Potty problems at preschool! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 7 Old 10-09-2008, 09:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey mamas,

I'm hoping for some help from you! Here's the story: DS turned 3 in July and since ~ 2 months now he's fully potty trained (well.. except at night we still use a pull-up to be safe). He goes for #1 and #2 by himself with no problem, he even comes into the house when he's playing with friends and DD in the yard or playground right across our street.

2.5 weeks ago he started going to preschool, which is Italian where the teacher speaks a little bit of English. (We're military and lots of military kids go there; DS has actually 6 other American kids in his class.)
The first week was tough emotionally where he didn't want to go (of course), but never the less he went to the potty there with no accidents... until now! For the past 1.5 weeks he's suddenly having accidents every single day and I'm at a loss what to do right now! I talk to him, ask him why etc. (I never yell or get angry, obviously. I know that wouldn't make it better!) He says he goes to the potty there.. but clearly either not often enough or realizes it too late?..

What can I do about this? I try to encourage him by saying he's a big boy (which he says himself that he doesn't want/need diapers [i.e. pull ups] anymore!) etc. but slowly I don't know what to do! Should I get back to using pull ups for the short hours that he's at preschool (part time) or would I set him back with this? Talking clearly doesn't seem to help.. nor does bribing with candy as I did that today and he had TWO accidents today where they needed to use another kids' spare clothes for him!..

Please share some input, encouragement, anything!!! I never had any kind of problems with DD (who was PT'ed at 20 months, by the time she was 3 she was having no accidents at all anymore..) and I'm seriously at my wits end!..

~*Val*~ Vegan SAHM to DD (2/02) DS (7/05) 6x and wife to my best friend.
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#2 of 7 Old 10-09-2008, 10:47 AM
 
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At DD's preschool they expect the kids to have accidents. DD had 2 last week. They don't make a big deal of it, the teacher told all the parents that she always tells the children if they have an accident "it's ok. Mommy won't get mad, the clothes can be washed." And she told us parents that we absolutely have to back her up on that, and not make a big deal out of it. I think they feel that the wet clothes etc has it's own impact and is a more effective incentive for the child than anything we parents could do or say. Can you just send a few extra outfits to school and then try and completely let go of worrying about it? I think some potty training regression is pretty normal if a little one is also adjusting to school. I've heard several parents at our school talk about it. Plus the language barrier could make it even harder to let the teacher know etc.

I know it's hard to let go sometimes. I find it makes me soooo angry when DD keeps saying she doesn't have to go potty when I know she does. But anytime that I've tried to insist it's totally backfired. She does best when I completely let up the pressure.
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#3 of 7 Old 10-09-2008, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your comment, Shaki!
See, my neighbor here works at the CDC (child development center) on base [which we didn't chose because a) it's a long(er) drive and more importantly b) more $ than we can afford right now..] and she also said that in that age the teachers all know that accidents are prone to happen and that this would be why they also have the kids on a 'pee schedule' more or less to where they all go one after the other. Here on the other hand it seems as if it's completely up to the kid alone *sigh* and on top the language barrier...
It's just so frustrating when I'm almost being 'accused' as a mother and don't know how to change it, you know?
Maybe I am making indeed to much pressure on DS with all the talking about it???
We're only here since 3 months and my Italian is still by far only the very basic but maybe I should try to talk to the teacher together with someone who speaks Italian and find out how exactly it goes?..
And you're right, here at home I do sometimes have to tell him that he has to go pee (I can tell when he starts playing with his little wee wee.. -not sure if they look for signs like that in preschool?) and he denies it, to where I need to insist on him going to the bathroom.. *sigh*

I guess for now I really have to add an extra pair of clothes just to be safe...
Pull ups would definately set him back in the progress, wouldn't they?..

~*Val*~ Vegan SAHM to DD (2/02) DS (7/05) 6x and wife to my best friend.
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#4 of 7 Old 10-09-2008, 03:01 PM
 
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I hear you!

