Im a foster parent that has a 3 yo that refused to potty train!

Melanie - posted on 07/17/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )




I got this 3 yo that refuses to potty train, i sit him on the toilet fo 20 min and nothing but the moment he gets the diaper on he goes! aaaahhhh, im so irritatied, my 22 mos old took to it easy and has maybe 1 accident a day, what am i doing wrong??


Sherri - posted on 07/17/2010




#1 Take away all diapers. Underwear ONLY no mater how many accidents he has. Diapers only for bedtime. Set a timer and every 20 mins you need to take him in and make him sit on the potty for 1-5mins or until something happens. Tons and tons of praise when something happens, a bunch of its okay we will try in a little bit when it doesn't and Its okay we will make it to the potty next time for accidents. If you are religious with this routine he should be pretty much potty trained within 3 days or so. I have trained 10 kids this way and they were trained very easily and with amazing results. Good luck!!

Iridescent - posted on 07/17/2010




How long have you had him? Is this your first foster child? Also, is this the first boy you've tried to train?

Considering as this is a foster child, I'd have to guess there are psych issues, be it dealing with separation from parental figures or those he knows that were raising him before. Some boys aren't ready to potty train at 3 years old yet, even in the best of circumstances. Toilet training is a major issue for a child. I'd suggest you wait until he feels comfortable, as pushing him when it's probably the only thing in his life he has control over is going to make training take even longer overall.


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Ucl2021 - posted on 05/10/2016




This child is, at minimum, struggling to adapt to your home and his new environment. At worst, he is recovering from abuse.

Stop trying to potty train him. Give him some time to adjust before you ask this of him. I would suggest several months of ZERO pressure to use the potty, although you should keep it available for his use if he chooses.

Then, when he's fully adapted to your home and has had plenty of time to learn that you can be trusted, look at potty training methods. Absolutely never ever ever again use aversives such as making him smell the dirty pants or forcing a three year old to wash his dirty pants.

Jodi - posted on 07/17/2010




I think you need to take into account that he is a foster child. If you have only had him a short time, then his whole world has been turned upside down. I know for a fact that my step-son regressed when his baby brother (his mum's baby) died when he was about 3 1/2, so a psych issue WILL affect their training. So along with all the tips these ladies have provided, just remember there could be more to this than just techniques.

Stina - posted on 07/17/2010




Hang in there! My son didn't toilet train till 3 1/2. It was soooo very frustrating.

We had him in cotton training pants. They're a bit thicker than regular underwear and you can get a plastic cover to put over them (to save your furniture) I had the greatest success when we were able to keep an eye out and let him go without the cover b/c then it runs all down their legs and they can start to learn when they need to go to the toilet. If you keep putting him in diapers, he's going to take a very long time learning to use a toilet.

We set a timer for every 15 minutes- and then he had to sit for 5 minutes unless he peed before that time was up.

We praised like crazy when he had success and at the end of a completely dry day, he got a small present. We kept several wrapped and on top of the shelf in the bathroom. Things like superman placemats, big boy underwear, coloring books/crayons, bubbles etc. And once he had worked through several small presents (about a weeks worth) he got some bigger things- new super man sheets, a blanket. Things that we hoped would motivate him to stay dry at night too.

Lyndsay - posted on 07/17/2010




First thing, 3 is about average age for a boy to be potty trained. I work for an agency that runs foster homes and group homes, and most of the kids that I've seen come through the system have developmental delays. If he is cognitively delayed, he will require more patience and consistency from you and probably will not show results until a later age. If he has a history of abuse (especially sexual abuse), that may be a whole other issue that needs to be addressed before you can even begin to expect him to go on the potty.

Second thing.. my son is almost 3 and until recently he has refused to poop on the toilet. He always wants to crap in his diaper and sit in it, like we'd sit on the toilet for half an hour and he'd poop as soon as he got a diaper on. I stopped giving him a diaper, because if you do you're just reinforcing that its okay to go to the bathroom in his diaper. My son crapped on the floor a couple of times, but now he uses the toilet. (Usually... we're in the middle of the process, lol)

Catherine - posted on 07/17/2010




i would suggest you leave it for a bit then try agauin in a month or so, let him sit on the potty for a minute then get off and try again every 5-10 mins or so but dont make him sit there for too long or he'll think its a punishment. we found our son responded really well to a reward system, to begin with it was 1 sweet every time he used his potty and lots of praise, and then when he got the hang of things we changed to a sticker chart with a new toy if he managed three stickers a day for a week, and so on, just dont rush him, it doesnt really matter if it takes him longer, my friend has a nearly 5 year old who still struggles.

[deleted account]

Don't put him in a diaper, put him in underwear and let him stay wet. He'll learn that he doesn't like the feeling and be a bit more reasonable.

It sounds like he just likes the reaction that he gets when he irritates you.

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