Potty Training and the Gifted Toddler - Mothering Forums
Parenting the Gifted Child > Potty Training and the Gifted Toddler
breezyleigh's Avatar breezyleigh 05:14 PM 01-06-2012

What a pain in the bum...literally.  She has almost a constant rash because she now refuses to have her BM in the potty.


Anyone else have big issues with potty training?


Milestones have all been there massively early and then some.  The potty, however, is a bear.  I'm met with, "Momma.  I don't want to poop in the potty.  I need to poop in my pants," and tantrums galore.  She did, at one time about a year ago, use the toilet for both, but now she "prefers," as she tells me, to pee in the potty and poop in her pants.


I know I have to just be understanding and she will go on her own time, but as we edge nearer to 3, I get a bit more nervous.  She will say, "I know poop belongs in the potty," but she won't do it.  She shows every sign of readiness BUT actually the desire to use it.


Any suggestions?  I know children who are gifted show a bit of resistance, generally, so I am hoping someone can help me out!

whatsnextmom's Avatar whatsnextmom 05:23 PM 01-06-2012

My own two were fully trained at 2 but we know a handful of kids that didn't train until 4. There was no question they were capable... they just didn't want to do it. Truly, all you can do is avoid it becoming a power struggle and wait it out. She's not yet 3. It's frustrating when you know she can handle it physically but until she is ready to do it mentally, there is nothing you can do but be patient and again, not let it turn into a power struggle.

pianojazzgirl's Avatar pianojazzgirl 08:40 PM 01-06-2012

That was me at that age.  My mom tells me that I just didn't want to do it until I wanted to do it.  Then, from that day forward, I used the toilet (day and night) with never an accident.


I think you're going to have to leave the ball in her court on this one.

moominmamma's Avatar moominmamma 11:56 AM 01-07-2012

My youngest trained at 13 months. Totally and reliably. My middle two around their second birthdays. My eldest, though, was 39 months. She was driven by a desire to do things according to "not someone else's agenda." Meaning "if my parents are invested in something, I will assert myself by opposing that."


Agree with the previous posters. The only way to win this battle is not to play. Don't engage. Be matter-of-fact. Take all the pressure off. Don't express frustration. Leave the ball in her court entirely. Make a deal with yourself that you will accept her being in diapers until age 3.5 or some such thing. Take the pressure of that third birthday off yourself and off her. 





breezyleigh's Avatar breezyleigh 02:16 PM 01-07-2012

Thanks, everyone.  Honestly, we had a lot of luck with it around 20 months, so I thought we were done.  But, then again, we both have pressure from her father and that, I can't stop, so she is getting mixed messages.  She's just so advanced in everything...BUT this, so I suppose the balance has to be somewhere.  It's just difficult when one side of the parenting duo listens to nothing on the other.  Her half-sister was very similar, but not sure when she finally trained and both are quite ahead in most other areas.


I'll leave the ball in her court.  It is definitely frustrating, though, when she knowledge and ability are there and she just plain doesn't want to, especially when the rash is annoying and painful to her.

jemar's Avatar jemar 10:37 PM 01-07-2012

My DD didn't poop in the potty until she was 4. If you search the internet you will find that Dr. Jay Gordon thinks this is preferable to having a constipated kid. I showed that article to my DH and he relaxed about the whole situation.

LynnS6's Avatar LynnS6 01:58 PM 01-08-2012

Another voice for back off. Tell her you know she'll do it when she's ready. Ask her to come to you for a diaper when she needs to poop. Unfortunately, you really can't make her go. Both of my kids were trained for pee long before poop. It's a once a day event or so, so it really isn't worth a power struggle. My oldest sister made the mistake (she admits it) of getting into a power struggle with her daughter. For her second, she gave him a diaper and told him she knew he'd be ready. It worked much better.


I have a sneaking suspicion that gifted kids want a lot of control over their lives (at least that's the pattern in our family), and it's far too easy and harmful to battle over this issue.

starling&diesel's Avatar starling&diesel 02:12 PM 01-08-2012

My daughter was going in the potty at 15 months ... until she decided not to, for some reason.  So I knew she had the skill and self-awareness required, but she wasn't interested.  Perhaps the novelty had worn off?

