My almost 4 year old fights me on potty training: Advice?

I have an almost 4yr old son (birthday in April) that fights me on using the potty. He will go poop on the potty, but when it comes to going pee, he will fight and fight. Some days are better where there is only one accident. But most days, he will fight me. I’ve tried potty training books, stickers on a poster as a reward, favorite candy as a treat, specials, etc. I don’t want to use discipline as a way to get him to use the potty; I don’t want to potty train that way. But I’m getting to my wit’s end with constantly having to deal with him peeing his underwear. I’ve been trying to potty train him for months. I’m trying to find new ideas or see what some of you guys have done for kids that were difficult to potty train. Thank you!


Put Cheerios in the toilet and make it a game for him to hit them


We turned it into a game, throw a couple of cheerios in the toilet and tell him to sink them. The more he sunk the bigger the reward

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I’ll probably get heat for this but… when he pees his pants, don’t change him right away. Wait a bit. It is not comfortable. I did this with my oldest… waited like 30 minutes. He hated it. Never had an issue again.


I used cheerios. Made a game of it. Used other older family kids to “show em how its done” but then again, we all live in country and peeing outside isnt a big deal so, wow. That sounds bad doesnt it, group peeing…well, worked for me. Sounds weird but it is what it is.

We did the cheerios thing as well!

Turn him around facing the back of the toilet and let him draw with washable markers on the lid. My son is 3 1/2 and just now started using the potty. It was a fight every day and one day it just clicked with him and he had one accident that morning but after that he started telling me he had to use the potty. He’s been pull-up free for a week now and no accidents.

Is there a cartoon character he likes buy him underwear with that character on them tell they don’t want peed on it work for me 4 times with 2 grandsons and 2 grandaughtersthe girls got fancy panties.

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Lord mines was potty trained at two


My son really liked the kid’s urinal. We had one shaped like a frog that had a little wheel that he could turn with the stream.

I’d back off it for a bit. It’s the only thing in his life he can control, so he is. Stop making it a battle and he may just start going. I also agree with not changing him right away.


With mine, my daughter was no problem at all, the boy, started him at 2, tried the cherrios, told him to pee on the cherrios, he told me to pee on them, so I let go, I’d catch him peeing in the toilet, if he thought I wasn’t watching, never let on I knew, and before I knew he was going himself, so sometimes just don’t make a fuss about it, I pretended I was ignoring him, and he did it on his own

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Try using the Cheerios game. You put a couple Cheerios in the toilet and have the little boy try to aim his pee to sink the Cheerios. I know sevetal moms that used cherios.

Start telling him he can go by himself put a stool by the light switch so he can reach stop pushing it, he will figure it out.

I potty trained my son by using Cheerios, buying a potty that had a frog sticker and told him the frog gets hungry and that he eats pee and poop. Also added panties with the hulk and told him the hulk will get mad and runaway if you pee on him. And if he did took it and hid all his hulk underwear for two days. Took two days that was it

Give your 4 year old control of something else. Like let them choose their clothes, let them make a decision for meals (like “should we have peas or carrots tonight?”)
Going to the bathroom is a control thing for most kids. Once you look at it differently it’s easier for everyone.
Imagine having someone else tell you what to wear, what to eat and when, where to go and when… etc… I think you understand

I’m having this same problem with my 3 year old, except opposite. She is fully pee potty trained but completely refuses to poop on the potty. I’m also at a loss of what to do. If you find something that works, please let me know!

Both of my children were potty trained by the time they turned 2. I started putting them on the potty before they were 2yesr old to get them use to it. I kept thier potty in the bathroom and evrry time I would go to the bathroom I would take the baby with me and sit them on tje potty and ask them to pee . It worked for me. When they learned to walk I put A second potty in the down stairs so they could get to it easier and faster.

If you live in the country and it’s warp by you. Take him outside and tell him to pee on a tree or a bush. Many of my friends were potty trained that way and are doing the same thing for their kids in the summer.

I potty trained my son in the summer. I pumped him full of water, let him run around the yard in just undies, and directed him to only pee on one specific tree. It was his special pee-tree.
Made a huge deal when he communicated that he had to pee, sent him to the tree. Later that evening, I told him the toilet was the same as his tree. We don’t wet our pants because it’s icky and messy. He used the toilet that night and from then on, no accidents day or night.
Throw some fruit loops in the toilet. Make it a big deal that he’s a big guy now, and big guys use the toilet/urinal. Have him clean up his own accidents, obviously within reason. Don’t give him a spray bottle of bleach or anything. If he wets himself, hand him a rag or paper towels for the floor and have him wipe it up as best he can. Take him to the laundry sink and have him rinse out his own undies or pants, tell him it’s kinda gross to have to rinse out pee or poo all the time.
When he finally gets it, make a big deal and do a big guy activity or have a special treat for peeing in the potty for X amount of days.

