Potty Problems

Written by dad - 3 Comments

The other day we got an e-mail through our contact form with a plea for help… Here’s the deal:

My wife and I are at our wit’s end with our 4 year old boy. He’s been potty trained for 2 years, yet he will urinate on the living room carpet if no one is watching him. We’ve tried almost everything to stop this. He is stubborn and has a bad temper, yet can be nice as pie. ANY advice would be welcome advice.

While we’re not parenting experts, and none of our kids have ever done this, a few things come to mind…

First off, it sounds like this is a bit of a power struggle. And when it comes to potty, kids have all the power. So as hard as it seems, don’t escalate the situation, and don’t make a big deal out of it when he does it. Just keep your cool, clean it up, and try not to give him any extra attention. If you rant and rave he’s likely to keep doing it just to get a rise out of you.

Second, we’ve found that rewarding appropriate behavior, as opposed to trying to punish bad behavior, can work wonders. Maybe consider rewarding him with something like a Hot Wheels car whenever he makes it through a day without peeing on the floor. Better yet, reward him with something small (like a few M&Ms) whenever he uses the potty. If you can get him focused on earning his potty reward, he won’t have anything left in his bladder for the living room floor. And like pretty much every other annoying behavior, it’s important to keep in mind that this will eventually pass.

So those were our thoughts. Does anyone else have any other suggestions? Please leave a comment if you do.

Published on February 15th, 2006 - 3 Comments
Filed under: Miscellany
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Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. Good advice; from what I have seen with others, the reward for doing the correct behavior (especially M&Ms for the potty) is the best way to go. It worked with my brother.

    I also find it humorous that Google is serving up ads for training your dog and puppy.

    Comment by Blaine Moore — Feb 15th 2006 @ 9:22 am
  2. Or don’t let the kid drink anything until he learns to use the bathroom. Then again, I have no kids. 🙂

    Comment by jim — Feb 19th 2006 @ 1:15 pm
  3. GOOD ADVISE. I HAVE A 5 YEAR OLD GRANDSON WHO HAVE BEEN TRAINED SINCE HE IS 3. HE HAS RECENTELY DECIDED TO DO HIS BUSINESS IN HIS UNDERWEAR! GROSS!
    I WILL PASS YOUR ADVISE TO MY DAUGHTER AND TRY THE REWARD METHOD. HE LOVES HOT WHEELS TOO!
    THANKS.

    Comment by ro — Jan 26th 2009 @ 8:08 pm

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