Anyway, we backed off.  We left the potty out.  Welcomed her into the bathroom with us when we went, and talked up the toilet as a cool thing.   It wasn't until one day when she was about 27 months old that she decided that she was done with diapers.   Permanently.  No charts, no rewards, no strategy, no 'systems', no pull-ups, no pressure, no accidents.  I'm glad we backed off.  Not stressing about it was lovely.  I plan on doing the same with her little brother.  I watch my friends struggle with rewards and charts and timelines, and it looks and sounds quite arduous for everyone involved. 

Happy pottying!

Aufilia's Avatar Aufilia 05:06 PM 01-14-2012

Some may disapprove but I've found bribery highly useful with both kids.  DD was pee trained around 27 months but since she'd been constipated since she started solids she hated pooping.  Even though we had miralax (which was prescription at the time) and another shorter-acting stool softner, she could and would hold it for days.  But that was with a diaper or without, she didn't have a preference, she just hated pooping.  Bananas made constipation worse but she loved them, so we bribed her by letting her have a banana only after pooping.  We pushed the banana thing really hard for a long time.  Around 3.5 she didn't need bribes anymore but she would still ask for bananas.  With DS (also just about 27 months now), he just doesn't think about it ahead of time/doesn't want to stop what he's doing to go/doesn't care too much, so after a few in-the-undies incidents over the last couple weeks I've started bribing him with candy.  I know, I know, candy... but it works. I'm sure we'll have to keep it up for awhile but I am confident that eventually he'll develop intrinsic motivation and move on.

Tigerle's Avatar Tigerle 09:00 AM 01-15-2012

I wouldn't worry too much about the mixed messages (I understand her father doesn't live with you?).  I firmly believe children can deal with different expectations in different environments, even somewhat unrealistic ones, as long as you as the (presumably) primary caretaker keep the pressure low.


DS was getting pressure from both grandmothers, who started putting him on the potty much earlier than I would have (as I am a WOHM, they help out a lot with childcare), and the DCP who felt he was behind because he wasn't interested in the potty at just over two and recommended sticker charts and "not getting into a power struggle" by which they meant not to give inrolleyes.gif.

I wasn't worried, told the grandmothers and the DCP to take it easy and that he'd be there in his own good time and that I couldn't for the life of me understand what was gained by trying to get rid of diapers and forcing a child on the potty who wasn't ready to say I've got to go, for either bathroom need (even though he could say everything else, in perfect grammar). I don't understand it to this day. (Particularly if it's just about the poop - that's just one pullup a day, what's the big deal?) I hope the DCP heeded my request, I'm pretty sure the grandmothers didn't - however, that is a generational thing and I have found out there are limits to how much pressure you can put on that relationship without it backfiring, and, being generally on the same page, I only put my foot down when it's a real health-and-safety concern (but can someone tell me why that generation feels the need to push juice at children all.the.time?) He was ready at 2y10m after saying he needed to go for about a week or so, then asked to be rid of diapers. That was it. No stickers, bribes, whatever. (I am not bashing bribes, if you need them you need them and it's usually only for a short time).



She's just so advanced in everything...BUT this, so I suppose the balance has to be somewhere


At some point both you and her father may have to read up a bit more on asynchronous development. It's not about balance - it's about being ready to accept that she may show age-appropriate behaviour in all respects that have to do with physical and socio-emotional development, all of which may be masked by advanced verbal ability. She isn't actually behind, but both your expectations are ahead.

RiverTam's Avatar RiverTam 09:29 AM 01-15-2012

We tried bribery with both kids. It worked like a charm for DS1, but DS2 didn't care. What finally worked for him was preschool. When he saw other kids using the potty, he decided to use the potty, too.  Score one for peer pressure.


OP, let it go. She has the control to do it. She just doesn't want to. She'll do it when she decides to do it.  I'd point out to her that she has a rash on her butt because she won't poop in the potty and let her make the decision. She will grow out of this.   She will not go to prom in a diaper. 

Tags: Gifted Child