OMGosh... I am in shock! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 81 Old 02-19-2007, 04:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, I called my sister today. They have one son who is 2.5 yrs old who they are trying to potty learn. As our kids are only 5 wks apart... I totally understand!

Well, we have very different parenting styles to start with... they FF and CIO and don't cosleep or anything. As a general rule, we don't offer each other advice as it turns into an argument. BTW, I am the big sis! It matters!

Well, he ds had had an accident and she was telling him that he had to use the potty and so on. Well then she calls her dh in and tells him. He says something I can't understand and my nephew says "NO, NO DAD!"

So I ask what's going on and shes nochalantly, that they are trying a new method because they will not have "a 3 yr old that is not potty trained". I ask what they are doing and she say... Ready to fall over dead?...

They SPANK HIM when he has an accident!!!!!!
:

I was so upset. I don't believe in spanking, but I know certain people do... but this? COME ON!!! He is 2.5!

So, I am going to read the anti spanking info, but anything else I should know? Also, how do I approach it effectively? I could only make it worse, but feel like I have to say something.

Sigh. Sick to my stomach and needing to go to bed. TIA.
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#2 of 81 Old 02-19-2007, 04:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I know!!! I was so in shock I didn't know what to say! I just told her I had to go. :
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#3 of 81 Old 02-19-2007, 04:46 AM
 
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Oh my g*d, that just brought out an audible gasp...WTF??? Do these people think humiliation and physical pain are going to convince that little one to sit on the potty? Man, if I'd have been on the phone with her....(I know, not my sis...) so sorry that you have to know about that .

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#4 of 81 Old 02-19-2007, 04:51 AM
 
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Ugh.

Every time he uses the bathroom, he is going to associate it with being punished.

:

Just tell your sister what's going through your mind. You'd be doing her a great favor.

Mama to my spirited J, and L, my homebirth: baby especially DTaP, MMR (family vax injuries)
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#5 of 81 Old 02-19-2007, 05:34 AM
 
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urinating on the toilet is a very brave thing to do, if he has fear with regard to emptying his bowels or urniating he will be terrified and not be able to be brave enough to use the toilet and will feel the need to hide when he does go. plus i think that boweld and bladder can only be controlled when a child feels relaxed and happy, a frightened child will have far less control in this area due to the underlying fear.

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#6 of 81 Old 02-19-2007, 06:21 AM
 
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I have a story. Friends of mine adopted a little boy at the age of 5. He had been in foster care from the time he was 2.5. Whenever he had an accident his foster mom would spank him viciously. When he came to my friends house he would stand in front of the toilet and SPANK HIMSELF so he could go to the bathroom...

You might want to pass that gem on to your sister. It's horrible. It's wrong and it's abuse.
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#7 of 81 Old 02-19-2007, 08:01 AM
 
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Wow, not only is your sister abusing her kid, but she's making things harder for herself and her husband in the process. I don't spank my dd, but I did get a little cranky when she pooped on the floor a few times. Guess what, it meant she regressed in her potty learning, and had a lot more accidents for a while!
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#8 of 81 Old 02-19-2007, 09:55 AM
 
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Hmm - abuse aside, do they know it may not be developmentally feasible for a 2.5 year old or 3 year old to put together all the concepts of toileting?? Sounds like besides their parenting skills, they might want to adjust their expectations. I think most pediatricians will back that up.
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#9 of 81 Old 02-19-2007, 10:03 AM
 
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Let me at er, let me at er!!!

Me and my wonderful husband serve God. Blessed with twin girls 2/11/11. <3

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#10 of 81 Old 02-19-2007, 11:56 AM
 
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Oh duh. Good grief -- I thought everyone in the world new how badly you can screw a kid up by punishing over toileting issues when they are 2 yo. You can do an internet search and find tons of information about why this is a BAD IDEA. This kid is going to have some issues. And regression, and set backs like they won't believe.

Not to mention, they are really stressing themselves out much more than its wroth.

I waited until my boys were 3 years old. Then I potty trained each of them in about 2-3 weeks. With no pain. It was almost the easiest aspect of parenting we encountered. They were ready -- period.
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#11 of 81 Old 02-19-2007, 12:10 PM
 
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The thought of that poor child being spanked for having an accident truly makes me sick to my stomach. It's called an accident for a reason, I wonder if they go around abusing each other if say someone accidently drops a glass.
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#12 of 81 Old 02-19-2007, 12:18 PM
 
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My brother and sil spanked their kids for accidents, too. Out of four kids:

the oldest potty learned before she was 2 (on her own)

the second child (girl) didn't potty learned until age FIVE because she was so afraid of it (and, I think, decided to exert some control over the situation by peeing/pooing everywhere unless they kept her in diapers)

the third child (boy) potty learned at age four and a half

the youngest potty trained fully by age three without being punished when he had an accident.