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My 3.5 year old son just started his potty training Sunday… The 2nd day he had 2 accidents but we’re 4 days accident free now. The first 5 days We had his little potty in his room, we had him sit on it til he went pee (he was allowed screen time while on the potty, if he got up, we paused it) he moved his potty into the bathroom yesterday by himself and so far so good :raised_hands:. Each kid will be different, maybe he doesn’t feel the urge when it comes to peeing. Maybe he just doesnt like the big potty, maybe he’s too distracted and once he realizes hes started peeing he cant stop. Theres so many reasons. Keep your head up tho, he wont have accidents forever. Good luck! :grinning:

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I did fruit loops in the potty chair then my son aimed for the loops.

My kids believed there was a dinosaur in the toilet that would starve if they didn’t use it lmao

4 is a little old for issues on the potty…but hear me out my 4 year old shut his his pee pee in the potty at 3.5 and hes still scared pf the potty some

My youngest was like that she was almost 4 before she was fully potty trained. She just did not want to use the toilet. Then one day she started using it and has been since. I would take her with me to the bathroom take her on a schedule everything i could think of she just refused. Then when she was ready she knew what to do and just did it.

I let mine pee outside lol he finally learned

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Have u tried the little potty for boys to pee in that sticks to the wall it’s like a little urinal maybe work better for going pee pee x

I let mine run around naked from the waist down for a few weeks.

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My daughter does the same thing she was doin good tellin me she wants to go potty she would do both, when she is in the tub for a bath she will tell me she wants to go potty. But since we had to move out of our apartment and moved to my fiance mom house till we got a place she did a huge 360 she will still tell me when she’s in the tub but I have to tell her to go potty. But what I started with her if she goes potty she gets a treat, when I first started to potty train I put a bowl candy in the bathroom she did pretty well.

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I had the same issue with my four year old. Have you tried letting him use the big toilet for weeing. My son done that and then continue to poo in potty but now uses big toilet for both xx

Y don’t u just try toilets rather than potty

Wow I started potty training all 5 of my children at 2 and a half years old. At age three and a half to four years old they likely are use to being soiled !

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No Pull up and no diapers they don’t like wet cloths.

I know girls are different but my child wanted nothing to do with it. I tried everything after months I gave up. At 3 1/2 one day I was like eff this. I took her pull up off and told her she’s wearing underware and needs to pee on the potty and she did. So with my next girl I didn’t even try to potty train haha I know I know. At 3 1/2 I took off her pull up put on some underware and told her the same thing. You have to pee in the potty now. It worked.

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Tell him to make bubbles in the water by peeing. It worked for my grandson

Put a Cork in the toilet and get him to aim at it…


You shouldn’t have waited so long. It’s kind of your fault. He doesn’t want to. Sorry. But that’s how I feel.

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Are you putting him in pullups? Have him watch cartoons of how to go potty.

If so, DON’T…

Take a break on potty training. Like a week.

Than take him to the store, buy him his favorite character big boy underwear.

Get a potty seat, step stool, cool hand washing soap.

Right after he wakes in the am. Put him on the potty. Have him sit on it and at least try to go. (Sit to go pee too. You can teach him to stand later!)

Right after every meal, snack and nap. Before you leave the house. (Pack extra clothes and wipes potty seat too).

Set a reminder for you to take him.

Once he feels the wetness. You clap every time he goes.

Back off. It’s become a power struggle. Put him in underwear and if he pees calmly have him put them in the wash etc

My little boy will be 4 in April as well, been trying to potty train for a year now, he refuses underwear and will scream for hours until you put a diaper on him. And he’s my 3rd boy, definitely my hardest🙄

by 4 he totally understands the concept and is able to gold he he is just choosing not to. be firm and say this is what’s going to happen.

Have you tried using a potty training urinal? It might make it more into a game then a chore.

Try putting some cheerios in the toilet and see if he can hit them…not really sure it will work but it might help

With my boys I’ll take them every hour and say ok let’s try it can be hard but got to just stay positive and keep trying and when he goes give high fives and hugs get super excited my 3 year old loved the positive attention and what’s funny if we have to go he will break in the bathroom start clapping and say good job high five lol he started doing it to the cats latlety also poor Kitty’s get a toddler in there face while trying to pee

My great granddaughters is 2 1/2 and she pee pee in the potty, but poops in her pants. If she dose poop poops in the potty i :clap:, tell her she did a good job that was a big girl. But next time she well not go to the potty i even ask her every 20 to 30 min. But no luck.
Experts say dont push them. They well get it.

A stool and pee in the big toilet? A grown up one for him. I had a stool made to fit around the toilet so my son could stand and pee. He hated potty’s. he used it for bowel movements too. My babysitters husband taught him how to use the stool as they had a boy too. I was a divorced Mom so I wasn’t sure how to help my son. He was over 3 years old so don’t give up.

