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3.9 yo toilet training resistance - WITS' END!!

(26 Posts)
webminx Fri 29-Nov-13 10:26:26

DS1 is 3.9yo. He is a very bright, verbal little boy and has no problems understanding what is required, how to do it and where it should be done. We've been toilet training for over a year with one break back into pull-ups. He had, until last week, NEVER volunteered to go to the toilet but could be badgered/bribed into going. Some days no accidents (see bribing/badgering) but most days at least one accident, up to four not unusual. One accident per day is ok, in my book, four means he's either a) not ready b) doing it on purpose c) lazy

We've tried taking things away, giving him things, sticker charts, rewards, chocolate buttons, etc. Nothing is working.

He seems to get too engrossed in what he's doing and doesn't want to leave it to go to the toilet. Or, he lets a bit out and then is happy to sit there in it and won't go to the toilet. I've tried to be relaxed about it, to not let it become a power struggle but it inevitably has. He is VERY resistant to going back into pullups, but today, after a crap morning (literally) I insisted. He put one down the toilet, sulked and shouted for over an hour and then finally put one on. Now he seems quite happy in it. Am worried he's actually quite triumphant at not having to even bother to try now. Can ANYONE HELP ME?!? He's going to preschool in January so needs to be relatively dry and clean by then. AARRGGHH!

Pointeshoes Fri 29-Nov-13 10:48:49

I really wouldn't use pull ups at all as they could be sending the message that it's ok to wee pants and not use toilet.
You need to give him ownership over this, so he needs to learn to do everything by himself. You can still remind him at certain times, eg before u go out, after lunch etc. If he has an accident let him put his clothes in the wash , let him get more clothes and get himself dressed. Make sure he is drinking enough water.
You'll find he will get the hang of it a nursery anyway as they expect a few accidents and he will copy what the others do. For example, my son started nursery school age 3 and 2 months, he was trained, but needed to be reminded when to go. Had a few accidents the first few weeks but now he copies the other boys as he stands up to do a wee!
Make sure he has easy to pull up and down trousers too.

Curlysoo Tue 14-Jan-14 18:43:26

Webminx, girl I feel your pain and can echo just about every point that you have made.

My DS is 3yrs 11mths now and we too have also been at this for more than a year. We have tried reward charts, sticker charts, all out bribery, shouting, ignoring and simply cleaning it up, taking things from him, stopping him from watching his favourite TV shows and so far we have been beaten at every turn. He wears pull-ups for bed (pees through these every 2nd or 3rd night) but is in briefs throughout the day. He has already started pre-school (has been going for around 9 months) but peer pressure also seems to have gone straight over his head as he is more than happy to pee and poo where he stands and continue playing without a word to anyone. The staff there of course do not make a big thing of it and call it a little accident.

He too is a bright and lively little man and more than understands what we're asking of him but when we ask him why he doesn't go to the toilet he simply says he doesn't want to. I am now worried that we will still be trying to get him to use the toilet when he starts school in September, he might be bullied and I will have to end a 5 year old.

I make light of this now but I am actually so close to the edge it is far from funny. People generally tell me that he will get it eventually so I should just relax but nobody seems to have been at it as long as this. I'm out of ideas here and I feel like a really terrible parent.

lightf Thu 16-Jan-14 09:05:55

i could have written both your posts!

Everyone says dont go back to nappies. But if they are treating pants like nappies anyway - and dont care - what can be wrong with going back to nappies? All they seem to be learning right now is its OK to pooh and wee in your pants. How is that good?! At least nappies saves us cleaning pooh off every surface!!


screamingeels Sun 19-Jan-14 15:42:50

Can't help but just wanted to commiserate, DS is 3.7 and very resistant to toilet training.

As everyone else has said about their DS, he is otherwise bright and articulate. After several previous failed attempts we managed to get him dry through bribery and perserverance in time to start pre-school in Sept at 3.3, but he refuses to poo on toilet or potty. He did manage to hide this from pre-school, who aren't very sympathetic, until just after Christmas, when being out of routine his pooing-in pants cycle became less regular.

As he is so regular we have managed to get him to poo on the toilet, however as he really doesn't want to, he point blank denies it, even turning down stickers and rewards.

Aargh! Almost hoping someone will turn up on this thread and say 'it's your fault for starting too soon, when they are ready it only takes two days', so I can metaphorically punch them! Like Curlysoo I'm dreading this still being a problem in Reception.

