Help - 4.5 year old peeing and pooping everywhere - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 13 Old 05-14-2013, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I hope I can get some help here. This is the 1 thing that makes me very angry and I haven't had the nerve to sit down and describe the situation in full.

 

History 

Potty trained by age 3 and doesn't have accidents, perhaps only 1x/month while sleeping. This is something she does on purpose. It started with a long car trip. There was no bathroom in sight and I allowed her to pee in the grass. This was just fantastic to her. She has loved the chance to pee outside at any opportunity. I try to give her opportunities to go pee outside (in the country) to fill this "desire" though it doesn't happen often.

 

The battle started with a house plant. She was stepping on it to get up to the counter, it started to die, and then she peed in it. She told me about it, I probably became irritated and told her that urine will kill it, and not to use the plant as a toilet. My worst parenting side comes out when she is peeing and pooping everywhere, so I will just be honest about my reactions because I do want to get help. I think we are both suffering and honesty is the best way to get out of this. It's been nearly 2 months since this first incident. 

 

After this the world was an open book. I caught her peeing in the yard. Several times. I'd call her inside not to play outside for the rest of the day (consequence). Other times I'd just tell her that wasn't ok with no consequence. Then she started pooping in the yard. It happened 3 times and I had her pick up the poop like you pick up dog poop. She found this gross and fun. She enjoyed the attention. I explained that you can't poop and pee in the city....something about the city not allowing it (not to mention DCFS) and privacy. No matter. 

 

This behavior ended for about a month, when she resorted to peeing in her clothes, on her bed, on my bed, on the floor. She assumes a "position" and goes. She will usually come right to me and tell me. I have gotten VERY angry and yell/scream things like DON'T PEE ON YOUR CLOTHES. Once I told her (and I know this was the wrongest of wrongwrongwrong doing it WRONG) that she is bad when she pees in her clothes, and don't be bad anymore. Ya, I really did say this about a week ago. 

 

After this act, this blight on my mind, I decided to relax, she has only been potty trained for 1.5 years and it is a phase. It must be that she is trying to tell me something. I started spending more one on one time with her outside (the peeing and pooping outside has decreased but still happening). But she will do it when she is upset about any little thing, or *not upset at all*. We can be connecting and playing, I leave the room, and suddenly, "moommmyyyy, I peed on your bed!" 

 

I decided to stop yelling at her because it was really hurting her. It is just not me to do that. So I haven't yelled in 6 days. I apologized to her and told her we would start spending special days together. She told me that when I yell, instead of yelling I can say to her instead: "Get away from my body." I tried that, and it made her sad and wanted hugs. She didn't want to get  away from my body. She just wants me to  be sweet, it seems, when she pees on things!! 

 

If I am sweet, consistently, for like 30 more pees, will it dissolve her desire to act like this? Do I HAVE to be sweet? I think anger is warranted when you intentionally damage the house. Please, thoughts. <3 I really do want to take her in love. But the anger and her defiance.

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#2 of 13 Old 05-14-2013, 07:41 PM
 
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Weird. Maybe make her a sticker chart in the bathroom and when she pees in the potty so many times she gets a treat maybe extra stories at night or gets to play with a special toy. That is rough. I hope it passes soon.

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#3 of 13 Old 05-14-2013, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's a good idea, simple and easy to implement tomorrow. 

 

I still need to work on my reaction when she pees on stuff. Any suggestions? 

 

I feel like displaying anger is not ok. Displaying irritation *feels* like anger. After she pees there are practical issues to take care of, she will at that time try and engage me in conversation. So I can't just get away from her and take a mommy time out. My genuine reaction hurts her feelings, and I think, perpetuates the behavior.

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#4 of 13 Old 05-14-2013, 08:06 PM
 
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I have found that it is very effective to simply give a child a bag and make them clean themselves up. You can then dump the stuff in the wash and shut yourself in her room to clean up what she misses but not giving any reaction at all gets boring very quickly. I would put any nice comforters or blankets away until this phase is over. If your yard is fenced I wouldn't make a big deal about her pooping outside, just give her the bag and make her clean it, give her another if she doesn't do a good job.

I would also suggest getting a referral for a good play therapist from your pediatrician. A neutral third party can be very helpful for situations like this.
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#5 of 13 Old 05-14-2013, 10:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmmm.

She will clean up the poop and change her own clothes. The yard is not fenced; it is shared. We've had past DCFS involvement so a phone call to the hotline could be detrimental to our family. 

