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Toilet training problems

(35 Posts)
Rowantree Sun 06-Aug-17 08:27:45

Oh dear. DGD is four next week. Though theoretically toilet-trained (albeit somewhat late in the day), my DD and her partner are at their wits' end with her. She refuses to use the potty or toilet when asked, insisting she doesn't need to go or simply saying 'NO!' and then a few minutes later, wets herself. This behaviour isn't consistent - sometimes she will go to the toilet quite willingly, but it's the cause of so many battles and stress at the moment. We are at a loss to know how to help, though when we took her on an outing recently she did finally agree to use the toilet with me. DD is in a lot of pain and unable to walk much outside the house (fallout from last autumn's amputation and prosthesis not fitting properly), which makes life even more difficult.

Picking up DGD and plonking her on the potty or toilet doesn't work. It enrages her, of course. Sometimes humour works, but only occasionally. DD is trying star charts but with little success so far. DGD starts school in September.
We had toiletting probs with DD1 back in the day and finally got them sorted with the aid of a children's continence clinic, but I remember we were also at a loss how to cope.

Any ideas, anyone? Don't want this problem to get too entrenched!

Sparklefizz Sun 06-Aug-17 08:39:08

I have a friend whose granddaughter is 8 and still having this problem. Apparently longterm constipation can be a cause, but my friend has found a lot of info online by googling "8 year old wetting herself". The consultant has given the 8 year old pelvic floor exercises, told her she must drink a lot and she is having X-rays etc to see if there is a physical reason why she can't recognise the signals of a full bladder, or whether she has problems with her urethra, etc. It's not necessarily a wilful or naughty thing by the child, and my friend's DGD has to cope with being wet at school and all the problems that come with that. I would say get her to the doc asap.

paddyann Sun 06-Aug-17 09:33:03

she may be stressed by her mums ill health,my youngest grandaughter sometimes wets herself and we figured out its whn mums having a really bad time with her fibromyalgia.Doctor has advised her not to make a big deal of it

Luckygirl Sun 06-Aug-17 09:51:18

Seen this scenario with two DGDs. One responded to bribery - a jellytot when she got it right - she was nearly 4; the other (aged about 8) turned out to have lichen sclerosis poor lass, which she manages with steroids.

Christinefrance Sun 06-Aug-17 10:10:41

I agree with other posters, if medical checks don't reveal any problems then it's best ignored. This is very difficult to do but positive reinforcement works, lots of praise and a treat when things go right and just calmly deal with it when things go wrong. It's easy I know to offer advice when you are not in the middle of things but try to back pedal a bit on this. Peer pressure will work too. Good luck.

NanaandGrampy Sun 06-Aug-17 11:33:12

We are involved in the throes of potty training our DGS aged 3 . Its been a challenge as he also can and does say no.

We've had to change some things for instance, now he is not asked if he needs to go. We tell him its time to go.

That way not no. ;-)

We do it often , far more often than necessary. We watch him like a hawk and second guess him where possible. He has a potty train on the wall, every successful potty event gets one step forward in week one . When he reached the end he got a toy. Week 2 and if its successful he goes forward and if its an accident elsewhere he goes one step back, thereby learning there are consequences.

We also stopped saying ' never mind its an accident' because we do mind and really its not {smile] .

He does quite well, and is dry at night after 2 1/2 weeks but days especially when he is focussed on something else is a bit hit and miss.

She is old enough to know whats what , and may well be upset by her Mums ill health but I don't think that's an excuse. If she has nothing physically wrong then its just getting her to understand what it feels like to need to go .

Good Luck !!

kezia Sun 06-Aug-17 16:03:37

We've just started the idea of having a 'safety wee' before leaving the house. The number of times dgs1 said 'I don't need one' when asked and then we had to stop the car......

So now we say 'have a safety wee even if you don't need one' and that seems to work. Until the next time, of course

paddyann Sun 06-Aug-17 16:08:06

of course if the child is stressed by her mothers illness it must be taken into account...would you tell an adult to stop doing something they did through stress and tell them its just an excuse?

Starlady Sun 06-Aug-17 18:01:41

I think the stress of her mum's illness could very well be a factor. Any change may seem very scary to dgd now, including learning to use the potty. And I hate to say it, but her mum's physical lack of capability may be making dgd she can get away with more.

