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  1. #1
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    School age potty regression

    I have a major vent here and I would appreciate your advice.

    I have a 4.5 yr old that I have had since last May. He was totally potty trained when he started and only had a couple accidents in his transition to me from another daycare. After that, he did great.

    Well, since the beginning of December, he has regressed so much in regards to potty training and it is getting so frustrating. His mom chalked it up to the excitement of the holidays for that month, but it has continued and gotten way worse. It is almost on a daily basis that he is peeing and pooing in his pants, at home, school (jk) and at my house.

    I have tried everything from sending him constantly to the bathroom, using rewards and incentives for the few times he is doing well and trying to find out if anything is wrong and why he doesn't go to the bathroom when he needs to.

    I asked mom if she would see if the doctor has advise or if there is something medically wrong and she just fluffs it off and says that they won't do anything.

    Plus, when he has an accident and he is 10 ft from the washroom, I ask him why he didn't just go in, he shrugs his shoulders and says that he doesn't know. He shows no remorse or shame or anything. He is thinking this is normal now. since at school and home, they just clean him up and go on.

    The question is, how long do I let this go on?

  2. #2
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    How was his transition into JK?

    Is he stressed about school or anything at home?

    Is he too scared/shy/worried to ask to go to the bathroom. What is the set up/system at school?

    Something weird is going on. It's been a few months so it isn't merely a regression.

    It may have started as a 'normal' regression and then he liked the responses he got so he's stuck with it, becoming a habit. But the fact it goes on is all settings seems suspicious. I can see him liking the attention/reaction he gets but ALL settings likely don't respond in the same way so I would think it would be limited to specific settings.

    If you don't see any signs of anything going on (developmentally, medically) then try and put ALL negative impact on him. He changes his clothes, he gets new clothes, he washed the floor, cleans the poop off himself with no help. It will suck for you but just section him off somewhere that the impact is less on you (he has to stay on the tile bathroom floor until clean). See if that gives him less incentive. I would just caution that this is NOT appropriate for a child that has underlying disorders as it is punishing them for something that truly is out of their control. It's a perfectly fine consequence for a child that is being lazy or is just trying to be a 'pain' for kicks though!

  3. #3
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    It sounds like it has turned into a habit, and he has to be re-trained to go to the toilet before he goes in his pants

  4. #4
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    I agree with Lee-Bee, but I would also change him into a diaper or pull-up the minute he stepped in my house. NO WAY would I put up with a child peeing and pooping all over my home.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee-Bee View Post
    I would just caution that this is NOT appropriate for a child that has underlying disorders as it is punishing them for something that truly is out of their control. It's a perfectly fine consequence for a child that is being lazy or is just trying to be a 'pain' for kicks though!
    That's what I mean though, mom doesn't want to take him to dr to see if there is any underlying issues. She just expects me to put up with it, clean him up, oh and this is the kicker....she doesn't want me to punish him at all for it!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattsmom View Post
    That's what I mean though, mom doesn't want to take him to dr to see if there is any underlying issues. She just expects me to put up with it, clean him up, oh and this is the kicker....she doesn't want me to punish him at all for it!
    But the child isn't in mom's care. He is in your care and JK's care. Therefore there NEEDS to be a team effort.

    Give her the clear expectation or terminate. If she wants NO punishment (discipline is a better term for what we are talking about) then she NEEDS to have him assessed and diagnosed with some sort of condition that clearly outlines that he is NOT in control of this.

    If she is not willing to do that, then the child cleans up after himself. It's not punishment it is just the natural consequence of an older child, that has been fully toilet trained, choosing to be lazy. If I peed and pooped my pants no one at work is going to come along and clean me up. I'd be doing it myself. Therefore....I have no desire to do it! (though as a healthy adult I would be even less inclined if someone else was going to clean me up lol).

  7. #7
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    Maybe I am the exception as a mother of a boy who regressed after about 12 months of being accident-free. Do not put this kid back in diapers or pull-ups. If you aren't prepared to clean him up constantly then I absolutely understand, but give notice. My son went through at least 6 pairs of underwear A DAY in jk and sk. He wasn't bothered what people thought of him so there wasn't an incentive in the world that would make him go unless he wanted to.

    We like to find out the cause of something or label a behaviour because then we have a greater chance of being able to "fix it" and solve the problem. This kid doesn't need to go to the doctors if there are no other things presenting with the regression. If the child was anxious, emotional beyond their norm or other things, then I'd say go to the doctors, but otherwise, you need to just be patient and in all likelihood terminate because it isn't manageable in group care.

    My son wasn't a badly behaved child EVER. He is just a unique being who was lost in his head. No need to punish, just constantly reinforce what he should do and what he shouldn't do and try to condition him at the very least and in time he will come through it. This type of child is not always intentionally lazy it just isn't important to him. If he isn't upset by consequences now, then why do you think it's suddenly going to change now. Making this a huge negative issue multiple times a day would work within a few days for some children, but this type just doesn't care. I managed to deal with it once I let go of my expectations and realised that this was how it was and I had to just keep going until he snapped out of it. If this is stressing you out terminate. I can assure you that he cares a lot less about it than you do and while you are stressed out and frustrated, that will only make it worse.

  8. #8
    Euphoric ! bright sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattsmom View Post
    That's what I mean though, mom doesn't want to take him to dr to see if there is any underlying issues. She just expects me to put up with it, clean him up, oh and this is the kicker....she doesn't want me to punish him at all for it!
    She can expect what she likes, but ultimately it is up to you to set the tone for what is acceptable. Make a choice. She can expect it but it is down to you to make a choice and stick with it. You set the tone for her expectations based on your actions. I don't think punishment works with this type of thing either, but that is because I have experience and I tried the punishment route and it only caused more frustration for ME, and didn't make a damned bit of difference to the childs toileting.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bright sparks View Post
    She can expect what she likes, but ultimately it is up to you to set the tone for what is acceptable. Make a choice. She can expect it but it is down to you to make a choice and stick with it. You set the tone for her expectations based on your actions. I don't think punishment works with this type of thing either, but that is because I have experience and I tried the punishment route and it only caused more frustration for ME, and didn't make a damned bit of difference to the childs toileting.
    I totally understand what you're saying,maybe it's different when it's your own child. I can deal with the odd accident, say, if we were out and he didn't get there on time or something like that. But when it's a daily/every other day thing and I'm constantly cleaning up a whole bowel movements/urine from him, it gets a bit frustrating.

    It's hard because we love to go to the park after school and play, since we have been having good weather days lately. But we can't because he is always having accidents. Also, I am thinking towards the summer and when we go on all morning outings to parks/splashpads and programs farther from us. I can't have him pooping in his pants every time we go out somewhere nor am I going to bring everyone home because he can't control himself.

    I just have to figure out if I'm willing to deal with this any further or terminate.

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    She really needs to take him to the doctor! Sure, it could be behavioural, but incontinence can also be caused by UTIs, constipation (even if pooping regularly, there could be a mass in his rectum). And if it is behavioural, she can get professional advice.

    If she refuses, and you decide to ride it out, definitely give him a bag, clothes and cleaning wipes and let him be independent. That is NOT a punishment, just a natural consequence. My 1.5yo helps wipe up if she pees through her trainers, and can put her wet trainers in the laundry basket (still needs me to clean up thoroughly, but she is only 1!).

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