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Potty Training an Older Child

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.


By Nick from Indianapolis, IN


Potty Training an Older Child

We went through something like this with our daughter. If you look at this older question, mine is one of the first responses (toward the bottom):

Does he poop at school, or hold it until he gets home? School complicates things. If he holds it, you can do like we did. But the more he holds it, the more dried the poop becomes inside the body, and the more difficult it becomes to pass.

If none of the suggestions here help, please call his pediatrician's office. Maybe you can just consult with a nurse over the phone and won't need an office visit. They've seen it all, and can give you good, safe advice.

Best of luck. I know it's frustrating.

Lisa (12/01/2009)

By mrs.story

Potty Training an Older Child

Try potty training rewards. This worked great for our son. He loved pushing the button that would say Great Job and that he is a Big Boy. He also loved opening the door to find a candy surprise. It was a great incentive to help out son overcome the pooping issue. Here is the website (12/01/2009)

By ctmom123

Potty Training an Older Child

Is he maybe afraid of falling into the toilet when using the adult size? Try sitting him on the toilet seat facing the tank. That way his rear is secure and he can see when he's successful. (12/02/2009)

By Lady Bee

Potty Training an Older Child

This issue came up on TV last week. Rewarding nearly always works, but you have to use his "currency". Find something he wants very badly and promise it to him when he has successfully mastered the training for a month. Maybe he needs privacy. The problem may be that he has conditioned himself to go off the toilet and simply cannot go on it. The switch to the toilet will take time. (12/03/2009)


By Ann

Potty Training an Older Child

I potty trained my grandson in no time. I put a jar at the back of the toilet and every time he went I put a dime in it. Every Friday I took him shopping and let him spend the money he earned that week. One thing though, now that he is older he still loves to shop as much as I do. (12/03/2009)

By grannygirl

Potty Training an Older Child

I heard recently that you need to use a potty chair, not your toilet. The child's feet need to be touching the floor in order to develop the proper muscles. Using a regular toilet doesn't allow for the proper muscle development needed to evacuate the bowels. I hope this works for you. (12/03/2009)

By Liza Lou

Potty Training an Older Child

I had trouble with my son when he was 4 years old. He was content to poop and pee in his pants because it was so convenient. I tried everything, too. As a last resort, I printed out a chart and told him that we would stop buying him toys. He had to stay clean and dry for 10 consecutive days and for each day he did, he got a sticker on the chart. If he stayed clean and dry for all 10 days, we would buy him a nice toy. If he didn't, I printed a new chart and he had to start over. Perhaps you could try this and withhold toys, candy, TV, or something that he is very fond of. It may sound cruel to do this, but it is the child's responsibility to eliminate in the proper place. We had to stress this fact over and over to our son, too. It took him about a month, but ever since then we haven't had any problems with him. Good luck! (12/03/2009)

By kitkatk100

Potty Training an Older Child

I was in love with Scooby Doo when I was little, so they bought me the mini Reese's cups and told me every time that I used the bathroom in the potty I got a Scooby snack, lol. I know that sounds a little crazy, but it worked for me. So you might want to try something like that. (12/23/2009)

By arliesbaby:)

Potty Training an Older Child

As a behavior analyst, I recommend parents read the book "Toileting in a Day". It's a great resource. Reinforcement is always the key, but overcoming the little quirks of each child is not easy. You may ask your pediatrician to recommend a behaviorist to help work through these issues. Since he is 6, I'm sure the behavior has been reinforced for many years and it will take some work to unwind. Good luck! (12/28/2009)

By ABAmommy

Potty Training an Older Child

My son was like this until he was almost 8yrs old. I knew in my heart he could go to the potty because he would sometimes, but wouldn't other times. We tried all kinds of stuff, but you know the one thing that finally worked after all those years? Money! I know that sounds awful to some, but after trying every trick in the book, I gave in to that one. Not just once, but a couple of times. It would work and then stop. Once I added a $1 into his poopy jar every single time, it finally worked. He was racking up the money like crazy and loved spending his money on new books and games.

On another note, does he complain about his poopy hurting him? Does he cry or seemed to be afraid of going? If so, this may be because his poopy is hard or there is a large amount of it at one time and it may be hurting him. This can cause a child not to want to go at all and they will hold it. This can do damage to his insides if it goes on for a long time. This is one of the things our Dr. told us. I started giving my son stool softeners when I knew he had been holding it for a period of time. But that is what I did and I don't advise anyone on doing that. When having problems such as these, the best advice is to seek the advice of a Dr.

Good luck with it and don't feel like a failure ever, if you were, you wouldn't be on here asking for help. You are a good mom and I am sure you're doing the best you can. Hang in there, and remember, you're only a failure if you stop and mommies never stop. (01/10/2010)


By hodgemelody

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