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Asking for the toilet as an attention gaining/procrastinating tool - what do I do?

(10 Posts)
Weegle Wed 14-Jan-09 13:25:16

If it's nap time, or if we're about to leave a friends house, or if I'm doing something and he wants attention he says he needs the loo - gets there and does nothing. It happens maybe 4-12 times a day. Only to me - not DH or anyone else who looks after him. Sometimes I really know he doesn't need it, other times I'm not sure.

How can I stop this? It's driving me crazy because although he can take his trousers and pants down he can't pull them up again and needs me to do them - not a big deal except I have a very bad back and this really hurts and I don't want to have to do it for nothing, in fact since starting PT'ing all the bending/lifting has made me worse.

I've tried saying I won't help you pull your pants/trousers up if you don't really need it but this a) seems mean and b) isn't having any affect. I've tried saying "if you want me to play with you then just say mummy play with me please?" etc etc. And it's not like he's ignored and not given lots of my attention. He's an only child and we have live in help for me so pretty much is swamped with attention, although he is very good playing by himself also.

Anyone gone through this and found something that works? And if not, how long does this phase last?!

Weegle Wed 14-Jan-09 13:40:59


Weegle Wed 14-Jan-09 18:05:58

bump - has no one else had this?!

AliceTheCamelHasGotTheHump Wed 14-Jan-09 18:17:32

How old is he?

Am assuming about 2 or 3?

I would just go along with it, but make it boring. When he asks to go, take him, no chat, oh well never mind, you didn't need to go after all, pants up and off. It's a phase, and if you make it boring he'll lose interest soon enough.

Regarding asking to go when he really just wants to play / have your attention. Children are still learning to interact socially - it's his fledgling and clumsy way of initiating a social interaction. You may be expecting a bit too much to want him to differentiate what sort of interaction he wants and request it, "Mummy please play with me now" etc?

Also, by remembering that they're just practising being real people helps me to find dd's more annoying habits endearing!

Weegle Wed 14-Jan-09 19:39:18

Thank you!

He's 2.7. I sometimes think I have high expectations of him (he looks about 5 and has excellent speech and despite my best efforts I still don't see him as an overgrown baby). Ok, I will make it boring rather than go on about how annoyed I am as I guess that is negative attention, but attention. I hadn't thought of it like that, so thank you.

Pitchounette Wed 14-Jan-09 20:42:53

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Schnullerbacke Wed 14-Jan-09 20:55:35

Hi Weegle,

we also had this problem, especially at night when DD didn't want to sleep. At first I helped her to sit on the toilet and waited until she was finished. Then I just got too annoyed, left her to sit by herself and told her to tell me when she is finished.

Worked a treat. She now only goes for a poo when she really needs to as she knows that sitting by herself is fat too boring.

Hope you get over this soon! Oh, and I also have back pain but I just kneel in front of the loo to take her pants down.

Weegle Thu 15-Jan-09 07:43:03

Pitchounette I really have been trying for months to teach him to pull his trousers and pants up and he simply doesn't have the coordination to do it. Every single day we try and every single day he can't get his bum in... (maybe it's big?!). Even in joggers or PJ bottoms he can't do it. We will of course persevere. I'm not worried about pre-school because he already started in November and they aren't bothered at all - in fact they are happy to do more for him than I do, they say he is streets ahead of some of the other boys his age in dressing (can do tops). But yes I will go low key as I realise I have been giving him attention, albeit negative, and really hadn't noticed I was doing that despite normally being quite hot on it.

Schnullerbacke thank you - I took that approach yesterday and then when I went to help with the trousers I was low key - we only had a few times yesterday so fingers crossed. Problem is it's not just back pain - it's a rheumatic condition and so all joints (although mostly back and pelvis) are affected so repeated getting up and down off the floor isn't really an option. We make do but it probably is irritating me more because of this little battle of wills grin

Pitchounette Thu 15-Jan-09 13:02:45

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Weegle Thu 15-Jan-09 16:37:21

Yes I could let him - he stands to wee and still does poo on the potty so he could call me when he's finished. Except he isn't quite good enough with aim yet to be trusted but I can clear that up I guess!

Actually so far today (touch wood) he hasn't tried it on - so maybe my no attention making it boring thing is working?!

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