I guess bro/sil figured out how harmful it was before kid #4. They still "joke" about how much they had to spank Savanna in order to get her to go on the potty.

OP, I agree that you must say something...but I don't think it's going to change their minds.
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#13 of 81 Old 02-19-2007, 12:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tbone View Post
The thought of that poor child being spanked for having an accident truly makes me sick to my stomach. It's called an accident for a reason, I wonder if they go around abusing each other if say someone accidently drops a glass.
I was going to say the same thing. Does your sister spank her husband if he get a little pee on the seat.

Rachel
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#14 of 81 Old 02-19-2007, 12:31 PM
 
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That is so terrible and upsetting. My heart is breaking right now! : : :

I would pass on some anti-spanking info and also some potty training info as well. Poor baby!
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#15 of 81 Old 02-19-2007, 12:31 PM
 
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OMG, they sound totally vicious and out of control. How horrible for that little boy.
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#16 of 81 Old 02-19-2007, 12:33 PM
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Wow. Just wow. I can see why you would be in shock, I would be too. I would say something too because I would feel like I had to but I don't think I would expect any change. Just try to not make your sis feel defensive (if possible) because then she won't listen. Do you have a female authority figure/matriarch in your family you could enlist for help? Some women who have BTDT and can approach the situation without too much emotion might have a better chance getting through.

GL. Can we have her phone number, pretty please? :
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#17 of 81 Old 02-19-2007, 12:43 PM
 
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I don't know what would be the best thing to do. Lots of people have these arbitrary ages in their minds of when it becomes "gross" to change diapers. I just recently posted about a co-worker who forced her kids to PT starting at around the first birthday because she thought changing a 2yo's diapers was gross. There's no particular reason why a 3yo shouldn't still wear diapers. Did someone make some kind of comments to her, that it was gross, or is this something she read, or what? Where did she get this idea. Maybe one thing to do is tell her a 2.5 yo is GOING to have accidents, and hitting him isn't going to make his bladder work any better. Sort of related to that is, let's say 3 yo is plenty old enough to potty train and be out of diapers. This child is not 3. There's a big difference between 2.5yo and 3yo. Maybe she doesn't see that because she doesn't have a 3yo to compare him to, but they are way different. My 3yo is potty trained. When he was 2.5 he was not. He had accidents all over the place. But he didn't need to be spanked in order to finish potty learning before age 3. I think that might be the approach I'd take. "Look, sis, I'm not sure why you think you have to start spanking him to get him to potty train by age 3. Kids can learn how to use the potty by age 3 without having to be punished 6 months in advance." I mean, you said she is trying this as a "new method" so that makes it sound like they are trying to PT him way to early, it wasn't working, they think there's something wrong with him, not realizing that they are just starting way too far in advance, so they are at the point of desperation now and think the only thing that will work is the one method they haven't tried yet - spanking. I would just tell her, it's really not necessary, 2.5 is too young to expect "no accidents" but by 3yo he will naturally be much better, without all the punishment.

Or maybe you could suggest that they have a talk with their pediatrician. Will they listen to him? I'm thinking most peds would tell the parents to stop spanking for accidents.

Are they so mainstream that they like Dr. Phil? Even Dr. Phil says he can tell which adults were PT "at gunpoint" as children. On his article about his PTing method, he says "If your child has an accident in his underwear, don't scold him. You want this to be a positive experience." And that even after you get them to use it the first time, expect accidents and don't scold: "When your child has an accident, simply take him/her to the bathroom ten times in a row as you did before. This will continue to build muscle memory. And don't forget to keep up the positive reinforcement."

http://drphil.com/articles/article/264/

I don't know where she thought up this "method" but I would just stress that it is unecessary for getting the kid to use the potty by age 3, but also it is well agreed by experts and peds that it is phsychologically damaging.

