Run out of ideas - what do i do next?(42 Posts)
DS1 is fast approaching his 4th birthday and we are having massive problems with him still pooing in his pants.
So as not to drip feed, and to give background, we started potty training with him back in February, not long after his 3rd birthday. All signs of readiness were there (knew he was having / needed a wee or poo, was very interested, able to control / hold it). Within a few days he'd mastered weeing and even telling us he needed to go and has been completely dry since except for the odd accident.
Pooing on the other hand has been something of a challenge. He's never been constipated and has been so regular you could set your watch by him. His usual time is literally first thing in the morning, as in he's already pooed in his nappy before we have even had time to open the bedroom door, which has made quite difficult to get him to go on the toilet or potty.
He has done poo's on the toilet and potty, but has never been 100% reliable. However, since July he just won't poo on the toilet or potty at all. He has soiled himself several times at nursery and school, and at home.
Initially we tried ignoring and just doing the never 'never mind next time we'll get it in the potty / toilet', rewards charts, encouragement, praise, rewards etc, sitting him on the toilet at regular times but with no pressure to poo just sit but he is at the point where he is even refusing to just sit on the toilet at all. When we have had a poo, he's done a bit, got off the toilet and then within 30 minutes done the rest in his pants.We've talked to him about it, and he understands that that you poo on the toilet, but when he needs to he doesn't tell us, hides and does it in his pants. When we've asked him why he didn't tells us or do it on the toilet we've had a variety of reactions from him laughing, shrugging his shoulders, saying it hurts, he doesn't want to, we poo in our pants and everything else in between.
I've just had 2 weeks at home with him and have been trying to work on this this with him, we've got a special reward chart just for poos and he's been promised a special reward for when he's done 5 poo's, lots of encouragement etc and not a single poo.Today we hit a new low where he'd been put in his room for some time out, and when I went to get him out he'd trashed his room, pooed in his pants and had smeared it over EVERYTHING. I have just spent the last hour cleaning it all up and sorting out his clothes while DH has showered him.
What the hell do I do now? I'm at a complete loss as to hep him with this.
Feel for you - this can become quite stressful if a child continues to soil themselves at nursery etc.
Just wondered about him saying that "it hurts"? Maybe worth him seeing the doctor just in case there is a problem.
My son had a similar problem (he is at university now so obviously quite a long time ago!) and I think I allowed it to become a massive issue with him, where he felt pressurised to go on the toilet, didn't want to go, and then started to hold it in more and more, which led to further problems.
I'd thought about taking him to the GP and would have by now if he was consistently telling us it hurt but he's not, it almost feels like he's just telling us anything. When we've seen him poo in his nappy he doesn't appear overly uncomfortable or in pain and his poo's are soft, unless there could be something else that I'm missing? TBH think I'm going to take him just for peace of mind and to completely rule out anything medical. After that I really don't know what to do anymore
sounds like a power struggle-time to back off completely .If he is looking forward to going to school, being big enuf to do
- then maybe you can win his cooperation with that carrot after things have quietened down. Maybe you can find a book about a boy who wants to do - and has to first learn to use the toilet.
I read somewhere else about a poo haka. A family did a silly dance all together every time any member of the family had a poo on the loo, until little understood that it resulted in a fun celebration. Apparently the child them started pooing on the loo because they wanted their own haka.
Do you have a continence team in your area? I was referred to ours by the health visitor.
Sympathy for you, my 4yr old is going through similar.
We had similar with dd. After starting a thread on here I downloaded and printed a small book from Northumberland NHS. Poo goes to Pooland. Not sure why, but it really worked for us.
Have a look at the ERIC website. It's all about children's continence problems
Thanks for your replies, I am feeling relieved to know that it's not just us having this nightmare. We've had literally months of just saying never mind and ignoring the bad, praising & rewarding the good.
I've been on the ERIC website and have tried getting him to just sit down for longer than 5 Seconds with no pressure to poo and making it fun sign songs , stories, and the iPad but he point blank refuses, I have no idea what to do with him now.
We've just this week started potty training ds2 and had wondered if there has been an element of if you can poo in your nappy , I can do it in my pants.
At the moment the other children in his class haven't noticed & are still a bit too young to understand but that won't last and it's breaking my heart to think of what it will be like for him
It must be very difficult for you all, but if my 3 year old trashed his bedroom and smeared poo around i'd be bloody furious.
