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How to Get My Stubborn Boy Interested in Potty Training

by Barbie Carpenter , studioD

Even under the best circumstances, potty training can be challenging and stressful for both parent and child. When you have a stubborn little boy, the challenges of potty training are often magnified. On average, boys take about six months longer to train than girls, according to the University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development. In addition, your strong-willed, stubborn boy might fight potty training, making him susceptible to many accidents along the way. There are several proven strategies to encourage a successful transition out of diapers for your stubborn toddler.

Look for incentives that work for your son. No matter where you are in the potty training process, incentives can encourage your boy to sit on the potty and eventually use it successfully. Every child is different, and no one incentive works for all toddlers. Find a special treat that your toddler does not get often, such as a favorite snack, a small toy or a unique activity. A stubborn child can come around if you offer the right incentive.

Establish a consistent pattern of visiting the potty. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that potty training for boys is often delayed due to their high level of physical activity. Set potty breaks in between this activity to get your little boy into a routine.

Express your pride. Although your toddler might be stubborn, he also wants to please you. By praising his efforts on the potty -- even if they are minor -- you show him that he can succeed in this challenge, which encourages him to use the potty successfully.

Give your child the responsibility. When other potty training efforts fail, transfer responsibility to your child, recommends the Children's Physician Network. Tell your little one that it is ultimately his decision whether he uses the potty or a diaper but that you want him to use the potty. Explain that he does not need your help going to the potty, and then stop talking about potty training. A stubborn child might start using the potty because he craves attention once you have stopped the process.

Require your little boy to help with cleanup. When accidents occur -- and they will -- get your child involved in the cleanup process, such as changing his training pants and clothing. Explain to him that big boys cannot walk around with wet or messy pants, so he needs to learn how to change them, with your help.

Items you will need
  •  Training potty or toddler toilet seat

About the Author

Barbie Carpenter worked as a technical writer and editor in the defense industry for six years. She also served as a newspaper feature page editor and nationally syndicated columnist for the Hearst Corp. Carpenter holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida and a graduate certificate in professional writing from the University of Central Florida.

Photo Credits

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