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Don't know what to do - TT question

(17 Posts)
Nic04 Tue 16-Mar-04 06:00:59

I have another question regarding my ds and would greatly appreciate some help. Basically, he is 3.8 yrs old and refuses to do a poo on the toilet. He's been potty trained since age 2 1/2, and he's been weeing (standing up) in the toilet for ages now. Problem is, he seems to be scared of sitting on the toilet and nothing, literally nothing, seems to be working - I've tried bribing him with food and treats, I've bought various inserts for the toilet seat, a stool to put his feet on, you name it. I've also tried the calm approach and the very firm approach... neither seems to help. He is going to preschool now, which is one reason why I'd like to get him off the potty as soon as possible.

This morning wasn't very good I'm afraid... dh is home on holidays at the moment so he tried to get ds to do a poo on the toilet this morning. DS screamed and resisted and wouldn't listen to any kind of reasoning, so in the end dh lost his patience and went mad on him. I know, I know - it isn't supposed to go like this. I wasn't very impressed with at dh for getting so angry at him but I can also understand the frustration, as we've been trying for ages now without much success. DS even watched his little cousin sit on the toilet the other day, she's not even three yet but she sits on the toilet with her legs dangling down and it doesn't bother her at all. DS is MUCH bigger than her, but he still won't sit on it - he says he's scared.

Oh - and if we take the potty away, ds just holds on and refuses to go to the toilet. He's managed to go for about two days without doing a poo, simply because he won't sit on the toilet, when he normally does one every morning. I'm at my wit's end. What should I do? Thanks for your help.

twiglett Tue 16-Mar-04 08:47:40

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twiglett Tue 16-Mar-04 08:48:10

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Jimjams Tue 16-Mar-04 09:42:10

I have a potty seat that converts into a toilet seat. - so you could actually put that on the toilet with the potty bit stil inside. Like pooing on a potty- but higher and stable.

I also have a book about potty training autistic kids- this sort of problem is VERY common with autis- so I'll look in there later today and see if they have any strategies.

Nic04 Tue 16-Mar-04 10:42:27

Hi Jimjams & twiglett, I have tried those potty-type inserts that sit on the toilet seat, but unfortunately nothing will convince him. I actually bought an expensive one that had both a stool and an insert for the toilet seat, which also doubled as a potty - I even put stickers on it to make it look more interesting. For a minute I thought he was going to sit on it, but then he decided he hated it and refused to go near it... so I took it back to the shop. Sigh - I feel like I've tried everything.

twiglett Tue 16-Mar-04 10:44:49

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Sonnet Tue 16-Mar-04 10:58:34

Good luck - can't suggest anything that the others havn't already but I can understand your anxities. I think if I were you I'd try Twigglets approach with the nappies

dinosaur Tue 16-Mar-04 11:02:13

Nic04 my DS1 refused to do a poo on the toilet for ages, and I didn't know what on earth we were going to do when he started in Reception in Jan '04.

We actually just left him alone to do poos in the potty for quite a few months, because it took us long enough to get to that stage! (Previously he was pooing four or five times a day in his pants.) So we just tried not to stress about it for a few months.

Then in November 2003 I said to him, almost as a joke, "Right DS1, on 1 December you're going to do two things, you can start opening your advent calendar and you can start sitting on your special toilet seat to do poos." He agreed...but what was really amazing was that come 1 December, he actually did start voluntarily using the toilet seat.

So, I know it's hard, but try not to stress, maybe just give it a month or two without really hassling him, then maybe try and "set a date" when he's going to start? I definitely would not take the potty away in the meantime, because you don't want him to get constipated by "holding on".

Good luck anyway, he WILL get there!

rosiesmumof4 Thu 18-Mar-04 22:19:29

I think Dinsoaur's comments are pretty spot on. My oldest wouldn't move off the potty and i was getting increasingly wound up about it, but he did get there before he started school - his cousin was still asking for a nappy to be put on for him to do a poo in until a few months before starting school and his mum was going crazy with worry about what would happen, but i think that giving a month's break of no aggro, followed bysetting a date sometime hence and mentioning it frequently in a causal by the way manner before getting to the date can be surprisingly successful in getting new behaviours adopted.

Nic04 Tue 23-Mar-04 06:07:42

Here I am again

I know you all said not to stress about this but I spoke to a friend the other day who said "I would just get rid of the potty and get him using the toilet as soon as possible. He'll also have to learn to wipe his bottom fairly soon so you may as well get him used to using the toilet." She has a 7 yr old and a 5 yr old. I don't know whether we should just bite the bullet and throw the potty away completely, so that ds knows it's gone... is this a wise idea though?

