Dear Dr. Ann,
We are at the end of our rope trying to train our daughter to use the toilet. Is there any point when you go get tough with a child and insist they use the potty or else?
The bottom line is it won’t do you any good to threaten a child!
Learning to use the toilet is a biological function, not a psychological war between you and your child.
Children will use the toilet when they can feel their body’s signals and are able to get to the toilet fast enough and are able to release at just the right time.
Look to be sure their diapers are dry for at least several hours, so you know they are beginning to have some control.
Talk to them constantly about what they ‘can do’ by themselves (get dressed, play with friends, throw a ball or put a puzzle together) and how they must be so proud of themselves for being able to do that. Then say, “It feels just the same when you use the toilet all by yourself.”
Dr. Ann Corwin