How much "personal hygiene" does your 4year take care of by themselves? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 16 Old 04-30-2012, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am not sure if I am expecting too much from DS or if not how to encourage him to start looking after more of his personal hygiene.

 

To be more specific DS is 4 years 3mons old and he is a very bright kid however he is not really interested in self care stuff. He will take himself to the bathroom and when it is a pee he will put down the lid, flush the toilet and wash his hand by himself (most of the time I need to verbally remind him "what do you need to do after you go to the bathroom?") but when he has a BM he just calls out "I need a bum wipe" and expects DH or I to come in and clean him up. He doesn't even try to wipe himself. The last few days we have been asking him to at least try on his own and then he can call us to help him finish but he really balks at this saying "I can't or "I can't reach the toilet paper" (which he can) or "I don't know how" (I have showed him a number of times)

 

Other things he always asks for help (basically meaning he wants me or DH to do it) is getting dressed (esp. putting on socks) putting on his shoes (which are Velcro and he can put them on by himself without a problem but we do tend to get into a power struggle over it) 

 

Anyway what can and does your 4 year old do? 


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#2 of 16 Old 04-30-2012, 06:44 PM
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DS is a few months older than yours. He does not wipe himself after he poops. I have to remind him to wash his hands. He does get dressed by himself with a lot of prodding, but he can do it, and he does it every day. Some shoes he puts on himself, and some he does not - that depends on the shoe. I still brush his teeth, but that is is really because I insist on it - I have seen way too many people around here with kids with bad cavities who brush their own teeth.  I think that having good teeth is very important. I used to push him more than I do now, but I have backed off. I think that your child seems fine.


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#3 of 16 Old 04-30-2012, 06:57 PM
 
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My dd is 4 and can do all self care but very occasionally asks for help. My ds is almost 6 and would like me to everything for him - wipe him, dress him, everything. The interesting thing is that my ds is easy to motivate so if we play 'beat the timer' or 'do all your steps for a stamp on your chart' it isn't a problem. Rarely it comes to a stand off and my reminder is that if you don't do your steps in time to get on the bus there is a consequence. The one time he tested me I followed through and he hasn't done it again.

 

For wiping, we have a box of wipes on the back of our toilets if needed. My ds does a much better job when he uses them. Occasionally he will say his butt itches and it is because he hasn't done a good job wiping so then he has to take a bath - another dreaded task!

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#4 of 16 Old 05-01-2012, 02:00 AM
 
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My DS2 is 4yo this month. I wipe for him. I wouldn't really trust him to be able to wipe properly at this stage. His older brother was about 5yo (or close to) when he started wiping himself. I get him dressed. I put on his shoes. I brush his teeth. I pretty much do everything for him. 


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#5 of 16 Old 05-01-2012, 06:01 PM
 
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My DS is 4y3m and does all self-care except toothbrushing. We check him after he wipes (he virtually always is clean, but I just want to be sure). I do think kids vary a bit on this and also that oldests take longer to do this than subsequent kids. wink1.gif However, I think most 4yos CAN do all of it. I definitely do not get him dressed and haven't since he was 2ish--that is one where I think it is time for a 4yo to do it him/herself, UNLESS you just do not mind. Also, most 4yos do start going to preschool where the teacher will want and expect a little more independence in this realm--and at 5 and in K, they definitely will. Just something to keep in mind, unless you plan to homeschool.

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#6 of 16 Old 05-01-2012, 06:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone. So it does seem normal and hopefully he will become more independent in the next year or so. He does go to preschool part time and has since he was 2.5 but he never poos at preschool and he will get his shoes/boots on and his jacket on with some gentle reminders from the teachers. He can zip his jacket by himself but again I need to remind him and he always asks for help first. He also starts JK in September and I know there will be a higher ratio there so he may be forced into being more independent.

 

I wish he was more independent as I am due with his sister in early June and well it is getting a lot harder to "help" him and frustrating because I know he can do most of this stuff by himself. Also it is going to be really hard when the baby comes as I will be having a c-section (unfortunately) and well a newborn. I haven't used rewards or stickers before but maybe that would help motivate him.


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#7 of 16 Old 05-01-2012, 09:10 PM
 
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Well, just the fact that you're going to have your hands full will force him to become more independent. The line we used a lot was "You try it first, and if you can't do it, I'll help you when I get a second."

 

I found that my kids became a lot more self-sufficient as they got closer to 6. Until they, then still wanted a lot of help. My kids are nearly 8 and 11. Ds broke his arm last week and has needed help getting dressed. I realized then that it's been a really long time since I've  had to zip, help with shirts or tie shoes. Which reminds me, I need to go wash sweatpants for him....


