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Problems with 6 year old
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Problems with 6 year old

Could you tell me the best way to handle the following situation?

My daughter is 6 years old and will be 7 in October.  She will be starting 1st grade.  My daughter goes to the bathroom by herself and never has accidents.  The only problem is when she has a bowel movement she wants either her father or myself to wipe her bottom.  We have always done it for a couple of reasons.  1.  We figured that she would start doing it herself adventually and 2.  her skin is VERY sensitive and if she does not wipe properly she gets a very bad rash.  The problem is that she will soon be 7 and still wants us to do it for her.  I have tried to show her how and to get her to do it herself with out any success.  She will just sit on the toilet and scream and cry.  I have just let her cry for up to 1 hour.  I end up still doing it and she ends up with a bad rash.  My most pressing concern is when she starts first grade and will have to use the bathroom at school.  Obviously no one is going to wipe her butt there!!!!  She is fine with wiping herself after she urinates.  I'm also concerned with this turning into a problem with her not wanting to have a bowel movement in order to avoid the situation.

What would be the best way to handle this and should I be concerned with her getting a bad rash?  I have also tried bribing her without any success!!!  She is very difficult to get to do things she does not want to do.  Example:  cleaning room, taking medication (when necessary), etc.  Usually taking away privileges helps but is not helping in this case.

I would appreciate any advice you could give me!

Thank you!
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242606_tn?1243786248
At this point, being decisive will help. As you perhaps can already tell, whenever you tell her to clean herself and she objects, cries, etc. and you ultimately defer, you've unwittingly taught her that all she has to do to 'get her way' is make a lound, long fuss. Be persistent if you give her a direction. Also, establish an incentive system, whereby you reward her for taking care of this herself, and to insure cleanliness you can see after she's done if she's accomplished the task well. After a point, of course, when you're satisfied that she's able to do the job, you can stop checking on it. Sometimes it is prudent to bite the bullet yourself and have your daughter bite the bullet as well, and this is one of those times because you'll want her to become competent at cleaning herself by the time she begins the school year.
10 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I realize we need to bite the bullet, but what do you do when you're out in public or don't have over an hour to let her scream?  Should I just tell her to pull up her pants without wiping and not worry about the mess or the rash?  I can't walk away from her in a public setting.  I can't spend an hour in a public bathroom listening (and everyone else also listening) to her scream until she finally gives in and takes care of herself (which is something that has yet to happen).  I guess what I'm looking for is for someone to tell me how to handle this in a home situation and a public situation.  Step by step guides.  This is probably an unreasonable question but I just don't know what to do!!!

Thank you for your time!
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Avatar_n_tn
they have those new 'personal wipes' that are supposed to be good for sensitive skin.  Perhaps purchase those 'only for HER use'.  If u have to wipe for her, don't use them.  Only allow her to use them when SHE wipes.  It may be enough incentive (even add a sticker chart, if it'll encourage compliance).
  If she's okay wiping urine, it sounds like she has some association with wiping the BM.  Otherwise it's just a stuggle of wills for something she just doesn't want to do, and it's not like you can trot around after her, ready-to-wipe in the years to come.
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Avatar_n_tn
We do use the wipes.  I agree that the problem is her association with BM's.  She thinks it is just "too gross" (her words).
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242606_tn?1243786248
In a more 'public' setting the behavior may not occur - there's no way to tell. Yes, it makes sense to carry through the same expectation in out-of-home settings that you have within the home, all the while understanding that it's a less-than-perfect world and occasionally you'll have to diverge from what you'd rather do. In other words, it's not the end of the world if you have to compromise, but try to be faithful to the routine you establish. This may sound a bit Machiavellian, but essentially you want to establish a systematic response whereby it's in her vested interest to do the thing you want her to do. That is why sensible, modest incentive/reward systems can be so effective.
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Avatar_n_tn
My daughter was 7 before she finally wiped her BM's by herself. We used a reward system (a star every time she did it and then a big prize after getting 20).  I still did it in public restrooms until she actually got used to doing it at home. I also let her have a little travel case with wipes to take to school.  Now she does it on her own. As for my 5-year-old, that another story. . .

good luck
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Avatar_n_tn
You know, this might sound a little harsh, but maybe if she gets an uncomfortable rash enough times, she'll realize she needs to clean herself, as cleaning herself with prevent the rash.  

My cousin had a similar issue...he was wiping once when he was 4 or so, and got feces on his hands.  He wouldn't wipe again after that point.  My aunt did two things...let him scream and cry at home as much as he wanted WITHOUT doing the job for him, and let him use as much toilet paper as he thought he needed (and for a while there, it was a LOT) to keep his hands clean.  But at least he did it.  Might work for you too?
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Avatar_n_tn
You know, this might sound a little harsh, but maybe if she gets an uncomfortable rash enough times, she'll realize she needs to clean herself, as cleaning herself with prevent the rash.  

My cousin had a similar issue...he was wiping once when he was 4 or so, and got feces on his hands.  He wouldn't wipe again after that point.  My aunt did two things...let him scream and cry at home as much as he wanted WITHOUT doing the job for him, and let him use as much toilet paper as he thought he needed (and for a while there, it was a LOT) to keep his hands clean.  But at least he did it.  Might work for you too?
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Avatar_f_tn
You said it yourself...take steps. Don't just say, I want you to do it by yourself from now on. Since you aren't really sure what exact part of wiping her behind she is grossed out by, help her with the steps. Show her how much paper she should take...unroll it and hand it to her. If she doesn't like reaching between her legs, tell her to stand in a crouch and reach around. (I had to do this when pregnant) Tell her she can wipe as many times as she wants until she is clean.(keep a plunger on hand) The wipes are a great idea. Tell her that you will check her when she is done to make sure she is clean. Visual is enough, you don't have to wipe to check. If she isn't clean, give her a wipe and tell her she missed a spot. Don't worry about rashes anymore, you don't want to project your worry onto the child. My redhead fair skinned child learned the hard way that if you don't wash your bottom in the bath you get a rash. Took her three or four times of slacking off to get the message, but she got it. Rashes are not permanent, don't sweat it. I was worried about BMs at school with my kids, too, but they always waited until the privacy of home to do that.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you all for your advice.  My daughter is FINALLY wiping herself.  It took one day of just letting her sit on the toilet until she realized that I was not going to give in to her, and an incentive to continue (after two consecutive weeks we purchased a toy she had been wanting).  Of course she now has problems with rashes but I went out and purchased a tube of diaper rash cream which she puts on after her bath (when needed).  It seems to help.

Thank you again for all your help and support!!!
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