Or not. I agree with those who suggest a medical checkup before assigning any emotional reasons.

I also sense that there's a lot of drama surrounding this. If it turns out there are no medical problems, then, imo, it's best to take a more relaxed approach.

I realize that the parents are worried about school though. If it's preschool, the teachers may be willing to help out. If it's kindergarten you're talking about, then, maybe not. Perhaps they need to take her to a continence clinic, as you did with dd, if one is available.

maryeliza54 Sun 06-Aug-17 18:44:26

Poor little thing. Poor all of you and what you have gone and are going through with your dd's problem. I'm not a child psychologist but I really do think your dd's problems could well be the factor in this behaviour. My view for what it's worth is that everyone takes a deep breath and steps back. I'd put her in pull-ups and just say to her, if she'd like to use the potty/toilet that's fine and just to ask. Don't ask her, they really do have to learn to ask not respond to being asked. If she does ask, lots of praise and cuddles, maybe a star chart.If she wets herself then it's a never mind let's find some dry pull ups for you. I'd give that a month and then see about going to the GP. This is just my thoughts, not trying to tell you what to do, just saying what I'd try. I've never never said anything negative to my dc or dgc about wetting or soiling themselves - it was always never mind, it doesn't matter, clean up and hugs.

Deedaa Sun 06-Aug-17 21:52:34

I agree with maryeliza I think this whole situation is getting far too pressured. Her mother's problems must have been very unsettling for her and this is something she has control over. If it hadn't been potty training it would probably have been food. I would drop the whole thing, put her back in nappies and everyone relax. GS2 wasn't trained till he was 4 1/2 and we all survived.

maryeliza54 Sun 06-Aug-17 22:03:31

The reason I suggested pull ups is that it would give the little moppet the opportunity to use the potty/toilet independently if she wanted to but would keep her comfortable if she didn't and allow the adults to relax re any accidents.

inishowen Mon 07-Aug-17 10:21:52

My granddaughter was just the same. However she started school last September and only had one accident. We were always very quick to change her pants when she had an accident at home, but maybe she should have let her experience the discomfort of wet pants. All I can say is, they grow out of it. No child wants to wet themselves at school.

Sparklefizz Mon 07-Aug-17 10:38:14

inishowen "No child wants to wet themselves at school" but unfortunately if there is something wrong, it can and does happen, as I've posted above concerning my friend's 8 year old granddaughter. She has said to my friend "Nana, the others laugh at me" but still she goes on wetting herself and they can only assume while waiting for test results that she can't control it. Goodness knows how much emotional damage is being done in the meantime. Imo first port of call is the GP.

Teddy123 Mon 07-Aug-17 10:48:13

rowantree Can I suggest you look at the ERIC website. This is a wonderful charity which deals with Eneurisis (wetting) and Encopresis (soiling) in children. Please do have a look. It will give you all the help you need and with these little ones it's better to start Eric's regime sooner rather than later. GPs, health visitors, etc are sadly not up to speed with these problems as it's relatively uncommon. Wishing you all the best of luck x

Persistentdonor Mon 07-Aug-17 10:53:37

For what it's worth, which is not much...
I was out with nearly 8 year old DGC recently. When asked directly about toilet, child repeatedly said no need.
When I announced I needed the toilet and the child MUST come with me because couldn't be left outside, usage followed with no conversation. hmm
Good luck.

ajanela Mon 07-Aug-17 11:29:56

She is 4 next week, many children of this age are not toilet trained so no need to panic. Yes your daughters health problems may well be a contributing factor but as I said it is not unusual for a child of this age not to be trained and I doubt if a continence clinic is needed yet.

Many children don't want to stop what they are doing to go to the toilet. Going in a strange toilet is scary. Does she have a step to put her feet on whilst sitting on the toilet. Take the stress out of the situation and continue with the star chart. Pull ups have there place but it feels like they have a nappy on so no need to go to the toilet. If they have a garden let her play outside without any pants. That makes them aware of when they are wetting and they don't like it running down their legs,

Is it only wetting or does she soil? Many children go and hide and soil somewhere like behind a chair or will only do it when they have a nappy on.

