How to Potty Train a 4-Year-Old Boy

If your four-year-old boy has yet to be potty trained, you may have faced resistance in your first attempts to teach him to use the toilet independently. You may feel more pressure to potty train once your son reaches four years old, however, because some schools may require children to be potty trained prior to admittance. The reasons a child may resist training include fear of the toilet, past punishment for not using the potty, a power struggle between him and his parents and a medical problem, such as constipation, according to the Keep Kids Healthy website.

Step 1

Use an adult toilet. At four years of age, your son may be too large for a potty chair. If he feels more comfortable, you can put a detachable potty seat over the toilet seat. If you use a potty chair, Babycenter advises against using one with a urine guard because it can scrape your son's penis.

Step 2

Provide an incentive to use the potty. A resistant four-year-old may respond well to the idea of getting a reward each time he successfully uses the potty. Make a reward chart, and give him a gold star each time he goes to the toilet. After collecting a set number of stars, give him a prize of his choosing, such as a new toy or a day at the arcade.

Step 3

Make him responsible for changing himself. Make a resistant potty trainer do the work each time he soils himself. This includes getting the diaper, cleaning himself up and putting a new diaper on.

Step 4

Have him sit on the potty for set intervals during the day. Every couple of hours, have him sit on the potty for five to 10 minutes.

Step 5

Allow him to pee sitting down. Your son may get distracted by the spray or feel frustrated at his inability to aim urine into the toilet. Allow him to master urinating sitting down before teaching him to stand.

Things You'll Need

  • Detachable potty seat

  • Reward chart

  • Stickers

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
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