8 Answers

I have a 3 1/2 yr old, who is Toilet Training resistant, we have read all the available information and tried every technique to no avail, and he started showing interest in the toilet when I was heavily pregnant with our second child. As expected he regressed when the baby arrived, we have done charts & stickers and big goals/rewards, (our 2nd child is now 1yr old) we have backed off completely at home and care, but he does a poo in his pull up and then cries because he wants to do it in the toilet.

I can’t convince him it’s too late, if we let him sit on the toilet, he’s then convinced he’s done it on the toilet and deserves a reward (thus ensues more tears), other times he tells me he wants to do a poo and proceeds to sit on the toilet for anywhere up to 20 mins with no poo but expects to be rewarded, again tears, it has just turned into a cycle of tears and frustrations for all of us, it doesn’t make any difference if he wears a pull up or undies, he just goes where he is.

We have had the occasional success but once he receives a reward (Kinda Surprise) he doesn’t care about it again for a couple of days/weeks. The most frustrating thing is I know he can do the whole lot on his own, which was shown to me recently when we were going out, I asked if he would like to have a try before we leave, I found him pants down on the toilet doing a wee, all on his own, a couple of days later the same motivation has no effect, he just says “No thanks mummy”.

I am seriously at my wits end, we are trying very hard to be calm and nonchalant about it all, so not to push him back further, but a year of this has pushed me to my limit, has anyone had the same, what in the heck did you do, we have 6 months till Kindergarden.

Posted anonymously, 5th August 2014

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  • My son struggled because he didn’t like going to the toilet sitting down. It just takes time.

  • Don’t make a big deal of it. I never used a potty, just the loo, like we use!!

  • Virtual Nanny’s advice is very wise!

  • I agree it is best to give the topic some space for a while, most children are toilet trained before starting school so you still have some time yet. I know it’s frustrating but just let him choose when he want to go to the toilet and then give positive praise such as “good job” or “nice try”.

  • Thank you ladies for your answers,
    we have backed of completely about 3 weeks ago, and there are days where he doesn’t want a pullup he wants undies, but it makes no difference, he just goes where he is and being wet or dirty doesn’t really phase him that much, the reward system isn’t as full on as perhaps I made it sound, whenever I have asked others for advise they have suggested charts & rewards etc, so it was just to emphasise we have tried that also.
    I really don’t know what else to do (even though we are doing nothing at the moment)

  • I think because you have made it a game to start with hes just going to keep playing on that, if he knows he will get a reward.
    Maybe just dont stress about it for a couple of months and forget about the reward chart and then just try starting toilet training again without the added reward.
    Also once he has wet himself leave him in those pants for a while so he can feel how horrible it is to wee yourself.
    Good luck hope you can sort it soon

  • Toilet training.
    I have assisted many parents with toilet/potty training. My suggestion is to stop using kinder surprise as a reward. In fact if your son does go to the toilet and just sits with no result he should still receive the same praise as if he had produced something. The reward is a smile or a “great effort” comment or a high five. It can be hard to produce on demand. My other suggestion is to ignore the training completely for a few weeks. If accidents occur, do not punish , just clean up and move on to the next activity.
    For personal advice and assistance please contact me .

  • This is hugely stressful, but I had this with both of my eldest (youngest not there yet). In the end we ignored the issue, apart from saying “do you want to go to the toilet?” several times a day. If he said yes, great, if he said no, we said ok. And we often mentioned which of his friends were doing all their wees and poos in the toilet. And magically… about a month before pre-school, they were toilet trained.

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