see it but then leave telling him too bad you are not potty trained yet. One day when you are we can come back here to play.

5 moms found this helpful

I have two websites that may really help you find a solution.

This one is the single most informative primer on potty training I've ever found. It gives a few variations on"readiness" checklists, plus tips on various training strategies, the best ages to start them, and the advantages and disadvantages of each approach: http://www.parentingscience.com/potty-training-tips.html

For those who encounter delays and resistance, this technique tends to be very effective: http://www.rogerknapp.com/medical/pottytrainingrefusals.htm. And you'll find that it echoes Melissa's advice to stop handling using the potty as a high-pressure situation. It may be just what you need, since all the intensity up till now has not worked so well.

And incidentally, child development researchers have found that telling children they "are" good, smart, handsome, or any other wonderful thing often has the unforturnate side effect of making them resist/disbelieve a too-good-to-be-true assessment of themselves, or conversely, make them afraid to try anything that might prove that assessment wrong. Here's a really fascinating article explaining this phenomenon: How NOT to Talk to Kids, by Po Bronson: http://nymag.com/news/features/27840/

Wishing you all kinds of success!

4 moms found this helpful

Oh my gosh - my son just turned 5 in November. There was NOTHING that we could use to get him to go from the time he was 2 to 5....we tried sticker charts, taking him special places, on and on and on......we took away pull ups just before 4 (except at bedtime) - he was pretty good at going pee in the toilet but would wait until nighttime (when the pullup was put on him) to poop - this caused him to withhold to the point of getting encopresis.......there are few things children can completely control and my son had control in this - which is his personality.......he kept telling me a few months ago that once he turned 5 he wouldn't poop his pants again.......he was totally right......he had control and no matter what we said/did he was going to make the decision.
What made it better was when we ignored any potty talk - acted like it didn't matter. Sounds easy, but it wasn't - I was worried about judgement from family members, about having a child get judged for being his age and still soiling himself, about having a child that possibly could be going to kindergarten and not 100% independent in the toilet area!!!!!!!!!!

best of luck to you

4 moms found this helpful

Until two weeks ago, this post would be EXACTLY how I would describe my son - and myself! He turned 4 at the beginning of September, and for years he had refused to be bribed, called himself "bad", and seemed to have zero control over his functions. We felt like total failures when his 2-year-old sister potty trained before him and even THAT had no effect on his attitude toward the whole thing. We found a preschool that allowed Pull-ups and sort of threw up our hands, to be honest.

Then, the week before Christmas, he was in the bath and suddenly stood up and said he had to go. He stood by the potty, put up the lid, and aimed perfectly. Wiped, flushed, washed his hands and acted like it was no big deal. He did that a few more times, so we asked if he would like to be potty trained now. He literally said, "okay!" so we told him the day after Christmas would be our "potty party" and when he woke up that morning, we put him in big-boy underwear (which he had ALWAYS refused to wear) and he kept them dry. He had exactly one accident overnight and none since. He has been dry during the day, at naps and nighttime, and even at school, church, etc. for the last two weeks.

I guess the moral of the story is - your grandson is NOT ready. Even though the calendar says he's almost 4, he isn't ready. For his sake - and yours - please just put the child in a Pull-up, ignore the comments and wait until he's ready!

3 moms found this helpful

I know it's too late for your grandson and all of you who keep your kids in diapers until this age probably going to roll your eyes,but I'm going to say it anyway.Kids are capable to be potty trained as early as you willing to start .Diaper maker companies like you to believe kids are not ready.Age 18 months-is about the right time.Then they won't question you and just take it as an everyday rutine. Yes,it takes some patience and you have to follow through and not to get lazy.Saves a lot of money on DVD's and other.
We didn't have dipers 15 years ago(in Russia),my son was potty trained completly at age 2,my daughter now is 2.5 and she is also done with diapers.
But to stay on a subject,I agree with other post-don't give up,just take away diapers,it's time.Make him clean the mess,let him be wet.It will be over soon.Not very many people go to college in diapers.

3 moms found this helpful

Oh my gosh, this is horrible, I'm sorry.

I would make him run around with no pants on, and keep him in a single room, so he can't wander off and pee. Every 30 minutes bring him to the bathroom, use a timer if you need. Also, put a waterproof liner on your bed, or make him sleep on a vinyl nap mat.

Also, he cannot be hitting and kicking you, this child needs some discipline, potty issues or not!

Maybe Dr Sears who is a child expert has some advice:

discipline issues:

potty training advice:

2 moms found this helpful

We went cold turkey on the diapers (told them they were for babies), only pull ups at night. Maybe to a sticker chart. (its what we did.) One sticker for pee, two for #2. So many stickers you get _______ (fill in the blank w/ what he likes). You can make a list. We did if you got 7 stickers they got to pick out a car from dollar tree. When they got better at going, we would up it to like a week and so on. He is old enough to understand when he needs to go. Don't give up!! He is realizing he can push till you give. Stay strong.

Also you could set a timer, like taking him every 30 mins. to at least try to go. Good Luck

2 moms found this helpful

I hear you, D.! I am getting outside pressures to potty train our 3 year old daughter and all the signs point to "not ready"! I think it will be like flipping on a switch like in Keri W's response about how it clicked and her son began going in the potty. I hope that is what happens for you...and for me!

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