NOW WHAT?? Nothing is working...(Potty training)

United States
July 1, 2009 11:00am CST
Hello again, my friends... I am at my wits end with this! I know I started a discussion on this a month or so ago and many of you had some great advise, but nothing so far is working! I'm getting frustrated, angry, and ashamed... I bought him big boy underwear, let him pick out his favs and we took 'em home, washed them and folded them all and put them where the diapers/pull-ups used to go... He refused to wear them. I went back to pull-ups.. we made a special Potty Poster and started putting stickers everytime he went in the toilet... That method almost completely disappeared when he went to his grandmother's for the night... It took 2 days to get him back on track... but it's not working... he could care less about getting a sticker! I tried using a timer to remind him (and me) to go in, sit and try to go... He started waiting for the timer... wetting himself. I reduced the time, that seemed to work well for the first day... but by the second day, he was back to wetting himself - in between the times set to try... I'm asking him every few minutes if he has to go, I always get a no... I check him, he's dry, I make him sit and try... If he goes great, if he doesn't, I just remind him to go when he feels the tickle. 5 minutes later, he's wet... Today, I started putting him in time outs... I don't know that this is the right thing to do... But I was so mad at him... I asked him if he had to go, he said no and not even 3 minutes later, he was wet! I made him turn off the tv and sit for 4 minutes... not really a time out, but... I changed him, reminded him that the next time he wet his pants, he was getting a time out... Not more than 10 minutes later, he had wet himself again!!!! He got a real time out; no tv, no toys, in his room, alone. Naturally, he was crying, and I got really upset because I just don't know what to do! He's going to be 4 in Aug... I don't understand why he doesn't GET IT!!!! What am I doing wrong? If I take him to the pedi, what could possibly be the issue ??? Any advise??? Please.... Thanks... again.
1 person likes this
10 responses
@bunnybon7 (34984)
• Holiday, Florida
2 Jul 09
you may have to wait until he gets old enough to be ashamed. wont he be going to pre school soon? if so then you need to discuss that with him. how the other kids will already be out of wetting their pants. my oldest daughter was like that, then when she was ready for pre school she stopped out of embarrasment and wanting to be BIG girl like the others.
• United States
2 Jul 09
Good morning, thank you for responding... My son already started preschool, last year... He was the youngest in his class, at 3, and will again be the youngest at 4 when he goes in Sept... There was one other child in his class that was not fully trained... I actually don't even know if the school will let him go if he's not fully trained... The registration paperwork says he must be fully trained, but it said the same thing last year... I've been told that at his age, peer pressure will help, but it's summertime... there aren't any kids his age around here... I can't put him in camp to be social cuz he's not trained... I'm stressing cuz I only have 2 months to get him fully trained, or he can't start school!
@bunnybon7 (34984)
• Holiday, Florida
2 Jul 09
maybe that will help if you stress to him that he wont GET to go to school. like its a fun great thing. you know i had 5 babies, all grown and on their own now and i know how you feel. believe it or not when hes grown you will look back and say, gee, i wish he was little again. at least i had some control over what happens with him
• United States
2 Jul 09
You're right, I will look back and wish he was little again...I already do, sometimes... I'm thankful that I've managed to document his entire 4 years... He used to say the cutest things and now he says them correctly and I like to look back at videos when he was saying it in his little baby voice! I'll probably forget all about how horrible it was to potty train him... NOT!!! I don't think I'll ever forget! LOL Thanks for your support...
@sjvenden27 (1850)
• United States
2 Jul 09
When my son was just about to turn three, he went to his days for holiday season then when he came back he was not willing to go on the chair at all.. Then there were some issues and he ended up back at his dad's for a couple of months.. Then when he came back he had major issues with potty training.. I haven't tried the stickers or the new toy yet.. But every once and a while he will disappear and come back to say that he went potty.. and there are sometimes that he will go while I am.. I have had to move around a bit for the last year or so.. That is why I haven't been pushing the issue.. When should I start trying again? I have been living in my new home for the last month, but he has to go to his dad's next month.. For a couple of days or so I am not quite sure how everything is going to work out.. Whats your opinon, when would it be the best time to start again?
