My 3yr old toddler girl has been “helecoptered” until now and is not very independent. Going into school with basic potty training, she started to touch the yucky water when alone in the toilet. Repeated “no” from teachers and us dont help. She doesn’t do it at home, she will just be quick. But in school, as soon as no one’s watching, she will explore potty and even put her feet in the bowl!! Somehow we are not able to get it in her head. She knows she did a “bad job” but will do it as she finds it funny. How do I stop it and teach good manners and responses to “dont do it plz”

1 Answer 1


It sounds like your 3 year old as a similar temperament to our second girl. Some (most) children simply don't care if you tell them "no", because that word doesn't have any association that they find displeasing.

She needs to understand that when she does something wrong, there will be a consequence that she doesn't like or enjoy. Likewise, when she does something well, she needs to understand that there will be a consequence that she does like and enjoy. We've found that our second girl responds well to this.

Perhaps when she plays in the potty, she knows that she gets a favorite toy taken away, or she has to go to timeout, or she gets a spanking. Likewise, she needs to understand that if she has a whole day without playing in the potty, she gets to watch a favorite show, or she gets a piece of candy, or something like that.

Also make sure that you and your spouse/partner are together and clear on this. She needs to know that either one of you will respond in the same way. You don't want her developing favorites.

  • "Perhaps when she plays in the potty, she knows that she gets a favorite toy taken away..." Many people do this, but it's usually an ineffective consequence because it does not logically (or temporally) follow the unwanted behavior. Jul 30, 2021 at 18:10
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    Yes I wasn't clear about that. The consequence (positive or negative) should be tightly coupled to the act.
    – Josh Reep
    Jul 30, 2021 at 18:31
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    -1 for advocating violence on children. Your proposed solution is far more harmful than the problem you're trying to solve.
    – user36162
    Jul 31, 2021 at 10:05
  • It is very common habit in kids (May be 1 out of 10) and can overcome slowly lets say a month for Dad and 15 to 16 days for Mom. I do not think you need potty Councillor to finish this habit.
    – Nadeem Taj
    Aug 4, 2021 at 18:13

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