can't/won't pee at "school" - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 06-01-2011, 07:58 PM - Thread Starter
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We were celebrating potty training success (internally) Monday night when my son kept his underwear dry all day. And then it was time to go back to school...


He is 3 years, 3 months.


He had been a reluctant potty-er for a while, and completely refusing at school, but we went for it anyway. Warned him weeks and days ahead of time. Got rid of all the diapers. Day 1 was the pits. Halfway through day 2 we changed methods: go to potty every hour. if he doesn't go, go back in a half hour. it worked. Day 3 he was dry. He even initiated a few trips on his own. Including a poop at the end of day 1 (stroke of luck? probably). He stayed dry every night and naptime.


Day 1 back at school: attempted multiple times in morning with plenty of waiting and no success. He was dry when he woke up from nap but peed in his pants soon after, cried a lot, peed some more, cried some more. I dropped by (I'm lucky to work only two blocks away) and the urine flowed as soon as he got his arm around my neck. I should note he has been peeing pretty consistently with me when I drop him off and pick him up. And we've been giving him treats (:-( "choco-caramels"), even for attempts, but they said he didn't ask for them at school so they didn't offer.


Day 2 back at school (today): attempted many times, no success. Peed in his pants many times. Peed when Daddy stopped by to drop off more clothes mid-day.


I asked the teacher if other kids do this. She said yes but they are in pull-ups. So I'm the only one doing it this way?


His teacher said he thinks he's doing it on purpose. I have a hard time believing that. Anxiety? Shy bladder? He has said things like "they're mad at me because I don't pee" and, when he successfully pees in the potty at school: "Don't tell [teacher's name]". But I'm pretty sure they aren't being hard on him, except for taking him so often (which I did suggest in the first place) and having him sit there for 10 minutes (maybe with a book?).  The teacher has tried to keep the others out so he has some privacy but he wants her to stay.


What should we do?


He's going to grandma's tomorrow where he has been as reluctant as he was at school but he has a much closer relationship with her than with his teachers.


My inclination is to stick to our guns, continue to stop by once or twice a day if necessary, ask them to lay off a bit (not take him every half-hour), send a ton of changes of clothes, and just wait for him to get used to doing it enough with me there that he relaxes enough to do it without me. My sense from the teachers is that they are pretty squeamish about peeing in the pants. But tough. Right? Urine is sterile. Does everyone keep their kids in diapers until they are reliably dry? No wonder it takes so long.  Thank you!!

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#2 of 5 Old 06-02-2011, 05:30 AM - Thread Starter
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now he's peeing in his pants at home and not in the potty. :-(


should I move this to the potty learning tribe?

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#3 of 5 Old 06-02-2011, 10:47 AM
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Sounds to me like there is way too much pressure and you should just lay off. He will be able to do it when he is ready. Just go back to diapers for a while, or just do diapers at school. We had the same problem -- potty success at home, but not at day care situation. However, he only had a couple of accidents and would just hold it in the whole day (he was also 3 and 3months). I really think he just didn't feel comfortable enough with it. Finally, after about a month or even two, he started going there as well. It took him a long time to feel comfortable with it, and he still goes as little there as possible.


Why pressure so much? Pull-ups for school until he really gets the hang of it at home and it's second nature for him. He'll be ready soon enough.

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#4 of 5 Old 06-02-2011, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I guess initiating potty training without him being interested himself is a bit of pressure. But that's why we're super casual about every other aspect. All we ask is that he try. And he seems perfectly willing to. We've even cut back on the praise because he seems to see that as pressure. I refuse to by (any more) pull-ups. But we could do diapers there for a while...


Anybody else?

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#5 of 5 Old 06-02-2011, 06:59 PM
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I'd stick with it for at least a week.  Make sure you and the teachers are very non chalant about the accidents, and I'd cut back on the frequency of potty trips.  Every half hour is a lot.  The book Diaper Free Before Three has some interesting information about where the theory of "potty readiness" came from, and some studies about potty learning.  And she does address those older than 3. 

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