Q&A: Why does my potty train child still poop in her pants?
I have a three-year-old daughter who is potty trained, but she still goes BM in her undies. She has gone in the potty, so we know that she can. She just doesn't want to. We have tried everything. Nothing seems to phase her. After she poops, she says she has to go potty. Do you have any suggestions?
The training process for most American children begins in the third year (two to two and one-half years) but is variable and may not be completed in some children until their fourth or even fifth year. Successful training requires a complex interaction between physical development, motivation and temperament of the child as well as the larger family environment. Wrapped up in the process are autonomy issues as toddlers are in the process of gaining a greater sense of independence. The process of training works best when it is directed by the child. If, for whatever reason, your daughter won’t/can’t/doesn’t want to complete the next training step, as frustrating as it may be to you, punishment or negative consequences usually only set things back. The best approach is to remind yourself that it will happen eventually and to let your child know that you would be delighted to see it happen (speaking to her as “a big girl” can be effective). Then, ignore the times it doesn’t and lavish praise when it does. Ultimately, this is a task your daughter must complete willingly if it is to be successful and permanent.