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Potty Training an Older Child

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This is a guide about potty training an older child. Potty training is not always an easy task. If you are trying to potty train an older child, here is some advice that you may find helpful.
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November 18, 20111 found this helpful

I have twin 3 1/2 year old girls who are potty trained when it comes to "number 1." However, they will not go "number 2" on the potty. They are not potty trained for bedtime, so they wear diapers at naptime or bedtime. Even though my wife and I will have them sit on the potty to attempt "number 2," they will hold it in until a diaper goes on them for bedtime. As soon as the diaper goes on, they almost immediately go "number 2." Does anybody have any suggestions?

By Scott

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November 20, 20110 found this helpful
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It will just eventually happen I have trained seven kids so each one is different. They will just eventually start keep encouraging them. Try to catch them when you know they are starting to have a bowel movement, put them on the potty and praise them! You can try putting them on the potty every 30 minutes. Try to keep track of their bowel habits this will help you know when they might go. Good luck! Be patient.

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November 21, 20110 found this helpful
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Have you tried putting a step up stool at the toilet? Most people need to have their feet 'firmly on the ground' to successfully erm, deposit solid waste.

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November 21, 20110 found this helpful
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I promise you in another year they will go on the pot. The problem is you missed the "window" which should have been a year ago for starting the training.

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Their bodies will not let them go anywhere but in the diapers. As their bodies mature, and once they go a few times on the pot they will be fine.

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July 12, 20110 found this helpful

I have a 4 year old and he starts school in September, but he can't stop wetting himself. I tell him everyday, every couple of hours, and I even tell his nursery teachers. I've been to the doctor's and everything seems normal. I just don't know what to do.

I've punished him, for example, I took his DS, television, and toys out of his room, the lot. I have rewarded him for going to the toilet, but yet nothing seems to be working. I don't know what to do I'm at my wits end!

By shell

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July 13, 20110 found this helpful
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Don't punish him. He can't help it. He isn't doing it on purpose.

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Some kids bodys are slower to develope control than others. If he has to stay out of school a year so be it.

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July 13, 20110 found this helpful
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I've heard some parents say when they switch the child from cow's milk to soy milk, the problem goes away.

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July 14, 20110 found this helpful
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Hello,
This is what my daughter did. She had our grandson (age 4) try to pee in the toilet by using cheerios or fruit loops(placed in the toilet water) and told him to aim for the middle and sink them like a battleship. He thought this was great fun and couldn't wait to go potty. She rewarded him with a cookie, even if he had to go around dinner time, a reward is a reward. Please do not punish him.

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He can't help it. Your son will relate peeing in the toilet with a punishment and not want to go out of fear. He might not have the sensation to go yet. You can call your son's Dr., and get any information from them. Sometimes they will go at a later age. Remember he will not be peeing his pants when he is in junior high. It will take a bit of time but you will succeed. Good luck to you both, and I hope this helps. Hugs.

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July 17, 20110 found this helpful
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I have a six year old who has days where she will continually wet herself. The problem is if she's fully engrossed in something she doesn't pick up on the signal that she needs the loo, until its too late. So she will wet herself. However, at school she hardly has any accidents.

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This could be because they remind the children to go to the loo every break time. Maybe we should make sure they use the loo every couple of hours or so.

When my little girl has an accident I just give her clean clothes to change into. There is no point in chastising her for something she has no control over.
Rachel

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By 0 found this helpful
October 5, 2010

Ever since my daughter was 3 she used the potty with little effort. She did use a diaper at night. She always waited to poop until I put the diaper on her.

Now at 4 1/2 she refuses to sit on the potty. She says she is scared. After trying everything from rewards, to talking to her, I held her on the potty for 45 minutes, she screamed the entire time, I started to get worried someone would think I was hurting her and gave up.

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There are also a lot of changes we have been going through lately. I do not know what to do to help my daughter use the potty. Please help.

By Dawn Heath from Myrtle Beach, SC

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August 31, 20100 found this helpful
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My daughter uses a chart hanging in the bathroom and when her child goes she gets a sticker to place on the chart. after a certain number of successes she gets to have a small prize. So far so good.

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September 1, 20100 found this helpful
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My 2 1/2 year old runs around with no diaper, pants or underwear while we are at home. If he says he needs a diaper, I know he needs to poop so I make it fun and say don't you run to the potty, I have to go first, don't beat me to it. It's working.

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September 1, 20100 found this helpful
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Try putting him backwards on the toilet. Buy a few hot wheels {or some special car he wants} but ONLY allow him to play with them on the toilet tank while he "going" and no other time.

You can also add some special books that he only gets to read/play with when he is on the pot. A lot of kids feel like they are going to "fall in" when they sit on the toilet forward and by putting him on the pot backwards he can lean against the tank and feel secure. He will also be able to climb up onto the pot by himself this way, it worked for my son and my nephew.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 6, 2010

I have a 6 year old boy who refuses to poop on the potty, he will pee in it just fine. When it comes to pooping he will hide and go in his pants. I have tried everything from bribery, taking favorite things away, time out, candy, money, toys, cleaning himself up, and washing out his underwear. I have tried gating him in the bathroom, making him sit on it after school, and talking to his DR.

