Potty Training Resistance- What should you do?

What should you do if your child resists potty training?

If you sense your child is resisting your potty training efforts, your first response should be:


and let him/her set the pace for a couple of days, thus breaking the cycle of resistance. During this time, play detective and observe you child's bathroom behavior to try and determine why your child is resisting.

Next, consider your own behavior.

  • Is your behavior helping or hindering your child?

If you have a rather independent child and are directing him/her to use the potty, you may want to consider changing the words you use i.e. use more suggestive words instead of more directive words.

If you have a child that loves routine, you may want to set a reliable, predictable and easy to remember potty schedule such as potty right after waking up, after breakfast, after nap time, after lunch etc.

You can also try to decrease your child's resistance by being more accepting of your child's needs and wants even if they are standard or normal practices.If your child wants to run the water while sitting on the toilet or wants to take off all his/her clothes before sitting on the potty, let him/her do it.

When your child sees that you are accepting of his/her needs, s/he may be more responsive to your efforts.

Last, but not least, consider the possibility that despite the initial appearances, your child is not ready to be potty trained at this point and time. Wait a few weeks or a few months and try again.

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Resistance with me but non nanny (5/3/2012) Reviewer: Julianne (Chicago, IL) Hi - My 2 1/2 year old has been a potty training champ. One accident since day 4 - however ONLY with our nanny. With me & her dad, she hasn't successfully used the toilet in almost 2 weeks (and after day 6). We've tried stickers, candy, "big girl" language. I try to back off but find myself asking all the time because I can tell she has to go. Over the last weekend she held it for hours until it was nap time to avoid an accident. I'm so defeated as she is clearly able and doing a great job during the day. She even asks to use public bathrooms while wearing a pull-up with our nanny. Any advice?
total frustration (7/25/2011) Reviewer: Carolyn Thompson My daughter is over 3 1/2. We have tried everything from sticker charts, taking her out of pull ups, setting the timer, bribing with foods, candy, special activities, and despite our efforts she will not say when she has to go potty and is content to soil herself whether she is in pull ups or regular underwear. I am all out of suggestions and dont know what else to try...any new suggestions or advice?
potty /pee (6/27/2011) Reviewer: ana (west warwick, ri) my son is almost 4 and he does not want nothing to do with the potty.i stop buying pull up. i ask him every ten min if he has to go potty and the answer is always no please help!!!!!! Potty Training Concepts: He just needs to know how it feels when he has to go potty. Try rewards and let him pick out a potty seat that he likes. Make potty training as fun as possible. If he does have an accident on himself, let him help you clean himself up.