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  #1  
Old 09-09-2020, 02:51 PM
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dolores dolores is online now
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Default Potty Averse

I have an almost 4yo boy who is potty averse which mom told me 2 months ago before he started. He refuses to go on the potty, both at home and at school, and is ok remaining in wet pullups which he objects to being changed too. Parents stated they don't know if to force it which may make it worse or do a reward system as pediatrician recommended which has not worked thus far. I've never experienced such extreme rejection for the potty or to be changed. Suggestions?
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Old 09-09-2020, 04:38 PM
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Do you know what happens at home? Is he in underwear or naked whenever he is not at daycare? Do his parents give him logical consequences such as having him clean his own mess (with their eventual final clean, of course]?

Does he understand whatís happening? I had a child peeing against my counter saying ďno, I no have to peeĒ and I knew we were a long way from having it click.

Rewards can work if the child just needs a boost. If the child CAN do it (has the understanding and demonstrated ability to hold) and is making a choice not to go, then a consequence for making that choice (losing something) may be more effective. He can continue to choose not to use the toilet (even though doing so is age-appropriate at four, barring mental or physical issues), but that choice needs to make the dilemma HIS.
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Old 09-09-2020, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by dolores View Post
I have an almost 4yo boy who is potty averse which mom told me 2 months ago before he started. He refuses to go on the potty, both at home and at school, and is ok remaining in wet pullups which he objects to being changed too. Parents stated they don't know if to force it which may make it worse or do a reward system as pediatrician recommended which has not worked thus far. I've never experienced such extreme rejection for the potty or to be changed. Suggestions?
This happens, it is mainly a control issue.
Has something changed in his life? It could be anything, from parents fighting to moving to losing someone or new sibling on the way
Does he get to make choices throughout the day? Even little ones

I had a fully potty trained foster son that one day said "I am not going on the potty for you" So I said okay but no more underwear. In this case he hated pull ups so it worked.

Another foster son didn't care if he wore pull ups because it meant he got more attention (and he didn't have to stop playing to go pee)

So if rewards (stickers and stuff) don't work then you find what does work. What does he want? Have they tried a toilet toy? A toy that he only plays with when on the toilet (at home not day care) then once he is out of pill ups again he gets to keep it.
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Old 09-10-2020, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by PB&J View Post
Do you know what happens at home? Is he in underwear or naked whenever he is not at daycare? Do his parents give him logical consequences such as having him clean his own mess (with their eventual final clean, of course]?

Does he understand whatís happening? I had a child peeing against my counter saying ďno, I no have to peeĒ and I knew we were a long way from having it click.

Rewards can work if the child just needs a boost. If the child CAN do it (has the understanding and demonstrated ability to hold) and is making a choice not to go, then a consequence for making that choice (losing something) may be more effective. He can continue to choose not to use the toilet (even though doing so is age-appropriate at four, barring mental or physical issues), but that choice needs to make the dilemma HIS.
He is in pullup at home. When he needs to poop he goes into his bedroom, closes door and poops in pullup.
Oh he understands what is going on and uses all sorts of clever excuses to get out of sitting on potty.This is a very smart, social, verbal boy who is full of exuberance with a touch of defiance. He has been talking a lot about Santa and Christmas and loves riding on train. Wondering if parents can make reward/consequence around those things ...? And how long would those crutches be needed?
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Old 09-11-2020, 05:30 AM
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He is in pullup at home. When he needs to poop he goes into his bedroom, closes door and poops in pullup.
Oh he understands what is going on and uses all sorts of clever excuses to get out of sitting on potty.This is a very smart, social, verbal boy who is full of exuberance with a touch of defiance. He has been talking a lot about Santa and Christmas and loves riding on train. Wondering if parents can make reward/consequence around those things ...? And how long would those crutches be needed?
That sounds exhausting. Barring any valid mental or physical delays, and especially if he is that clever, he needs to be told ďFour year olds wear underwear and use the toilet.Ē at home. His parents arenít doing him any favors reinforcing to him that he canít perform a basic human function. Calm, matter of fact presentation (we put a coat on when itís cold. We eat when we are hungry. We use the toilet when we poop) with no weight and with logical consequences (hereís a rag, letís get cleaning) EVERY time. This needs to be happening at home before you will have any luck at daycare at this age.
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Old 09-25-2020, 07:09 PM
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Been there:
I found somthing the child really wanted to do at school (in our case it was going on the 3 and up climber). I told him "Oh only kids who wear undies can play there. Its not for kids in diapers"
He potty trained in a week. I just reminded him a million times a day about the climber and got out a timer. when it binged, he had to go pee, No choice.
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Old 09-27-2020, 01:38 PM
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3 months later and he still has not gone on the potty here. He is scared of it. I don't press him, just change his pullup while telling him all his friends use it and remain safe etc. Parents recently began having him go in a bucket at home . How would that help transition him to potty?
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Old 09-27-2020, 03:45 PM
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3 months later and he still has not gone on the potty here. He is scared of it. I don't press him, just change his pullup while telling him all his friends use it and remain safe etc. Parents recently began having him go in a bucket at home . How would that help transition him to potty?
An old thread on here says to move his favorite activities to ďfor kids in underwear only.Ē

Is he dumping and cleaning out the bucket?? Without leaving any opinion of that...using the toilet or dealing with all of the consequences really needs to be turned over to him. (With proper follow up, unseen by him or not, by parents). This needs to be HIS problem to solve and his parents need to be matter of fact that ďheís got this.Ē Itís simple (or at least presented to him as simple).

