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Adoption and Potty Training

(9 Posts)
Hereslookingatchoo Mon 04-Jan-16 15:40:44

My son is 2.5 years and I started potty training him after his second birthday - I know some consider this 'early' but he was showing signs of readiness so I decided to give it a go but stop if he wasn't coping. He had excellent bladder control and he took to it easily, I was amazed. He was potty trained by the end of the summer and when he started nursery he had one accident in his first week and has never had one at nursery since. He has been a dream in many ways in that regard.

However in recent weeks at home it's a different story. Today he has wet himself three times since lunch. The first time I ignored, the second time I admit I got cross, the third time I grit my teeth and ignored because getting cross the second time clearly achieved nothing. It's been happening a lot lately including pooey pants and it may be due to the stress of Christmas and all the busyness of his nursery during that time. We've tried to remain calm though it is frustrating to have him calmly poo his pants whilst watching Toy Story!

Does anyone have any wisdom? I don't know how to handle it really as with both my children (both adopted), I have found the less fuss I make the MORE they wet or soil themselves....which is strange but true. With my daughter I would find that if I ignored an accident following all the advice to not react she would then wet herself multiple times for the next couple of days then when I got cross she'd get dry again; we would act out this cycle frequently with me getting pretty cross every few pairs of pants and her suddenly gaining control of her bladder after that again once I'd got cross.

This area is hard for me as wee / poo constantly do wind me up and then I have massive guilt over getting cross because I know he knows not to wet himself but getting cross isn't helping either.

I'm being very honest here to see if anyone can offer any advice, the standard advice for non-adopted kids just isn't working.

Devora Mon 04-Jan-16 18:18:38

That does sound very wearing, though as you know getting cross is not the answer. Starting with the obvious: it is a bid for attention? You say that the less fuss you make the more your dc wet or soil themselves, but does fuss=attention?

Christmas is a very stressful time, and of course regression at his age is very normal. Have you tried proactively babying him a bit? I mean doing more sitting with him in your arms, rocking him (perhaps in front of Toy Story), calling him your lovely baby, reading him favourite stories from last year?

Hereslookingatchoo Mon 04-Jan-16 19:29:40

Thanks Devora. To be honest I baby him a lot anyway, he was a very distressed baby when he came to us and over his short life so far he has a huge amount of cuddling, rocking and nurture, he wants to be held a great deal which is no hardship as he's utterly delicious.

I do wonder if you are right - they keep doing it until I react as the 'negative attention' is attention. They get a lot of attention anyway but obviously with adopted children it can be a never ending need, mine both had crappy times in FC which has left a lot for us to manage.

Devora Mon 04-Jan-16 23:14:18

The general advice about giving attention to the behaviour you want to encourage, not the behaviour you want to stop, works very well in standard parenting I think. With traumatised children it's still a great idea, but really hard to execute when the need for attention is so high (or low - a bottomless pit). With mine, it sometimes feels like I give and give, and then try to catch ten minutes to wash up and WAAH - the bad behaviour cracks off so that she can regain all the attention and the control.

So I'm REALLY sympathetic to how it feels to have someone suggesting you give your children more attention - thank you for not telling me to eff off!

tldr Tue 05-Jan-16 00:51:33

When my DS started not using nappies I was careful to make sure he still got the raspberries on tummy and tickles that he'd have got as part of a nappy change, and not just substituting those for older child cuddles. No idea if it helped, but I liked it. grin

How is his behaviour/demeanour otherwise?

It really might just be discombobulation due to Christmas/routines being all over the place. Maybe you're less good at reminding him to go than nursery. Maybe he didn't want to miss Toy Story. Maybe the peer pressure at nursery is what keeps him motivated.

I think what I mean is, unless it continues for weeks or is accompanied by some other change, I'd try and not worry yet.

(Keep him in super absorbent clothes so they get it rather than your furniture, and keep clean clothes either nearby or where he can fetch them himself. It'll not stop him, but it might help you not get cross.)

Italiangreyhound Tue 05-Jan-16 02:45:20

Sorry to hear this.

I can't say much as dd (birth child) was clean fairly early and dry just before three (in the day) and was not hard to 'train' but she did wet herself a little for attention.

DS is adopted and he came clean and dry at 3. Yet to tackle nights!

My only advice is to pre-empt him! Keep an eye and encourage him onto the potty before you think anything will materialise. Maybe put the potty on a mat in front of Toy Story! Maybe a single chocolate button if he hits the spot on he potty.

Maybe a new talking or musical potty! Not cheap!

Child Talking Sounds Toilet My Potty Friend Fisher-Price Kids Musical Fun Toy

Also, if he needs attention try and work out how to give it in the way he needs, maybe he needs short bursts and he feels a few bursts of his own will get it. Show him he will get 'better quality' attention on the way to the loo with a full bladder than on the way to be cleaned up after an incident. But don't make him feel bad or guilty about it.

I am sure it will pass.

JustPoppingIn Tue 05-Jan-16 18:02:34

Has he just given up naps? My DS started having accidents around that time because he was overtired.

Otherwise, I would put it down to Christmas. My DS of a similar age finds it absolutely overwhelming, even though we try to keep it low key.

Hereslookingatchoo Tue 05-Jan-16 19:43:22

Thank you all!

Devora I would never be so rude as to tell you to eff off grin

I think it was a Christmas thing to be honest as he has been fine today after his second session back at nursery and I've started up a new system of a button in his named jar for every wee on the toilet which will translate into sweets after enough 'buttons'. He finds putting the button in the jar thrilling which is why I chose that method.

He gave up naps at 22 months (I may have wept slightly!) so it isn't that but good thinking.

Overall he is a very, very happy little boy and the sort of child everyone falls inlove with on sight.

I do think it was the Christmas thing and it's highlighted me that I need to watch him at stressful times as carefully as I do his sister.

GirlsWhoWearGlasses Tue 05-Jan-16 19:43:31

DD (3) did this. No problem toilet training, then a year later it was suddenly up to 6 accidents a day, yet she didn't seem at all distressed or unsettled by anything. I know that this is not recommended for adopted kids, but in the end we tried stickers out of desperation and it worked like a dream. Only you'll know if this is out of the question for your wee one.

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