My son will be four at the end of this month. He has had the bladder part of toilet learning conquered for four months. He resisted having BMs on the toilet for a long time. I bought "Lightning McQueen" potty chairs for every bathroom in the house, for his sitter and for grandma and grandpa's. That helped a bit, but having a BM on the potty chair or in the toilet was still hit or miss. A friend of mine made a deal with my son on August 1 that if he had a BM on the toilet 30 times, she would take him to Chuck E. Cheese with her two daughters, whom he adores (his godsisters). We made a chart with 30 numbered boxes and a picture of Chuck E. Cheese and a picture of him with his two godsisters. All through August, we peeled maybe one sticker per week from his chart.
My son kept asking me if he would be four years old if he "pooped on the potty." For a long time when he asked this question, I would say "No, you'll be four when it's your birthday." Then one day in early September, he asked me the question again, and I said, "Yes, if you don't poop in your underwear any more and you poop in the potty, you will be four." After that day, he completed the Chuck E. Cheese chart in about three weeks, with a few accidents here and there (we went over two weeks without an accident). For about a month, I felt that we had turned the corner on the BM part of the toilet learning and that he had it down. As promised, my friend took him to Chuck E. Cheese, and we had a big celebration. I thought we had conquered the toilet learning.
The Chuck E. Cheese party was on October 23. On October 28, my son had a BM in his underwear, and for over a week now, has had no BMs in the toilet. All have been in his underwear. I'm at my wit's end and nearly in tears. I've tried to remain positive and lavish him with praise, but it isn't working. I "took away" one of his favorite activities - playing Mario Kart. I "took it away" by making it a reward for him to play it again. I created a new "poop chart" with 30 squares on it with a Mario Kart character's picture in each square. When he has a BM on the toilet, he will get to peal a sticker from the chart and get to play Mario Kart. I just got the chart done moments ago, so we'll start this tonight.
Do you think he knows how to have a BM on the toilet and just won't now? Is this type of regression normal? Has anyone else experienced this type of regression? Do you think he wants to negotiate another deal/is playing us? If you have experienced this type of regression, how did you finally resolve it?
He has shown that for a reward he is able to have bowel movements in the toilet. Kids are smart. I'd be more concerned as to WHY he is regressing. Are there other children in the home, and what ages they are. Is he wearing pants all the time? If so, who cleans them when he has a BM in them? If he has no medical reason for the 'accidents', I'd think the reward system works for him...very well. Also, does he go to preschool? Is he accident free there?
You are doing the right thing in remaining calm and not belittling him. Bottom line is I don't know of one child, that goes to middle school not potty trained. It seems like forever when you are the one going through it; keep trying. If that chart/reward system works again...you have your answer....in stickers!
He is our only child. He goes to an in-home sitter who watches her granddaughter (nine months) and another boy who is two. He is in preschool and has not had an accident there (knock on wood). We did talk this summer about starting preschool and he understood that he couldn't go unless he didn't have a BM in his underwear, so he may be holding it in while he's there.
He is in underwear during the day. I give him the choice to wear a pull up at night, although he has only wet two times during the night that I can remember in at least eight months. He started making it through the night without an accident - urine or BM - well before he was willing to control it during the day.
When he has an accident in his underwear, we take him to the bathroom and put the result in the toilet and say, "poop goes in the potty, not in your underwear," he flushes and we wash hands, go upstairs and get clean clothes on. He has no problem helping clean himself. He doesn't do a very good job, though, so we end up doing most of the cleaning. Sometimes he insists, "I can do it myself." He's very independent.
So, at what point does the reward/bribery end, do you think? I'm sure I won't be bribing him to poop on the potty when he's in middle school, but at what point does it stop? Do you think I'll be rewarding him a year from now? I know every child has to decide on his/her own when s/he is going to control his/her bodily functions. I'm curious to know from other parents how it finally clicked with their reluctant children.
Thanks for your words of encouragement. I appreciate it.
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