Between all the clean up at home and the lack of his fav activities at your place, maybe he will be clever enough to realize the adults are over it.
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Old 10-01-2020, 12:00 PM
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He is in pullup at home. When he needs to poop he goes into his bedroom, closes door and poops in pullup.
Oh he understands what is going on and uses all sorts of clever excuses to get out of sitting on potty.This is a very smart, social, verbal boy who is full of exuberance with a touch of defiance. He has been talking a lot about Santa and Christmas and loves riding on train. Wondering if parents can make reward/consequence around those things ...? And how long would those crutches be needed?
This was my second child! Nothing I did worked. One day at 5 she decided she was ready and started pooping on the toilet. Looking back I wish I hadn’t gotten so stresssed. She is now 7 and she recently told me she was afraid of being sucked into the toilet before that.
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Old 10-01-2020, 09:13 PM
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Iíve had two children like this in almost 25 years of providing childcare. Both children were typically developing with the exception of one having a slight speech delay and both not being where they should be with self help skills.

Both started with me at about 3 years old. They were in pull-ups and I was told they were potty training which is typical for that age. Children that grow up here usually potty train a little earlier but not much and not all of them. However they all train by 3.5 so I was pretty shocked when these two had absolutely no interest in the potty and showed complete aversion. Where I would normally give some reminders to a newly training child I had to not even mention the potty to these two or they would get meltdown.

They both wore pull-ups like diapers, were both around 4yo when the parents got sick of them using pull-ups as diapers, neither cared about being wet or soiled, both hid when they pooped, and both got upset even when nicely asked if they wanted to try to go potty.

In both cases the child had been potty training for a long time (About two years off and on but mostly on). In both cases the training was forced before the child was ready. Through a lot of investigating (usually just asking the dads about the actual process and success at home) I found out the previous providers/parents used a timed method where they took the child to the bathroom every 30-60 minutes over an extended period of time. I also found they were having the same amount of success at home as they were during childcare..none..which is not the story the momís gave me. They did not teach the child to pull down pants, climb on the toilet, wipe, wash hands or even put on shoes (something every child Iíve helped train can do before they are ready). There was some evidence that the previous provider or parents became frustrated with the child when accidents occurred because both seemed scared when the potty was mentioned.

Developmentally, it seemed to me like using this timed method for an extended period, especially during the developmental stage where the development of autonomy plays a big part, basically ďbrokeĒ the childs development. It seemed to me that both children felt like they had no control over something they should have control over (their bodies) and lacked confidence due to how they were trained, the extended training period and the frustration from caregivers. The behaviors they had around potty training and any suggestions about trying looked like they were acting out but to me it felt like they were just trying to hold it together, were confused and didnít feel safe.

In both cases I told parents we had to go back to basics. This meant back to diapers and no mention of the potty or potty training. Explaining to the child that pull-ups are for when they are ready to try using the toilet but if they arenít ready they will have to wear diapers. Telling them itís fine if they need to wear diapers. Telling the child it is their body and their choice and then being 100% fine with that choice. No shaming, annoyance, pestering, nothing. You change the diaper just as you would change the diaper of an infant except you have them do the things they can do such as pulling pants up and down, going and getting the diaper and wipes, having them throw the diaper and wipes away (if sanitary). Then give lots of praise for the things they can do, have them help younger children with tasks, and build their confidence up. If they say they want to use the potty dont get excited, say ďitís your body and your choiceĒ and say that phrase as much as you can during normal care routines.

In both cases the boys were asking to use the toilet within a week and accident free and in underwear within 2 weeks. 2 years of wearing pull-ups, 2 years of frustration and annoyance from caregivers, all because someone wanted to train them before they were actually ready and blamed the failure of their methods on the child.

In both cases it took a while to convince parents to let me try it and to follow my lead. They had had them in pull-ups for over a year each so I basically had to convince them that nothing else had worked so we should give this a try.

Obviously this is only 2 children so not some big study so who knows if it was just blind luck or if Iím on to something but maybe something I said will help someone.
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Old 10-04-2020, 02:39 PM
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I have never had a child that age not potty trained already. However, at Age 2 when I started potty training them, I did make them clean up after themselves, and they pretty much change their own diapers / underwear. After maybe two or three times of doing that, it was over. They actually hated having to do that cuz it was yucky. Obviously I went in after them to make sure that they did clean appropriately, but it was very annoying to them to have to clean up their own mess.

With a kid that this age that knows better? I would be making them do that at daycare too. Don't be changing his pull up for him. If he's pooping, he needs to dump the poop into the toilet, and wipe himself and then you could do a quick check. Then they are to put the pull up in a bag, tie it up, and get it outside. The worst part is, when they get it on themselves on their leg or something because they try to get the pull up off and can't really do the same kind of job you can . For something like that, I hand them a wipe, and tell them to get themselves clean. I would double-check of course, then they would be okay. If they got it anywhere other than their bodies, then they got in trouble for that.

