I have been trying to potty train her and nothing is working. I’ve took her to the doctors and all they said was don’t force her it will makes matters worse and said to have her talk to someone so we did at her school, and they found nothing wrong with her. So I’m back to square 1. Every time I ask her to go potty or I do the timer she just fights me she doesn’t want to go, and then she fakes using the bathroom. She is wearing pull-ups at the moment she doesn’t want to change herself either when she goes in them.

  • 4
    Can she explain to you why she doesn't want to use the potty? Is she scared of something associated with the potty, or does she not want to interrupt her activity to go to the potty, or something else? If she can, try to work with that information to make going to the potty (or even the adult toilet) a viable alternative for her. Commented Nov 11, 2021 at 8:41
  • 1
    Yeah tried that too I’ve asked if she’s afraid of something and nothing and sometimes I keep thinking it’s because it’s interrupting something but I just don’t understand why she would rather sit in her own stuff than like go and use the toilet or atleast change herself or want to
    – Michirawr
    Commented Nov 11, 2021 at 14:36
  • 47
    At seven years old this has already been left years and years too late. The damage is already done. Specialist help is likely your best recourse - this is an abnormal circumstance and will require atypical strategies to overcome at this point.
    – J...
    Commented Nov 11, 2021 at 15:23
  • 2
    I have found that child-logic does not align with adult-logic and can be really hard to follow until you try to see the world from their perspective.I have a 3 year old who happily uses the potty when running around with a bare bottom, but not when wearing a diaper or even underwear. And also refuses to be changed when having a dirty diaper. I am also still figuring out the logic behind it. Commented Nov 11, 2021 at 15:28
  • I have no experience (from this age side of it) in the matter, so someone might say this is a bad idea, but if you ask her, if nappies weren't available, would she prefer a potty or the same toilet mummy uses? Perhaps couch it in a game of if something, then what or what, and have just a few of the same type of question after that question. Leave to simmer. Commented Nov 11, 2021 at 20:34

5 Answers 5


Not sure if it applies at seven years old, but our child has always had a strong dislike of learning anything new involving body excrements. It manifested in similar ways, fighting and not wanting to try at all, and cannot explain why not.

In the end we bribed our way out of it. Paper with 20 boxes on the toilet wall, after each box has a cross the child gets some toy they want. At first it was sitting on the toilet, then next 20 crosses was actually getting something in there, then it was going by themselves. After it became routine, leaving out the paper was not a problem.

In our case it also helped to explain to the kindergarten the discomfort about bodily functions so they gave more time and privacy. Then it quickly became routine there also and was no longer a problem.


If you guys lived in the US, a good first step would be to ask that the school give her a comprehensive evaluation. This would show whether there are any learning difficulties, which might help her doctor figure out what's going on.

Another good first step would be to book an appointment with a developmental pediatrician.

I don't know about other countries.

  • I’ve done both she was seeing a Counselor in school for it and a therapist that showed up twice weekly. They found nothing and the doctor just said to not force her that it could make things worse, but recently I reached out to the doctor again to let her know how everything is going and what was said and she said to start back up potty training pretty much but don’t force her but talk to her and what not and work with her . But it’s not working lol
    – Michirawr
    Commented Nov 11, 2021 at 6:42
  • 19
    Perhaps the time has come to find a different pediatrician. The current one is plainly not working, and maybe someone with fresh ideas might have more success. Commented Nov 11, 2021 at 15:33
  • 1
    @Michirawr - does she have learning challenges or neurological or developmental differences? As examples: autism and ADHD correlate with later toilet training. / An MD second opinion can check for bladder, endocrine or other health concerns that might be playing a role. / One of my boys at 8 decided to use an alarm system to become dry at night. (He would soak through a pull-up and sometimes two, due to insulin resistance and ADHD.) We started with a book with preparatory activities. The alarm was really loud! But within a week he got up to pee as needed at night. Commented Nov 12, 2021 at 23:33
  • A friend would set a timer every 15 minutes all day to ask her autistic daughter to sit on the toilet to see if anything happened. / A good pediatrician will either work with you and your daughter or refer to a specialist. It could be quite helpful to identify factors that could help explain this difficulty. This can lower the emotional stakes for both you and your daughter. Commented Nov 12, 2021 at 23:35

"Full immersion" can work well for potty training. You could try sitting her on a small portable potty in front of the television all day with lots of juice. Just getting comfortable sitting on it and urinating might be half the battle. Bribery will probably help too.


In addition to the other advice, potty/toilet training will involve having the child wear regular underwear. That way she will know when she has peed herself and it will get uncomfortable & cold quickly. This will hopefully motivate her to pee when you put her on the toilet.

Another trick is to make it fun, this is easier for boys than for girls. Have her try to pee in a cup when she is in bath for example.

Peeing is the first step. Pooping in the potty or toilet comes next. At this age the child is large enough for the toilet. Give her a stool to put her feet on, encourage her. Have her blow through a straw to help her relax and let it go.

  • 1
    Not buying diapers for a 7yo sounds like a good step one. The last time I was crapping myself when I was a kid, I was embarrassed that my friends kept asking why I kept coming out of the house wearing different pants....
    – Mazura
    Commented Nov 12, 2021 at 23:38

Oh mama I know this is so hard. Potty training is hard.

Do you spend 1-1 time with your child every day? That is, you announce to her that this is the time between both of you. No siblings, phone call, text message or doorbell will interrupt it. Set aside some time (like 20 minutes) and do what she wants to do with. A board game, reading, whatever she likes. How many times do you hug her in the day? We all need 8 to 12 hugs in a day for a healthy mind and body.

Perhaps your child is craving your attention and your touch? Evaluate if that’s the only time you actually give her undivided attention. If there is no developmental issue it could just be your child wanting you.

Edit: I asked my 7 year old and she said that potties are scary - maybe she is afraid she will fall inside. Or maybe the flush is too loud for her.

  • 1
    Maybe asking if the potty is scary / loud? etc.
    – gatorback
    Commented Nov 13, 2021 at 13:37

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .