4 year old won't potty train

rynn01March 2, 2014

My four year old son refuses to be potty trained. Any tips?

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I don't have any advice, but wanted to say that you are not alone. Our 3.5 y/o has used the potty twice in 6 months. He tells us that he just doesn't want to. We've tried M&Ms, giving him Matchbox cars (he loves them!), and stickers to no avail. He is on the potty every day at daycare and twice at home...but he usually goes right after he is off the potty. I figure he'll get there eventually....but I wish it would be sooner rather than later!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 8:16PM
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wait until he is ready. It is not something you can push. My middle child wasn't ready until he was almost 6. I'm not alone in that either, and no there is nothing physically wrong, just slow to mature. If you make it an issue - in general, you can set them up for refusal far longer than they would have if you just let them be.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2014 at 1:56AM
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My girls were potty trained at 18 months, my son by age 3. Four and six years old not potty-trained? I think that's ridiculous. Sorry, but I think discipline needs to come into play now.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 9:23AM
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strawchicago 5a IL

Hi Rynn01: A few tips I read & tried on my kid. She was potty-trained when she was 3 1/2 months old. Children are different from each other, some are potty-trained much earlier, like an orphan coming from China, was potty trained at 1-year old. That orphan is now a great gymnast .. she's fearless.

Some kids are more timid and need more positive encouragement. Lecturing and forcing kids doesn't work. What worked for my kid was some tiny books, which I put in a basket next to her potty. She was too busy reading those books ... so it's NOT a forced procedure. She became a great reader later, now is in the gifted program in middle school.

Some other tips that worked for other parents: Buy some cheap toys, wrap it up in tiny packages, and your kid can only open if he/she went potty. When I rewarded my kid with M&M candies, it was so much easier.

Positive psychology works better than harsh discipline. My sister is a strict & harsh mother... no amount of yelling and forcing could make her 4-years old go potty. Finally she let him chooses some nice undies with cartoon characters that he likes. He didn't want to dirty his fav. cartoon characters, so he was motivated to use the potty.

No one can make anyone else do anything .. it's best to have a "payback", or make it enjoyable, so the kid will unconsciously do that herself/himself, rather than being a "second-rated" option. I hope that helps. I'm in mid 50's, and my Mom had 13 children ... we were all potty-trained at 2, since that was the only choice we had.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 9:52AM
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I read somewhere that the disposable diaper developers made a diaper that kept the older kids comfortable. Too comfortable apparently; the kids wouldn't potty train. They had to go back and make the diapers not so nice.

Sounds like what's going on here.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 9:57AM
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