I am BEYOND frustrated with my 4 year-old!!!!

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  1. Ugghh...
    My son will be turning 4 this friday. He was fully potty trained about a year ago. A few months ago, he started having poop accidents in his pants and it's continued ever since. He absolutely refuses to poop in the toilet. He typically tries to hold it as long as he can, which is usually about a day or two. Then he has several small accidents in his pants for the next couple of days. I can't even begin to tell you how many pairs of underwear we go through or how incredibly sick I am of dealing with poop!!!!! My kids are 4 and 5, shouldn't I be done with this already?????
    We've tried everything (positive reinforcement, rewards in the form of his favorite toys, encouragement, etc.). We've also tried to act like we just don't care (by simply changing him and not responding at all to his accident) so that he still thinks that he is in control of his potty choices. I know this sounds horribly mean, but I've even considered threatening to cancel his upcoming birthday party if he doesn't use the potty. I mean, I am in tears here. I just don't know what to do???? I haven't been this frustrated since my first born had colic and wouldn't sleep.
    Thanks for letting me vent.
     
  2. DS is only two months, so I don't have any experience with this yet, but I feel for you! I have read that sometimes a significant change in the child's life can cause them to revert this way. Has anything happened recently?
     
  3. I am so, so sorry, that has to be beyond frustrating!

    Have you tried making him sit on the potty for specific times? In the morning and evening after bath work well. I know after the bath sounds backwards, but the relaxation of a warm bath can help 'loosen' everything up.

    Have books, games, small toys that he can only have when he is trying to go. We even had a small stool to put in front of the potty to use as a table. Have him sit on the potty for at least 15 minutes, more if he hasn't gone for a while. He has to stay until times up or he goes.

    Worked for us. Good luck!
     
  4. Yes, I've read that too, but nothing has changed. Same house, same preschool, same everything....
     
  5. Have you spoken to your pediatrician about this? My daughter was doing something similar, and it was because her bowel movements were so large and it hurt her to go. We increased her fiber intake and she eats a couple of prunes everyday (she loves them) and it has helped a lot. She's 8 now and it's not an issue anymore as long as we keep up with her fiber and fluid intake. Good luck!
     
  6. Thanks, LoriB. We'll check that out at his next visit. I really feel like he is just scared at this point. I finally told him last night that I would put a Pull-up on him but he still had to run into the bathroom to do his business. I even got him to sit on the toilet, with a Pull-up on, so maybe next time it will get a bit easier. I'm thinking maybe I will just kind of sneak the Pull-up off of him at some point so that he remembers what it's like to use the toilet.
     
  7. Be patient, it'll all go back to normal. Your son was potty trained so something must've "bothered" him lately that could explain why he's gone back to before...just try to reassure him, try out what twinkletink says: specific times to relax him and his "bowels", for at least 15 minutes, Good luck!
     
  8. So, we hit an all-time low today. I walked into the guest room only to find my 4 year-old son pooping in his pants - AGAIN. I carried him to the potty because I knew that he needed to go more. I gave him a couple of books, a potty ring to make the seat more comfortable, and a step stool for his feet. I told him to relax and try to use the potty. A minute later he was crying and I went into the bathroom. From what I could tell, he was scared to use the potty, so he stood up and proceeded to poop on the bathroom floor instead. WTF?????????? I really don't understand what the difference is in his mind if the poop falls onto the floor or if it falls into the potty?
     
  9. This happened with my oldest daughter (she's 13 now) she would pee in the potty and was totally potty trained by 3 but sometimes she would just go in the corner and poop herself, she would not stop doing it and it was so frustrating! I don't know why she wouldn't poop in the pot! I really don't have any advice, I just had to let it pass. Thank God this didn't happen with my youngest who is now 5 she couldn't wait to be a big girl and use the pot.
     
  10. Oh man, I'm so so sorry!!! I can't even imagine how frustrating this must be and how much effort it takes to NOT flip out!
     
  11. oh my god how do you even poop while standing up!?

    Did he fall in the toilet in the past?

    How about giving him something fun to do while he sits on the potty? Read him a book? Fun video games? My little brothers used to love going to the toilet and would spend an hour just sitting in the bathroom. We had a stack of activity books there. They would do kiddy crosswords, read Goosebumps etc..

    If you have a shower in the bathroom, maybe run the water while he's on the toilet. I know some people find it soothing to listen to water when they're on the toilet.
     
  12. Something just came to me...could it be that he's scared of the suction of the toilet? You know...like how some kids are afraid of getting sucked down the bathtub drain if they stay in the water?
     
  13. yeah, i was thinking the same thing too. i don't have kids myself, but my MIL (who raised 2 kids and now her grandkids) always comments about how some kids get afraid of seeing their poop (or other things) being flushed down the toilet. sometimes they're afraid of the suction (they're afraid of being sucked down and flushed away as well), or sometimes it's that they just don't like seeing their poop being flushed away, because some kids consider it a part of themselves (to me it sounds so weird, but apparently it's fairly common kid-behavior and is mentioned in a lot of parenting books).
     
  14. Well, I know that he doesn't like loud, commercial toilets, especially the ones with automatic flush. He started to become afraid of the toilets at our Country Club pool (very loud, automatic flushers), so maybe that's what set him off. The suction probably has something to do with it, but I think it's more about the noise and lack of control over when to flush. Arrgghh, I just hope he gets over it soon.
     
  15. there's actually a NYtimes article about this

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/12/nyregion/12flush.html

    i thot it was interesting article. i remember when i was a kid, there were no automatic flushing toilets, but public toilets were still extremely loud, and i remember i hating public toilets for that reason (i was afraid of everything loud - fireworks, car shops, vacuum cleaners etc).