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Please help! I've run out of ideas. How can I get DS to wipe his bum and wash his hands???

(19 Posts)
mckenzie Mon 03-Aug-09 21:38:52

DS is just 8. When he does a poo, he always 'forgets' to wipe his bottom, flush the toilet and wash his hands. I have tried constant reminders, notices on the wall opposite the toilet, sticker charts, making up a rhyme and nagging! Nothing works. I can remind him as he's sitting on the toilet, he'll repeat back to me what he needs to do and yet just 60 seconds later he'll get up, pull up his pants and walk away!!!!!

Is he just being an average 8 year old boy who's got more important things to think about than toilet hygiene or is there more to it than that do you think?


foxinsocks Mon 03-Aug-09 21:42:13


it might not make you feel better if I tell you I still have to nag my two to flush grrr

they do wipe though

does he have very clean breaks (thinks of polite word)? Maybe he has never needed to wipe as much as others?

cece Mon 03-Aug-09 21:46:01

My 5 year old does wipe but leaves the toilet in a revolting state. Never flushes and has tobe reminded everytime to wash his hands... Will watch this thread with interest.

mckenzie Mon 03-Aug-09 21:47:38

the opposite foxinsocks. DS has loose bowels and definitely needs to wipe. His pants show that he doesn't wipe his bottom, or if he does ever wipe it, he doesn't wipe it clean.

slowreadingprogress Mon 03-Aug-09 22:00:25

do you sit in with him when he does a poo?

I think if he is not even wiping, that he needs supervising until he's in better habits. Bit boring for you though!

DidEinsteinsMum Mon 03-Aug-09 22:04:52

We have memory joggers on the back of the door. Pictures that ds refers to to remind him what he needs to have done before he comes out. They work but have not figured out how to get him to remember to shut the door. Many blush moments when you walk in front door to see ds peeing. thankfuly he is 4 1/2 but know lots of kids who need visual reminders so it might be worth a try. plus it hasw embarishment value if he has friends over so the reward would be their removal and slipping threat of return wink

<<disclaimer assuming memory thing not medical thing..

cece Mon 03-Aug-09 22:08:17

i did get him to stop weeing on the floor next to the toilet. we told him no wii if we saw wee on the floor..

foxinsocks Mon 03-Aug-09 22:16:30

you'd think it would be uncomfortable then mackenzie, wouldn't you

is he leaving it till the last minute to go and then rushing off so as not to miss anything (like they do at school)?

foxinsocks Mon 03-Aug-09 22:18:48

yes, I think it's worth trying a treat do you think?

work out something he really wants and then tell him you will check (great!) whether he has wiped and flushed and wash hands every time he goes and if he does what you've asked, he can have a sticker and when he's got 10, he'll get X (and make sure it's something he really wants).

If he can't do it with some sort of incentive, it might be worth investigating whether you think something else is up (memory or ordering commands wise).

foxinsocks Mon 03-Aug-09 22:20:50

oh sorry, see you have said sticker charts!

do you think it's a case of him just being so used to not wiping that he just doesn't do it?

I would also sit in with him for a bit I think. It might also be clearer if he's right in front of you whether it's a deliberate 'just trying to get out of the loo quick' thing or pure forgetting.

If his bowels are loose, he may be finding it unpleasant to wipe which might have put him off at some stage.

TigerDrivesAgain Mon 03-Aug-09 22:28:43

Not sure this is much help, but DS is 7.5 and until recently was just like this. Then all of a sudden he's managed just fine. In fact, it's only reading this that made me realise that I haven't had either the dreaded skid mark underpants or "muuum, wipe my bum!" for well, a good couple of months. He does stand up to wee without lifting the seat though, and doesn't aim... but I'm working on that.

I think they just grow out of it, I've no idea what got DS out of it though.

mckenzie Mon 03-Aug-09 22:48:21

thank you for all the replies, it really helps to get a different perspective.
slowreadingprogress - I don't sit with him but maybe I should for a bit but he does tend to just take himself off upstairs (interesting that I am now thinking as we have a downstairs toilet but he doesn't use it hmm.
DidEinsteinsMum - I do have the poster on the wall with words so perhaps will try and find some suitable pictures and try that instead. DD had one on the wall in the toilet at pre-school so i must be able to get one from somewhere.
cece - Dh has just bought us all Wii Resorts which we are all loving! I'll try that as a bribe too.
foxinsocks - I don't think it's because he's in a hurry as I have watched him (secretly) and seen him get off the toilet, pull up his pants and trousers and sit down on the bathroom floor and read the book that he was reading before he needed the poo! He does get a tad embarrassed when I show him the stains in his pants and says "I'm so stupid! Why did I do that?" but I don't think it truly bothers him. He says that he's stupid quite a lot. For example, if i ask him to bring his drink upstairs and he comes up without it, he'll bash himself gently on the head and tell me he's stupid sad.

