4-year-old refuses to sit on potty

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-10-2002
4-year-old refuses to sit on potty
Tue, 09-06-2011 - 1:28pm

My daughter is about to turn 4 and is still not potty-trained. I waited until she was 3 and every few months tried to train her. I have used candy rewards, sticker charts, little prizes. She picked out her own underwear and her own potty seat. She knows when she is about to pee or poop and will announce it out loud. She also knows how to hold it. Last year she didn't pee until she came home from preschool. She'd enter the house and pee within minutes. She's a very neat, clean girl and loves to take do things herself. She has two big brothers. But nothing seems to matter to her! She is a very, very stubborn girl and strong-willed in general. I am trying so hard to not make this a power struggle, but it is becoming increasingly more frustrating. This year she will be the oldest in her preschool class, and probably one of the few kids who still doesn't use the toilet.

Finally I decided to go cold turkey. Four weeks ago I put her in underwear during the day and a pullup at night. She still has YET to even sit on the potty!! She pees and poops in her underwear. She doesn't enjoy the feeling, and cries when it's happening, but when given the choice to use the potty, she always says no. She doesn't appear to be scared about anything. We've been flushing her poop down the toilet since she was 2.

I am at a loss. I don't want to backtrack on the underwear. But am I destined to clean up two or three accidents day for months on end? Why is she taking so long?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-23-1999
Tue, 09-06-2011 - 5:10pm

Hello kas65.

This is a bit more unusual than most,but not unheard of.

It may be that she has seen her brothers peeing standing and decided she liked it more than taking time to go to the potty,This does include pooping in her eyes as well as this is what she knows.

Waiting until they are three years of age can have it's drawbacks.(this is not meant as a rebuttle of any kind,it is just what I see.)

As she can hold it for long periods of time,it is more difficult,buy her about 1/2 a dozen pair of plastic panties to go over her regular panties,and explain that she will have to wear them until she learns to use the potty all the time.

You must be consistant and not back down on this,it is not a power struggle as you mean it.

I do understand this is hard on you,and she knows it.

Having said all this,there is one or two other tricks we can go to if needed,but I would like to see her responses to this first.

Please let us know what you do and her response.

Many Blessings


This will not only help you contain most of her accidents,but will be a bit more uncomfortable for her.