Like many people I used the sticker chart when I toilet trained my 3 kids. I let them choose the stickers and put the chart in their bedrooms. Don't punish if your child doesn't get it right every time. Simply say "oh dear", take them to the toilet - if they sit they sit, if not don't force and then get them to help clean up the mess. I found the best way to get my son who is 6 toilet trained was to let him see us adults using the toilet and then asking him to try. He was really taken with the children's toilets at our local shopping centre that had a big person and small person toilet next to each other.
My mum suggested putting them on the toilet and sitting their talking and or reading for about 5 minutes - if something happened well good. I also waited until the summer months and let them run around with no nappy on, but you need to have a week or two when you are going to be home. I do make my kids go to the toilet before we leave home to go out and again before we leave somewhere to come home.
I never used a potty - grandma bought a padded toilet seat and a small step stool. I know it's annoying and frustrating but training can take time and the more you stress - particularly if you have a stubborn child - the worse it will be. I have bought a bed wetting alarm for my son, as he is such a sound sleeper that he just didn't wake up.
After 6 weeks of use - he is dry - I have kept the alarm in case he has a relapse or a cold and we need to do some more training. I also explained to mine that what they eat go used by the body and what was left over came out the other end (the dog proved to be a good teaching tool). I explained that it was natural and everyone did it. The poor dog was observed at great length eating and then pooing. He was observed so much that he got used to having an audience when he pooed that when the fascination wore off and no one watch him - he would come and scratch at the door to get someone to come and watch him. - he's a mad kelpie.
I do remind my kids to go the loo, but when they were little and we did have the odd accident in the shopping centre - I used to carry a small back pack with a spare change of clothes, plastic bag and wipes for a quick clean up. I used to say "oh well" and tried to stay calm. Even now I keep a back pack in the car with a spare set of clothes for each kid.
Do check with your doctor if you think there is something wrong, but don't punish, don't leave kids sitting in wet clothes or knickers. Sitting in wet clothes in not good for their health and can make matters worse as they can panic. Also kids can't hold it - give them plenty of chances to go to the loo - when my 4 year wet her pants at local shop after asking to go to the loo, I was standing in line to pay for something - I ticked her off and got very angry with her. When we meet grandma for lunch - I was in a mad mood and I had a grumpy 4 year old.
Grandma gave my daughter a huge hug and said these things happen. She then asked me what a happened. My mum has bowel and bladder problems herself , so she knows that when she has to go, she has to go. She reminded me of this and that kids only have small bladders. I know that this is not always possible but I do get my kids to go to the loo if I know that we are going to be away for awhile, especially my 6 year old who sometimes gets so focussed on what he is doing, he isn't aware until he really needs to go.
Also give kids reminders. My son knows that after lunch he needs to go to the toilet, as he can't get through the afternoon at school. He has had several accidents - when the teacher has told him to put his hand down. He carries a spare set of clothes in his bag and some wipes, he knows to go to a cubicle in the boys toilets, change, put the wet clothes in the plastic bag and put them in his bag. Since getting him to go at lunchtime - we have had no more problems.
I can see there is already MUCH advice on this and since I didn't read it all I may repeat something...oh well! When my little brother was in the process of being potty trained mother bought him some really honest to goodness BIG BOY underwear! No training pants, diapers, etc. There were no pull ups in those days. She told him BIG BOYS didn't potty in their pants and if he wanted to do that he had to go back to wearing BABY PANTS!!Worked for her!
How can I potty train stubborn 3.5 year old? My nephew had been raised in a less than desireable environment. He knows when he needs to go but CHOOSES not to go in the potty. I have tried EVERYTHING. The only thing that got a reaction from him was taking his pull ups away and letting him roam bare bum, he thew an absolute fit and told me that his mommy put diapers on him and so I should. Later when he was getting ready for bed I put his night time pull up on him and 2 seconds later he had a poop in his pull up, so I made him clean it up and he was very upset because it was yucky and he didn't want to clean it up, he wanted me to because his "mommy does". Am I being too harsh?
Danielle from Kelowna, BC
* Slightly different: When I broke my last glass bottle at the age of 18 months, my mother told me that the other bottles in May's Chemist were for little babies, implying: No more bottles for you! And I was fine. (07/04/2006)
By Carol Churchill
By Megan's mom
First I bought a cheap little gum ball machine (Wal-mart, Walgreens, and even the Dollar Store often has these). You can fill it with something like Kix cereal or small Cheerios (if you DO choose candy, Smarties are a less sugary option that fits). My kids always loved using the gum ball machines to receive their reward! I used 2 small machines with two different choices of cereal so they could choose what they wanted each time.
Second, I allowed them to pick out some stickers at the store. I bought a piece of medium sized, bright colored poster board and made a chart with their name on top. They got to put a sticker on the chart each time. They would fill the chart to work towards a goal that they would choose. If it is a toy that they choose, or being taken somewhere like the zoo or Chuck E Cheese, it might help to have a small picture of the item or place taped to the end of the chart to remind them of what they are working so hard for.
A prize basket works great too! No candy needed (but bite sized candy bars and M&M packets may be fine for some parents too!) Go to the section of the store where you can find party favors. They often have lots of packages of small toys with the latest cartoon trend on them, and they are also cheap! Small cars for boys and lip balms or cute hair clips for girls are fun. If you like the idea of allowing them to receive stickers to stick all over the toilet but don't want to have to scratch them off later, choosing window adhesives are a great idea for sticking to the toilet, shower door or mirror! Individual adhesives are also a fun choice to put inside the prize basket. Wrapping the prizes allows them to get more excited. Not knowing what they may find in there will make them want to use the potty more, simply to discover the treasures in that basket!
If you want to add fun without rewards there are still ways to do it: I, too, use multi colored Cheerios for my son to aim at (he likes to pick the color he wants to throw in). Letting them pick out their new underwear can be an exciting thing to them, (or even new sheets for their bed) and they will be more likely to want to keep them clean if they chose them and like them. A fun step stool is great, either with a recognizable character on it or with stickers all over it (window adhesives come in handy here too to decorate the toilet seat).
Last but not least, my kids LOVED singing about it! We made up lyrics to sing that worked great for us. The verses sound like "This is the way we wash our clothes":
"This is the way we potty train, potty train, potty train! This is the way we potty train so we can be a big boy/girl!
This is the way that we go pee, we go pee, we go pee. This is the way that we go pee in the potty chair!
This is the way we wipe ourself, wipe ourself wipe ourself. This is the way we wipe ourself so we can be nice and clean!
This is the way we wash our hands, wash our hands, wash our hands. This is the way we wash our hands after we go potty!
I dry my hands off really good, really good, really good. I dry my hands off really good ... AND NOW IT'S TIME TO PLAY!!!"
I hope these ideas work for some of you!!! Good luck! (05/21/2007)
Add your voice to the conversation. Click here to answer this question.