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#8 of 16 Old 05-03-2012, 06:16 AM
 
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My son is almost six (July) and I still wipe him. I encourage independence with him but he has some bowel issues and I really need to make sure that his bum is wiped thoroughly. I will help him to set a goal very soon to try to wipe himself. I do know that if he pooped somewhere else without us, he would do ok. He has practiced enough to at least know what to do.

 

My daughter is 3.5. She wants to do it herself, but I still think she is a bit young. I am anal (pun anyone?) about making sure that bottoms are clean enough.

 

They can wash their own hands, they can brush their own hair, they can wash their own faces....the five year old does his morning teeth brushing and we do his night one (to make sure they get clean enough at least once a day) and the daughter who will be 4 in September needs us to always make sure her teeth have a once over after she gives it a whirl.


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#9 of 16 Old 05-03-2012, 09:49 AM
 
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What happens if you just don't rush in there? Holler back "I'm (whatever you happen to be doing at the moment), I'll be there in five minutes or you can wipe your own bum now!" Then by the time the baby comes, he'll be used to hearing "I'll be there in five minutes!" and won't blame it on the baby? It's probably just more convenient to have you do it for him. make it less convenient and see what happens.


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#10 of 16 Old 05-03-2012, 10:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Mummoth View Post

What happens if you just don't rush in there? Holler back "I'm (whatever you happen to be doing at the moment), I'll be there in five minutes or you can wipe your own bum now!" Then by the time the baby comes, he'll be used to hearing "I'll be there in five minutes!" and won't blame it on the baby? It's probably just more convenient to have you do it for him. make it less convenient and see what happens.

 

I am doing that but he will just sit there and not do it until his legs fall asleep nut.gif However he really doesn't like it when his legs fall asleep and he gets pins and needles so maybe that will help motivate him to wipe it himself. I did tell him today that when the baby is here if she is nursing when he has to go poo he may have to wait a long time and his legs will go to sleep if he doesn't wipe himself. When he was a newborn he would nurse for 45 mins sometimes! I think I will also get some flushable wipes to see if that helps him.

 

I have been less quick to help him get dressed and put his shoes on this week and yesterday he actually got his own clothes and put them all on, except for socks but then I just relaxed and said if his feet were cold then he could put on his own socks. I also pointed out to his dad how he picked out his own clothes and got dressed all by himself and we both remarked how helpful that was and  DS looked really pleased with himself. 

 

Thanks again everyone for your suggestions and sharing your own stories. So great to have a community to turn too


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#11 of 16 Old 05-03-2012, 11:35 AM
 
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He does as much as we force him to but nothing more. Our almost 3 year old is better with clothes/hand washing/etc because she likes it. Our almost five year doesn't like it, doesn't want to, and prefers to wait until someone does it for him.

 

Your four year olds sounds normal.

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#12 of 16 Old 05-03-2012, 02:29 PM
 
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OP my dd is 9 and still calls for a bum wipe ocassionally at home. 

 

she rarely uses a public toilet unless she has too. rarely for pooping.

 

we solved the problem by getting a bidet installed.

 

dd is a perfectionist. and even with wipes and all - she hated the job with a vengeance. just the idea some may get on her hand makes her not do a good job. 

 

after dealing with occasional skid marks i just went and got the bidet (the type you attach to your toilet) and i have never had problems. 


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#13 of 16 Old 05-05-2012, 08:59 AM
 
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My kids were pretty much self sufficient by 3. They are fully potty trained by two and have mastered bum wiping by 2.5.
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#14 of 16 Old 05-05-2012, 10:59 AM
 
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my ds is 4.5, and he can dress himself pretty well, with the exception of getting his socks on the way he likes....apparently only I can do that.smile.gif He can pee by himself/flush/put the lid down/all that jazz, but when it comes to pooping, he won't even try to wipe. He did it once when he got up in the middle of the night, but when I ask him to at least try, he says the same thing, "I can't." I figure he'll get it one day, I'm just glad that he asks me instead of skid marks showing up in his underwear....lol.gif


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#15 of 16 Old 05-17-2012, 04:02 AM
 
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When ds was 4 he could dress by himself.  But even now at just recently turned 5 years I wipe his butt.  I just don't want to worry about him getting poo on his hands, or anywhere else.  Probably soon we'll start getting him to do it himself.


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#16 of 16 Old 05-24-2012, 08:16 PM
 
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Ds will be 5 in October and just started wiping his own butt. He visited his dad for Christmas, and he did it himself there, but when he got home, he tried to play the "I cant do it here, i can only do it at daddy's " card, lol. He does it now, but he uses the cloth wipes from when he was in diapers. I still help him brush his teeth, butmost everything else he can (even if he doesn't want to) do on his own, except shoe tying

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