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My 3.5 year old son knows all about the potty but won't use it. Long post, sorry!

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    nouveau
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    My 3.5 year old son knows all about the potty but won't use it. Long post, sorry!

    Hi. I have a 3 and a half year old son and he's the light of our lives. I've tried everything with potty training and am tired of hearing people tell me to throw Cheerios in the toilet. lol. So I'm going to try something new and hope you'll respond to me, the newbie. I'm going to describe him in detail and see what you all think! Would love any advice.

    - adopted at 13 months from Russia
    - was well taken care of in orphanage (He wasn't malnourished or abused, current pediatrician says he's very healthy)
    - only child
    - is comfortable with routine day, but doesn't freak out if it gets thrown off (like for travel, etc.)
    - very high energy little guy, loves physical games, but can focus
    - advanced with intellectual skills (counting, reading letters, understanding opposites etc., can do a 50 pc. jigsaw puzzle by himself!)
    - delayed with speech (still uses simple sentences or short phrases, speech not clear a lot of the time)
    - not integrating into preschool well (he knows more than a lot of the other kids, but won't follow directions a lot of the time, won't stay seated, climbs on tables, takes toys from others, little interest in group activities, in time out chair a lot)
    - loves playing with adults but hesitates with other kids until he gets to know them

    Potty Training:

    - POSITIVES: has been shown (over a period of about a year) everything having to do with the potty. He knows how to get up on the potty ring via his stool (he doesn't like a little potty chair). He knows how to unwind paper and take just enough. He knows how to flush. He knows how to turn on water and wash his hands. He can pull his pants up and down. He isn't scared of the toilet or of flushing sounds or of seeing pee or poop in the toilet bowl. My husband and I have both shown him by example countless times what happens on the toilet.
    -He has been checked by a pediatrician and doesn't have physically issues that would interfere
    - Husband and I have never lost our temper or been negative about potty training

    -NEGATIVES: Our little guy won't sit still on the toilet. All he wants to do is flush it over and over, or grab stuff around him or try to stand on the seat. (Our bathroom is now bare except for toilet paper, hand soap, hand towel and his potty ring and stool. Everything else is in the medicine cabinet.)
    - He has no problem sitting in his own poop or pee...either with a diaper on or bare-butt or in underwear.
    - He has never told the truth about having to go or having already gone.
    - When he does get focused and sits on the toilet, he will talk all about poo and pee but won't go, even when he's been dry for hours and has had 3 cups of water and obviously needs to go.
    - He only wants to go into the bathroom to play with the toilet or the sink. When I ask him if he has to use the potty, he says NO and runs back into the living room.
    -We've tried sticker charts, promise of rewards, buying Thomas the Train underwear (which he loves but is no incentive). We've tried a potty break system where we take him every two hours. We've tried having potty parties, complete with leftover birthday hats. We've tried the naked approach and the underwear approach. We've tried the 'you're getting to be a big boy' approach. He has five potty training books, all in different styles and levels.
    - His preschool teacher wants him in diapers at school until he's ready and I'm not going to yank him from preschool just because of that. He needs to be around other kids and learn basic social skills. Plus, despite getting in trouble a lot, he loves being there.

    So, after all this...is he just stubborn? Does it seem like he's emotionally not ready? I am willing to continue being patient, but we already have an issue. His preschool wants to keep him in the 3 year old class next year, which I am in favor of due to his immature social skills. But I really wish he could use the toilet for his own sake...the older he gets and is still in diapers, the further from his peers he will be. Advice?


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  3. #2
    SC-Sherb
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    Nouveau, I'm sorry you never received a response to your thread. Everything you are doing sounds great but at this point it sounds like he's just not ready. I'd take a break for a month and then start back at it fresh and new. He might be just overwhelmed with everything. I hope that things have gotten better though and wish you much luck. All kids a so different when it comes to potty training.
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