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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
AAAAAAARGH!<br><br>
My 4yo DD has been out of diapers for a year and we STILL have 'accidents', every day, of both poop and pee. I. Am. Fed. UP!<br><br>
Is it unreasonable to expect a 4yo to reliably make it to the toilet? To not wait so long that she is about to burst and therefore pees where ever she may stand, with a slightly shocked look on her face? And the poop is just as bad, she will just go, making no effort to get to the toilet. I'd say she tries with no prompting or reminder from me about 10% of the time, and gets there with sugestions from me (read incessant reminders every hour or more often) about 40% of the time. The rest of the time, nope. This is for both poop and pee.<br><br>
I am SO ANGRY about this. I have that little twitchy thing under my eye right now... I told DD I was very very angry and really didn't want to speak with her right now.<br><br>
I have tried bribery, with stickers and M and Ms. I have tried having her 'practice'. i.e., a very fast dry run from various rooms in the house after she has peed or pooped in her underwear. (I stopped those because it was giving much more attention to the negative than the positive.) I have snapped in the past and gotten very angry with her and physically coercive, generally when she refuses to go to the bathroom when she is obviously about to pee all over the floor (hopping from foot to foot grabbing at herself and still insistent that "The PEE IS NOT READY! NOOOOO I DON"T WANNA GOOOO NOOOOWWW!) but those episodes seem to have stopped recently and she is willing to go, somewhat sullenly, to the toilet when it is suggested to her.<br><br>
SHe stays dry all night and has no problems 'holding it.' That, actually, seems to be the real problem... she can't really produce until she can't hold it back anymore, either urine or BMs.<br><br>
So.<br><br>
How can I help her to go on her own, more frequently? To not wait til the last minute when the urge is so overwhelming that she can't hold it back anymore? I guess I wouldn't even mind having to tell her to go every hour to 2 hours if it actually worked, but it doesn't since it ain't my body and I don't really know whether she has to pee or not. Also, it's *not* my responsibility and I think she's old enough to be able to take on this for herself. Am I way off base on that?<br><br>
I am so tired of the near-daily poopy underwear and puddles of pee on my carpet! HELP US PLEASE!
 

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My DS's babysitters played "beat the clock" with him when he was learning. They would set a timer and when it dinged, it was time to go sit on the potty. Maybe this would be easier than the "incessant reminders."<br><br>
Not sure what else to tell you other than <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> We worked actively on potty training with DS for almost a year, and he was peeing all over the place for the longest time too. He just didn't care. I tried many of the things you mention. Finally one of my bribes just seemed to catch him in the right mood. Good thing, cause I was getting pretty tired of puddles on the carpet, couch, MY bed, etc. ARG!!
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> I know what you're going through, some kids just don't seem to care! My almost 7 year old ds was that way, and is just now getting over it (I hope). I have been frustrated to the point of snapping and being a not-so-nice mommy about it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> , dh and I have argued about the best way to handle it, we've even resorted to bribery, nothing seemed to work. And reminding him all the time just made me feel like I was nagging him and it made him resentful. Some kids just seem to "freeze up" when the urge strikes-they know they have to go but they don't do anything about it.<br><br>
I've been thinking it's another of those things that every child learns at his or her own pace; four is definitely not too old for some children to still be doing this. But they all do learn eventually. In your dd's case I'd maybe back off for a while, (I know, it's hard!) and at the same time she could start taking some of the responsibility for cleanup, at least soaking up puddles with a rag. Buy cheap underwear and don't feel bad about throwing it away if it's really messed up...some things just aren't worth the effort. But keep making gentle, positive reminders every now and then and as the previous poster said, you just might catch her in the right mood some day.<br><br>
Good luck! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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I would guess that there is an underlying issue here since she is so resitant to going even when you remind her. Either your dd is just not physically able to tell when she really has to go or there may be a more serious medical problem. I don't think it's reasonable to put all the responsibility on a 4yo. Have you talked to her doctor about this? She may have some emotional issues about using the toilet. Maybe she just gets so caught up with whatever she's doing that she doesn't want to be interrupted. Two things I would definitely do right away are to back off and try to stop making such a big deal out of it and take her to the doctor. If she does have some emotional issues about it or an underlying medical problem, having you get so upset will only make things worse for her.<br><br>
My ds used to get so focused on whatever he was doing that he would forget to go to the bathroom. Even now at 13 years old the urge still catches him off gaurd sometimes. He doesn't go in his pants anymore but he was probably 8 or 9 before the accidents during the day stopped completely. I used to find his soiled underwear stuffed behind the couch and under the bathroom sink. I guess he just finally grew out of the daytime accidents but the nighttime accidents continued until he was about 10 or 11. We used an alarm that attached to his underwear for that. As soon as his underwear would start to get wet the alarm would go off and wake everyone up. I think it took only 3 days to get the nighttime accidents to stop with that.<br><br>
I know it gets frustrating and it's hard to remain calm all the time but I think that's what you'll have to do to resolve the situation. Seriously talk to her doctor about it. Whether it's medical, emotional or behavioral, the doctor may have some suggestions.
 