I did have an almost 5 year old DCB smear poop all over the toilet. The thing is, he knew better, and his mother never really did anything to discipline him. He had it all over himself, the toilet, and the clothes. And he did that in the span of a 3 minute time in the bathroom. We had to stick him in the shower clothes on, and do our best to clean him up with baby soap. He did not like that. then he had to drop off the clothes down in the shower, and I still made him put them in a bag, and I told him he had one of two choices, either he could throw them away or he could take them home, but either way he had to explain to his mother what he did. All I can say, as you definitely need to have extra clothes on hand if you decide to go with these other methods. Lots of people would disagree, but let me tell you something, that kid never did anything like that again and he never ever wore a pull up again either. And thank goodness! He was getting ready to go to kindergarten the month later. He had been told more than once that he would not be able to enter Kinder if he was still in diapers. There was absolutely nothing wrong with him, he was not developmentally delayed and there was no excuse other than Mom and Dad did not put it to him to go ahead and learn. The saddest part was that his two-year-old sister was already potty trained and never did any of this. I felt so bad for his sister Because they were so hard on her, and yet didn't let him learn how to do anything. When I first got him the year before, he could not even put on a shirt or put his socks and shoes on. He was the first child. I don't know if that's why and they just got harder on the second one or why he was so spoiled and she wasn't.
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Old 10-05-2020, 07:28 AM
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Potty training is developmental. You can't put a number on when a child is ready to be trained and forcing it creates issues if they aren't ready.

There is no such thing as "knowing better" when it comes to training.

It's not something kids simply wake up knowing because they are a certain age.

Also getting "in trouble" for anything toilet training related is against licensing regulations in most states. Shaming, humiliating or punishing a child for bathroom related incidences is unacceptable.

At 5 if the child smeared poo all over the bathroom, it was a supervision issue...not an issue about whether he "knew better or not".

This type of approach to toilet training wouldn't fly here.
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Old 10-05-2020, 07:47 AM
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Potty training is developmental. You can't put a number on when a child is ready to be trained and forcing it creates issues if they aren't ready.

There is no such thing as "knowing better" when it comes to training.

It's not something kids simply wake up knowing because they are a certain age.

Also getting "in trouble" for anything toilet training related is against licensing regulations in most states. Shaming, humiliating or punishing a child for bathroom related incidences is unacceptable.

At 5 if the child smeared poo all over the bathroom, it was a supervision issue...not an issue about whether he "knew better or not".

This type of approach to toilet training wouldn't fly here.
I have to disagree. First, a 5yo with zero developmental issues should be going to the bathroom by him/herself. We cannot follow a school-age child into the bathroom. Second, if a 5 year old is smearing poo, that is unacceptable and time-out and/or taking away toys is acceptable. A 1yo doing the same, would not be subject to the same approach.

And lastly, this is why so many kids keep doing behaviors that are unacceptable. The states do not allow people to parent/teach. I think that the more we believe kids don't know anything, the more we will end up with adults who can't do/think for themselves.
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Old 10-05-2020, 08:28 AM
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I have to disagree. First, a 5yo with zero developmental issues should be going to the bathroom by him/herself. We cannot follow a school-age child into the bathroom. Second, if a 5 year old is smearing poo, that is unacceptable and time-out and/or taking away toys is acceptable. A 1yo doing the same, would not be subject to the same approach.
Yes, you can follow a 5 year old into the bathroom.
Supervision for a 5 year old not yet enrolled in school is a licensing requirement.

Simply not having developmental issues or delays doesn't automatically mean a child knows how to use the bathroom.
Kids aren't born knowing something.

You have to teach them. If they are smearing poo all over, then they need to be taught that it is unacceptable and unsanitary.

Giving a time out is punishment. Punishment should never be part of the learning process.

Teaching is supportive whereas punishment is meant to make a child feel bad.

Teaching is meant to support and guide a child how to properly master a skill.



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And lastly, this is why so many kids keep doing behaviors that are unacceptable. The states do not allow people to parent/teach. I think that the more we believe kids don't know anything, the more we will end up with adults who can't do/think for themselves.
No, the reason kids have behaviors that are unacceptable is because adults have expectations that are unclear or inappropriate. Just because a child is 5 doesn't mean they SHOULD do x or Y. They need to be taught through a supportive process of learning.

I absolutely believe children are more than capable in many areas that parents (and the state) do not but it's not a one size fits all way of thinking. Some kids easily master toilet training and some require more support and assistance.

Independence is a huge part of my program and I do alot of things many parents as well as other providers wouldn't dream of doing (no sippy cups, no velcro shoes etc) but it requires altering my method of teaching for EACH child.

Just because all but one of my 3 years olds can dress themselves doesn't mean the one that can't is bad or should be punished. It simply means they haven't reached that developmental milestone just yet. With support, guidance and assistance they will get there on their time.

Punishment has no place in that situation.
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