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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, my wonderful DD is 5 and a little. She started Kindy in August and pretty much ever since, we have been having issues with the potty. I had hoped we were kinda past this stage, too!<br><br>
So, a little background: she had been making poops on the potty and wiping herself for a while now. She would ask for "check-ups" after she was done, but most times she was really clean. I was psyched. This was earlier this summer, but it had been going on for maybe 6 months. She would poop periodically throughout the day, no real set time or anything.<br><br>
Now? Now she gets on the potty to poop twice a day: in the AM before leaving for school and in the evening before brushing teeth and getting ready for bed. These are her times when she feels she needs to poop. At first there was no problem, but as the days and weeks went by I could see we were beginning to have issues with getting off the potty. It started as a sad "I hope I'm done" before getting off in the AM, and it has slowly ramped up to the point of her throwing a massive major fit in the evening when it's time to get off the potty.<br><br>
And we're not encouraging her to get off after a couple of minutes here. We're talking about letting her sit there for a good 15 minutes or so. Nothing comes out after her first elimination, mind you, which happens right away but that does not matter to her. We have tried everything - everything - to encourage her to get off the potty. Fun timers with little songs, mommy and daddy dancing in to get her, encouragement with reading, knock-knock jokes, countdowns, you name it. And now my husband and I both are just emotionally exhausted by the process because nothing at all works.<br><br>
When we tell her, "A few more minutes" she starts to whimper and cry and tell us it's not long enough. When we say, "Mommy is going to read this book to your sister and then it's time to get off" we get screaming "Nooooooo!" When I come in and get her we are now at the point where she grabs onto that potty for dear life and stiffens her body and screams that she's not ready, that the poo poo is coming out right now, that if she gets off she'll need to poop. When it has become too late to allow more time, we gently pry her fingers off the potty and wipe her, then flush the toilet. Usually at this point she's grabbing her bottom and screaming that the poop is coming out. I tell her that it's okay to let it out. I'll clean it up if it comes out. And then usually, after a few minutes of doing something else like flossing and brushing her teeth and getting into the bath, she's totally fine. Like nothing ever happened.<br><br>
Of course, I am an emotional wreck by then and I worry what impact it's having on her little sister who has to witness this every. single. night.<br><br>
Here's the kicker: When we've had sitters here at night who have put the children to bed it does not happen. And on mornings when we're not heading to school it does not happen. So far, I cannot attribute it to a diet issue (she has nut allergies) since it seems to happen no matter what she has eaten.<br><br>
Help! What can I do to help her and us get through this phase without losing our minds??? My heart breaks every time I see her so distraught.<br><br>
Sharon
 

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If this is more of an evening thing, why the time limit? She is 5. I would say let her be, give her, her privacy and not make a big deal out of it. If some one told me I could only have so many minutes, I think I would be totally stressed. One of my boys, always took his time to go, and still does at 32. Another question why is the younger child witnessing this? I do not think this is something to be overly stressed about. Just my honest opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The time limit, and it's really kind of a loose limit, is so that she can get to sleep at a reasonable hour before school. She has a very persistent personality and I worry what would happen if we left her there indefinitely. We have done this on a weekend, just to see how it went. She ended up getting so exhausted that the meltdown was even worse - and she sat for a good 30-40 minutes that night. I think she would have fallen asleep on the toilet had we let her... But perhaps we should let her? She's off from school this week. Perhaps we should let it play out to see if she can come to some ending on her own. I just worry because it's as if she is incapable of making the move to get off the toilet, even though she is done eliminating. It's as though she becomes another, totally irrational, person.<br><br>
The younger one is experiencing the meltdowns because they have a Jack and Jill bathroom and each girl's bedroom is attached. Her younger sister isn't standing there staring at her, but these meltdowns are quite loud.<br><br>
Maybe backing off, especially during this vacation week, is worth a try.<br><br>
Sharon
 

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How about discussing the problem during the day. Tell her you're concerned about her getting enough sleep, and that you know she's concerned about having enough time in the bathroom. Ask her what she thinks the problem is. If she doesn't think there's an issue, ask her what time she'd like to get on the potty so that she'll be able to be in bed by 7:30 (or whatever). Find out whether she's going to read stories before or after that, or whatever her routine is. Then write out a schedule you both agree to. Maybe that will help?<br><br>
Also, sounds like her bathroom routine is totally different than before school started. Is she allowed and comfortable asking to go to the bathroom at school? Maybe there's a problem there.
 

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So she just started kindergarten, she sits on the potty right before leaving for school, and she's getting more and more reluctant to get off the potty - except on days when she's not going to school? It sounds like she doesn't want to go to school. Maybe she also doesn't want to go to bed at night, or maybe wanting to stay on the potty has just become a habit that carries over to night. If she does have anxiety about school, maybe addressing that will solve the problem.
 