No problem here! I love children but…I have 2 cats. They are self sufficient :wink:

We tried EVERYTHING! My 4 year old boy has just mastered the potty within the past few months. I would pray that he wouldn’t have an accident at preschool (he had a few). He gets busy playing & doesn’t care to stop to potty. What helped us was to keep his potty chair in the family room, so that he could go quickly. We remind him every hour or so-if he starts refusing to go try, we make it a game of who can get there first. He loves to be the winner. Good Luck!!!

I had a hard time with my son. I panicked when he was almost 3. I would sit him on the toilet every hour, and he would just sit there and cry and would hold it until he just couldn’t anymore. I had him in underwear thinking he wouldn’t like the feeling, and he didn’t care one bit. My breaking point was the day that he sat on the toilet crying for half an hour, so I took him off, pulled his undies up, and he peed in those. So, I put new ones on, and he pooped in those. At that point, I just put him back in diapers. I had read something that said if a child is resisting, just stop doing or saying anything that has to do with the potty. So, I tried it… For two weeks, I didn’t say “potty,” I didn’t take him in there except for a bath, etc. One day, we were sitting on the floor playing Spongebob Dominoes, and he just looks up at me and said, “Mama… I have to potty.” So, we got up, and he went, and never had another accident again, even at night!


My 4 year old would wait until the last second to mention she needed a bathroom, therefore having a wetting accident (night or day). I tried everything. Finally I had her wash her own sheets & clothes when this happened, including drying & folding (or put her own sheets back on her bed). Accidents stopped immediately.

I have four kids, my boy is only 10 months so no where near potty training. My other potty trained at different times and took different length of times to get it. I didn’t push them, I put pull ups on them day and night until they were good to go cause it is less hassle for me…I mean none of them were going to leave for college not potty trained…really why stress. I didn’t stress about it. My four year old was potty trained as far as pee for a good year before she would poop on the potty. I would say we can do a sticker chart or bring up ideas and if they were interested great if not I left it go. All three of them were potty trained day and night pee and poop…I just didn’t feel the need to push them or stress about it. Let them do it when they are ready so much easier


My daughter was difficult. I tried for almost a year to potty train her and she’d still sneak and go in her panties. Finally I just said ok I guess she’s just not ready and quit trying and two weeks later she potty trained herself in two days :woman_facepalming:t2: I think she was just stubborn :rofl:. My son was easy to potty train and he’s five years older than her and younger than she was when I got him potty trained. I think kids just do it when they’re ready.

My daughter will be 4 in March. We are struggling with the opposite. Pee in the potty. Poop in her pants. We have tried everything. Now she has chronic constipation because of it. Wish I could help. But we’re battling it too!

Have you done the nude potty training? I started my daughter this way in October and now she’s fine most of the time going places and fine at daycare 5 hours a week. But for some reason she pees her underwear or pull up at home. She runs to the potty but has already peed herself. So we just do the nude butt at home and she makes it in time. Must be hard to get undies down in time for her. So try nude for awhile if you can. I have a family of all girls so it’s not a big inconvenience for us.


Throw a couple of fruit loops in the potty, make a game of him to try to hit the fruit loops with his pp

When I potty trained my three boys I let them pick out their undies and from that point in we wore no more diapers. After they go so many times and it doesn’t catch it they don’t like it and will be more eager to go on the potty. At night time I used the puppy training pad to put under them Incase they went it was easier to clean up. Make it fun and do a lot of praising. Good luck

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My grandson was peeing the bed at night constantly…determined he was just too lazy to get up at night…so, started making him change his sheets and put in washer…got mad at him a bit and he found it was less hassle to get up…so. he did…life got better for all!

Have you tried the Target in the potty training. Google it

my son had problems until we gave him $20, he could either buy pullups or a big firetruck. he chose the firetruck which he had to stay dry for 2 weeks until our next trip to the city. He loved his firetruck. Hes a happy healthy 25 year old.

Don’t use pullups, just underwear. Throw a cheerio in the toilet and tell him to hit it with his pee. It sounds weird, but it’s how I potty trained two nephews. Lol


Throw Cheerios in toilet and have him aim at them . I used that method with my 3rd who was almost impossible to train . But in addition , I used his favorite character plush dolls and seated them in bathroom and told him they want to learn too how to use the potty . Can you please show them !!
He was trained in 2 days . He was just about turning 4 !

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My 4 year old is good with pee, but only at home. She refuses to poop on the potty. I still put a diaper on at night and if we go somewhere that’s longer than an hour. :pensive::pensive::pensive:

Buy the potty laser, puts a target in the commode. It makes it a fun game for boys to aim

My daughter worked all weekend with my granddaughter no butt naked and ran to bathroom she was 18 months different kids different times she still wears pullups at night but not during the day cause they pull the pee away to good and she does not feel it to know she should go on potty if you stress she feels that and it makes it harder on her. I know its expensive but best to go at her speed might not be ready yet and yes there will be accidents and its ok

My son was 4 years old when he learn how to go to the bathroom. It took me 6 months until i broke down and I had to tell my husband to show him how to pee like a boy and after that day he kept going alone.