Right now we've got a toilet-seat insert for him to sit on, which seems to be very comfortable, plus a stool for him to rest his feet on. There is no reason why he shouldn't be able to do it, except for the fact that he doesn't seem to like the idea at all. He will sit on the seat but he just cries and says he wants to do it on the potty. Aarrghh... it's so hard to know the right thing to do when there are so many conflicting opinions out there. I'm even thinking of approaching his teacher and asking what their expectations are of children his age, to try & get a better idea.

Nic04 Tue 23-Mar-04 06:35:23

P.S. Dinosaur I've even tried pin-pointing a date before, and that didn't work either. I gave him a day that we were going to start sitting on the toilet instead of the potty and I gave him lots of warning ahead of time. He seemed to understand and agreed to it, until the actual moment came...

Sorry if this is repetitive, as you can tell I'm a bit confused

frogs Tue 23-Mar-04 12:01:28

As I see it, in this situation you can take one of two lines:

Hippy mum: He'll do it when he's ready, don't worry about it;
Cut-up-rough mum: Throw the potty away. He'll have to poo eventually, even if you have to get laxatives.

I am regularly both of these mums, depending on whether or not the issue matters to me (not to other people!!) Other people don't have to live with your son, so as long as he's not constantly pooing his pants in public it's none of their business. However, getting worked up about it and changing tack a lot is not going to help, as he'll either get confused or deliberately dig his heels in as he can see you really mind.

My consideration when deciding which line to take in such cases is: Does it inconvenience me? (Selfish, I know, but most parenting boundaries are arbitrary in the end, so you may as well set them to suit yourself.) Your friend is obviously cut-up-rough mum on this particular issue, which is probably the right choice for her. That doesn't mean you have to take the same line.

Personally I wouldn't go along with the 'he'll only poo in a nappy' thing that some 4-year olds have going, 'cos I hate dirty nappies. The potty thing wouldn't really bother me, so I'd probably let him get on with it (Hippy mum). On the other hand, if you regularly need to be out and about where you don't have a potty handy, or if it's affecting his health, it may be more of a nuisance than it's worth, in which case I'd cut up rough (and be prepared to follow through, whatever it took).

It truly doesn't ultimately matter what you decide as long as it's not making you and your kids unhappy. Panicking about what other people think you should be doing, and constantly trying new strategies, on the other hand, is likely to make everyone confused and miserable.

I know plenty of children who've had the most bizarre stuff going on at home (eight-year olds with baby bottles; seven-year olds who'll only sleep in their parents' beds; five-year olds who only poo in nappies) and they all turn into decent human beings in the end. Don't worry.

Nic04 Tue 23-Mar-04 22:41:17

Thanks frogs. Puts it into perspective a bit better. It's only an inconvenience if we're out somewhere and he needs to go, but refuses to because it would mean sitting on a toilet.

I guess I just want him to go beyond the potty so that he'll be able to use a toilet wherever he goes, and to make him a bit more independent for when he's at preschool. At the moment he would not feel comfortable sitting on their toilets (even though they're the little ones) and would most likely try to wait until he came home.

I do agree with you about changing strategies, too - not very effective for anyone. Thanks again.

ponygirl Tue 23-Mar-04 22:51:55

Hi Noc04 - one thing I would say, if he's starting at a pre-school, is that my children seemed to turn into completely different people there. My dd rarely uses the toilet at home, using the potty, presumably because it's there, but has to use the toilet at pre-school, so does. And goes on her own. Talk to the pre-school about your problems, believe me they'll have seen it all before. It may be, that with the toilet a fait accompli, he'll just go along with it.

ponygirl Tue 23-Mar-04 22:52:16

Sorry, Nic04!

jmg Tue 23-Mar-04 23:25:03

Frogs - just wanted to say - that was a fantastic post. Sums up so much not just what we are talking about on this thread!!

ScummyMummy Tue 23-Mar-04 23:44:20

We "forgot" our twins' potties when we went away for a week and they had miraculously disappeared entirely from the our flat when we returned... Such a relief to no longer have our living room carpet routinely splashed with gallons of piss by a duo of bathroom-hating toilet refuseniks.

I think frogs' post is great. Personally I swing from hippy to cut-up-rough and back again in seconds flat, much to my kids' confusion on occasion, but I think if you are consistent about what you cut-up-rough about they do get the message in the end.

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