Single mom of 2 boys
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#18 of 81 Old 02-19-2007, 12:47 PM
 
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How sad for your sister's little boy! This infuriates me but makes me sad for him. My dad tried doing this with me and ended up going to the Dr (my dad thought it was a bright idea to spank me when I pooped my pants when I was 2. I then didn't poop for like a week or so and had to go to the Dr)

I hope something changes and she realizes that this is NOT a good approach :bighug:
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#19 of 81 Old 02-19-2007, 03:29 PM
 
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Tell her that she and her dh are wrong.
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#20 of 81 Old 02-19-2007, 03:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mom22girls View Post
Hmm - abuse aside, do they know it may not be developmentally feasible for a 2.5 year old or 3 year old to put together all the concepts of toileting?? Sounds like besides their parenting skills, they might want to adjust their expectations. I think most pediatricians will back that up.
It is absolutely developmentally feasible to not pee in your clothes at age 2.5. It has become unusual for many reasons but in the 90s it was normal.

Having said that I am sick to the stomach thinking about the OP's dn *knowing* what was going to happen to him for having an accident and saing 'no, no' to his dad. They are abusing him and its wrong no two ways about it.
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#21 of 81 Old 02-19-2007, 03:44 PM
 
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Wow, I'm pretty darn non-judgmental but that's obscene. Suggest she ask her pediatrician about it. I'm sure s/he's a mainstream doc and they'll give her/his facts more credence than yours. I cannot imagine ANYONE supporting that--it's stupid, develop. inappropriate and abusive. Poor kid's going to spend lots on therapy in 20 years.
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#22 of 81 Old 02-19-2007, 03:45 PM
 
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It is absolutely developmentally feasible to not pee in your clothes at age 2.5. It has become unusual for many reasons but in the 90s it was normal.

Having said that I am sick to the stomach thinking about the OP's dn *knowing* what was going to happen to him for having an accident and saing 'no, no' to his dad. They are abusing him and its wrong no two ways about it.
I think that it is a huge assuption to think that it is absolutely feasible to expect a 2.5 year old not to have accidents. All children are different and PT at different times.

They are abusing their son for being a normal child. They are wrong and I am disgusted.
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#23 of 81 Old 02-19-2007, 03:49 PM
 
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Most pediatricians now are of the mindset that you should let the child lead and not to push and it's closer to 3 when a child is physically able to control pee/poop. Have her talk to her pediatrician about this.

Maybe suggest there might be something physically wrong instead of him being "stubborn", or whatever they feel he is being, and have the pediatrician evaluate him. If they get the talk from someone "official" then they might reconsider their, uh, technique.
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#24 of 81 Old 02-19-2007, 03:51 PM
 
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there is a friend of my family that has three sons, one is a month old, one is a year older than Addy and one is 7.
the three year old has been working on potty learning for a year. its taken him a LONG time, ebcause... everytime he has an accident.. they spank him. hard.
his dad, who is a very blue collar good ol boy isnt even the spanker for potty infractions, its the mama, the one i ahve known since i was 4.
when i found out, after rushing him to the bathroom when he said he had to go, and he had pooped in his pullup just before getting his pants down ( ) he started crying and shaking saying he was going to get a spanking. i was in SHOCK. i told him "no one should ever hurt you. especially not for having an accident. dont worry babe", and gave him a big ol hug then when i had a moment alone with his aprents i tried to explain to him that spanking him about potty isssues will NOT help, and thats probably why its been taking him SO long to potty learn. that children who associate negative feelings about their bodies own natural behaviors, like going to the bathroom, etc will cause MAJOR psychological problems later on down the road, not to mention its HURTING him now, physically and emotionally.
their response was "well you dont know what you are talking about cause you have a lil girl, and she potty learned early so she didnt have any porblems, he has problems so we are fixing them by spanking him. we arent hurting him." its almost IMPOSSIBLE to get spankers to listen and understand that spanking IS hurting the child.
i am so sorry you had to hear that on the phone with your nephews. what a terrible thing to experience. maybe you could print up some antispank lit and mail it to her?

treehugger.gif )O( unschooling, witchy mum to Addy(7) and Niamh(4)
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#25 of 81 Old 02-19-2007, 04:05 PM
 
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I am one of those people who absolutely HATES changing toddler diapers. Makes me gag, seriously sick to my stomach. Blech. Between 2 and 2.5, both of my older children seemed like they could use the potty. I don't know how much they wanted to, but they weren't really against it. We just took the diapers off, which I know some consider a no-no but it worked like a charm for us. Took like, a week to day-pt them. Just told them "No more diapers. You use the potty now." Seriously incredibly easy. I think the key is to NOT use diapers at ALL, except at night if they dont have the bladder control to go all night. I think at 2 or 3, most children can definitely use the potty and I think it is better for everybody involved. And you definitely need to be low-key and matter-of-fact about it.