Longdistance Sun 19-Jan-14 16:14:47

I'm gonna get shot for saying this, but I bribe with chocolate. It works every time. If they have a n accident, I don't make a deal of it, but do say 'never mind, no chocolate this time'.

We had a day when dd2 just wouldn't go. But left it as a bad day, and got on with it the next day. If she was engrossed in what she was doing, and I'd think, maybe it's time for a wee. I'd just take her away from the activity.

stoopstofolly Sun 19-Jan-14 16:22:07

Similar situation here- DS, 3.5, supposedly potty trained since 2.5 still wees in his pants on a near daily basis. No poo thank goodness, but lots of damp pants. He gets engrossed in what he's doing, "let's a bit out" and carries on. Never a full scale cascade, just lots of damp pants. It's laziness, pure and simple. He knows when to go, he knows how to go, he just can't be bothered a lot of the time. Tried reward charts, stickers, buying pants with trucks on ("don't get the digger wet"!) but so far nothing. It's much worse if he has juice or cordial- he loves it and gulps it all down and then we have 3 wet incidents in an hour. Things have improved since I just give him water. Will be watching thread with interest to see what people suggest.....

PapaSB Sun 19-Jan-14 21:56:25

OMG. My daughter started potty training in October. We have frequent wet kickers and poos are a complete no-no. So many knickers have had to be thrown away due them being covered in poo.

We don't know what to do.

We remind her to go constantly, every hour. Sometimes this works and we have dry days. Other days she is reminded, sits on the potty and does nothing. Ten minutes later we have an accident.

Really hit and miss...

We don't want to go back to nappies. We are four months in. Started well but to be honest not had much improvement since and feels like a bit of regression.

How much do people find sleep and routine impact their little one? Ours is / has been resisting a day nap and we think it's got worse since this resistance. Plus we have number two on the way and we are getting ready for their arrival. Not had a lot of quality time with little one. Could this cause this much impact?

What should we do? Should we ignore it every time she is wet? Should we tell her off? Should we congratulator when she has a dry day with rewards, or should it be each wee in the potty?
She can sit on a toilet / potty and wee to order, generally, so has control. She seems to resist telling us when she has done a poo, but does know she has done it. She seems to not want us to put her on the toilet when she is in the middle of pooing in her knickers. Finally, she doesn't always tell us when she has done / doing a wee. Hot wee on your legs is pretty obvious, but she resists telling us as it's happening. Normally we find out when the lot has been dumped somewhere in our house.

Would love some suggestions...

shamble Mon 20-Jan-14 14:27:41

I am relieved to read these and also depressed. Does anyone have the answer?!

DS1 is 3.3 and has been PT since end Oct. Another bright, articulate boy. Wees aren't too bad, although recently we've been having about one accident a day. But poos are an absolute nightmare.

Every afternoon, from about 3 o'clock, he's dancing around, clutching himself and farting continually. HE WILL NOT SIT ON THE POTTY OR THE TOILET. It goes on for HOURS. Finally, when he's pretty much screaming in agony, he'll either poo in his pants, or if I'm quick enough and karate chop him on to the toilet, he'll do it in the loo.

Five minutes later, he'll have an after shock and crap his pants again.

I have also tried everything - every bribe in the book. We even had a tub of "poo presents" and he got to unwrap one each time a poo went in the loo/potty. Nothing has worked.

He has a haemorrhoid and I'm wondering if this might be part of the problem? But I'm completely at my wits' end. I have totally lost my patience with him. But he seems completely unconcerned and seems to find my aggravation quite amusing.

Is there anyone who can help?

Curlysoo Mon 20-Jan-14 18:41:38

Shamble... I am not sure that anyone does have the answer. Those that I have spoken to tell me to try to relax about it because he will get it in the end. If I have to hear that phrase one more time I doubt that I'll be responsible for my actions.

I am currently attempting the 'ownership' idea that pointeshoes mentions in her post - he is now responsible for taking his clothes off, putting them in the laundry bin and getting new from his drawers but after a week nothing has changed. He may well be testing my resolve here but I would say that it is actually worse now. He doesn't just have little accidents anymore, he just full on does his business in his pants where he stands. I guess I have done something drastically wrong somewhere along the line but I'll be buggered if I know what or when. After 14 months I am now at the point where I believe I am prepared to pay someone to come into my house to do this for me / for us because I clearly can't do it. I am a beaten woman!!!!

