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HELP! My almost 3 yr old refuses to sit on the potty

  1. #1
    lily1221 is offline Registered User
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    HELP! My almost 3 yr old refuses to sit on the potty

    I need some serious help here. My son is almost 3 yrs old and I've been trying to potty train him for some time, but with no luck. The first time we tried, he was 2 1/2 and he cried so so much everytime I put him on the toilet that I had to give up after three days. He was really stressed out. His little body would shake and he would hold his pee/poo in for almost the whole day.

    So, I tried again two months later, but almost the same thing happened.

    Now I am doing it again because I know he is ready (he can say when he needs to pee/poo), and his school told me that if he's not trained, he can't move on to the next level, even though academically he is ready.
    He is terrified of sitting on the potty. He always says no when I ask him if he needs to go. When he is showing sign of needing to pee or poop and I put him on the potty, he becomes hysterical. His body becomes rigid so that I cannot put him down to sit; he screams and cries.
    I'm letting him go diaper less, but he'll just pee/poo on the floor.

    Does anyone have any advice?

  2. #2
    nicolejoy's Avatar
    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    I know it would be messy but I'd just let him go diaperless until he gets over it. It will be messy but it will clean. Being a boy, would he have better luck standing to pee? You could turn it into a game like "sink the cheetos" or something like that... it might help reduce his anxiety...
    miran and marie313 like this.

  3. #3
    Honkyblues is offline Registered User
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    When you say "potty" do you mean toilet or a little portable potty? If you mean toilet, perhaps try a small portable potty instead. Let him use it as a chair to watch TV (even with a diaper on). Give him reward stickers just for sitting on it. Don't put any pressure on him to actually use it for pee or poop.

    Also, let him go diaper-free at times, but keep a watchful eye and when he's about to pee, try to catch it in the potty (with him standing up). Reward him even if you just catch some of it (stickers, candy, whatever interests him).

    For the big toilet, have you tried a training seat (less scary for little ones as then they don't feel they can fall in)?

    Just focus on wees to begin with. Pooping in a potty or toilet can be much scarier for a child.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    or if he really likes lightning mcqueen or something like that, get one of those seats for him.

    also, let him choose a book to "read" when he is in there.

    when we did our two kids, we first put a potty in the living room and had them sit and watch tv.
    then we moved the potty into the bathroom... then added the books. now they go in without books or anything.

    i also found with my son, the first "poop" in the potty was the most difficult. i think he was worried about making it dirty. once he finally did it and was praised for it, then it was all easy peasy.

  5. #5
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Our experience with potty training a boy is that you have to reward and you have to reward big in the beginning. Every time my son successfully went poo on the potty he got an "ice cream" (a healthy fruit yoghurt he calls "ice cream"). Cured him of his pants-pooping ways right away! And we didn't actually need to keep up rewarding him like that for very long. But, it did the trick. I think that at nearly 3-years-old most children should be able to potty train. Sounds like your son has been traumatized a bit, though by the potty. Does he have any delays in other areas?
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  6. #6
    jordana is offline Banned
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    hi lily, my daughter has really a strong personality and for us this potty training issue was a real nightmare until she was 3yo, than all of a sudden, after we moved to hk, we bought a nice reduction to toilet and she very much liked new panties we bought for her...also, she started to understand that all the kids around are wearing panties and not diapers....she was some kind of ready and it went so quickly and smoothly after that....it is sad that the school is putting this pressure on you..some kids are simply ready later than others...my smaller one started to use the potty when she was approx 6 months old and she was having fun sitting there....I wish you a good luck

  7. #7
    marie313 is offline Registered User
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    wow, what school does your son go to? That's crazy that they wont let him move up to the next class unless he is potty trained! When i taught in England we had loads of 3 year old boys in nappys, they all got there in the end.

    Have you tried peeing in front of him, or better still, have your husband show him how to do a stand up pee in the toilet? My daughter was really anti-toilet training, so every time i went for a wee I let her come with me and she watched, and got me the tissue, and flushed for me. She loved it and it really helped her.

  8. #8
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    I think it's quite common for Hong Kong children to be expected to be fully potty trained by the time they're 3-years-old--at least with local schools. Schools are crowded and you know how Hong Kong likes to run everything in order and on time, right? In the States, at daycare, if your child isn't potty trained they charge you extra money to deal with it. I think it makes sense. Also, here in Hong Kong children start full-on kindergarten at 3-years-old. My son was 2 years, 10-months-old when he started kindergarten. So, children are expected to mature a bit faster than their peers in other countries who may begin kindergarten at 5-7-years-old.

    My son started nursery school at 2-years-old and many of his classmates were already fully potty trained by that point--not wearing diapers at all. They didn't give us any huge pressure but my son wore pull-up diapers and they took the children to the toilette very frequently where they all were expected to go. Being fearful of the toilette would be seen as a development delay or a behavior problem here in HK and it could actually prevent a child from entering kindergarten--most kindergartens don't want to deal with major problems like this that tie up the teachers. So, that can affect kindergarten interviews which can be a big deal that impacts a child and a family. Not saying that's how it "should" be just telling it how it is here in Hong Kong. But, anyway, after my son was at nursery school for 6 months by the end he was diaper-free during the day.

    Potty training begins a lot earlier here in Hong Kong, I find. My Chinese parents-in-law were putting my son on a potty when he was even 3-months-old! They looked after him a lot during the day when I first went back to work and they worked on more of an EC (Elimination Communication) approach...where they watched for my son's littlest cues and then they could predict when he needed to sit on the potty. A lot of work at a young age, if you ask me! But, hey, they had the time to do it so...So, by the time he was 2-years-old sitting on the potty wasn't anything unusual for him--it was a normal part of life.

    So, like it or not, this is simply how it's done in HK.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

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