Four year old boy refuses to have a bm in toilet?

I’m an assistant preschool teacher and all the children in our class are potty trained except for one boy. He still wears pull-ups and will use these for pee and poop. He knows how to use the toilet, he just refuses to do so. We do not have a bathroom in the classroom so whenever I have to change him I have to take him and a few other children to stay within ratio down the hall to the boys bathroom. We don’t have a changing table in the boys bathroom and it is likely that he would be to heavy for a table anyways as he is a large boy. He is embarrassed being changed with other children in the room, but we don’t have enough staff to take him alone.
He is not afraid of the toilet, in fact if I turn my back for one second I will often catch him playing around with the toilet (putting his hands in the bowl, playing with the flusher, etc.) So far the other teachers in my facility including myself have tried sticker rewards charts, taking him to the toilet every thirty minutes, giving constant praise when he does pee on the toilet, and constantly reminding him of the importance of going potty in the toilet. Even his classmates have become involved in the potty training process. All of the children have been extremely supportive of this child. We have also recently began using a candy reward system. We have a cup that we keep in the teachers cabinet and every day he starts out with one skittle in the cup. If he pees in the potty he is allowed to put another skittle in the cup, if he poops in the potty he can put five skittles in the cup, but if he pees in his diaper he looses two skittles and if he poops he loses three skittles. At first this seemed to work, the first day he peed a small amount in the toilet every time we took him to the bathroom. The second day he did have one accident going pee in his diaper, but on the third day he managed to poop (a very small amount) on the toilet. It was obvious that he was not finished with pooping as it was such a small amount in the toilet, but he insisted that he was done. Ten minutes later he pooped in his diaper.
This child always goes poop at the same time every day usually during nap time. He never sleeps during nap time, and is often disruptive, he also refuses to eat anything during lunch. He is a very stubborn boy, but is a class clown and is very lovable. His parents are divorced, and have a very strained relationship but the child spends weekends at the dads house. At his mothers house he does not own a single pair of underwear, although she has agreed to purchase some. She has never pushed the potty training issue with him, but is willing to help us out as she understands that he will need to be potty trained by next year in order to go on to kindergarten. When the child stays at his fathers house he wears underwear and goes to the bathroom either in the potty or in his underwear. He will never ask to go to the bathroom, instead his father has to constantly remind him. His father says the only way he ever goes to the bathroom is if he sits him on the toilet and leaves him in the bathroom for fifteen minutes. Obviously I cannot and will not leave the child alone in a bathroom, and even when I have him sit on the toilet for a good ten minutes he will not poop on the potty but instead plays with the toilet paper dispenser.

I really have no idea what else I can try, I have been working with this child for the past month and have tried to remain positive and upbeat, but I feel he is pooping in his diaper to assert his authority. I don’t know how to make him want to go in the toilet. Stickers don’t work, candy isn’t working, sitting on the toilet for ten minutes doesn’t work, bringing him to the bathroom every thirty minutes doesn’t work, and the promise of a potty party with the whole class isn’t working either.

Please help, I’m running out of ideas!

I didn’t have this difficult a time with either of my boys. However, all the stickers, candy reward systems, potty books and whatnot never worked for me. Less fanfare, and some sincere support when they’re successful worked best.

He has the confusion of how many skittles he gets if he pees but then poops his pants but later pees but maybe had another accident…

Also, he has two parents with different attitudes towards potty training and different teachers there employing everything from bribing with candy to stern talks and threats you can’t keep (the teacher threatening not to change him, but you of course can’t do that in schools).

Every teacher should get on the same page as to how you’re going to handle him. I say ditch the pull-ups entirely, put him in underwear and take him to the bathroom every 1/2 hour. No fanfare, no skittles, no potty party. Certainly no threats and using potty time as discipline – it will just make it worse.

Well I’m actually starting potty training today with my b/g twins, so i don’t have a lot of advice to offer. The only thing I can think of is to take him to bathroom like you are doing. If he goes, good, then he can go finish his activity. If not, then put him at a table by himself and tell him that kids get to do that activity and until he can use the potty (not his pull ups) like a kid, then he is still a baby. Then in another 30 mins, try again. Do this all the time. After he realizes that him not using the potty is keeping him from fun activities, he might want to try harder so he can be allowed to join in the fun.

He could be terrified of using the toilets there or anywhere but the security of home. If you think that’s a possibility definitely try to find a way of making him feel comfortable going to the toilet because it could stay with him right trough school. I can speak from personal experience because it was a problem for me all the way school. Rather than deal with my problem my mom gave me medication that reduced the odor and I found way of doing it in my underwear with out anyone knowing. Not working through my fear early only made the situation worse and by the time I got to high school I was doing it almost every day and that didn’t change until I had to deal with starting work.

Can you get both his parents to come in and tell them that he should be toilet trained before he goes to school and it is causing a problem at the preschool now as well. Maybe if he doesn’t have the pull-ups, he will be more conscious of not wetting or dirtying his pants? If there is a medical issue here, then his parents should get some medical advice about this as he should be toilet trained by his age really. You have the other children to worry about as well. Good luck.

i would say not try to reward him with skittles 5 skittles i wouldn’t care if i got 5 skittles or lost 2 skittles personally 1 skittle starting point? how about a bag of skittles and no skittles if you do bad would be my suggestion if you insist on a reward system… I would not deal with it its the parents job to potty train them if the kid wants to make a mess in his drawers and get a rash that’s the parents fault for not potty training him you aren’t keeping him from using the toilet you want him to use it he’s the one with the problem not you i’d say don’t change their diapers unless you’re required to by law send him to principal if he has one have the parents come pick him up and clean up his mess…

I’m just going to start by saying that I didnt read past your headline so I hope I’m answering your question but when my son was potty training, he did really well with the pee’s but not so much with the poops. We went on a special ‘mom and boy’ trip to the store and got big boy undies with cartoon characters on them. I told him that scooby doo doesn’t like being pooped on. worked like magic.


Take away privledges, like recess or treats. Reward him for when he does use it, and take things away when he doesnt. Is there conflict at home that could be affecting it?

It sounds like he is not quite ready to give up his diapers yet.

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