Hollyjam123 Tue 21-Jan-14 23:17:08

I am not alone!!! I literally just posted a new thread and then saw this one!! I don't have the answer and really wish I knew as I feel beaten too but only 6 months in unlike poor curlysoo who is 14 months in.

My daughter does undress and redress herself and it doesn't make the blindest bit of difference. I have went through everything from shouting at her to being nice and doing nothing and nothing works.

Unfortunately (for me) my husband is totally chilled about it and thinks she will get it in time!! That is just not going to work for me!

shamble Wed 22-Jan-14 13:05:17

went to the doctor today to ask about ds1's piles and potty trouble. thought it might be of interest to you all to know that he's having the same problem at home with his little boy!

again. they get there when they're ready hmm

saw someone I know today at a toddler group with her 3.8 y old who was in a nappy. was dying to talk to her about it but didn't as I know if anyone spotted ds1 in a nappy I'd be just so embarrassed.

why are there no answers! everything I've heard about potty training is that it's so easy and they get it in days. nobody tells you about this!!

shamble Wed 22-Jan-14 13:06:19

(I'm SO GLAD I'm not alone sad )

Hollyjam123 Wed 22-Jan-14 19:43:36

I totally agree with you shamble. I have been thinking about this all day! I think the fact that I am at my wits end is def having an impact on her and making the issue worse. I think if I start to calm down maybe things will settle. I don't mean that I shout at her. I don't I am past that but she def picks up my feelings. Hmmm no idea how to do that!!

Curlysoo Wed 22-Jan-14 21:03:16

So there are lies, damn lies and statistics I mean the concept of potty training in a week! What a crock... we're coming up the 15 month mark here with no light at the end of the long tunnel we're stuck in.

I too agree that my attitude / feelings / negativity on the matter will be having an impact but I don't know what to do for the best here. I sense that I am ruining the process somehow and my beautiful little man is suffering because of it. I know that you have to show consistency in your actions and choices so there is no question of putting him back in nappies or even pull-ups for that matter. We are where we are in the process and we're plodding on day by day but we hit a new low today when he did a massive turd in his pants in the doctor's office. The stink was epic so I had to make my apologies and get the hell out of there, I didn't want to embarrass him in front of some other grown up he doesn't know.

I am truly ashamed that I have not managed to crack this for him yet. I'm probably the worst parent in the world.

PottyMouther Wed 22-Jan-14 21:26:42

Came on here to start a thread about this as positively tearing my hair out. DS1 is 3.4 and has never shown any interest whatsoever in the loo/potty/urine receptacle. We've had various issues where he thought if he just took his poo out of his nappy/pants and placed it neatly in the toilet then that would do. He generally does this when either his grandparents or aunty are looking after him... it's not going down well

My friends all say he'll do it when he's ready but at nursery he is being held back from the preschool room specifically because he's not PT and every time I go in there I literally have at least 2 staff members quizzing me about why he isn't potty trained yet.

I have taken this week off work and have been tracking him round the house, logging his 'movements' and repeatedly getting him on the potty. All I can report is that as my bribes are getting bigger, my laundry basket is getting fuller. It seems my motivation and his interest in doing it are currently on the same low scale.

If another person says to me 'have you tried taking his nappy off?' I may not be held responsible for my actions.

So glad I'm not alone and thank you for listening!

FacebookStoleMyLife Thu 23-Jan-14 12:22:40

Just had to say thank you all! I am completely tearing my hair out and was starting to wonder if there was something wrong with DS or us as parents sad Just hearing I'm not alone makes a huge difference.

DS is 3.3, we've been trying different things for a good six months and he has never in his life made any sign he needs a wee or a poo and even when I ask him he just says no. And then when he's pooed his pants he seems surprised it's happened. He can have small wet accidents 6-7 times a day even with me taking him to the loo to do a wee every hour (he has no problem doing wees in the toilet, he seems to enjoy it but still doesn't make any difference to saying he needs the loo).

Went to look round a nursery last spring and asked them about their policy on 2-3 year olds who weren't potty trained. They were just completely dismissive, like I wasn't trying hard enough and if he went there he'd be expected to get it within a week. That's been upsetting me ever since and made me too scared to start him at nursery. Have found a new nursery that looks very nice but I'm terrified to admit to them how bad he is at staying clean and dry.