My Dr. said everything I have tried should have worked. He normally doesn't do it at school. I am at my wits end. He will go if he wants something, but after he gets it he will poop in his pants. He will push a little out in the toilet and as soon as he sees you are busy he will go hide and do it in his underwear. He will do it in the bathroom in front of the toilet, but not in it. If anyone could please help me, I will be very happy. Thank you.

By stacey Ruggero from Ludington, MI

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July 17, 20170 found this helpful
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I took care of a child who did this years ago. The parents finally had to get the child into counseling with a child physiologist.

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October 5, 20100 found this helpful

I have a 6 year old boy who refuses to poop on the potty, he will pee in it just fine. When it comes to pooping he will hide and go in his pants. I have tried everything from bribery, taking favorite things away, time out, candy, money, toys, cleaning himself up, and washing out his underwear. I have tried gating him in the bathroom, making him sit on it after school, and talking to his Dr.

My Dr. said everything I have tried should have worked. He normally doesn't do it at school. I am at my wits end. He will go if he wants something, but after he gets it he will poop in his pants. He will push a little out in the toilet and as soon as he sees you are busy he will go hide and do it in his underwear. He will do it in the bathroom in front of the toilet, but not in it. If anyone could please help me, I will be very happy. Thank you.

By stacey Ruggero from Ludington, MI

Answers:

Potty Training an Older Child

Try getting a stool for his feet that will put his knees a little above his bottom when he is on the toilet. He can push down and that will make his bowels move easier. I learned this by accident with my son many years ago.
Hope this will be a help.
(06/07/2010)

By Jonnie Shambarger

Potty Training an Older Child

Dr Phil talked about this on his show once. He said when it comes to kids, you can't control what goes in their mouths and you can't control when and what comes out the other end. Some kids are just stubborn and it's their way of showing you they're in control. My grandson was probably 8 years old and still doing this. He will quit, but only when he gets ready unless it happens to be a medical problem which sounds like it's not. If I were you I'd probably try not to make too big of an issue of it. I think boys just don't care how much they stink or what others think. My grandson didn't. (06/07/2010)

By Betty

Potty Training an Older Child

I know you said you talked to the Dr., but was he ever checked for internal tears or any other medical problem? We had this problem with our son and granddaughters. They would hold it for days. They were checked and had tears. It seems that when they stand to go they have more control of the pain. I guess it smooshes it more. I know gross. We gave them mineral oil and it seemed to soften the stools and soon they realize it doesn't hurt anymore and they go on the potty. Good luck!

EJin PA (06/08/2010)

By Earla Unangst

Potty Training an Older Child

If there is nothing physically wrong with him and he's not constipated (making it hurt to go), then I would say this is a control issue. My middle child (who was then the youngest), had leukemia as a toddler. When it came to potty training he absolutely refused to use it no matter what we tried. We finally had a Dr. who told us it was a control issue because he felt so out of control in the rest of his life with everything that was being done to him, that this was the only thing he could control. So we left him alone until a month before he started preschool at 4 1/2. I had already explained that he couldn't go to school if he didn't use the potty, but it didn't help. Finally, I took him to the store to buy his pull-ups and told him it was the last package I was buying and when they were gone he had to wear "big boy pants". A couple of times with dirty/wet underwear and he was "trained".

I know this won't work if your son doesn't care if he is rewarded or has to clean up after himself, etc. He knows better and can control himself, or he would do the same thing at school. I think the more of a struggle there is, the more he's going to resist you, he is controlling this situation and possibly pushing your buttons also.

My suggestion would be to take a really careful look at what is going on in his life right now and see if there is anything, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, that is frightening, upsetting, or stressful to him. Any changes in family life or with family members or friends? What about school, any changes there? It could also be school itself, that can be very stressful and frightening to kids even when they are excited about it, not to mention they are always being told what to do there. Did he go to daycare or preschool? Sometimes just leaving mom and going to school can trigger some things.

Also, maybe if you let him make as many choices for himself, give him a couple of choices in clothes he wears, PJs, snacks, activities, etc. Let him feel he has a little more control in his life, it might help.

The opposite could be true also. Does he have all the control? I have met parents who are good-intentioned, but allow their young children to do whatever they want with no restrictions or limits. Those children will act out also and are begging for someone else to take some control of their lives.

