We will always be grateful to an amazing preschool teacher for the following strategy to help kids who do not want to potty train. Find something that your toddler loves. In New York City, this is often the subway so we will use this as an example. (Caution, this is going to require a little bit of craft talent on your part.)

Put up a sheet on the bathroom wall with a railroad track and 6 stations. We like to use the F train and start with Bergen Street. Put a little Velcro® piece on each of the stations. Then, draw or cut out a little train and Velcro it to the first station on the railroad track. Gift wrap a little toy subway car and let your child know that he/she can open the present once the train gets to the last station on the railroad track. Tell your child that the train will move each time they use the potty. Then, forget about potty training. It is important that your child does not think you have an emotional investment in the movement of the train. It is completely up to them if they want it to move.

This strategy usually works because you have created a reward system that has a direction and an arc with an ending. Potty training no longer becomes a power struggle. The apprehension or refusal to use the potty is replaced by your child’s desire to move the train.

One important note: make sure your toddler is capable of using the potty before using this strategy. Good luck!