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Sounds to me like she's afraid of having to poop at the wrong moment... That she's afraid of pooping at school especially but other times too. She sounds fine physically, based on what you wrote but anxious about the possibility of having an accident if she doesn't make sure she got it all out.<br><br>
My tactic would be to try giving her a generous amount of time on the potty. Then, when it is time to get off, I'd have lots of conversations with her about how if she has to go again she can get back on the potty anytime .... And then stay true to your word and if she wants to get back on the potty immediately then let her, just to show her that getting off the potty is not a final absolute thing.<br><br>
Maybe also talk with her about how she has always done so well with having no accidents etc. to try to reinforce the idea that she is good at this and doesn't dneed to worry. Maybe she will volunteer info about times when she had to poop but wasn't comfortable doing so
 

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My DD is 3 3/4, but she likes to sit FOREVER. Before bed we have her sit really early, and if she is on there a really long time we will eventually tell her that it is not good for her bottom to sit on there too long (that's true - hemmroids), and we give her a "five minutes" thing and then it's done. We have a fun thing we do right after (reading books together), so there is positive motivation to get off.<br><br>
Do you, by any chance, give her your time when she is on the toilet? Sit with her? Stay in the bathroom? For us, this can be part of it. She likes the undivided attention, and the chatting and whatnot. If this is so, perhaps leaving after a few minutes and then telling her to call you if she needs anything might be motivating (she might get bored).<br><br>
It sounds (from the babysitting description) that she in some way thinks this might possibly be something she can debate with you, and so she is. Or perhaps the babysitter has something exciting planned after. IDK. But I'd think a bit more about the babysitting/no school angle and possibly even talk with her about it. Not in a blaming way, but a nice way.<br><br>
Tjej
 

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I would suspect anxiety surrounding pooping at school. That she feels a need to poop as much as possible at home so it won't happen at school. Also if she's holding it for longer than she should at school it maybe becoming more difficult for her to read the signals from her body.<br><br>
I would start by finding out what the schools bathroom policy is, if any students have had embarrassing accidents in class or something, if the bathroom itself is reasonably set up, etc. It may just be that she is used to you being there to make sure she wiped well enough and she is scared to poop with out you.
 

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everything else was fine but i found my antennae going up at the ;she screams that its coming out right now.; has she possibly had an accident at school that wasnt handled well. school anxiety. it seems an emotional rather than a time issue to me.
 

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You mention having a bath after she's done on the potty.<br><br>
I would scrap the bath and start the bedtime routine early enough that she could have an hour to sit on the toilet if she wants it. My nephew used to sit on the toilet for 30 to 45 minutes for each poop. He did all his business in the first 2 minutes, but it took that long for him to "feel done".<br><br>
I also agree that maybe she or another kid had a poop accident at school and now she's scared. I would bring that up and ask her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you so much, mommas! I will definitely try some of the ideas you suggest, especially talking with her about poop accidents at school. I know she has not had one, but perhaps someone in her class did. Certainly worth looking into. And we have started giving her lots of extra time on the potty in the evening (easy now because they've been off from school for the week.) The issues at night have not subsided entirely, but they've mellowed. And there is no daytime issue at all this week, which brings me back to more of a school pooping issue (anxiety about having to do it at school) as opposed to something physical.<br><br>
Wonderful ideas from you all.<br><br>
Thanks again!<br>
Sharon
 

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I have a few thoughts here:<br><br>
1. If she's suddenly switching to two set times from going throughout the day, it makes me think that she doesn't want to go at school. Did she always take a long time to go, or is all of this behavior recent? If so, I'd talk to the teacher and try to figure out if there's a reason she's holding it in at school, and the feels like she has to go a lot at home - toilet flushes too loud, bathroom smells, not enough privacy, not enough time, not feeling brave enough to ask permission to go, etc.<br><br>
2. There are digestive issues like IBS that make you feel like you still need to go even when you've finished eliminating. Is she having any other poop issues?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
PikkMyy - Well, she does use the potty at school a few times a day, but only for pee. I do think there is some anxiety about pooping in public, whether or not I'm present, so I think that may be playing into this.<br><br>
However, this idea of IBS is curious to me. She occasionally has very loose stools that I cannot seem to connect to anything else in her diet, though I used to think it was due to dried fruit (we've cut way back lately, but she still has some loose stools.) I also thought it might be milk related. She does eat quite a bit of yogurt with no incident, but sometimes I'll give the girls chocolate milk - very little chocolate syrup, mixed with 1% milk - and I was trying to see if that caused looser stools. She does not drink very much milk at all, so I thought it would be easy to see if there was a connection. She hasn't had it lately, though. I also thought the loose stools might be stress-related, which I guess is kind of related to IBS, right?<br><br>
What are other symptoms of IBS? Does it present differently in children than adults?<br><br>
Thanks for the input!<br>
Sharon
 
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