 

More, I can't exactly just throw clothes in the washer right now as it is broken. So when she pees on a sheet or a blanket, it gets costly quickly at the laundromat. This is happening 2-4x/day. I don't think I could afford a play therapist at this point either. 

 

I know I need to change my response. But I don't think that "no reaction at all" is a possibility. She knows that this is a big deal (due to my past responses) so now how to respond, *exactly*. 

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#6 of 13 Old 05-15-2013, 12:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mami2701 View Post

That's a good idea, simple and easy to implement tomorrow. 

 

I still need to work on my reaction when she pees on stuff. Any suggestions? 

 

I feel like displaying anger is not ok. Displaying irritation *feels* like anger. After she pees there are practical issues to take care of, she will at that time try and engage me in conversation. So I can't just get away from her and take a mommy time out. My genuine reaction hurts her feelings, and I think, perpetuates the behavior.

 

DO what you got to do. It is ok if you ignore her while cleaning it up. She understands its wrong she is obviously trying to get a reaction out of you. Maybe this is totally off base but I would not speak to her or interact with her while cleaning it up. The only other thing I can think of is have a bigger kid hang around. I bet she wont do it then, maybe a bigger kid influence will help her out grow it faster.

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#7 of 13 Old 05-15-2013, 07:51 AM
 
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Although our potty learning story is q. different from yours, it's only when I stopped having reactions that dd finally stopped accidents. Either she did want a reaction or she felt the pressure of the reactions so much that she possibly would get nervous and do it anyways.


If I've done nothing wrong, and my attitude is well-meaning, a difficult situation is just a test for my ability to remain beyond the judgement of others ~ Unknown
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#8 of 13 Old 05-16-2013, 09:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post

I have found that it is very effective to simply give a child a bag and make them clean themselves up. You can then dump the stuff in the wash and shut yourself in her room to clean up what she misses but not giving any reaction at all gets boring very quickly. I would put any nice comforters or blankets away until this phase is over. If your yard is fenced I wouldn't make a big deal about her pooping outside, just give her the bag and make her clean it, give her another if she doesn't do a good job.

I would also suggest getting a referral for a good play therapist from your pediatrician. A neutral third party can be very helpful for situations like this.

This is great advice. I'm sorry that it might be costly, I don't believe that there is a way to fix it overnight. And as for the yard, she cannot be unsupervised when she is outside and if you see her start to go, physically take her inside, but stay totally calm.

Happy fly-by-nursing1.giffamilybed2.giffemalesling.GIF, delayed/selective vaxxing, WOHM to DD1 4/10 diaper.gif, DD2 8/12 babygirl.gif and partner/wife for thirteen years to SAHD DHsuperhero.gif.  

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#9 of 13 Old 05-16-2013, 10:29 AM
 
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I think I would put her in pull-ups for a while to take your attention off of it, and perhaps look into play therapy. If she's doing it multiple times per day, that's a lot of laundry!
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#10 of 13 Old 05-22-2013, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I tried a sticker chart (really fun with flaps and choices for the reward), and there was some enthusiasm but it's not enough of a reward. It would admittedly work better if I gave a sticker EVERY time she went and really pushed the rewards and gave them immediately. 

 

 

 

She is still going outside some but not as much in the house or in her clothes. 

 

We are going to India for the summer, leaving in less than a week. So Let's see what happens there. 

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#11 of 13 Old 05-22-2013, 04:47 PM
 
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I would put her back in pull ups, honestly.  So sorry - I'd be just as furious as you!  I'd be contemplating more serious consequences if she doesn't stop soon.

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#12 of 13 Old 05-27-2013, 08:45 PM
 
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Could it be physical rather than just behavioral? If it is better to catch it now than later. Google childhood constipation and encopresis.  Maybe check out the book It's No Accident (by Hodges, I think). Good luck!
 


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#13 of 13 Old 05-27-2013, 09:04 PM
 
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This really does sound more emotional than potty-related. My DS had a phase around age 3.5 where he would pee/poop I various empty containers around the house when I would ask him to leave the room while I nursed dd to sleep. It stopped pretty quick when I didn't react much. Last week ( a year later!) he had a sudden streak of mischief during nap time. I was sick and napping with dd, and did not insist that DS stay with us in bed. He flushed my diva cup down the toilet and peed all around the outside/base of the toilet and in the bathroom trash can. I can easily conclude my situation is a few disconnected/ tense days + unsupervised 4.5 year old= YUCK! we need to fix this in a non-shaming, calm way. All I know to do is try to connect more and watch my tone/attitude. If I get snappish and send him off on his own, this is what I shall expect to return to. Ugh. I hope this works out for you soon!
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