This question was submitted to our community via our Facebook page and/or our Answers forum. Responses are also taken from the community. If you have your own parenting or relationship question you would like answers to, submit on Facebook or Answers.QUESTION: My four year old will not stop having accidents: Advice?
“My 4-year-old daughter will not stop having accidents. At one point, she would be playing with her toys on the floor, and instead of getting up to go potty, she peed right where she was. I feel like she’s just lazy to stop what she’s doing to go to the restroom, when we’re out and about she’ll have “accidents” in her car seat and we do constantly ask her if she has to go potty and she always says no, but it’s a lie .. I tried sticker charts and just rewarding her when she did use the potty, but that still doesn’t motivate her. Sometimes she’ll try to be sneaky and hide her clothes. She will start school soon and I am so afraid for her. I don’t want her to maybe be bullied for this. We have taken her to the dr to see if its something she can’t control and there’s nothing wrong. So currently I took away her favorite toy and let her know she’ll have it back at the end of the week if she’s accident free. This is my first child so please give me tips on what to do.“
RELATED: I’m Potty Training My Two-Year-Old: Can I Use Diapers Instead of Pull-Ups?Image via Shutterstock Community Answers
The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.
“Every 30 minutes. Period. She gets no choice in it. She goes potty regularly until she learns to treat needing to potty as an emergency.”
“My son is 4 and we had this problem for a bit. We had to make him stop what he was doing and go potty. First, we did every 30 mins then increased to every hour. [Now] he tells us and very rarely has an accident at home. He will in the car, he tells us when he has to go potty and sometimes we just can’t get him to one fast enough.”
“Some kids are just wired that way. They either don’t realize and it’s [too] late and they don’t care after the fact. You can try everything and it could be happening till age 6. Do what you must. But it’s not that serious. No point on getting upset.”
“My daughter had issues until this past summer. She is 5. We tried EVERYTHING. Even in preschool they did a time chart and was super helpful but to no luck. I took her to a chiropractor for a month and it stopped along with the chronic constipation.”
“Make her count to 10 while trying to go and if the flow doesn’t start, do it again a little bit later, do the count every time.”
“Do whatever works for you! [Consistency] is KEY. Whatever you decide do it every single time, every single day. Until it “clicks”. [Different] things work for different kids. I have 3 boys and they all potty trained at different times. What worked for 1 absolutely didn’t work for the other. I drove myself CRAZY comparing and trying things that worked for another child. Just do whatever works for you and try not to make yourself crazy comparing your child to someone else’s child. Advice is advice but it doesn’t mean it will work for you!”
“Any time my daughter is with me I just tell her to go especially during times where she’s very distracted. I also remind her to listen to her body. My daughter is also 4 and she has accidents a lot at dad where there is a lot more going on keeping her distracted. But she’s also 4 and even if she knows how to, we still gotta remind them.”
“Just remind her to go potty. Please don’t shame. She’s only 4 years old. So sad when expectations are set so high. It’s a child.”
“Do you still have her in diapers? If so she may be so comfortable that she just doesn’t care. Put her in pretty, big girl panties around the house. Regular material is uncomfortable when it gets wet. I agree with everyone else about the potty trips every thirty minutes. It is also a good idea to have her help clean up her own messes. If she has to think about what she is doing, she may find she has more self-control than she thinks.”
“Still working on the occasional bedwetting too. I’ve tried everything consistently and it’s basically come to the point they say they’ll grow out of it. I would definitely keep an eye out for UTI’s because my daughter came to the point where she would tinkle, but not enough to show through her pants, and she needed up with 2 infections when she started hiding it. She was fully potty trained with no accidents during the day or at night and then boom right before she turned 4 it’s like she went through a complete regression even knowing she shouldn’t be doing it. She just turned 5 and so far day time accidents are rare now and so is the bedwetting. She did go to school and only had 2-3 accidents the whole year but only did good while at school, but I think it was the place setting.”
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With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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