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Defeated and extremely down...

(20 Posts)
GruffaloShoes Fri 07-Mar-14 19:07:10

Hands up... I have been broken by the potty 'training' hell that has been my ALMOST 4 year old daughter.

She is totally capable of taking herself to the toilet and has her own little routine... Goes to the toilet, flushes, washes her hands and then tidies her seat and step away.

She just WILL NOT tell me when she needs to go and generally refuses. She will say she doesn't need to go even when frantically jiggling and clearly extremely uncomfortable. I have tried everything... Chocolate buttons, stickers, praise, almighty rants, etc.

When we are out if I don't take her she will stand and stare at me as she pisses herself!

She is bright, articulate and confident. Very cheerful and generally good natured.

But I cannot take this anymore. I have no idea what to do and am so down with the whole situation. I can never relax when we are out as I'm constantly watching for the telltale tale jiggling.

I've even tried just letting her pee her pants so she feels uncomfortable and leaving her to change her clothes. Not a problem... She will change and put her dirty laundry in the washing machine. I also can't just let her pee herself when we are out at things like soft play or her dance class as it impacts on others.

She cannot take part in preschool groups as she is not potty trained. She starts school in September and will be expected to be potty trained. I've explained all this to her to no avail.

I've been in tears over this as I'm clearly doing something wrong and it's totally got to me that it is affecting my relationship with her... In that it's like a cloud hanging over everything that we do. Perhaps I've given it too much importance but the older she gets the more important something as basic as going to the toilet is going to get.

Any ideas? Anyone?

Hogwash Fri 07-Mar-14 19:16:51

Yes, chill! Potty training is sent to break the even the strongest! I think I am right in saying preschool have to accept her even if she is not trained by then (though they may say otherwise).

I would do whatever you have to to take The tension out of it a bit. Pull ups, bribary, talking about it etc. They get there in the end. I would say it's a more difficult time than even having a pre-teen - sent to stop us overpopulating the world I think!

ashtrayheart Fri 07-Mar-14 19:19:58

I think I'd take the pressure off and pit her in pull ups. Chances are she'll get it together over summer in time for school.

ashtrayheart Fri 07-Mar-14 19:20:15


Hogwash Fri 07-Mar-14 19:20:50

Also, stop worrying about impacting 'on others'. They probably don't even notice and will have their own trials

Littlefish Fri 07-Mar-14 19:22:37

What do you mean"she cannot take part in pre school groups as she is not potty trained"? Pre-schools in England cannot refuse to take children who are not toilet trained, nor can schools.

Antidote Fri 07-Mar-14 19:23:05

Have you tried something like setting a alarm for every hour when you are out, and just taking her when it goes. Then she gets into the habit of going regularly but more importantly you don't have to watch for the jiggling!

You can then increase the interval so it is more manageable, and she gets used to going for longer.

I'd also try to make a habit of taking her when she wakes, before leaving the house, before snack, before lunch, before snack, before supper and before bed.

Littlefish Fri 07-Mar-14 19:24:38

I agree with Antidote. Take her to the toilet every 40 minutes to an hour. Do not ask her if she wants to go as she will undoubtedly say no. Just take her. Do not give her a choice.

HandragsNGladbags Fri 07-Mar-14 19:26:46

Do you ask her if she wants to go often? My DD is nearly 3 and I just stopped asking her as I had read an article on "toilet refusers". They say they don't need to go as a power struggle type thing, and the more you ask them the more determined they are to say no.

If you ask her, maybe stop and just a reminder before you go. But leave it at that? I know being 12 months older is a different ball game, but the advice was for over 5's so you never know.

shadylane Fri 07-Mar-14 19:32:04

I bet if you put her in pre school she would quickly change her habits there. So she is with you 24/7? Put her in nursery she will be fine.

Littlefish Fri 07-Mar-14 19:44:46

I agree with shadylane. I'm a pre-school teacher. Many children come to us un toilet trained but are sorted within weeks - a combination of peer examples, peer pressure, routine and expectation.

NewJobNewLife Fri 07-Mar-14 19:50:27

I would advise taking the pressure and responsibility off her by YOU going to the toilet every hour or so and taking her with you. Don't ask if she needs to go, just make it part of the day ... Lets just post these letters, then we'll go into Sainsburys to use the loo ....

I was the kid who wet herself all the time (until I was very much older than your DD). I remember the excruciating embarrassment on day out, when I was repeatedly asked if I needed the loo. Not my sister or my friends or my cousins, just me. Always asking whether I needed the loo. And everybody knew I was being asked because I was always wetting my pants. Each time I was asked, I'd be adamant I didn't need the loo, just because I wanted everyone to stop asking and looking at me. The last thing I wanted was a whole 'loo trip' just because I needed the loo; that would have just been even more embarrassing.

