3.11 yo behaviour and toilet training, slightly mammoth call for help.

(4 Posts)
openerofjars Mon 09-May-16 21:27:30

We have now been toilet training DD, our youngest of 2 DC, since Feb half term last year, when she was 2.9 yo and seemed ready, and it's been an uphill struggle. She's always been determined and strong-willed (fine, stroppy) but she's also funny, bright, lively and good fun. She seems a lot more angry and grumpy at the moment, compared to merely being a bit full-on normally.

Right now, though, she seems to be in a particularly bad way: she has pooed herself 3 times today. It doesn't seem to be that she doesn't know when she needs a poo, just that she doesn't want to do it on the loo. Tonight DH got grumpy with her when it happened for the third time and it ended up being a battle of wills, at which point I stepped in and took over as neither of them were going to back down.

We are using sticker charts with her, which seems to reset her behaviour for a bit but if we stop doing the charts the poo behaviour comes back.

For context, DD is in nursery 4 days a week and both DH and I work full time. Dd likes nursery most of the time and drop offs and pick ups are fine, although staff have reported that she sometimes doesn't listen well and hit another child the other day. DD has an older brother who is 7.6yo and they usually get on well - any arguments are well within the bounds of normal and they are affectionate and loving towards each other as well.

DD is not lactose intolerant - we know as other members of the family are and we know what to look for.

Any ideas? I've been wondering about hearing test, contacting health visitor etc as we're running out of pants and would be grateful for any other ideas.

minipie Tue 10-May-16 14:17:15

Your DD sounds rather like mine (very fun, interesting and bright but defiant and generally hard work!)

Re the poo: sounds like it's an attention thing - she knows it really really gets your goat when she poos herself and so she's doing it for that very reason. When you use the sticker chart she gets positive attention for pooing so is willing to comply. (She clearly can control her poos if she is ok when the charts are out, so not a physical thing). So basically, she needs to see some benefit to her in not pooing herself, which outweighs the attention/drama that she gets if she does it.

What eventually worked for DD when the star charts stopped working was "natural consequences", explaining to her that the time it took to clear up meant less time for fun. So basically if she did a wee/poo on the loo, big praise but I would also say "that's great, no clearing up, so now I have time to read you a story" (and she'd get a story). If she wet herself: "oh dear, lots of clearing up to do, no time for a story" (even if I'd not actually intended/had time to read a story anyway!) Then keep repeating that if she goes to the loo there will be more time for fun things, if she has an accident there will be less time. She got it pretty quickly - at 3.11 your DD would get it even quicker I expect.

Actually this tactic has worked for a lot of DD's non-compliant behaviour - I will point out that she is using up all the time being stroppy and there won't be any time for X (another piece of toast, a story, 5 minutes playing before we have to leave, whatever she values).

Why do you mention hearing test - does she have any speech issues? Do you think she can't hear you very well?

Is she sleeping ok - if it's just the past few days she's been worse, perhaps she's been awake at night with the heat and is tired?

openerofjars Wed 11-May-16 04:47:17

Thanks, minipie. She is fab grin. I like the explaining about time thing & I'll give that a go. 2 poos in pants tonight but also one on the loo, hooray! I just stayed v calm and we spent ages in the bathroom and gave her enough time to relax. She was SO pleased with herself, as well, plus rewarded for the loo poo, so hope that starts working soon.

The hearing thing is just because she's not been doing much good listening at the moment, & it's hard to get through to her sometimes, but her speech seems fine.

I think she is tired, and also because she's the youngest, there are times when she's up later than DS was ever allowed.

I spoke to a HV today & she didn't seem unduly worried, just emphasised rewards & patience, so must be within the realms of normal.

minipie Wed 11-May-16 10:45:58

Glad there has been some progress!

DD's listening definitely goes downhill when she is tired (so does everything!)

Good luck

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