View Full Version : Potty Training Questions

02-04-2014, 12:40 PM
Ok Peeps! I need some hardcore advice as I have no idea as to what to do.
Here's the scoop:
I have a boy who is turning 4 in June and is not even close to being potty trained what so ever. A couple things have lead up to this is 1) parents were never really active on training him up and until recently (and that kind of is a long stretch because I have a feeling that they are expecting me to do all the work - but that's another story). They just kind of thought he would just 'get it'. 2) He has been in pull ups for probably the last 4-5 months even though he wasn't even attempting to go in the toilet (Now I think he just associates the pull-ups as normal diapers).

Well they have started to potty train since the beginning of January and still we really have seen no progress in him. He still pees in his pull-ups, won't go unless he's prompted, and still puts up a HUGE fight to go on the toilet 50% of the time. We have had A LOT of successes though in the sense that he does poop on the toilet the majority of times and will tell me if he has to go. He still pees on the toilet (normally it's just a piddle though which made me start to think he wasn't emptying himself fully which was why he was still peeing in his pull-up).

When he does pee in his pull-up its not normally a full pee so I started to make him sit longer and also gave him a stool to put under his feet so he could relax but that hasn't changed anything. When he does poop in his pants he is embarrassed and hides in a corner. However, when he pees he is all smiley like 'you betcha my pull-up is wet'. I have stopped giving him any reaction to when he wets himself because I think he is trying to get a reaction out of me so I just take off his pull-up and put a new one on without being happy or sad. I give him stickers when he pees in the toilet and when he is dry and I try to make a big deal about it (But to be honest I'm running out of enthusiasm). I have even offered to the parents to put actual underwear under his pull-ups so that he can feel the wetness but they say 'it won't matter to him' - not sure if this is them just thinking that he will 'get it' again though. I honestly have no idea how proactive the parents are at home with him because they say they are but somedays I kind of doubt it because he will come in a full pull-up in the morning which shows me that he probably hasn't sat on the toilet since he woke up.

Today has been a bit difficult because he is refusing to go and I am tired of fighting with him so I'm just refusing to argue with him. If he wants to pee in his pants then I'm not going to fight him.

Any advice on what else I can do or should I just leave it to the parents to deal with and just keep taking him on the toilet every hour and hope one day it will click?
Thanks in advance

02-04-2014, 01:09 PM
I feel you are right on about the pull-ups. He see's them as diapers. I would definitely put underpants underneath them. He will feel a difference. If they don't do it at home, then do it at your place. I have a potty schedule and I ask parents when we begin potty training to always potty them first thing upon rising and if nothing then again after breakfast. Once they get here they follow my potty schedule. If they pee then every hr. is good. If they don't pee then they will have an accident before the next hr. is up. In that case I'd play it by ear and maybe potty again in 15 or 20 min. At age 4, after he pees, he should be able to wait even an hr. and a half between pottys. Once he's on a schedule keep to it. I've even delayed going for a walk if the child doesn't potty before leaving. I try and potty train two at a time. So when one has success the other see's what a fuss is made. (beware, I have had parents who fuss way overboard and for a long long time, that's not good either) You seem to be on the right track. Good luck.

02-04-2014, 01:12 PM
Maybe everyone just needs to take a break, step back and just get rid of the stress, get rid of the reward system for a bit too. Take him to the bathroom on your normal routine but other than that just change him and carry on. Do you have all younger children in your care? He could be just copying what he sees.

I agree with the underwear too. For myself I have carpet and am not willing to let kids go without a pullup on until they are trained but for the parents at home they can certainly do the underwear at home. I did that with my daughter outside of daycare hours and it worked well.

02-04-2014, 01:12 PM
One more thing. I tell my parents that pull ups are like diapers only easier for us and we aren't the ones being potty trained. Shopping, and outings they wear them but at home it's underwear and plastic pants on top. Pull ups at daycare only for sanitary reasons and only until two weeks no accidents. I've had great successes with this. Usually after 1 1/2 weeks they are in underwear.

02-04-2014, 01:13 PM
I would suggest to the parents putting him only in thick training (Cloth) underwear after daycare hours and on weekends so he gets the feel of it.

That is usually the only way I have seen it click for kids who get comfortable with pullups and resist the potty.

It is not fair to expect you to have a child in underwear and causing a possibly unsanitary situation for the other kids but I would kindly remind the parents that the child is almost ready for school and they will be called if he is not trained and possibly not allowed in class until he is.

I have also had kids who fight tooth and nail and the parents and I would discuss taking a two week break where no one mentions the potty and then we start fresh again.

Good luck...sounds terribly frustrating

bright sparks
02-04-2014, 01:35 PM
I always sit differently on this topic as I refuse to use pull ups. They aren't stupid these kids, they know they are diapers. This child is older so a different approach to toilet training needs to be taken in my opinion. I would actually hazard a guess that conditioning him would help in this case. Take him every 30 minutes to the bathroom and gradually increase the duration in between visits. I totally appreciate those of you who say that's you don't have time to take a child to the bathroom every 30 minutes but I think you do. The rest of the group gets neglected? Not really, your routine becomes much more "free" rather than structured activities so the kids can amuse themselves while you step out for what, a minute each time?? In a couple of weeks I think you will see improvement and none of the other children will be any the worse for it. It is in the child's best interest to deal with this and yours too, to get over this difficult time. Hard work yes, but for many different reasons children are more or less demanding of us throughout different stages of development. After a week or two of conditioning it will become habit and you can at the same time work closely with him teaching about how to verbalized his needs, talking about holding his bladder through books and diagrams and all the while take some pressure off of him because you will be taking him frequently to the bathroom and as I said increasing the time between visits after a few days.

