Refusing to Use the Potty – My Tips for Success

Refusing to Use the Potty – My Tips for Success

by Dr. Heather Wittenberg

Do you hear “No” a lot these days? Your toddler can’t help it — saying no is their first step on the road to independence. It sure makes potty training complicated, though. Keep these tips in mind while you’re dealing with a defiant toddler.

  • Never use punishments or threats. If you get frustrated, take a deep breath and try again later.
  • Ignore accidents and negative behavior. Your disapproval will create more negativity. Try to maintain a neutral reaction.
  • Give your child control. Refusals are about the natural need for control. Giving choices — inside and outside of the bathroom — will increase cooperation over the long run.
  • A power struggle means “Back Off.” To help them learn to be in control of their body, let your child learn at their own pace. Take a break for a few weeks.
  • Boost fruits and veggies. Constipation is the hidden enemy of potty training, and painful poops can trigger resistance. Healthy, fiber-rich food can help if you think your child might be constipated.
  • Use a little reverse psychology. Try this game: Tell your child that you have to go potty, and that you get to go first. They just may try to be the winner of the potty race!