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Need help with 3.5 year old with gifted personality traits.

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

DS3 (3.5) is highly perfectionistic, sensitive and intense.  In general, he has a high level of persistence, but he also has a high dose of all or nothing thinking. If he thinks he will get it eventually, he will try for age, but if he gives up it is for good. I know these are traits many of our gifted kids share, and I am hoping that some of you have some experience, advice or resources that might help me. 


Unfortunately, he has applied his all or nothing thinking to toileting and decided about 9 months ago that because he still had accidents, he was not going to try.  At the time, he was having many accidents, but not an age inappropriate number.  However, his brother and sister were down to an accident every month or so. He is one of a set of triplets, and he compares his development to theirs whether we emphasize it or not. He will go when encouraged gently at a time of day when it is part of the routine, but refuses to even try to monitor himself.  I have investigated all of the likely physiological issues and have come to the conclusion that this is a psychological issue.


I feel confident that once he decides to do it it will be a super quick learning process, but nothing I am doing is helping.


Does anyone have any advice or resources that might help?

post #2 of 4

You might try one of those potty watches that remind them to go when they otherwise might get too busy playing. My DS loved his sticker reward chart. One sticker for pee, two for poop, and three if he did it by himself. When his 25 sticker chart was full he could pick out a "present" like a big red balloon or box of cookies. I wouldn't stress too much. Bro and Sis might provide enough peer pressure on their own.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

The brother and sister are part of the problem.  They provide "proof" *he* can't do it since they did it so long ago. And reward systems make things worse because either I have to reward everybody and he sees that he isn't doing it or he is the only one with a reward system and he knows it is because he is the only one who hasn't got it down.


The watch is an idea.  I have found two - one is so large that it will embarrass him to wear to school and the other is hugely expensive.  So, I'm looking to see if there are any others out there.

post #4 of 4

I have absolutely no advice for you, but I can commiserate. We've been potty training our almost 3-year-old for almost a year. After several weeks of wearing underwear (with some accidents, especially of the No. 2 variety) she has decided that she doesn't want to use the potty anymore. But she does like to wear the underwear. Of course I told her that she can't wear the underwear if she isn't going to use the potty. Perhaps that will be incentive enough? Who knows.


Definitely think it's a perfectionistic, all-or-nothing kind of thing. Is your DS fiercely independent, too? I think part of the problem with my DD is that I was guiding her to the potty too much instead of just sucking up and allowing some accidents to happen just so she could initiate all of her trips to the bathroom. 

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