This is not how I would normally train a child but at this point what you are doing isn't working and the parents are not being helpful and the only person this is detrimental to is the child and in addition is a pain in the ass for you to deal with. Lose the pull ups and put underpants on him. Conditioning should mean low chance of accidents because you are telling him to pee not asking him to, and reward with stickers for all his success'. Everytime he pees ask him what he should say when he needs to go. Tell him what it is and have him mirror it to you. He is obviously not capable of controlling and verbalizing his toileting so just work on one at a time.

bright sparks
02-04-2014, 01:37 PM
Just as a note on school. I would not use that against the parents, why add more pressure. He could have half a dozen accidents a day and they will still accept him into school contrary to what anyone else says. The parent will just be expected to provide changes of clothes and the child will be required to change himself.

Crayola kiddies
02-04-2014, 01:43 PM
I would suggest if the parents aren't trying (really trying) then I would not even bother....they will be more proactive when he has to go to school in sept and the school wont accept him cause hes not trained .....however if your going to continue trying to get him trained this is my advise and i know a lot of people will not agree with me but he needs a time out or a punishment of some sort when he goes in his pullup/ underwear whatever.....he is old enough to know the difference and he has also told you when he needs to go so when he soils his pants it is a CHOICE. but its the wrong choice and he needs a deterrent for making that choice. if he was 2 and hadn't quite figured it out yet then I would never punish ....but this kid knows .....he needs to be in the thick underwear and he needs to have a potty available to him so he can just go when the urge hits. and you need to keep saying to him " remember you are in underwear and we do not pee or poo in our underwear or we will have a timeout" or what ever is his currency to make him make the right choice. and you say it to him about every 15 minutes.

5 Little Monkeys
02-04-2014, 01:44 PM
I agree with Bright Sparks. Of course it will depend on your setup though. My bathroom is right next to the play room so it's a bit easier for me. If possible, I would also suggest taking him to the bathroom often. If pull ups are not working than I think the only option is to go straight to underwear.

The parents NEED to be on board though so you will have to stress to them how important it is for THEIR CHILD to be potty trained. They are not doing him any favours. I don't know where you are but I know that here in MB, yes a child does need to be potty trained for preschool and for school. I used to work in a dc centre where a child was not trained and it was put on us to train this child over the summer!

02-04-2014, 02:45 PM
I could have written this post!

I have identical issues with an almost identically aged boy. His parents are in no rush (especiLly since he won't go to school until 2015), and when they decide to make an attempt, they give up after a week or less.

This guy will tell me that he doesn't feel it "coming out," but when I put him on the potty before/after lunch, he will always go (#2). I feel like if he knows enough to push out when he needs to, he should have the awareness to feel it coming on, wouldn't you think?

To be honest, the kid has 0 expectations/consequences at home, and I feel like it's more a case of him knowing that there won't be any consequences for him not going, so why bother. He has a huge problem with other kids taking 'his' toys when he walks away or when I interrupt his play for whatever reason. So dropping his toys to go sit on the potty is just not what he wants to do. Even with explaining to him that I'll save them, and using toys, tv, treats, as rewards, nothing's changing.

I'll be keeping an eye on this thread!

02-05-2014, 01:08 PM
Thanks ladies!
Truthfully, I'm training another boy as well. He's a bit younger but he stays dry most days with minimal accidents but still needs to be prompted. I really thought that having them both go would be super easy because they would feed off of each others successes. Ummmm.....so wrong. The younger boy has now started to fight with me just the same as the older boy now. It's so frustrating because the first couple weeks they were doing so good!! And now I feel like it's all gone out the window. I say 'kay boys it's time to go to the bathroom' the majority of the time the younger boy comes and this boy just flops on the floors and says 'no, I want to pee in my pants'. Yesterday I talked to the mom and told her that this is not working and that her and her husband should really think about sending him in underwear with a pull-up over and have him in underwear at home. I told her that I thought we might be more successful if we made him less comfortable as having a wet diaper/pullup doesn't bother him that maybe wet underwear would. She said they would talk about it but said that the wet underwear doesn't bug him either because they will put him on the toilet and then 2 seconds later he will pee in his underwear and just carry on like nothing happened. I'm kind of thinking that maybe we should take a 2 week break like it was suggested to hit reset and start over with a different approach. I dunno man, I just don't know.

02-05-2014, 01:24 PM
That's tricky!

To be honest, if it's not working with the older guy I'd take a break from him and wait until the younger is more secure in his abilities. He's going to pick up on the older ones behaviors and it will negatively impact him. Play it up enough and the older one might be more inclined to give it a shot as well.