My daughter was 4 and still in diapers. Our Doctor told me she,will go when she is,ready. One day she asked me for pretty pants. I got her some and that worked. Funny how kids are.

These are such great suggestions! The cheerio thing worked wonders for my nephew, or letting them run around without pants on. No where to pee if you dont have pants, he will have to go to the toilet. Obviously only okay at home.
Also, letting him pick his underwear and when he pees in them, he has to help you wash them. It’s not a punishment but he will quickly learn that when he stops peeing his pants, he doesnt have to wash them :slight_smile:

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I was gonna say cheerios, but fruit loops work… lolololol

With the potty training, are you making him sit to go number one or letting him stand and aim? I know my oldest son refused to pee sitting down (I grew up around all girls other than my dad and didn’t know that boys stood to pee from a young age, thought it was only adult males), so we got him a stool and let him throw a piece of cereal in the toilet to aim at. Eventually I bought a little sticker that goes in the toilet bowl for him to aim at.


I agree with Stacie. Don’t stress yourself or him during this time. He will do it when he is ready. Good luck!!

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When I potty trained my boys, I took a small hand full of cheerios put, put them in the toilet it an told them to sink them. They loved it. Worked like a charm.

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All kids train differently, but let him know that when school starts the other kids will all be potty trained. Maybe, put up a count down to school calendar so he will see daily when it’s coming. Let him mark it off. Maybe he just feels he needs to have some control of what’s happening.

I made a poster board and put on the wall next to toilet and everytime my granddaughter potty she got a star .at the end of week she got fifty cent…i know you shouldn’t pay but its works.

I didn’t use pull-ups at all because they’re inexpensive glorified diaper you get less in the pack and they cost more. And I just talk straight to my kids if you need something to pee in your wear diaper like a baby because big boys and girls go potty on the potty and we actually laid down a pull-up and a diaper side-by-side and the child acknowledged that they were the same and I said that’s right they are they’re both of diaper and big boys and girls don’t go potty on themselves

Try the Cheerio game sometimes that works!!

Try cheerios or food coloring dye drops in the toilet, as something to aim for like a game

Throw some Cheerios in the toilet and tell him to aim and hit the Cheerios

Make it fun for home Well Cheerios in the toilet as a target for him to hit

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Busting that ass is what I would be doing

Fruit Loops worked for me too!

Toss 3 or 4 fruit loops in there and tell to aim and sink the fruit loops. It’s how I taught four of my boys my girl I’m working on now will be 3 end of March.

My mom started my brother out peeing into a mason jar once he mastered that then it was sink the fruit loops and once it becomes a habit then he is rewarded with candy once consistently peeing in the toilet he gets to pick a new toy out at the store.

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Try letting him pee outside

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Put diapers on him. He’ll stop.

Just act like you don’t care put him in diapers. Boys take longer. Let it be his idea

Have you places the colored fruit loops in the toilet and tell him to sink them with his pee? Most little boys think this is fun. At least my two boys did.

Put cheerios or fruit loops in the bowl as target practice.

Try one of those targets they get to aim at while peeing.

try putting cherrios in toilet and see if he can squirt them down. it worked for one of my 3 sons, the other2 just peed for me

Cheerios in the toilet! Target practice!

Another method is to just let them wear big boy and girl underwear so they actually feel that feeling the urge them to want to be clean so they will go to the party so they won’t wet themselves

Don’t feel bad, my son was 3 1/2 when he was potty trained. Boys are lazier than girls when it comes to potty training.

Hannah Nicole Keinen Harper

Force him to wash his own undies…

Maybe show him the cool big boy underwear and either let him pick a pack that he cannot have until he uses the toilet for each go or let him know that when he uses the toilet for each go you will bring him back to pick his own pack

My son wouldn’t potty train and he was 5yrs old and going into kindergarten so I had no choice but I put underwear on him at all times and eventually he got tired of being wet so he wanted to use the potty on his own

We just let him pee off the back porch. Made a game of it.

Toss some fruit loops in the toilet and tell him to sink em. My son LOVED it, and it helped his aim so much! He begged to pee even when he didn’t need to go… Haha

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Cheerios in the toilet. Let him sink them when he pees then praise him for at least trying. Give a sticker if he hits one.

With my son I made going to the potty a game. We sand songs cheered . Just went crazy when he went to the potty. He loved it .

Take him outside where nobody can see and let him pee on a tree. My boys LOVE finding a pee tree, lol. We live in the forest though.