Having trouble with toilet training 3 1/2 year old girl

Nicole - posted on 01/05/2013 ( 1 mom has responded )




Having trouble with toilet training my 3 1/2 year old daughter. She knows what to do as she has used both the potty and the toilet in the past. I have tried everything but nothing works. She goes through stages where she will use it on her own or tell us but overall she doesn't. Wet undies doesn't worry her as we have tried that. She will be 4 in July and i am worried she wont be ready in time for kinder. She is a very clever and bright girl so i can't understand why this is such a problem. If asked why she didn't tell me she needed to use the toilet her answer is always its ok i will do it next time or sorry mummy.


Ariana - posted on 01/05/2013




Well could you take her to the doctor to make sure it isn't some sort of physical problem? It probably isn't but it's always good to check.

Does she have any 'older' girl friends who use the toilet, or slightly older cousins? You might try 'borrowing' a slightly older girl who your child admires who can show her that 'big girls' use the potty. My son really started using the toilet consistantly when he realized that his friend was 'big' and they used the potty, but babies are small and babies don't use the potty. Don't tease her about being a baby or anything, but this is the age where they start wanting to show how much bigger they are and they want to be like big kids. Telling big girls like so and so use the potty, and little babies like (hopefully she knows a baby) are to small to use a potty. Then when she does use the potty tell her wow she knows how to use the potty just like so and so! When she doesn't try not to make to big a deal out of it.

I would do this until she turns 4 in July. Once she's that age I would be clear that 4 year olds use the toilet all the time, only little kids pee in their pants (don't do this if it only happens every once in a while but if she's still consistantly not using the toilet). Then I would tell her if she pees her pants like a baby then she gets treated like a baby. Don't do this in a mean way (although it sounds like that) but say it matter-of-factly. She might think it's funny or not care but start not letting her do things and say 'sorry only big girls who act like 4 year olds get to do that', so only 4 year olds get to stay up till this bedtime, or eat candy or w/e.

It sounds cruel but by 4 she's developmentally and physically ready to use the toilet on her own and if by then she isn't it's become a game or a tool. I would NOT do this before the age of 4 though since she may still be in the process of learning how to do it no matter how frustrting it is.

For now I would try to show her how 'older kids' use the toilet and keep the power struggle out of it. You can't force her to use the toilet at this point but try to encourage her. If she's still acting like this by the time she's 4 years old then you tell her, matter of factly that when you're a 4 year old you use the toilet all the time, that's what 4 year olds do. And if she doesn't do what 4 year olds do she doesn't get to be treated like a 4 year old with big 4 year old girl privilages. Like I said DO NOT do this at her age now because there are lots of kids at 3 1/2 who are still working on getting to the potty on time.

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