Obviously this is a very stressful situation for you and I can sure understand that. But the more upset and stressed you are, the more control your son has over the situation. Take a deep breath and regroup, come up with another plan. Here is what I would maybe try:

He knows he can "poop" just a bit for a reward, so stop rewarding him. Stop bribing him, don't threaten him. Take as much stress from the situation away as you can. He's old enough to understand and reason with. Explain to him that you are tired of fighting with him over it. Remind him that "big" kids and adults don't ever potty in their pants and they don't get rewarded for using the toilet, it's just something you have to do. Tell him firmly and calmly that if he wants to act like a baby and poop in his pants, then he has to wear a diaper like a baby. If he says he doesn't want to, give him a chance to try, but if he continues, then go buy diapers or plain training pull-ups (nothing cute!) and make him wear them when he is not at school (he seems to control himself with no problem there and you don't want to embarrass him). If he argues, don't make it sound like a punishment, just firmly and calmly re-explain that babies who poop in their pants have to wear diapers until they learn not to.

This could work, unless the issue is that it's hard to be a "big boy" at school and he needs to be a "baby" at home, in which case it could make it worse.

Also, don't be afraid to talk to the counselor at your son's school, they could give you some good suggestions. A therapist could help also if the situation isn't a physical problem.
Good luck, I know this is rough, but don't be embarrassed or beat yourself over it, try to stay calm and see if the situation can be resolved with time and the advice of all the wise people here and around you.

Too bad things can't always be easy when raising your kids. I had a cousin who tried everything they could think of to break their son of his "binky", even taking him to a psychiatrist. At age 5, his teeth were becoming crooked when my grannie went to visit. She looked him in the eye and said "If you don't suck on that thing anymore, I'll give you $20 when I come back to visit". He threw the thing away and when she came back 6 months later, he proudly collected his $20 bill! LOL!

(06/08/2010)

By Judy = Oklahoma

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August 28, 20100 found this helpful

My daughter is 4, we have been having troubles with potty training. She is fine when it comes to peeing in the potty, but won't poop in the potty. She would rather go in her panties. She will go hide when she needs to go. I end up fighting with her to try to go sit on the potty. I am not sure what I should do.

By Ashley from Canada

Answers:

Trouble Potty Training a 4 Year Old

My daughter resisted pooping in the toilet, too. She would happily poop in her training panties. We tried many different things. Eventually we did a couple things:

We would take her bottoms off when she seemed like she wanted to go. I've heard some people say this didn't work for them (kid would just pee/poop on the floor). Of course, we were very happy when she would go poop in the toilet, but she wasn't consistent. So when we knew she was capable, we turned to bribery. I don't like bribing kids, but we needed some way of motivating her. We stopped buying toys for her, and told her that we would go get her a new toy once she pooped in the toilet five times in a row (no pooping in her underwear).

It took a few weeks to get the magical five-times-in-a-row, but we made good on our side of the deal. It was an Easter night, and although we were tired from the day's festivities, we took her to Wal-Mart right away (way past her normal bedtime!), and got her a new toy. Like I said, I don't like bribes. But they're few and far between. In this case, it worked and was very worthwhile.

Good luck! I bet your girl will come around soon. (05/12/2009)

By Lisa

Trouble Potty Training a 4 Year Old

I was potty training two girls at the same time and did the same thing with both of them. I sat them on the potty seat and handed them their favorite books. I told them no getting up till they pooped. Unfortunately, some days it backfired because they would poop and still stay in there sitting and chatting and looking at their books. (05/20/2009)

By Sammie

Trouble Potty Training a 4 Year Old

I don't know if this may be a problem with your daughter, but, my son did really well at that age on pee pee potty. But, would not poo in potty without a struggle, fight, books, no matter what. Then come to find out, his bowel movements were so large they were painful. So a wise mother explained this to me, they won't go because of this problem, and to feed him more fiber, juice, fruit, veggies, etc. And this really helped. He overcame the fear after his bowels got easier to pass. Thought I'd pass the mommy wisdom on to others, hope it helps. (05/20/2009)

By Glinda Marine

Trouble Potty Training a 4 Year Old

As long as you know there is no problem just keep working with her. Number 2 children are not alike and they develop at different rates. Some children are potty trained at 2 some at 3 or 4. (05/20/2009)

By Teresa Tart

Trouble Potty Training a 4 Year Old

I would get her a special toy or book that she really likes and give it to her only while she is sitting on the potty. This may help her to sit and not fight you. (05/21/2009)

By Sarah

Trouble Potty Training a 4 Year Old

I have 3 boys and pooping was always a little scarier than peeing. I will skip all the psycho-analysis as to why and tell you what worked for all of them: extra fiber sprinkled on food, extra Frosted Mini Wheat cereal and the ultimate, a big prize every time they pooped! (Each child had a different prize they valued). I choose to think of it as rewarding good behavior, rather than bribing. Top it off with a "hurray for going potty song" and eventually, they no longer need the reward. In the end, remember, she won't go to college in diapers! Good luck.
(07/09/2009)

By Rhonda

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June 6, 20100 found this helpful

My son is 6 and is in kindergarten. He will not under any circumstances poop in the toilet. I am so baffled. I've tried everything. I don't know what else to do. I feel like a complete failure.

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