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Toiletting problems 4 year old(7 Posts)
I really need some help.
My eldest child is 4, turns 5 in august and is in reception at school. We toilet trained him the summer he turned 3 and if I'm honest he was pretty good! Occasional accidents but all was going well till that December when his little brother was born. Unfortunately his little brother was very unexpectedly poorly and it resulted in a 3 week hospital stay and then 4 months of dashing off in the middle of the night to a&e and lots of overnight/ for a few days stays. At the time we were all totally amazing with how well eldest coped however we are now 15 months on and we can not get a handle on his toileting. He has constant accidents. Wee and poo, won't tell us, gets cross if we talk about it, won't engage in conversation about it.
We have tried everything, and I mean absolutely everything to try and get on top of it, and we will have a few weeks where it gets better (like the 3 weeks he was back at school he only had 1 accident the whole time and I really thought we had cracked it) but then this week has just been awful again. Having 4/5/6 accidents a day of both kinds and I am at my absolute limit of clearing up after him multiple times a day! However, this week he has had a day with his grandparents (childcare) and didn't have one accident, so I'm really starting to wonder if it's just me.
The doctors aren't interested, health visitors just pass us off and the school nurses aren't interested until he turns 5, but surely this isn't normal?? I'm feeling like such a terrible parent and just really don't know where to turn to help him, anyone else had this?? Where do I get help?!
It's having a serious effect on my mental health and I am desperately trying not to show him this but I'm finding it increasingly difficult to shrug it off any longer it's so demoralising!
Maybe having accidents was his way to get more attention from you when his sibling was sick, and he's sort of formed a habit of it now. Maybe you can nip it in the bud by a) making sure to have extra special 1-1 time with him every day, and b) by expecting him to clean himself up - take off his trousers, scrape stuff off his pants into the toilet, put clothes in the washer or to soak in a bucket, and have a shower and then get dressed again. If it becomes really annoying for him to have an accident and it flame result in attention, and he's getting his needs for attention met elsewhere, maybe he'll stop doing it?
This is not uncommon happened with both of mine, oldest more than youngest. He just isn't fully able to do it yet sure he gets the idea just chooses not to, for whatever reason his little mind decides. Mine also went through phases and also found out and about, with friends etc never happened. I couldn't fathom it. But it does end at some point.
Personally I don't think getting a 4 year old to scrape and clean up poo is neither practical nor appropriate and I'm certain it isn't going to help him stop. I'd save yourself the hassle, might make you feel like you are more in control but you won't be. But that is just my opinion, perhaps it does work for some children
My son went through phases of this when his siblings were born. We also did our best to play it down which was really hard. What worked well for him, basic I know, was a star chart. He was mad about Lego and the prospect of adding another star to his chart to get his reward worked at reminding him to use the loo. We also had longer bedtimes for him so there was time for chats and an extra story.
Thanks for your input!
We tried star charts but he's just not interested. We currently have marble jars so he gets to put marbles in the 'good'. Jar for doing everything in the toilet but has to take them out when he does it in his pants. This works well but when he has an accident he doesn't seem to care a huge amount about taking the marbles out.
There's no way I could make him clean himself and everything up he just wouldn't do it. He'd be quite happy naked all day every day covered in wee and poo so don't think that will work in this case.
I am definitely trying to give him extra attention to make sure it's not that he feels pushed out, his brother is a bit easier now so it's easier to have a game with the older and spend some time together.
I'm glad to hear it's not just us though, all his friends seem so established and nobody else in his class seems to have as many accidents as he does so I was starting to worry that there's something else wrong. I will keep plugging away hopefully one day something will click 🤞
There is nothing wrong I am sure. It is a lot more common than you think and than people let on.
I also don't think it has much to do with the baby, as happened with my youngest son (not as bad as my eldest though only 1 or maybe 2 times a day and not every day) and he had no change with a sibling coming. It is just 4 year olds, despite what people might have you believe not all are reliably toilet trained they forget as it just isn't important to them. My youngest is 5 in a couple weeks and has accidents most days although getting less frequent now and not every day. I'm not worried in slightest he wont do it forever