In hindsight, the only thing that would have helped would have been someone else just taking me along with them without making a fuss. That would have dealt with the pant wetting on the days someone took me, an it would have helped my bladder control on the days when I was at school etc.

Please give it a shot. Wetting myself casts a real shadow over my childhood sad

GruffaloShoes Fri 07-Mar-14 20:18:01

Thanks everyone smile

First of all I caused a bit of confusion with vocabulary. I'm not in the UK so my daughter will be starting kindergarten (school)!full time in September. By 'preschool groups' I meant things like sports for children aged 3-5.

She has been in nursery part time from 18 months although not currently as we have recently moved. She loved nursery but was exactly the same there as at home with regards to her refusal to go to the toilet. Would refuse to go to the toilet then wee 30 seconds later. School here will of course be able to accommodate the odd accident but not likely a child who is completely not potty trained.

I've tried setting the timer and taking her to the toilet at regular intervals and that made her extremely cross. And to not give her a choice? Really? It would mean dragging her to the toilet shrieking, pulling her pants down and physically holding her there while she screamed blue murder... No thanks. It's the only situation so far where a dragon voice had absolutely no effect whatsoever. She knew what was going on and there was not a chance she was going to participate. This was abandoned sharpish although I totally understand the rationale.

So far I think I will consider just not asking and/ or pull-ups. It's interesting (well not really but...) that she differentiates between her knickers and her 'nighttime knickers' (pull ups).

It would be great to hear from anyone else in the same position and any more thoughts/ideas...

I really appreciate everyone's comments/suggestions thanks

Twintery Fri 07-Mar-14 20:23:54

I got defeated by this too.
I handed everything over to my husband and he battled and won eventually.
When the other kids came along, he handled them too!

Seriously, have you got someone else to do the bulk of it? If only to give you a bit of a break with it all?

Thecircle Fri 07-Mar-14 20:31:21

I was at the same point with my 3 yr old ds. He too is bright and is aware of when he needs to wee. He evens asks if he can wee in his nappy.

He can withhold his wee for 12-13 hours but will happily sit on toilet or potty during that time. I was getting so stressed about it, especially the jiggling you mention.

We called it ds's Mick Jagger impression. He was so obviously desperate and would sit on the toilet or potty no problem but would just not let himself wee, despite any bribes, niceties or distractions.

After a few stressful days of our second attempt I put him back in nappies after he said "am I not a big boy mummy?"

He was so stressed and the experience was so negative for all of us.

I don't mention toilet or potty unless he asks, I do feel pressure to "train" as he is a big bright boy and is almost 3 and a half but sod it, it will happen when it happens.

I feel your pain, if I were you I'd take pressure off completely. Pull ups if need be and have a break from it all.

GruffaloShoes Fri 07-Mar-14 20:35:08

NewJobNewLife... Excellent suggestion. Thank you.

Twintery... I'm currently a sahm while my husband works so unfortunately the bulk of it falls on me. I like your thinking though.

Erroroccurred Fri 07-Mar-14 20:42:54

We had this, we tried everything too. It got worse and worse. I gave up, chilled, stopped moaning and bribing and it got worse still then suddenly better. At the first whiff of success I got a high value treat and bribed a bit more and suddenly it was a non issue. I only regret getting worked up about it, mine was over five before it clicked. She sounds fab, this is just a tiny blib, don't let it be more.the good news is I can barely remember if now and we had poo issues too...

Twintery Fri 07-Mar-14 21:15:44

I stopped getting worked up about it when the local gp's wife who was a parent at the same time as me at school, said she was having trouble too, and how was I getting on!
I figured that if a gp's wife was struggling too, then I could stop getting concerned. I just answered her truthfully that my husband had taken over!

marmitelover Mon 10-Mar-14 08:34:49

As hard as it is, it really is best just to treat it as a non-issue. Stop asking her if she needs to go, just say 'oh dear' when she has an accident and clean her up and then just carry on as if nothing untoward has happened. It is much easier said than done but when we were training we found this the most effective way - even if what you really want to do is rant! My son is now 3 1/2 and has regressed at nighttime since a new baby arrived and it is hard to follow my own advice. but cajoling or threats or crossness just haven't worked - there's a control factor on their part which they need to show I think until they're ready not to. And as long as he thinks it is taking my attention he's going to keep doing it - hence the best way is almost to ignore itconfused

GruffaloShoes Thu 13-Mar-14 02:04:40

Thank you everyone. I've decided that I'm not going to put her in pull ups (nighttime knickers! ) as she completely understands what is required, has control and Ioves her 'big girl knickers''.

I am going to try my utmost to take the emphasis off. It may require me to chew off my own tongue as there is nothing like watching dd dancing about in dire need of a wee for sending me batty.

I haven't got a clue what to do when we are out but I guess at the first sign of her needing to go I will go myself?

This is the best birth control. Ever. Good thing it's AFTER her brother was born.


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