My son is now grown out of the largest sized diaper and still can't communicate verbally. I bought a child potty and encourage him to go potty but he cannot make a connection and so continues to go on his diaper. He is starting preschool soon and we're not making progress. What can I do?

  • 1
    Have you talked to a doctor and/or specialist about his language delay and other apparent developmental delays? It sounds like there may be more to this than just potty training. Jul 25, 2016 at 21:14
  • Yes he is seeing a speech therapist with limited success. He can't seem to grasp the transition from diapers. He has his own potty but doesn't use it despite our efforts
    – Mike D
    Jul 25, 2016 at 21:58

2 Answers 2


A child has the need to feel significance and belonging. Specifically attention and power. That need will be met positively or negatively; whichever is quick, easy, and consistent. Eating, sleeping, and toileting are power points because YOU CAN'T MAKE THEM.

So the best advice I can give you is, stop trying. Make your interactions about connection first. The first thing I would tell you to do is spend at least 10 minutes per day, twice per day, with no distractions whatsoever, completely focused on him, doing what he wants to be doing with you. Be present and enjoy this time. Let him know how much you enjoyed it and tell him how much you are looking forward to spending more time like this with him. Don't mention PT. If he asks, tell him that you trust him to go to the potty when he is ready. Putting more emphasis on this only will make it harder and a stronger power point. After about two weeks, then you can revisit this. Make it about 1 to 1 time.

Remember always that a power point is something the child knows he can use to influence you, and obtain significance and belonging. Your power is in your ability to connect positively, through encouragement, and disconnect from inappropriate behavior respectfully and matter of factly. Anyway...two weeks at least. Then revisit.


Oh boy. You know what? Stop trying for now. Create a safe place for your child to discover the potty and what it means. Kids books in a basket next to the toilet, Elms potty video is great! Buy a cheap baby doll toy that has the whole and let your child feed the bottle and place on potty to empty. Please, please, don't stress about it. When it becomes a non-issue for you, your child will make it an issue. Believe me. Oh and BTW, that will be true FOREVER AND EVER! lol

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