That being said, I totally agree with the PP's that spanking the poor kid is horrible and completely counter-productive. I think you should definitely try to offer some support or ideas on other ways to do it. Have they tried rewards (like candy? Not really my cup of tea, but I think it can give them enough incentive to *try* going on the potty, you know? Then once they see it's kinda neat, they might want to keep doing it.) Or really, if they haven't tried completely going cold turkey w. the diapers they should. I think pull ups can be confusing to the kid.

Anyway I really understand why they would be sick of changing diapers. I REEEAALLY do. Toddler poop is just..ick. So I understand her desperation. I think maybe offering her some alternatives may be the best way to go, you know?
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#26 of 81 Old 02-19-2007, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just have a moment, but wanted to thank everyone for their reply. I have been thinking about it alot and will share what I think i will do when the kiddos go to bed. Keep them coming... the more mainstream the better.
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#27 of 81 Old 02-19-2007, 04:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mom22girls View Post
Hmm - abuse aside, do they know it may not be developmentally feasible for a 2.5 year old or 3 year old to put together all the concepts of toileting?? Sounds like besides their parenting skills, they might want to adjust their expectations. I think most pediatricians will back that up.
Well, if it was truly the case that humans are incapaple of controlling their sphincter and bladder muscles until 3 + years, what would the 95% of the world that doesn't use diapers do? Obviously, children (my little 4mos ds included!) are indeed capable of all the aspects of toileting minus the developmental milestone of being able to maneuver themselves onto an apropriate recepticle. This is what he relies on me to help him with.

Children in America are diaper-learned and subsequently potty-learned, or, un-diaper-learned. Children stuck in diapers lose the ability to recognize the need to go to the toilet and it is a hard thing (in most cases) for them to re-learn.

I don't want to hiijack the OP thread. I just wanted to throw that out and clear the waters.

Mamma to 3! nurslings Emma (4) Daniel (3) and our new baby Beth! 10/10/09
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#28 of 81 Old 02-19-2007, 04:47 PM
 
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Ask your sister how she would feel if, every time she performed a bodily function, she knew that someone was going to strike her painfully? Just let her stew on that one for a while. They are creating an association in this child's mind between pain/fear on the one hand, and peeing/pooping on the other. There are excellent odds that they are actually delaying the time when he will be able to successfully use the potty, rather than speeding it up.

I'd also probably suggest some of the other potty-training methods that people have used, i.e. the "no diapers anymore" method. I would actually probably recommend that at this point they just drop the entire issue for a while, since it's become this huge traumatic problem, and then when they revisit it, try something non-punitive.
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#29 of 81 Old 02-19-2007, 05:05 PM
 
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Let's not muddy this discussion with a debate about EC (elimination communication- teaching babies to use a potty/toilet rather than diapers.) Most EC babies are fully capable of staying clean and dry long before they enter the "strong negative" stage of being 2 or 2.5.

What we have here is a 2.5yo who HAS been using diapers for the past 2.5 years. Developmentally it's a difficult time to learn how to use the toilet for the first time- they want to be independent and NOT do what mama and papa want them to do, and games are far too interesting to pause them for a bathroom break.

It's doubtful these parents are going to listen to any anti-spanking info, certainly not if you outright tell them "you're wrong and I'm right." I think if you don't teach them (the parents) a better method of potty training, they'll keep on spanking for "accidents." How about a bribe/positive reinforcement, such as a sticker or a candy every time the child successfully uses the toilet/potty? Then another reward (such as new undies the child picks out?) after being reliably dry/clean for a while.

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#30 of 81 Old 02-19-2007, 05:27 PM
 
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this thread brought back such vivid memories for me.
My folks had a frined who not only hit her child for accidents but then pinned the soiled underwear to his clothes! Even as a child I thought that was way messed up.
It makes me physically ill to think that poor baby is being hit for having accidents. We are right in the middle of PT our 2 1/2 year old... we just took away the diapers and got one of those little portable potties and it is just in whatever room we are in. And we just remind him often or every hour or so I take hime to the toilet. But he seems ready. My dd wasn't ready until she was 3, my oldest son (now 9) wasn't ready until just before 3 1/2, and ds#2 was ready at about 2. We did to a reward thing, like new undies and maybe some special treat (like out for ice cream or lunch with dad or mom alone).
It can be frustrating to have to clean up accidents, but if it happens alot, maybe he isn't ready yet. What is the hurry? It is "nasty" to change toddler poop, it is nastier to hit a child. Poor baby.

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