My 4-Year-Old Granddaughter Isn’t Potty Trained: Should I Just Train Her Myself?

A mom writes in asking for advice. Her granddaughter is four years old and not potty trained yet. According to her parents, they want it to come on its own time and not have her grow up too quickly. However, this grandmother feels four years old is too late. She wonders if she should just do it herself while her granddaughter is staying the weekend with her. Any advice for this grandmom?

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A member of the community asks:

“I’m a Grandma of a four-year-old granddaughter who is not potty trained! My daughter and son-in-law want to let it be in her time. They don’t want her to grow up too quickly. I feel at four she should already be potty trained. Both of my girls were by the time they were two. How do I tell my daughter that she needs to potty train, my granddaughter, right away? Is it my place to step in or just train her myself when I have her at my house for the weekend when she comes to visit? I hate changing the pull-ups, and I think it may be humiliatingly for her as well.”

– Mamas Uncut Community Member

Community Advice for This Grandmom Trying to Help

To see what advice the Mamas Uncut Facebook community has for this mom in need, read the comments of the post embedded below.

Advice Summary


Advice for this grandmom was very split. Some felt she needs to respect her daughter in regards to her granddaughter needing to be potty trained. Others, however, felt like she needed to do something about this situation. One shared, “No reason they can’t potty train but it’s really not your place to tell them they have to. You can try and talk to them but at the end of the day, it’s not your child.”

Those who felt she should worry about herself is roughly half of the commenters. One commenter said, “For starters, you should respect her parent’s decision regardless of how you feel about it” while another agreed and said, “Respect the parent’s decisions even if you don’t agree. Trying to force something against the parent’s wishes can result in losing the relationship you have with your grandchild.”

Others saw nothing wrong with her potty training her granddaughter. One commented, “I’d give it a try while you have her. At 4 years old I’m sure you can guess when she’s got to go” while another agreed, “I see nothing wrong with you working with her while she’s at your house.” Many other commenters saw the urge to train her before she goes to school because it is something schools require.

Another set of commenters encouraged this grandmom and gave her suggestions. One shared, “I agree that grandparents should respect the parent’s methods; however, ‘not wanting her to grow up too fast’ is not a reason to not potty train or put off any other parenting task.” Another said, “Introduce her to the toilet/potty chair but don’t make her use it. Let mom and dad do the rest! Let her decide if she wants to use it!”

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