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Potty Training Troubles with 4-Year-Old


I am having difficulty getting my 4-year-old son to use the bathroom for his bowel movements. He knows when he has to go. He urinates in the toilet and is perfectly able to do the same with bowel movements, but he simple won’t do it.


This information is included in our Guide to Potty Training. Click here to see the rest of the guide.

Your son might just need a little more time to be comfortable with using the bathroom. It’s frustrating, but try to encourage him every time he uses the toilet, including when he urinates. 

Since you say that he knows when he has ​to go, you must know the signs as well.  If he gets antsy or hides in a different room, this may alert you that he has to use the bathroom. When you see these behaviors, take some toys and books into the bathroom. Tell him to sit on the toilet and read his books or play with his toys.  Keep it as relaxed as possible.  

You don’t want your son to become tense because then his muscles will constrict, making it harder for him to release his bowel movement. Just wait it out. If he goes, make a HUGE deal out of it. Celebrate with a piece of candy, a sticker or whatever else is meaningful to him.