Four year old toilet training regression

Rachel - posted on 10/14/2010 ( 2 moms have responded )

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I'm at a bit of a loss. My four year old girl who has previously been fantastic with toilet training - no accidents for days even weeks on end - has suddenly started having accidents and saying "she couldn't be bothered going to the toilet". Any tips or ideas on how to get her to stop doing this?

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Rachel - posted on 10/19/2010

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Thanks for your response. I've tried all of that except taking her to the doctor which may be the next step. She takes her wet clothes to the laundry and puts them in the soaking bucket for me and she cleans her puddle as for punishing her for it she's the type of kid that could spend most of her day in the naughty spot on a bad day anyway! On reflection she probably does it most often when i am doing something with her sister (5 months) but then i'm pretty sure thats not the issue. Guess perhaps we need to take a harder line on firm but fair and see how that goes.

Kate - posted on 10/15/2010

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if that is the answer that you are getting from her, then I think it is reasonable to tell her "that's not good enough honey. If you don't use the toilet because you can't be bothered again then I will be very unhappy and you will have to have time out" (or some other punishment),

I think it is reasonable to be 'angry' with her if this is the genuine reason for why she is doing it.
Sometimes kids can regress with toliet training if they are distressed or upset by something or if they experience trauma or significant changes in their life. So before you decide how to deal with it, you need to make sure you are sure she is doing it because "she can't be bothered".

The other thing you could do is tell her, well if you are not able to get yourself to the toilet anymore, then we will have to go to the doctor and get everything checked out, because it means that maybe there is something wrong and your body is not working properly. (and if she calls your bluff, then go to the doc and get her checked out... if won't hurt...if you tell the doc you are concerned cause she was able to and now she's not)

I would be really positive when she does use the toilet and telling her how proud you are, and thankyou so much for going to the toilet, cause mummy doesn't like cleaning wet or dirty pants (you could also get her to help you clean the dirty clothes afterwards - as a logical consequence of her behaviour.

i think keep it simple with your explanations though - don't over talk the situation - just tell her she has to go to the toilet - it's the way it is, and while accidents will not be punished, there will be a consequence if she just 'can't be bothered'.

Firm but fair... :-)

Good luck :-)

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