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My daughter is also four. She still wears pull-ups and diapers at night. She pees at night and I heard that's one of the last things to learn because it's hard for kids to feel the urge and wake up enough to get to the bathroom. Most of the time Julia has been peeing in the potty but she rarely poops on it and goes in her pull-up. I know how you feel about getting mad. My hubby was giving her a hard time about not pooping on the potty and telling her she has to do it before she can go to school. I got mad at him for being mean but sometimes lately I have been mean. I don't want to be, either. It's just frustrating isn't it? argh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone for the empathy and advice.<br><br>
I don't think I made it clear that for right now, I am <b>not</b> doing anything. At all. I stopped with the hourly reminders some time ago as they seemed not to work and were just making her mad. The only time I suggest the potty to her is when she obviously needs to go but is not doing so, and she will go then but seemingly with heavy heart.<br><br>
I know that the other side of this is the one thing I can control, which is my own reaction. I'm working on that; I bought "Kids, Parents and Power Struggles" to perhaps get a handle on why I react the way I do and what ways I can retrain my own mind to better help DD and me.<br><br>
OK, thanks for letting me blow off some steam.
 

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I think she should be made to take a child sized share of the responsibility.<br>
She can take off her dirty things, put them in the appropriate location, clean herself off, put on clothes, and swab at the floor. I think that that would accomplish three things. One, it wouldn't matter to you so much if she was having the problems if she were cleaning up some and helping you. And two, it would show her why you're cranky so much, and three, it would be some deterant to her just waiting too long because she is playing because doing it right is faster.<br>
I'm surprised that you've lasted this long with her still in undies. I'd have given up by now. You rock!
 

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Does she want to be in panties?<br><br>
If she doesn't care, I would probably put her back in diapers and not deal with it uptil she was ready.<br><br>
If she wanted to be in panties, I would tell her she needed to try for (blank amt of time) and go whenever you said WITHOUT whining. Maybe you could put some books or a small electronic game next to the toilet so she is encouraged to sit down long enough to really relax (I think that can be a real issue w/some kids--- they could go if they calmed down a bit, but they just sit real quick and jump right up). Have you tried running water while she tries to go or something else relaxing? Can her feet touch the ground? Maybe she has her muscles tensed holding herself still (to not fall off the potty) that it is hard to relax enough to pee? These are just random ideas.<br><br>
With my kids, I waited until they were ready to take responsibility themselves most of the time (okay, they refused to go when I said, lol). That's easy for me to say, though, because that was right before 2.5 for both of them. Of course, neither of them are night trained (5 and 2.5).
 

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I agree with apricot. When my kids got to be that age and started being lazy about going to the potty I would make them handle the clean up. Usually they would have to take off their wet clothes and take them to the laundry, wipe up the floor, and then I would run the water in the bath for them to bathe quickly. It took about 20-30 minutes for them to get everything done. It was a good deterent because they realized that it was easier to just use the potty in the first place.<br><br>
Now you should definately try to find out if there is a reason why she is doing this. Have there been any changes in your family that might have upset her? Talk with her without shaming or blame. If there are no underlying concerns or developmental problems, let her know that she is old enough to be responsible for making it to the potty. If she refuses to accept the responsibility then it might be time to go back to diapers.<br><br>
She will figure it all out in the end. Hopefully it is just a stage.....this too shall pass!
 

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Just to sympathize, our 4 yo ds does not use the potty for bms, either, and we have tried everything. He wears pullups bec. the poop would fall out of his undies (not nice when visiting w/friends!) At his last dr appointment the nurse said to ask him to try going into the bathroom to poop in his pullup. I've set up rewards for doing that and he seems to be (slowly) taking to it. The idea is to get him to associate bm with the bathroom, but still give him control over how he does it. Maybe something like that would help transition?<br><br>
As for wiping, ds can't reliably wipe himself after bms, so we're still helping with that.<br><br>
I can totally relate to your frustration, and share it. When ds says 'I'll poop in the potty when I'm 10, momma' it takes all my strength to say 'ok honey' and smile.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 
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