It sounds like you are actually getting pressure from the teacher, like your DC is somehow at fault for this? Maybe it's a cultural thing? I don't know. Sounds like your idea to talk with the teacher-with the help of someone who speaks better Italian-might help clarify things.

I've heard that underwear are better than pull-ups, partly because the accident factor helps kids learn. I've noticed that my DD tends to be a little lazier when she is in pull-ups. Her attitude seems to be "we'll I've got these pull-ups on, so I can just pee in my pants if I don't feel like going to the potty," so now I only use pull-ups when we're in a situation where dealing with an accident would be really hard. And at night. On the other hand if it'll help you guys get through a rough patch...maybe it'd be ok. I'm no expert this is my first kid and we are right in the thick of potty training ourselves.

Hang in there Mama!
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#5 of 7 Old 10-09-2008, 06:00 PM
 
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Your child is just three years old. He is very young and is still in the learning phase. Potty training goes on for a long time...I'm still trying to get my boys to pee in the potty, not on or around it and the kids are still working on remembering to flush! All kids are different...my dh went back into pull ups at night when she was almost 5 after being "potty trained" for almost three years. New schools take about 4 weeks to adjust to. Developmentally your kid is in a very normal range to be having accidents at a new school. It's not developmentally appropriate to expect talking with him to change anything. Most likely he feels bad about it and wishes it were different too. I teach preschool and I tell parents experiencing this to say "we're just wearing a pull up to school. we can take it off when you come home" matter-of-factly. Don't make it an emotional issue. He'll come back around in time.

I just reread your post, and two months of potty trained isn't that long. You should expect regressions with transition, with sickness, etc., for a while.

JENNY, 38~ preschool teacher, birth activist, sun worshiper, singer, married for 17 years and mom to

Karan 15, Fiona 12, Bodhi 10, Bjorn 6, Devon 3, and Robin Taylor born January 16th!

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#6 of 7 Old 10-09-2008, 06:06 PM
 
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He's at a preschool where the teacher speaks a language he doesn't understand? I'd say absolutely let him wear a pullup during school until he feels more secure there.

That's a lot of huge transitions for a little guy!
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#7 of 7 Old 10-11-2008, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for your kind replies!!!
I spoke to the lady who's the bus monitor (all kids are being picked up at the front of the gate to the housing and transported to the school and back, which is ~ 10 min. away -it's a small bus for ~ 20 people, not a real big one!) and also coordinator between Americans and Italian school. She said not to worry and that accidents happen; so I guess I might have felt the pressure on me completely by my own fault.. Furthermore she explained that the kids are being brought to the bathroom every 30 min., so it's not that they expect the little ones to do it on their own necessarily. I spoke to a few other parents and one said, her DD wasn't comfortable (yet?) going to the bathroom there and she tends to hold it.. Maybe it's the same with DS, only that after a while he can't hold it any longer? I'm not too sure though as I've seen the evidence that he's done #2 over there [I guess nobody helps/checks? to wipe as he's not able yet to do it by himself..]...

After the day I originally posted this thread I didn't talk much with DS about the incident, wanting to just give him some peace and surprisingly, the next day there were no accidents!.. Did I make too much pressure with my previous talks with him? I don't know, but now that I know that the teacher doesn't expect a young child his age to fully be potty trained and rather count on accidents, I'm more relaxed myself too.

It was helpful to me to read your responses; especially from those of you who're in the school business and have more insight from that level! (Thank you, mataji4)

I decided that we won't use pull ups on him as I'm afraid it might set him back (after all, he seems to be more lazy as a boy; when he wears a pull up, he pees in it and doesn't bother going to the bathroom!..) and simply include another extra set of spare clothes!

All in all, after having read your comments and giving the subject some thinking plus the talk to the lady, made me really relax more and just accept it as it is! The least I want is to put pressure on my child!!!

Thank you all again!!!

~*Val*~ Vegan SAHM to DD (2/02) DS (7/05) 6x and wife to my best friend.
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