Doesn't help when MIL throws in very helpful comments like 'well cousin X was dry by 2' and 'my mother (DH's Nan) is shocked children still wear nappies at that age, she thinks it's disgusting', WHAT?

lalouche Thu 23-Jan-14 12:40:32

Until recently I was also at my wits end with DS, 3.6. What seems to have done the trick in the last week is a combination of a sticker chart that he designed himself, and me letting go a bit - it had all got very highly charged and was degenerating into a power struggle where I had been reminding him 30 times a day to go. It had got to the point where he point blank refused to go anywhere near the loo, and short of physically forcing him there was nothing I could do to bribe/tempt/threaten him into it.

So I made a conscious effort to remove myself from the struggle. DH and I told him that they were his pees and poos, not ours, we didn't know when he needed to go and so from now on he was responsible for getting them into the toilet! I occasionally ask if he needs to go before we get in the car or suchlike, but don't push it at all if he says no. Control is still pretty shaky - any disruption to routine and we're back to square one - but we've had some good runs of completely dry days, and I am at least relieved to know that there's no physical lack of readiness.

HellsGranny Thu 23-Jan-14 12:48:40

I'm so glad to find this. DS1 is 4 next month & still refuses to poo on the toilet, wees are fine. We've tried bribery, rewards you name it, still nothing. We try reminding him to go but he won't. It's like he's not aware he needs a poo until it is too late. Am thinking of taking him to the dr just to check there isn't a physical problem, but I'm so relieved that I'm not the only one. (Although sorry to hear you are all having problems too)

Petifilou Thu 23-Jan-14 13:57:56

Goodness! I am glad I'm not alone, but disappointed not to have found an answer. We are only 7 months in to toilet training - I thought that was bad, so can only imagine how some of you must be feeling. He knows how to go to the toilet, he knows when he needs (you should see the dancing he does) but refuses to ask. And quite often denies it when we ask ("no mummy, I just like dancing"). He was doing quite well for a while before Christmas, but I am now 24 weeks pregnant and he has totally regressed recently. We even had a few poos in pants last week, when he has absolutely been on top of those for ages! DS has been in nursery since he was 1 and in Preschool room since June, so peer pressure makes no difference to him. Today, as suggested by nursery, who have been very understanding, I dropped him off in Tweenies (room for 2yos), telling him if he can't ask to go to the toilet like a big boy, he can't go in the big boy room. I called nursery earlier and they told me he still hadn't asked to go (although no accidents, thank goodness!).

I am glad to know there are others out there in a similar position. At least I know there is nothing "wrong" with him. How frustrating though?

Hollyjam123 Fri 24-Jan-14 18:58:28

Well I've resorted to bribery at least that way I will know if she is just lazy and can't be bothered stopping what she is doing. No accidents today!! And I didn't need to ask her once!! This is surprising after the few weeks we have had. Fingers crossed.

FixItUpChappie Fri 24-Jan-14 19:12:34

Agh! Potty training is a disaster at this house. He just doesn't WANT to. We have also tried every bribe in the book. This child can go potty no problem - he doesn't want to. WTF do we do with that? confused

So can anyone answer me this one question PLEASE!!!....if he cries and tantrums and wont SIT on the potty, do I make him at least sit? I can't make him go, but do we make him sit? Does this accomplish anything?

I am starting to think ours is peeing on the floor on purpose. I notice if I warn him we are going to head off the potty soon...2 min later he is standing in puddle of wee hmm

Sorry OP - that was no help aside from perhaps commiserating with miserable company!

screamingeels Sun 26-Jan-14 22:16:06

I found the making him sit did help -sort of - We did sticker chart for sitting for 5 or 10 mins after breakfast, reading a book. And on a couple of these occasions he pooed! Cue much whooping, hi-5ing and general congratulations from us all.

However he now denies he has done it 'I don't poo on the toilet, I'm too little' so no actual lasting effect and I'm a bit worried we are making it such a big deal he's witholding, which is my nightmare scenario.

It is so soul destroying. But glad to hear we aren't the only ones.

Hollyjam123 Mon 27-Jan-14 08:25:43

Well we have had 3 full days of no accidents or even needing to ask her. I tell you chocolate is powerful stuff!!! She is back at nursery today and knows she will only get chocolate tonight if she has no accidents so we will see. I am not holding out too much hope that we have cracked it. But it is giving me time to come back down to earth as I was wound up like a spring last week and that def doesn't help.

BranchingOut Mon 27-Jan-14 08:58:44

Hi, we have had similar problems. Our story is on the 'gentle / slow potty training thread', which is a sort of hang-out for desperate and soggy mums..,smile

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