I think I will go back to taking him to the toilet - it's something i have mentioned to DS that might have to happen. And also do another sticker chart to go with it so if he does all he's supposed to do while I am there he gets a sticker and then once he's doing it regularly then i can try leaving him and just checking afterwards.

I'd tried this weekend a threat of him losing a football kit every time I caught him not wiping or washing etc and spent the weekend just saying/shouting "football kit" every time I saw him go to the toilet. That worked for saturday and sunday but today, he lost two kits sad

purepurple Wed 05-Aug-09 08:44:03

try sparklebox for some picture resources, they have lots of bathroom ones.
They only way to get this fixed in his head is to constantly nag him about it.
Remind him before he goes in and when he comes out, as well as during.
Tell him you don't like washing his dirty underwear and if it carries on he will have to wash them himself. He is old enough to understand.

mckenzie Thu 06-Aug-09 20:10:46

thanks for the link purepurple. I've downloaded a hand washing sign and a flushing sign but cant find any bum wiping ones! Guess I'll have a go at making one instead. And good idea about the washing of the pants - I shall try that one too.

purepurple Fri 07-Aug-09 09:40:36

mckenzie, sometimes us mums need to toughen up!
If he is just being lazy and not doing it because he can't be bothered, he needs to realise that there are consequences for this.
Tell him you will have to come into school and wipe his bum for him (imagine the shame, he would be mortified, but a good remimder for him)
Tell him he can't go to friends houses or school trips if he can't take care of his basic hygiene.
We used to have this with DD and teeth brushing. I used to show her pictures of rotten teeth and when she got tooth ache and had to have it out, she realised that she needed to listen to me.

Crablass Fri 07-Aug-09 12:28:04

Maybe if he has loose bowels things are a little sore and loo roll a little scratchy?

Maybe try the balmy loo-roll or wet wipey things?

Also, depending on how sensitive or mature he is you could treat him more adultly if he's 8. I know with our 9 year old, when he was 8 and went out with snot and bogies everywhere, refusing to wipe his nose, we just looked disgustedly at him and told him he was rancid, and at 8 he could take care of his personal hygiene himself. With the handwashing thing I checked everytime he held my hand whether he'd washed them, telling him I didn't really want to hold his wee-soaked hand! In a matter of days he was washing his hands and wiping his nose. He's quite a robust boy though and not easily upset by being called gross.

Our youngest refused to wipe his bum at all up until recently. We told him when he was 4 that he would have to start doing it himself when he was 5 as that was when he became a big boy and not a baby anymore (he HATES being called a baby), and we'd have to come into school and do it if he didn't try and do it himself. His fifth birthday dawned and he came into our bedroom announcing "I did my first MORNING POO, and I WIPED IT ALL MYSELF!!!" Ok so he had poo all over his hands but he was very proud of his birthday pooing skills and we've not really looked back since.

Oh unless you count the time he had an absolutlely enormous poo and shouted incredulously "There's just TOO MUCH POO! I can;t CATCH IT ALL"

mckenzie Fri 07-Aug-09 20:00:20

thanks guys for the extra posts.
DS has never shown signs of having a sore bottom (I do check fairly regularly as I'm often checking for worms after DS had them twice last year sad) I think also that he would say or I would see him wince when I do see him wipe. Today I did as Purepurple suggested and when he undressed for his bath, I showed him his underpants and said that i would not be washing them. He washed them himself straight away (I have never seen him do anything that quickly grin) but in the bathroom sink with the liquid soap. They are now clean enough to go in the machine though now and DS himself did then say he needed to give his hands a good wash as he'd touched poo!
I appreciate your other suggestions Purepurple but DS is a rather sensitive soul and I'm not sure the threats about going into school and showing his friends etc will have the desired effect. They are more likely just to cause him to start picking his finger nails again or have nightmares and bedwetting. I'll keep with the horror at his pants and refusal to wash them for now and see how we progress.
Thanks again for your replies.

mckenzie Fri 07-Aug-09 20:01:07

btw, Crablass I love your story about your youngest! At least you were at home when that happened!

Spidermama Fri 07-Aug-09 20:21:39

mckenzie you have my sympathy. My 7 year old ds is the same and like yours the evidence is there not just in the toilet but on his under pants. Yuk! His four year old brother is the same. Everyone in the house complains about it but nothing seems to get through.

I'm having some success getting them to wee in the right place. I had them mopping it up themselves which worked.

I like crablass's thiking. I will be telling ds he can't go to his friend's houses because he's not coping with basic bum wiping and needs to work on it.

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