If she is 4 next week and starts school in September she is going to be one of the youngest in the class. This time factor is another stressor. I am sure your daughter with her health problems needs her to take up her school place. Could she continue at a nursery school for another term and would the school keep a place for her if she did this? The school must be use to wetting when taking children so young,

Many schools only started taking children at 4 when the government made funding available to parents for free nursery places and the school could use this funding to set up classes for 4 year olds, compulsory schooling is only from 5. Your daughter and her partner can choose what is the best place for her their daughter.

On a positive note with all the help from gransnetters the problem hopefully will be solved by the end of the holiday.

ajanela Mon 07-Aug-17 12:09:12

Your daughter should call her Health Visitor who can help or she may have a nursery nurse in her team who can.

sluttygran Mon 07-Aug-17 12:30:17

My DD stated school when 4years old, and scarcely a day went by when she didn't come home with her panties in a plastic bag. She was very nervous, poor wee soul, but the school were very kind and positive about it. They had stacks of spare clothing for the reception children, and it was a very common problem.
What amazed me was the almost all the little ones got over their problems by the next term. I would say it's wise to seek medical advice if you think there is a physical problem, but otherwise make as little fuss as possible, and offer constant reassurance.

conners13 Mon 07-Aug-17 14:23:44

I saw on a nanny fixes all type tv programme, a special loo seat for a child who refused to use a potty. Child involved in buying of new seat which was pretty, flowers butterflies etc. Seemed to work.

GoldenAge Mon 07-Aug-17 15:10:54

Hi Rowantree - the age at which children are potty-trained these days is higher than in our day - true - why? simple, it's because in our day we used Terry towelling nappies, and no end of magic liners was able to stop the urine reaching the nappy and making the child feel uncomfortable. Nowadays they all wear pampers or equivalent, and when the kids wee they don't feel wet. It's all made too easy for them. Two of my grandkids (8 and 10) were potty-trained at 18 months old and this is down entirely to them being in Terry nappies and having the right motivation to go to the toilet. Another grandchild is almost 3 and refuses to become potty trained - she's become totally lazy because of the pampers. Incidentally if you don't know there is an Academy of Potty Training - worth a google.

JanaNana Mon 07-Aug-17 16:01:32

I agree with GoldenAge. In the age of using terry nappies potty training took place at a much younger age as a wet nappy was not very comfortable to have on. Also washing terry nappies was mostly done by using a solution of Nappisan (soaking in a bucket) or boiling them, and then rinsing and drying on an outside line. It also encouraged mother's to toilet train their children much younger as this was very time consuming and not always easy to get dry .....often finishing them off on a clothes horse indoors if they hadn't dried sufficiently outside. No mod cons like tumble drier. I am always surprised when I hear how late children are now potty/toilet trained it seems to becoming the norm and I guess modern nappies play a big part in this.

trisher Mon 07-Aug-17 17:06:54

My GD had similar problems. I do think that they pick up on parental anxiety and that makes things worse. The more relaxed you can all be about the whole thing the better. I did find that 'taking over' toilet responsibilities when I was with them helped. I usually said I had to go because I was getting old and would she come with me. Then wherever we were I made a bit of an occasion of it, always took my handbag, used loos, washed hands, brushed hair, admired ourselves in the mirrors and added new lipstick or perfume. I think the whole routine made it less of an issue. Trouble is now she is older but if we are out anywhere we still have to go to the loo together!

TriciaF Mon 07-Aug-17 17:09:15

Good point about feeling uncomfortable.
Eldest daughter was born in Singapore, and she was the quickest to learn. Wearing thick nappies led to nappy rash so I bought lots of towelling knickers. There were no carpets (too hot) so she ran around and noticed at once when fluid was coming out of her. She eventually learnt to control it.
Same with no. 2s

Coco51 Mon 07-Aug-17 18:29:36

My DGD was very much the same. She is now 4 1/2. I bought a 'Potette' potty which is portable and has disposable bags, that fit over the frame with a moisture trap on the bottom - so they bag can be tied up and disposed of like a nappy. But here's the thing: on the moisture trap is a picture of a frog and DGD thought it was wonderful to pee on the frog. From there it wasn't too difficult to persuade her to use the toilet with the potette (without bag) fitted over or under the seat just like normal adapters. The great thing is that it can be folded and taken on outings say to the beach where it's easy for kiddies to be caught short, or where there is a long trek to public toilets. It might just work for your DGD. Gook luck.