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Punishing while potty training

(129 Posts)
purpleteapig Mon 10-Aug-15 17:22:31

I know the general advice is no punishments, just rewards etc etc, but I'm starting to wonder if this is the way to go. We have a dis just turned 3 who's been toilet training for a few weeks and he can definitely do it (everyone is of this belief - us, staff at nursery etc) but chooses not to at times. He'll poo/wee at the most inopportune moments and recently has done it when we've put him in time out for bad behaviour. If they were accidents I obviously wouldn't dream of doing this but they are definitely not!

We are both getting v frustrated by it and were considering using a punishment such as no tv for that day to try and break this cycle. What do ppl think about this - is it unreasonable? I genuinely don't know what to do if this isn't the answer, as feel we've tried most other stuff such as lots of praise & encouragement, sticker charts, treats...

MarchLikeAnAnt Mon 10-Aug-15 17:28:10

YABU!! He is 3 years old fgs.

VeryEarlyDays Mon 10-Aug-15 17:30:48

Thing is the inopportune moments could be a result of stress/emotional reaction to situation rather than being "naughty". I suggest ignoring it and giving no emotional response at all and continue to praise being dry.

ReallyTired Mon 10-Aug-15 17:31:44

It sounds like you at end of your tether. Do you think cloth pull ups might help frayed tempers. I used Bright Bots with my daugther.

I guess you are feeling pretty frustrated, but punishments for toilet accidents are usually counter productive. It makes the whole thing far too pressurised. Also a small child is unlikely to connect loss of tv with pooing/ weeing at the wrong moment. I believe an over punitive approach might led to issues with constipiation and soiling.

I think you need to take the pressure of with toilet training. Have no nagging/ reminders and allow your son to take control of his toileting. Allow him to take the initative to ask for the toilet. If your son wees in the wrong place, just calmly change his clothes, clear up and make no comment.

It may well be worth putting your son back into nappies for a couple of months if your son is really having no sucess with toilet training.

VeryEarlyDays Mon 10-Aug-15 17:32:13

Sorry reread and realised he is 3! yabu he is still very wrong to have the muscle control and emotional maturity!

DisappointedOne Mon 10-Aug-15 17:32:16

I'd suggest reviewing your entire attitude towards your son. Time out will do nothing of benefit and as for punishing him while potty training.......

Crispyjoyluck Mon 10-Aug-15 17:32:58

YAB incredibly U.

Punishing? No. Stop trying and wait till her gets it.

DisappointedOne Mon 10-Aug-15 17:33:17

Your unreasonableness is off the planet.

DisappointedOne Mon 10-Aug-15 17:33:59

(I'd rethink the stickers and treats too, personally.)

lapetitesiren Mon 10-Aug-15 17:35:43

You should not punish him. He can do it when he is concentrating on it but once distracted forgets. Normal for a three year old. Let him have a pull-up for accidents ,and clean up with minimal fuss and reward him with lots of attention for using the loo/potty

ProcrastinatorGeneral Mon 10-Aug-15 17:36:08

Your son is a child and doesn't see anything the way an adult does. You're expecting him to apply adult logic to his three year old world. Just leave him be and try again in a couple of months. You don't sound very nice to be fair.

DisappointedOne Mon 10-Aug-15 17:36:23

Let him have a pull-up for accidents

What do you mean by this?

LetThereBeCupcakes Mon 10-Aug-15 17:36:38

What makes you so sure he's ready? Nothing from your post would seem to support that.

Totality22 Mon 10-Aug-15 17:37:42

Potty training is awful. I am so jealous of people who have kids thay just 'get it'

DS is 2.9 and needs to be dry for nursery in a few months so we're on a time limit. Sadly DS is nowhere near ready.

I wouldn't dream of punishing of course but I'm really not enjoying the process and we're only in the early stages nappy off time and a few pottys around the house

Donnadoon Mon 10-Aug-15 17:38:07

Patience and lots of it is what you need
One of my DSs was still having lots of accidents at nearer 4 and one of my DDs was bone dry at 20 months
I have 5 DC and they will become dry when they are jolly well ready.

MarchLikeAnAnt Mon 10-Aug-15 17:39:09

Perhaps it would be a good idea if you asked your health visitor to point you in the direction of some parenting classes.

flyhigh Mon 10-Aug-15 17:40:52

I would not punish for the toilet accidents, just reinforce where he should be going.
Totally disagree with the OP who said not to use time out for misbehaviour, I personally believe it to be a worthwhile consequence for a 3 year old.

Lweji Mon 10-Aug-15 17:41:38


What are the inopportune moments? If they are stressful situations, then he's not ready.

My DS was well over 3 when he mastered it. He was still in nappies but was encouraged to pee before going to bed.

And definitely don't punish him.

seaoflove Mon 10-Aug-15 17:42:25

Sometimes being physically capable of toilet training isn't enough. My (very stubborn and wilful) daughter has just toilet trained at the lofty age of 3.10. She was definitely capable of it a long time ago but just wouldn't. She wouldn't even wet or soil herself, she'd just hold it in all day long.

It was a psychological thing. We kept trying, with the same miserable result, and then I just gave up. I figured she'd wake up one day and would want to wear knickers.

Well, that day didn't arrive, so I waited for the school holidays to start and went cold turkey on the nappies. She was still very resistant, but my will was stronger than hers for once and we got there.

TL;DR maybe you should try again in a few months.

ReallyTired Mon 10-Aug-15 17:43:33

Bribary and corruption does have a place in potty training, but needs to be done carefully. I used pringles to reward my daughter for using the potty. I suggest no nagging and allowing your child to use the toilet when they want to. If they get their wee in the right place without any prompting then they deserve a treat.

I think the OP is feeling stressed and at the end of her tether. Is there a deadline looming like starting pre school? Is the OP under pressure from a mother in law with super human children who were out of nappies at 12 months? (Most women over the age of 60 are pathological liars about the age their progeny were toilet trained. Its my belief that most mumsnetters had a potty strapped to their arse were potty trained from birth in the 1970s.

Is there any particular reason why her son needs to be trained NOW?

DisappointedOne Mon 10-Aug-15 17:43:48

DisappointedOne Mon 10-Aug-15 17:45:23

DisappointedOne Mon 10-Aug-15 17:46:17

Sunnymeg Mon 10-Aug-15 17:46:38

I think the fact that he has been training for a few weeks indicates that he is not totally ready. It took less than a fortnight to train my son. I waited as long as I could before starting training and it was very easy. My son was 3 and a half, which sounds late, but he was totally dry by the end of the fortnight. Is your son showing the signs of being able to recognise his body's cues to use the toilet, or are you thinking that he should be trained because he is 3?

DoItTooJulia Mon 10-Aug-15 17:50:07

I think OP is getting a rough ride here.

Hope the potty training improves. I have no useful suggestions, because we're potting training now, so I'm no expert but I can empathise with you. flowers

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