• United States
2 Jul 09
Good morning, thank you for responding...I have done extensive research on this issue (potty training) and one of the biggest and most common reasons that kids don't train is because of emotional upset in the family/living situation... Divorce, new baby, moving.... So, as I read your post, I can see that you are going thru ALL of the things that upset children to the point where they won't train... I'm sorry you're going thru so much... IMO, I would first discuss the potty training issue with your husband/partner... If your son is to going to be spending considerable time there, his dad needs to be on the band wagon for training. If you can, come up with a strategy that you can both follow so that no matter who your son is with, he's getting the same lessons from both... I would start training again as soon as you have a routine down with your son's dad... You know, when you figure out when and for how long your son will visit his dad, and there's consistancy, that's when I would start to retrain... Your son needs the consistancy and the security of the routine. Good luck!
• United States
2 Jul 09
Thank you for your input on this subject.. I know that there has been a lot that has been going on lately, and I figured that had something to do with my not son wanting to potty train.. I am glad that we are in a place now, where we will not have to move for a long time.. I know that my son needs to have stability in his life... My son's dad.. well point blank he is lazy, if he has to do something for his child he whines like a big baby... Not sure what plan of action I will take.. I may be taking to his dad's soon to be sister in law for help.. So then something can be the same between the two places... Considering he will be going from a house hold of one child to a house hold of six kids...
@divkris (1163)
• India
2 Jul 09
i think you should try to make sounds like sssssssssssssss (pause) sssssssss so that he pisses - people often feel like pissing when they hear such sounds. Then have you tried splashing some water - this will also help your kid release it. Next, keep the tap open (le the water trickle) and this may help him (and you). I'm sorry if some of my tips are not acceptable or sounds weird - i'm from India and we seldom use diapers for toddlers and we practice potty training in a very early stage - for my daughter it was from 6-8 months :)
• United States
2 Jul 09
Thanks for your response... your tips are not weird or unacceptable... I've tried the water thing... running the water run didn't do anything for him. When I splashed him, it just made him very silly and then I had a really hard time calming him down. Incidentally, he didn't go on the toilet, he wet his diaper, but kept running around the kitchen saying "Plash me, Plash me!!" I've also tried opening the window to give him a chill while sitting on the pot... whenever I get a fast and sudden chill, I get the urge to go. I thought this would work, but it didn't!
@orevro (716)
• Philippines
2 Jul 09
I've read something about this and i would like to share some tips :) Toilet training should be fun, take a slow, casual, matter-of-fact approach and make it fun. remeber that your child should feel in control, not you Always encourage and praise your child and don't begin training until your child shows signs that he/she is ready. Never pressure or punish your child for unsuccessful attempts at using the potty and be patient, your child will learn to use the potty when he/she is ready:) Signs of readiness: *can stay dry for a few hours or wakes up dry from sleep *knows that he/she has to go to the bathroom *understands the association between dry pants ans using the potty *can pull his/her pants up and down *lets you know whe he/she has soiled his/her diaper(likes to stay dry) *can follow simple directions like, "let's go to the potty" *can tell you he/she has to go to the bathroom *imitates other family members *shows interest and asks question while watching you *wants to do things "by myself" *enjoys washing his/her hands (likes to be clean) *gets upset if his/her belongings are not in their proper place *wants to please you *has bowel movements at about the same time every day i hope this helps:)
• United States
2 Jul 09
Good morning, thank you for your response... As my son has displayed all of the signs of being ready, we started training a few months ago... At first it was very casual, very relaxed and very non-stressful because I knew he needed to be eased into it... it's only now that he has displayed the knowledge and the ability to fully give up pull-ups - but won't - that I am getting stressed, angry, and frustrated. I KNOW he can do it, he just won't.... SO, I've decided to just back off and give him, and me, a break. I've tried so many things, and they aren't working... I started trying to show him it was bad and punishing him (time out) but I told my DH that it's the very worst thing that you can do at this time... he agreed, we'll be backing off a little while. I'll be calling the pedi on Monday... Naturally because I need him, he's on vacation! (sigh) Thanks again for your help!
