Help!!! Potty (#2) Training My Son

Lounge By athompson0525 Updated 13 Jan 2009 , 6:13pm by ladyellam

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athompson0525 Posted 12 Jan 2009 , 6:52pm
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My son is now 3 1/2 and we have been potty training since shortly after he turned 2. He will pee in the potty with little to no accidents however, that is it. He just flat out refuses to do anymore in the potty.
I can not find a reason why. He is not afraid, he understands where it goes, i've tried taking toys away, i've tried bribing. I've tried telling him it needs to go home to it's mommy thinking he is a momma's boy he'll get it. Nope absolutely refuses. He only gets a pull-up at night and i am so tired of cleaning out underwear. My husband is so frustrated that he just throws it away. Or at least he did until i explained that is its $6 for 3 pair.
I am at my whits end and i just don't know what to try next. I would welcome any suggestions.

7 replies
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sweetness_221 Posted 12 Jan 2009 , 7:27pm
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I completely understand. My middle child did not get fully potty trained until she was after 4. It was the most frustrating experience in my life. My oldest child wasn't that difficult. She got it pretty quick. And even now my 3 year old is almost done. My middle child is a VERY stubborn child. (Just like her father. icon_wink.gif ) The only thing that did it was to give her time. She just wasn't ready. I honestly thought that she was going to go to Kindergarten in pullups, but she finally decided to do it and then she didn't turn back. There were no accidents or anything. I also found that Chuckee Cheese is a good motivator. She was told if she went #2 in the potty 3 times that she would get to go. The girl loves Chuckee Cheese. Even offering that to her didn't work right away. She eventually got to go and the Chuckee Cheese visit helped keep the motivation going. IMO it sounds like he's not ready yet. Just give him a little space and time. Also don't punish him for it because it will only make him not want to do it. I know that people have their opinions on when a child should be potty trained. What I have found is it's up to the child for the most part. You're doing all you can right now. Just save some time and effort and put him back in pullups and let him work it out. It will happen. Trust me. Deep breath and hang in there. You'll get through this.

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michellenj Posted 12 Jan 2009 , 7:39pm
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I thought I was going to lose my mind when I was potty training my son. He just turned 4 on Dec. 28. He's mostly trained now, except for the occasional overnight bed wetting (like last night) or the "oops, I was watching "Handy Manny" and it came out too fast". I think preschool helped him a lot. I don't think that punishments helped at all, only made him get sneakier about his accidents.

Good luck!

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costumeczar Posted 12 Jan 2009 , 9:14pm
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My son did exactly the same thing, at age 3 1/2 to 4 he would ask for a diaper when it was time for a poop...Finally one day he had one, then later needed to go again, and I told him that he could only have one diaper a day and he went right over the the potty and went! It just takes time, he has to be ready, and the idea of giving him an incentive like the previous poster did with Chuck E Cheese's will probably be more of a motivator than taking things away.

My friend pointed out that if someone tried to teach us to go to the bathroom in a diaper it would be very difficult to do, since we're used to the toilet. When I looked at it that way I understood how hard it must be for them to change how they've done it all along...He just has to be ready, but I totally understand your frustration.

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dldbrou Posted 12 Jan 2009 , 9:16pm
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Have you tried letting him clean his underwear? I know it is a stretch, but if he sees how stinky and messy it is, then maybe he will stop. That is how I got my son to stop missing the toilet. I handed him the stuff to scrub with and told him that I would not do it anymore. Tell him that when all of his underwear are dirty, that he won't have anything to wear unless he washes them out himself. I is old enough to understand and has no reason do change unless persuaded to change.

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cakesbycathy Posted 12 Jan 2009 , 9:59pm
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Warning, this is going to be long!
Is he pooping in his underwear around the same time everyday? Is it a big poop or small amounts? The answers may make a big difference in if this is just a potty training issue or something more serious.

This hits very close to home. DS just turned 6. Right around that same age (3 1/2) we thought he was potty trained. He peed in the potty no problem an had even pooped in the potty successfully. Suddenly he stopped pooping in the potty. Accident after accident.

We did the same thing - bribed, yelled, punished, rewarded, you name it. Finally after 6 months of compete and utter frustration and cleaning more pairs of underwear that I care to count, I took him to the pediatrician. Turns out the kid has encopresis.

This is a very common condition among kids. But can also get very serious if not taken care of. Basically what happens is that the poop gets blocked up into the colon and then hardens so that they can't push it out. Then what seem like accidents is actually small bits of poop that are able to slide past the blockage. If this is the case then it totally NOT the child's fault. The nerve endings in the anus get so desensitized that they don't realize they have to poop.

Web MD has a very good description of encopresis that you might want to look at.

For us, we are still dealing with this issue. If it is encopresis, there is a whole cleaning out of the system that you have to do (and if you think what you're dealing with now is messy and disgusting...I can't even tell you). In our case we finally had to take him to a colon cleansing facility over a period of 3 months to try and get his colon back to normal. He also takes Miralax every day to keep him regular. Also, given that we did not really handle the situation that well (we thought he was just being difficult), we are now also having to deal with some major self-esteem and confidence issues.

Please think about calling your pediatrician. Good luck!!

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athompson0525 Posted 12 Jan 2009 , 10:19pm
post #7 of 8

I've tried the making him clean it up. Actually one morning he took the incentive himself and there was a huge mess in their bathroom. It doesn't bother him one bit. I do think I need to step back for a while but i have to get DH on board. The problem is he travels for work so he isn't around most of the week. Then when he gets home he wants to take the "I'm the parent you are going to do what I say or else approach" which at this point isn't working with the boy. They are both very stubborn and each one digs in his heals even harder.

thanks for the advice. It helps to know that I'm not the only parent that deals with this frustration.

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ladyellam Posted 13 Jan 2009 , 6:13pm
post #8 of 8

My son loves blowing out birthday candles so when it came to potty training him, I told him if he went pee pee he would get the "special potty candle". Of course he didn't know it was just a candle I found at the dollar store. I would sing him a little song "insert name- went pee pee in the potty and so he gets to blow out the candle" We would dance and make such a big deal over it. Worked like a charm.

For my daughter we had her "take a bow"-like the song from Jojo's circus. She did her best we told her and so she got to take a bow.

Just a couple of suggestions.


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