Am I supposed to be doing something? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 10-12-2014, 07:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Am I supposed to be doing something?

My son is three. We had a good run this summer of him either peeing on the potty pretty consistently or else asking to go outside and peeing on the ground. He would always ask for a diaper if he had to poo, though.

We're back to him wanting a diaper all of the time, or else if he's bare bum, he'll occasionally pee on the potty, but mostly just randomly wherever he's standing.

I guess my question is...should I be doing something further to encourage him to use the potty? Eventually, he'll just be done with going in his pants, right? Or is there a developmental window I've got to catch?

Your advice is appreciated!

Tara
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#2 of 7 Old 10-14-2014, 11:48 AM
 
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At 3, I'm assuming he's at least somewhat verbal. How much do you talk about using the potty? Have you asked him why he doesn't use it as much and gone back to diapers? Have you asked him why he doesn't want to poop on the potty? Pooing on the potty can be a lot scarier for kids than pee, and he may need a lot more guidance and support in doing it before he's comfortable.

Each kid is different. He may one day start using the potty without any prompting from you, but he also may need more guidance. He won't necessarily one day just "be done with" going in his pants, there are kids in kindergarten who are having problems because they refuse to poo outside a diaper, and can't have a diaper in kindergarten, so they freak out. They aren't necessarily the rule,but it's certainly possible. Some kids find peeing and pooing in their pants/diaper to be very comfortable and familiar while pottying is scary, and why not? It's all they've known since they were born.

It may help to remember that no part of potty-training is "natural". Diaper training (teaching kids to pee on something against their skin anywhere they please) isn't natural, it actually goes against their natural instincts. Using the potty isn't natural. Before modern times, people would squat in specific areas, areas that often smelled like waste to act as a reminder. Sitting on a bowl in the middle of the house that smells clean (hopefully!) isn't something our instincts recognize. You can certainly be gentle, respectful, and loving while potty training, you can wait until your child is ready to do it- but don't expect potty training to be a natural developmental milestone. Again, there are some kids who one day wake up and decide they're done with diapers and potty train themselves- but most kids need guidance from us to learn this new skill.

(along with that point about sitting on the bowl- some people have had a lot of success with piling books up so that their kid is in a 'squat' position while sitting on the potty, because it's a more natural position and makes pooing easier, just a suggestion in case your kid has trouble pooing on the potty)

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#3 of 7 Old 10-16-2014, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your reply. I'd never thought of things in those terms, in that we do it backwards by getting them used to going in a diaper and then expect them to make the change. I think he will definitely need some more guidance from me to make this happen. Unfortunately we've got some travel coming up in a few weeks, which will eventually take us to another country for 2 months. So I think I may have to put things off until we get back.

He is very verbal, and I've asked him why he doesn't like to go on the potty. He just parrots back "yeah, why?" but hasn't really given me a real reason. He hates diaper changes though, especially after pooing. It is a long negotiation usually ending in tears to get a dirty diaper off him. I don't understand that. He is not at all bothered by a soiled diaper.

The squatting suggestion is a good one...often this summer, if he wasn't peeing on the potty, he would come outside with me and squat around the yard. We live out in the country, with no neighbours, and we use an outhouse.

Thanks again, I think I have some reading/research to do!
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#4 of 7 Old 10-17-2014, 03:24 PM
 
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Yeah, potty training while traveling can be rough. It may be better to wait. You can keep a potty on hand and mention it to him form time to time, let him try using it if he wants, but no stress.

Underwear can be an incentive to get a kid to use the potty. I honestly think it's what's going to get our kid out of diapers- he's a bit annoyed that he can't wear big kid undies and tried using the potty after I explained he could only wear them if he pees/poos on the potty.

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Originally Posted by BushMama83 View Post
He hates diaper changes though, especially after pooing. It is a long negotiation usually ending in tears to get a dirty diaper off him. I don't understand that. He is not at all bothered by a soiled diaper.
It's a side effect of diapers that a lot of adults forget- all he's known his whole life is having his waste snuggled up next to him. A warm, comforting feeling. To us, it's disgusting- but if you're entire life you've been wrapped in a diaper and been accustomed to the feeling of your waste on your skin, that's what's comfortable. There are kids who actually say they like the feeling of pee and poo in their diaper. He might even say it as well. I imagine at some point that leaving him in it, he'll start getting uncomfortable enough to ask (it will cause a rash)- but I'm not suggesting you wait for that!

Reading might be a good idea. I've seen a few books that help remind us what diapers vs potty are like for kids, which can make it easier to approach it. Potties can be scary to use. Diapers are basically the ultimate in privacy, potties can make them feel exposed. They get used to peeing/pooping with something snug against them to catch it, now we expect them to pee/poo in the open air where their waste will fall into some receptacle.

Toddlers can have a different sense of their own waste than we have. For us, it's generally something gross to be gotten rid of- for them, it's a production of their body, something that they may feel a sense of possession and even pride of, something new to explore.

If you look at it from a long-potty-trained adult's standpoint- it makes no darn sense. It's so hygienic and comfortable to use the toilet! Peeing your pants is uncomfortable and humiliating! Why WOULDN'T the kid be clamoring to get out of diapers?! You have to look at it from the perspective of a kid who's only ever known diapers.

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The squatting suggestion is a good one...often this summer, if he wasn't peeing on the potty, he would come outside with me and squat around the yard. We live out in the country, with no neighbours, and we use an outhouse.

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#5 of 7 Old 10-27-2014, 07:13 PM
 
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Potty training is really difficult for parents as well as for kids too. You don't have to force your son to be dry or clean under his pants but you can set conditions to help potty train himself. My child learns to use the toilet when he saw his older cousin using the toilet too. From then on he uses the toilet every time he poo and pee.

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#6 of 7 Old 10-27-2014, 07:51 PM
 
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Another Layer

Quote:
Originally Posted by sillysapling View Post
Diapers are basically the ultimate in privacy, potties can make them feel exposed.
We're not really trying to potty train yet -- my daughter's 21 months and I'm not going to push it. However, this comment and the whole discussion about potty training from the kid's perspective made me think of a possible snag.

My daughter has always pooed standing up rather than squatting (which will be a challenge in itself to address) and she's almost always done it in the room with us rather than hiding in a corner or behind furniture as some kids do. The funny thing is, lately when I notice an expression or held breath and ask her if she's pooping, she gets mad and shakes her head and waves her finger at me. I tell her that's fine, I won't look at her, but that it's a good thing. Everybody poops, pooping is a good thing, yada yada.

Long story short: as you pointed out, having a diaper affords her a sense of privacy even when she's a few feet away from me. So when she's adjusting to the newness and open air of the potty, I can see how the conflicting desires for privacy and support (both literal and figurative) from mama can add yet another layer of difficulty to pooing on the potty.

Whew! Being a parent isn't easy but being a kid has got to be tougher!
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#7 of 7 Old 11-06-2014, 06:21 AM
 
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Not sure if this will help but what helped me with my breakthrough this summer with my 4 year old was when we were sitting outside and talking about how the birds were flying around and landing on the trees... I told him a story about how the trees are thirsty and that's why we need to pee in the potty.... A couple of weeks later he was asking what the trees ate.... I guess you can figure how that conversation went. Needless to say potty training continued until the past couple of months when he reverted.

Keep trying... Boys may need bribery, encouragement, tall tales...I'm still trying to figure my 4 year old out... Then I get to potty train my 3 year old daughter :-O

Hang in there!
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