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Old 09-20-2012, 03:34 PM   #1
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LO trying to hold it, then gets REALLY angry ... ?

DS is 29 months old. We did 3 day potty training at 20 months and he "got it" for a few days, then started to freak if anyone put him on the potty. He was going through a lot of life changes at the time, so I let it go back to diapers for awhile.

He usually wakes up dry, and only has about 4 diapers a day, and things are settled down, so I'm trying again. Daycare is on board, they put him on the potty every 45 minutes in the rotation with the rest of the kids.

Our method is to not fight him, but to "suggest" (not ask) the potty every hour or so, and give lots of praise and a treat when he goes. At first he got a treat just for sitting, since that was the biggest barrier, and 2 candies when he'd actually go. He's done #2 once, also.

Right now, he is again very resistant to the potty and seems to be holding it till later. He's got a LOT of control (with D-future-H, he'll pee a tiny bit, then stop and ask for the candy, and they have a game where DFH will almost give it to him, and then tell him to go more, and he'll squirt a tiny bit and stop ...).

This morning I delayed going downstairs (something he looks forward to each morning) till he at least sat on the potty. He was bare bottomed, even, and throwing a fit. I was just holding him and talking to him, and he started to pee on me and then stopped, when I tried to put him on the potty (stopped peeing and started to kick and scream).

So I let it go, and started the shower, so we could clean up. He was upset about that as well.

After a few minutes in the shower, he started to do his potty dance, and got really angry when he couldn't hold it. He was hitting his penis and very clearly angry he couldn't make the pee stop. I was really concerned about this reaction so I comforted him and told him it was good to let it out (he is used to it being OK in the shower).

I know I've picked a tough age, but I do want to keep moving forward and to not step back.

I'd LOVE suggestions. He's a sensitive kid with a tendency toward anxiety.

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Old 09-20-2012, 05:34 PM   #2
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Re: LO trying to hold it, then gets REALLY angry ... ?

I'm sorry I dont have any suggestions. But I do HAVE to comment how interesting it is that he seems to be using his boy-parts and his peepee as a weapon for revenge and control and also for goodies and candy! You are going to have a really hard time looks like. At this point it might be a game of whose in charge and whose the boss. You are almost posing a question for a psychologist I think. see if you can ask more dads.
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:42 PM   #3
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Re: LO trying to hold it, then gets REALLY angry ... ?

Is there anything that you can give him more control over and let him have the final say over? Like let him choose whats for dinner or breakfast or what cartoon he wants to watch or where you will take him on your days out (mcdonalds, park, zoo). He seems like he just wants more control and maybe you can give that to him in a different way so he is more cooperative and will hand over the control when it comes to potty time. It seems like he is "ready for more responsibility". maybe give him small tasks to do and make him feel important around the house that he is helping you. He seems to be trying to tell you that he's growing up. he may want to be treated like a big boy? I have a girl only. I didnt know boys were so confusing!
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Old 09-21-2012, 01:38 PM   #4
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Re: LO trying to hold it, then gets REALLY angry ... ?

I think you certainly have a special set of circumstances. I have a couple of suggestions, but I doubt they will completely solve your problem.

-Stop with the treats. No rewards for expected behavior (go on the potty). High fives and a "good job" are okay when he's learning. Help him focus on the personal rewards (don't you feel better? look at your clean/dry underwear and pants!) When he asks for the treat, just say "no, we're not doing that anymore."
-Stop with timed potty stops. Tell him to listen to his body and go when he needs to go. Let him have some accidents. Then have him help you clean them up and remind him that he needs to get in in the potty. Be super chill about it. The only time I require a pee stop is when we're about to go somewhere. At first, you have to wait for him to go, but eventually you will be able to tell him "we can go after you pee on the potty". A good way to train for this is to require a pee stop before transitioning to a really fun activity. Like, if we're about to go play outside, I'll say, "let's go pee, then we can go play outside".
-When you see him doing the potty dance, just say "It looks like you have to go potty. Why don't you take Percy (your toy) and show him how you pee on the potty?" Then do nothing - let him make the choice. I will usually just go wait for him at the bathroom since my DS still needs help with his pants. I expect him to come, but I give him a choice and I give him time to finish what he's doing or pick the toy he wants to bring with him.
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Old 09-21-2012, 01:45 PM   #5
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Re: LO trying to hold it, then gets REALLY angry ... ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpfgirl View Post
I think you certainly have a special set of circumstances. I have a couple of suggestions, but I doubt they will completely solve your problem.

-Stop with the treats. No rewards for expected behavior (go on the potty). High fives and a "good job" are okay when he's learning. Help him focus on the personal rewards (don't you feel better? look at your clean/dry underwear and pants!) When he asks for the treat, just say "no, we're not doing that anymore."
-Stop with timed potty stops. Tell him to listen to his body and go when he needs to go. Let him have some accidents. Then have him help you clean them up and remind him that he needs to get in in the potty. Be super chill about it. The only time I require a pee stop is when we're about to go somewhere. At first, you have to wait for him to go, but eventually you will be able to tell him "we can go after you pee on the potty". A good way to train for this is to require a pee stop before transitioning to a really fun activity. Like, if we're about to go play outside, I'll say, "let's go pee, then we can go play outside".
-When you see him doing the potty dance, just say "It looks like you have to go potty. Why don't you take Percy (your toy) and show him how you pee on the potty?" Then do nothing - let him make the choice. I will usually just go wait for him at the bathroom since my DS still needs help with his pants. I expect him to come, but I give him a choice and I give him time to finish what he's doing or pick the toy he wants to bring with him.
great tips. I especially love having him help with clean up and before fun activities
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Old 09-21-2012, 02:26 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by cathplyr
I'm sorry I dont have any suggestions. But I do HAVE to comment how interesting it is that he seems to be using his boy-parts and his peepee as a weapon for revenge and control and also for goodies and candy! You are going to have a really hard time looks like. At this point it might be a game of whose in charge and whose the boss.
Maybe I overstated. I don't think it's anywhere near that bad. The game he plays with my fiancee is just a game, and an example of how well he controls his stream. I don't think there's anything vengeful about it. They're just being silly.

This week in particular we are having bigger breakdowns over things that don't go exactly as he expects. I think he's just testing limits on what he can and can't control.

He has a lot of control and choices where we can offer them... He always chooses his food at home, he chooses his morning cartoon, his clothes and shoes now, and he's helping with a lot.

At daycare they do timed potty stops, and treats, and I think they work and want to remain consistent. I've read a dozen books on potty training and have studied child development... The treats aren't that bad a choice IMO. He does get big praise and loves that. Besides, he isn't phased by an accident or helping clean it up.

I also realized that the big breakdown yesterday probably had to do with changing our morning routine too much at once. Getting his pajamas off before going downstairs for any reason is not what he expects. So I'm going to start those changes more slowly. These days he expects certain things to happen a certain way (not always his way, just the way it's usually been done).

Oh we also let him choose who takes him to the potty, and yes he gets to bring a toy.

Thanks for the ideas! I think we had one very usual incident that had less to do with potty than too much change at once.
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Old 09-21-2012, 02:34 PM   #7
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Re: LO trying to hold it, then gets REALLY angry ... ?

You know your son better than anyone.

Of course the treats work short-term, but I think perhaps the kid gets so busy trying to manipulate the system for more treats that you end up with a bigger power struggle.

If he isn't phased my accidents, you have a tricky problem on your hands. It's no longer about him learning how to use the potty - he knows that. It's behavioral now, so you need to treat it as misbehaving. And you know the best way to do that since he's your kid.

Sorry you had such a rough morning.
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