@subha12 (18454)
• India
2 Jul 09
I think you are trying the best. Try rewarding him when he is dry and went to potty. it may help. some kids are late in potty training. keep hope.
• United States
2 Jul 09
Thank you!
• Canada
2 Jul 09
Hi Raven, My girlfriend has the same issue, her child's four too. She keeps telling me that she just leaves it alone and the child will go when she's ready to go. My friend gets very angry too, maybe that's the key. Maybe it's not good for the child to see you're anger.
• United States
2 Jul 09
Hi lady, yeah, I'll be backing off because I don't want to be angry with my son...
@saw2207 (1363)
• United States
2 Jul 09
Raven7317, Just remember that in raising kids .. each one is different and is ready for new things in time. . .When was the last time you heard of a kid going to college in diapers? In other words.. try and stop making such a big deal about it . .. he will potty train . . but I think the more you make an issue out of it ... the longer it will take for him to do it...... it is a control thing and he is in control at the moment! My daughter did the same thing to me. .. and as soon as I let go and stopped hocking her . . . . diapers and pull ups became a thing of the past
• United States
2 Jul 09
Good morning, saw, thank you for your response... I think you're right... I already discussed with DH to let it go for a week or two... You made me laugh about this... THANK YOU
@sunshine4 (8709)
• United States
1 Jul 09
Wow, you certainly have tried every trick in the book. I would go out and buy a bunch of little toys and candy. Put them in a box in the bathroom. Tell him when he stays dry and goes potty for the day, he can pick out a prize. Maybe even start with each time getting something, then going for the whole day. He definitely should be getting it for his age. Maybe just give it up for a week or so and then start again. Start with one thing and stick with it. He might be confused~ does he get a sticker if he goes, or does he get in time out for an accident? Be consistent and good luck.
• United States
2 Jul 09
Hi Sunshine, thank you for your response... I talked with DH tonight, well, honestly, I blew up... I was very overwhelmed and frustrated... anyway, I told him that first thing tomorrow morning, I'm calling the pedi to discuss our problem.. And then I told him that I will most likely back off for a week or two because I find myself getting very angry and I loathe the idea of being a screaming mom... I don't want this to turn into a 'mommy's mad at me all the time' kind of thing for my son... While I understand that he HAS to get this, and I understand that everyone goes thru it, I don't see the benefit of yelling, being angry and punishing my little guy just because I'M the one who is at a loss... One thing that we struggle with is the balance between motivating him to do what is needed/right/required with rewarding him for his hard work... We both believe that a child should do what is asked, required or needed just because it's asked, required or needed... not because he gets a prize... We weren't raised that way and we don't want our son to be over-indulged, spoiled or overly expectant of rewards... I guess at 4 years old, it may be different, but it's worked well so far - up until now... What I've been doing is, if he goes when I ask him to, and his pants are dry, he gets a sticker... if he goes but he's wet, he gets nothing, but a "good job." The time outs have only come into play the last 2 days; if I ask him if he needs to go and he says no, but then goes in his pants, he gets a time out. This is the most infuriating thing... I ask him 'do you need to pee?' and he says no... I wait maybe 10 minutes and ask again and check him and he's gone in his pants... RIGHT after I asked him if he needed to go!!! I think it's just a matter of him not wanting to stop whatever he's doing in order to go... Thank you for your suggestions, I will certainly keep them in mind.
• Canada
3 Jul 09
have you tried making him uncomfterble by leaving him in his wet underwear. it will teach him not to go in his underwear cause it's so uncomfterble. just put a plastic bad under wear he's sitting if he wet's himself and let him stay in his wet underwear each time for 10 -15 minutes or so. he'll start to feel gross after a while. good luck
• United States
2 Jul 09
omg i feel ur pain!!!!!!!!! my little brother is 5 years old n still not potty trained. he's peed in the bowl like only 2 times like 3 months ago then all of sudden he just stoppped. he started taken off his diaper n peeing on the floor we spank him now all he does is pee in his diaper again. we tried so long to potty train him n he didn't want to be pushed. so one day he left the room all by himself didn't tell us. then we he can back he said "i peed in the potty" so its getting better. so just try not to push him meantion it sometimes bribe him with a toy he really wants. boys like this are very suburn