Q: Dear WholeFamily Counselor, I just read your article Toilet Training Step by Step and found it very helpful. It was easy to read and very informative. I do have some questions, though, specifically related to toilet training my daughter. She is now 30 months and we have been "potty training" for around 10 months. Sounds crazy, I know.
Dear WholeFamily Counselor, My oldest son (he will be five-years-old next month) refuses to use the potty, he won't go near it. I have tried different things, such as rewards, potty-time videos, potty books and nothing has worked. He is in preschool three days a week and, of course, he was supposed to have been trained before entering this preschool, but he just wears his pull-ups and so far hasn't had any accidents. When asked why he doesn't want to use the potty, he just says he's not ready. I have never forced the issue -- but I'm losing patience. He has no physical or other developmental problems. His pediatrician had suggested that we take him to a child psychologist, which we did, but she didn't even have any kids!! Needless to say, she didn't help.
My three-year-old will have nothing to do with the potty. She's in pull-ups but treats them like diapers. I think we goofed because for two days we put her in panties and she only had two wet accidents. But she was afraid to have a b.m. When she finally did, it was in her panties and she was obviously ashamed. We weren't angry, but frustrated and she knew it. Now she will only go on the potty when she feels like having a candy, which we give her as a prize. I don't want to force her to try. She just cries. Can you help? AHi! I'm sorry that you have been having such a hard time with your daughter's toilet training. It is clear from the details in your letter that your daughter is ready for toilet training.
How do you know if your child is ready for toilet training? Although there are parents who swear that their one and a half year olds are perfectly trained, in my experience, most children are not ready to be trained until they are approximately two and a half and sometimes later. Trying to toilet train a child who is not yet ready, can set up a difficult physical and emotional struggle that can impact on your child's self esteem and ability to toilet train properly later on. If a child is ready for toilet training, a consistent toilet training approach such as the one I will describe, should be successful in a "relatively" short period of time.
Dear WholeFamily Counselor, How do you deal with a child who, despite being reassured that she's doing well, gets frightened and tries to climb off the potty in the middle of a bowel movement? My answer would depend on where your child is in the toilet training process. If your child is at the beginning of the process and has not yet really established training for urine, then I would not push things by trying to force her to have bowel movements on the potty, if she is not yet secure in doing so. If your child has already established her ability to use the potty regularly for urinating (for several weeks) then it may be time to be more forceful about bowel movements.
Hello, my name is Sharon and I have a six-year-old daughter. My problem with her is that she wets her pants a lot. This happens during the day, and we have run tests on her to see if it is a physical problem, and they have all come back saying she is fine. She gets bladder and urine infections often, which are painful and uncomfortable, and cause her to have more accidents. She tells me she just didn't know she had to go, and what really gets me is she'll sit in it. She says she is afraid of getting in trouble and I've told her that I'm more upset when she sits in it and doesn't tell me. Her doctors have said it is normal for girls her age to have accidents, and I can see it if she is really busy playing and doesn't realize she needs to go, but that isn't always the case.
Dear WholeFamily Counselor, My son is three-years and three months old. We have been trying to potty train him for almost six months now. He shows signs that he's ready. He gets excited when he goes tinkle, although he has never told us he needs to go. We put him on the potty every one and a half hours or so. Sometimes his pull up is wet after only an hour. Tonight, he was wet twice in about 45 minutes. Yet sometimes he'll go two hours. On a car trip it was three hours with a nap and he was dry (no consistency). The more I tell him not to go in his pull up, the more he goes in his pull up, yet he will also sometimes say, "I'm supposed to tell mom/dad". So far, he has never once told us he has to go. He even will go tinkle standing up now.
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