Are you in over your head with worry because you still cannot successfully potty train your 4 year old? Has thinking about what else you can do kept you up at night? Is it even normal for a 4 year old to still be in his diapers?
First, of all, relax. Your baby is not the first 4 year old still seen walking about in his nappies. In fact, this occurrence is not as uncommon as you might think it is. My own experience with my now 5 year old son can attest to this.
Because I read in a lot of parenting books that children should not be forced into potty training, I waited for the day when my son would express an interest in the process himself. As you might have guessed, I waited in vain. Up to this day, I still firmly believe that he would still be walking around in diaper heaven had I not intervened.
This is not to discredit what a lot of parenting authors are saying. It is true that every child learns differently from another and that parents should not rush their children into things they are not ready for. But as it happens, my son is one of those people who just need a little push of encouragement to get on the bandwagon.
So, what did I do to potty train my 4 year old? One afternoon, I sat him down and explained to him that from the next day forward, he would be wearing “grown-up” underpants instead of diapers in the daytime. He seemed eager and interested at first, but the following days would prove to be a horror. He missed the convenience of wearing a nappy and threw tantrums about it. But I stuck to the plan. I made him clean himself up in the bathroom when he soiled himself. I applied simple reward and punishment tactics: cutting down TV time when he made a mess, offering a hug or a cookie whenever he used the potty. I am proud to say that my son has not worn a diaper for almost a year now.
Potty training a child takes a lot of love and patience. But with helpful advice and tips, it is doable and rewarding.