3 year old - won't tell me when he has to pee - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 7 Old 02-28-2008, 11:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi,
My son turned 3 a couple months ago. Around his BD, he had pretty much learned to do all his poop in the potty. He has no problem peeing in the potty when I prompt him to go, but if I don't remind him, he will wet his pants the majority of the time. We have been working on potty training since he was 2.5, so he has plenty of experience using the toilet, he loves to "pee like daddy" (standing up), but he just very rarely actually tells me he needs to go. I find that even if I ask him, he always says no doesn't need to pee, and then he'll have an accident like 10 min later.
In other areas, he is doing all the expected stuff for his age, this is really the only thing that he seems behind in, and I just feel at a loss as to how to help him get the hang of it.
It does frustrate me to be needing to be either going through several pairs of underwear and pants *every* day or to be trying to remind him at the right times to go. But I am trying very hard to be low key about it with him. When he has an accident, we have him put the wet clothes in the washing machine and help with getting new clothes, so he has some responsibility in it, but I try to just remind him- next time let's try to do that in the potty etc.
Any ideas?
Thanks!
Lisa
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#2 of 7 Old 02-28-2008, 11:43 PM
 
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I'm in the same boat although we have our own issues surrounding this. Would love to hear what others have to say.


 
 

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#3 of 7 Old 02-28-2008, 11:43 PM
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No ideas, just commiseration. We have been going through the same thing.
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#4 of 7 Old 03-01-2008, 11:21 AM
 
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Are you sure that he knows when he is going to pee? Maybe he is not associating that pre-pee sensation with urination. I do not know how it works with older ones, but somehow maybe when he has an accident, could you ask him whether he felt it coming or not? Does he hold himself or do other things that indicate he knows he has to go? If not, perhaps it's a physical awareness issue.

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#5 of 7 Old 03-01-2008, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmm, I'm not sure. I usually can't tell when he's going to pee, except occasionally he'll say he feels cold and moments later pee his pants. I could always tell before he was going to poop and rush him to the bathroom. But he's pretty good now about realizing that himself. Before he had the poop part down he actually would tell us when he had to pee sometimes, which is the strange part. As long as I remind him maybe every two hours to go pee, he can do that and pretty much avoid accidents (like maybe one accident every few days). So I have an idea how often he needs to pee, if I wait much longer than 2 hours, he is fairly likely to have an accident. The other odd thing has to do with if we go out. I still have him wear cloth training pants and I have him try potty before we leave. He has *never* had an accident when we are out, and granted we're not usually gone more than 2 hours, but sometimes he will actually tell us he needs to go. It's almost like he knows he can't have an accident when we're out (although we do bring a change of clothes, but I don't think he knows this). So I think he has some idea he has to go, but maybe at home he thinks he can wait longer or something, I'm not sure?
I had a thought that we might try rewards again. Does it make any sense to do something like this: he has a bowl with his reward for the day- like maybe 5 pieces of candy. Every time he has an accident we remove one. Then whatever is in there after dinner he gets. So if he pees his pants every time, he probably will end up with no candy, but if it's only once or twice he'll get most of the candy. We're trying to emphasize not having accidents. Does that put too much of a negative emphasis on the accident??
We've already done where he gets an m&m every time he goes potty or he gets a sticker on a chart and other things. They seem to help for a day or two and then he loses interest.

Lisa
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#6 of 7 Old 03-01-2008, 12:58 PM
 
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I don't know- the losing candy thing does seem to be pretty negative. But we EC and my daughter is only 1.5 (not potty trained, only partly). She also does not have accidents when we are out and about, though- I think it's instinct.

Maybe you just need to keep taking him and wait until he decides to tell you. One thought- when he says he is cold, maybe he is either starting to pee and that feel cold, or he is mixing sensations? Either way, I'd take him whenever he says that.

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#7 of 7 Old 03-01-2008, 01:10 PM
 
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My guess is the "problem" is that going potty is boring. Why would you want to stop playing to go potty?

We've EC'd from birth. From 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 months our son fussed every time he had to pee. Then the world got so interesting to him and he rarely told us he had to go. It was an up and down thing after that. At 15 months I realized he was simply bored with the whole thing and set out to make it fun. We tried stickers for awhile. We tried peeing on cheerios--that didn't work for us. We tried books--AH, success. Since then there has been a huge library in the bathroom.

At 19.5 months, he would stay dry as long as we took him to the bathroom throughout the day. At 25 months he told us every time he had to go. At 26 months he only tells us for poops.

So, my recommendation would be to just go with the flow. If he says he's cold or you think he has to pee, take him into the bathroom. "Let's go read a book while you sit on the potty."

I'd take him out of diapers when you're in public. Just pack extra pants and underwear. He knows diapers are where you go potty. It says a lot about his abilities that he doesn't pee in them when you're out. My son does the same. He is so busy having fun at home that he is not going to tell us, but he will tell us when we are out.

I definitely would not bring negative stuff (taking away candy) into it.

By the time he goes to college, he will probably be toilet trained. I am not a proponent of late potty training. I think all that does is teach a child to pee in their pants and it's hard for them to give up a strategy that was successful and parent-sanctioned. However, that is not what the issue is here. It sounds to me like he knows what to do, but is just bored by it. Soon he'll decide he doesn't want to pee his pants and he will stop.

Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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