Out of interest how did you react to that?
Outwardly I stayed calm until he started trying to resist going in the shower then got very firm with him, dh took over to shower him so I could clean up the mess and dh ended up telling him off. It's the first time dh has told him off over the pooing issue. I burst in to tears cleaning up his room but he didn't see that. I don't know if he deliberately smeared it or tried to clean himself up & made a monumental mess.He's never done anything like that before.
My DS, now 4, didn't like doing poos on the potty or the loo because of the drop. He got over it but we offered nappies for poos, right until he was 3+. My DD is now potty trained for wees but still wants a nappy for a poo. Sure she'll get it - they all want yo be like big kids/ their friends/ us.
Why not back right off and let him know he can have nappies for poos? It's got to be better than shitty walls.
Bad luck on your awful day, OP
Because he'd been being very silly (typical 3yr old behaviour), stomped off in a strop when he was told to stop being silly or wr wouldn't be going out, then came back in the room & screamed at me & dh, hit me, was told if he carried on then he would be having time out, he screamed at us again then hit & pinched me. Hence the time out.
Tbh op I'm with your dh.
I would tell him off, absolutely.
Sorry you're so upset about it, but unless he has a medical issue, it sounds to me like you're being too nice about the whole issue. I don't mean be nasty to your ds - he's only a little boy, but trashing your room is just so massively not on, at almost 4 he needs to know this and can absolutely understand.
I think some firmness from you both is what he needs. (Plus love, kindness, support, books, rewards etc).
I disagree with pp. I think you should let him continue to poo in nappies-pooing regularly takes longer to 'get' whole toilet training. Dd has sore poos, even though they are relatively soft-we give her a Movicol every other day which helps enormously.
Don't tell him off for soiling
It won't help and will likely make it lots worse
I had loads of trouble with DS- sometimes we would get a poo in the loo but it was really just lucky timing of making him sit.
He often soiled several times a day and sometimes would be at the table and looking straight at us and do his 'poo face' of a quick strain and do a whole poo in his pants.
He was never constipated or hard.
He never asked for a poo and the more stressed we got the more he did until he refused to even sit on the loo when asked. I guess he just realised it was a source of conflict and he also found it boring being removed from whatever he was doing.
We had to really step back and think it through and realised he genuinely just hadn't got the hang of the sensations that tell him a poo is there and needs pushing out.
He had also often pooed in nappy when asleep so somehow hasn't learnt the normal feelings.
We had to literally start from scratch with him at five including rebuilding his confidence to even sit on the loo.
He is 7 and a lot better although still mainly clean as we have a routine of him sitting after breakfast each day.
But he isn't soiling so often and is very happy to sit on the loo and occasionally volunteers he needs to go and gets there in time. Major progress
So whilst not wanting to scare you- it could be a similar situation and my experience was very much that pressure and conflict even if it doesn't feel like you are being angry, can be counter productive and set things further back.
We're definitely leaning to being firmer with him as it's the only thing we haven't tried. I did loose it with him 2 weeks ago when he pooed in his favourite pants and when I told him those pants were going in the bin he said there's another one in the drawer.
I'm a mixture of frustrated, angry & feeling helpless & hopeless. He is an incredibly bright, funny little boy who really wants to please but he's also incredibly strong willed.
They're all strong willed. Every single one of 'em. Don't get hung up on that!
Have you tried getting dh to race him the toilet? That is popular here. Also Going to the GP and having the gp look firmly at the child and say "I would expect you to be...[snip]...by now.
Sorry about the bedroom trouble. I know what the power struggle can be like and it does feel very tricky. Do you know who the power struggle is with? You or DH? If it is one of you then the job could be handed over to the other. That helped with us.
In about a year his brain will have developed much much more and he should be a lot more clued in, which helps a whole lot.
Have you met 123 magic? It worked a treat for us.
Thank you all so much for your advice, it's much appreciated. DH & I like the idea of him doing it in a nappy (anything is preferable than what we had today) so will try that with him as well as taking all pressure off. I'm going to get him checked by the GPS too as think he also has uncomfortable poos (not constipated) to make sure we're not missing something.
We really don't want this to be an issue for him or us. I do think as well he is just far too busy to sit on the toilet & just thinks it's a waste of time.
I don't mean 123 magic for potty training btw. Just for general discipline. Potty training just takes eons sometimes.
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