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Almost 3 year old weeing on floor because "it's fun"

(10 Posts)
Nonicknamesleft Tue 09-Jun-09 21:32:45

Any thoughts, wise ones? I have lost my potty-training bible in this tip of a house and am desperate. My 2 year old (3 in August) dd has started having loads of accidents. Some probably are genuinely accidents, but mostly they seem to be fairly avoidable (she's capable of hanging on for ages if she chooses).

More frustratingly, we are having at least one wee per day on the floor because it's fun, or "good", whatever that means. Until now, such wees were confined to home, but today she did it on front step of her best friend's house (then, btw, proceeded to deliberately knock a glass of water over the table there, again because it was fun).

It feels to me as though she's out of control, and the weeing hilarity is part of a more general descent into all-round naughtiness. She's going to bed in trouble pretty much every night (this is husband's approach and I won't get anywhere arguing with him about it).

Where are we going wrong? What can we do? Our house stinks of wee all the time. She started toilet training before Christmas and has on the whole done reasonably well.

Please please help.

hester Tue 09-Jun-09 21:43:42

Well, I think this is normal (in my experience of my own dd and friends' kids). And you have my sympathies: the smell of wee has only cleared in our house in the last couple of months. I think they do relapse, very often. My style was to not make a fuss (do NOT hand this to your dd as a weapon she can use against you!). Instead, I'd just say something like, "Oh never mind, next time you'll get it in the potty" and simply clean it up. I truly believe she was testing me and gave up when she realised she wasn't going to get a rise.

If that hadn't worked, I was going to go on to incentivise getting it in the potty - sticker charts or something.

What I do feel, very strongly, is that you don't want to turn it into a discipline issue if you can possibly help it.

hester Tue 09-Jun-09 21:45:53

I find the bit of your post when you say she's going to bed in trouble almost every night a bit sad. I hear you saying you can't turn around your dh on this one but - are you feeling ok with this? Are you and your dh finding it hard to be in the same place with discipline issues? Is that making the wetting a bigger issue?

Forgive me if I'm being too nosey...

Nonicknamesleft Tue 09-Jun-09 23:01:05

No you aren't being nosey at all. I think there are a couple of problems here. Firstly, different things make parents snap - I have a v short fuse for whingeing and acting up when we are trying to get out of the house. Wetting, biting and the like, which nearly kill my husband, don't bother me as much.

I do wonder if she's overtired. This post could easily have been about her refusal to go to sleep at night, but I know that is standard issue toddler behaviour so it doesn't worry me too much. The stuff that gets her into trouble does tend to happen near bedtime, hence the "get into bed" orders being barked by her father. The reason I wonder if she's tired and thus a bit naughty is that when she is despatched to bed under a cloud, she almost always goes to sleep immediately, which otherwise seldom happens.

And in reply to your question about my dh and I - well, we both find we are becoming cross, shouty parents, and hating ourselves for it, but too exasperated to do otherwise. As I mentioned above - and I don't know if this is a good thing or not - we tend to lose it over different things. And I hate making a fuss over wee incidents, partly because I don't want to give her a complex, and partly in the same thinking as the first para of your reply ie not rising to it.

Anyway, thank you very much - I do take comfort from your experience and will try following your advice. If that seems to get me anywhere, perhaps dh will follow my saintly example!

Nonicknamesleft Tue 09-Jun-09 23:04:56

I should have said, it makes me terribly sad too that dd is going to bed in the dog house. I'm a great believer in not going to sleep on an argument, and this seems even more important with young children. I don't like being a horrid mummy, nor an unsupportive wife. DH does most of the childcare so I don't think it would be right to undermine him, but you bet I don't agree with his approach a lot of the time.

hester Thu 11-Jun-09 19:29:24

Hi nonicks, sorry I didn't respond before. My sympathies - I nodded in recognition at nearly all the points you made! My dd's only a year ahead of yours, and as I say we have only just left the weeing-all-over-the-sofa stage behind (we are now into trying to push plastic dinosaurs up our fanjo, so you see there's a lot to look forward to!). So I'm not a wise one at all, but I'm sure you're right to try to keep calm. Also remember that your dd is still very young to be reliably dry. It just can take a long time for it to become second nature for them to use the potty.

My experience so far has been that almost every behaviour problem can be handled easily once you have found the time, space and energy to think of a creative solution. The trouble is that we're always overtired and harried, isn't it? Perhaps you and dp could try to ringfence some time to brainstorm creative solutions - maybe read a childcare book together (Tania Byrom? or Penelope Leach?) and discuss the suggested solutions.

Just remember (and tell your dh from hester) that it WILL pass. It is completely normal to be experimenting with naughtiness at this stage, and that includes weeing where you're not supposed to, but not many children go off to university still pissing on their mum's sofa (well maybe they do, but for other reasons). As ever, it's about keeping calm, keeping your nerve, not letting things become a discipline issue unless you really have to, only picking battles you can win, and winning the battles you pick.

Best of luck.

Nonicknamesleft Thu 11-Jun-09 20:33:38

Hi - thanks so much. You've made me feel much better and I will try some of your ideas. And you're right: in no time at all we'll be holding her head over the toilet bowl after too much cider.

ches Fri 12-Jun-09 05:12:59

Does she have control over many things in her life? Toilet and bedtime are two things toddlers can easily "take" control of if they don't have anything else. Can she have some "responsibilities" like feeding the dog, checking the mail, choosing her outfit, setting the table, etc. so that she does feel in control at some points in the day.

mybabywakesupsinging Sun 14-Jun-09 01:02:05

I remember ds1 weeing on the towel because he knew it was naughty and wanted a reaction. Boy did he get one from DH, thus predictably ensuring several months of wees just to be naughty. Took a lot of calm, matter of fact "there is a consequence to you for this but it is no big deal to me" reactions before he bored of the idea.
Ds1 turns into a mad hysterical whirling dervish if he is over-tired - then goes to sleep in seconds when popped into bed. It is better now as he is able to announce he is tired and also because we recognise the frantic playing as actually meaning "please can I have my bath"!
2.5 - 3.5 was hard for us with ds1. He has been much easier to live with since 4, much more communicative and thoughtful smile

Nonicknamesleft Fri 19-Jun-09 23:05:58

Ok the solution is to get child to catch chicken pox. DD has been a poxy mess for the last three days, and with it, has become an angel.

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