My son is four years old and still wears diapers… and not just at night. We are in a potty training stalemate.
My son, G, is four years old and absolutely refuses to potty train. G can’t be bribed: king sized candy bars, new toys, gummies, fancy underwear, lollipops, promises of endless episodes of Daniel Tiger. I could offer him an entire toy store and it wouldn’t sway his stubborn little heart.
At this point, I would rather have a root canal than attempt another round of parent versus child in the porcelain throne arena.
We began this drawn out potty training process shortly after G’s third birthday. He was adamantly opposed to using the potty. We instantly backed off and gave up on any attempts for many months. Soon, G started to show a slight interest in the toilet, so we gave it another attempt. This round we pulled out all the shots; the minion underwear, Elmo potty books, sticker charts, a box of new toys, candy, bells, and Netflix. I purchased a new potty seat because, according to G, the one we had was too “hard” for his tush. Nothing worked. G hated wearing underwear, so we compromised on pull-ups and training pants. He would sit on the potty but refuse to go. We set timers and G sat. Moments after he got off the potty, he would go in his diaper. We continued the bribes, but he would flat out refuse to go on the potty even if meant not getting a new toy or a candy bar the size of his face. We backed off again. However, we continued the subliminal potty propaganda through PBS shows, books, and songs.
I sought out advice from his pediatrician, teachers, other parents, family, friends, and even strangers. I read blogs, parenting websites, and books. Everyone had something to say about the subject: he will do it when he is ready, have you tried cheerios or food coloring in the toilet, m&ms, cut holes in his diapers, thrown away all of his diapers, stopped putting him in diapers, made him change himself?
The advice was endless… but I tried almost all of it! Was I frustrated? You bet! My husband and I constantly wondered- why was this so hard?
Round three, we decided to go cold turkey on diapers and pull-ups. We planned and plotted. We made it a huge ceremony and had G put all of his diapers and pull ups in a box to give to the “babies”. We explained to him that he was a big boy and they were no longer needed. With slight reluctance, he went along with our game. He wore underwear for over a week, and not once peed or pooped on the potty. Yes, for a whole week all we did was pull soiled underwear off our child, who seemed to care less. It became a comedy act. G would sit on the potty for 5 minutes every 30 minutes, during those 5 minutes he wouldn’t go but within moments after getting up he would soil his diaper. Go ahead and laugh!
Everyone says “don’t worry, he won’t go to college in diapers” at this point I am beginning to doubt this statement.
Our potty training saga has gone on for over a year and yielded no results. We have tried and backed off, tried and backed off. G’s preschool teacher told me that going potty is G’s last form of control, he doesn’t want to go on the potty because he doesn’t want to lose that control. I think she has a valid point. However, can someone please tell me how to take away that control! At this point, I am scared that we are going to completely scar G. I have received so much advice over the past year.
Do I want your advice; short answer: no! We have literally tried everything, so don’t even suggest it. But do I need your advice? Sure, fine… please tell me something I don’t know, and please tell me that it will all work out. I need potty training help!