Help! Rebel 3 year-old Pees his underwear on purpose in time-out???

Lori - posted on 08/12/2011 ( 11 moms have responded )

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Hi Moms... My 3 year old son gets mad if he gets in trouble and often he says "I'm gonna poop on the floor" when he is mad. But he never does it. Well, today he got in trouble for hurting his sister and I put him on a stool in time out. Well he muttered something about how he was going to pee, but I didn't think he would. Well, he did pee in his underwear after just being in time out for less than a minute. I am 99% sure he did it on purpose. So, has anyone else had a kid do something so rebellious and disrespectful? My older 2 kids just were very well behaved, so I never had any kind of problem like this before. My 3 year nold is a very sweet and loving andf good kid about 80% of the time - very smart and very emotionally and socially aware. But when he gets mad (either not getting what he wants or getting in trouble and being chastised) he will say things like "I don't love you" or "I don't want that anyway" or "I'm going to poop on the floor." Now, he has never followed through with any threats of going to the bathroom on the floor for retaliation, but obviously with the time out today he did pee and I think it was indeed on purpose. If he just had an accident of course I would not get mad at him. But I just feel like it was such an act of defiance to pee on purpose like that!!! He got potty trained about 6 weeks ago and has been doing great with it. Anyway, am I overreacting? Do you think doing that seems super rebellious? I took away a couple of his favorite trucks for just 5 to 10 minutes and he was super upset and then was very apologetic about everything. I usually make him apologize before he can end his time out (Usually only takes a short time). But he can ber very, very stubborn. He can also be extremely sweet and charismatic and he knows he is so cute. He is also the first one to always tell us he loves us, so it is always weird when he gets mad and says he doesn't love us! I know he doesn't mean it, but still find it a little disconcerting. I have started telling him not to say mean words... for awhile I just ignored it so as to not give him the idea that it upset us too much. I try not to make power struggles where there don't have to be any with him... Any advice or thoughts would be appreciated!!!!!! Help!

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~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/12/2011

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Interesting perception Jennifer, I can see that making sense. My son also turns into a bit of a monster when he is hungry, then he will get mad if I want him to eat. But he eventually will and then is back to his normal self. He is actually at the point now where I will ask "why are you so cranky?" and he will respond, "I think I might be hungry, can I eat?"

Jenni - posted on 08/12/2011

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Yes, my son did that a few times in timeout.



I would have him help me clean it up without getting mad or angry or drawing too much attention to it. And continue his timeout. He hasn't done it in a very long time, now he'll tell me he has to 'go pee' while in timeout, so I say go ahead, go to the bathroom. Then we continue the timeout.



Timeouts are fairly rare in my house, I prefer to use time ins or encourage my children to take their own timeouts when angry or upset. Rather than forcing them to sit there. I use them as a tool to teach my children how to handle strong emotions appropriately. I use them in a positive light rather than as a punishment to teach my children how to calm themselves down.



For 'punishments' i use natural and logical consequences. And I use 1,2,3 for not listening. I try to avoid timeouts as a punishment unless they are directly linked and appropriate to the type behaviour. ie: hitting, toy throwing, yelling (behaviours caused by strong emotions).



Here's an interesting thought. Many times, when my son has to pee and is holding it because he doesn't want to take a bathroom break from an activity. He gets really moody and acts out! The bad mood is usually solved by encouraging him to use the restroom.



So I wonder if he and possibly your son are engaging in negative behaviour because they need to pee. Then when we put them in timeout, the frustration/anger of being put in timeout causes them to empty their already full bladder. I also witnessed my nephew (4) doing this last week. He started acting out and not listening to my SIL, she made him get out of the pool (and take a break from the action) and then he said he had to pee! And boy did he ever.



So maybe the negative behaviour is directly linked to the need to pee (and being uncomfortable) but not wanting to stop an activity.

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Stephanie - posted on 12/10/2012

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Ok so I am the babysitter...I babysit a 2.5 year old adorable little boy and just recently he throws huge tantrums when his mom leaves him and today he decided it would be funny to poop on the floor. He has always been such a sweet little boy...very loving, giving, caring...everything you could want in a little boy. Is this all just an age thing? As soon as his mom is out of sight he is a perfect angel. For instance this morning he was screaming bloody murder when his mom left. As soon as she pulled away he stopped crying and asked me for eggs...of course I cook him eggs....then he asked for a bath and I said no. He then proceeded to poop on the floor and he thought it was hilarious. Saying "Ha ha Stephy, ha ha!" I told him I was angry and super sad and so was mommy.he said sorry...but I just wonder...is a 2.5 year old capable of plotting out situations to get his way...i.e. crying for eggs, then pooping for a bath?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/12/2011

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If anything, it is nice to know we are all not alone in our struggles.

Lori - posted on 08/12/2011

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Thank you Melissa, Jennifer and Marina... I really appreciate the input. I agree it is very possible that he gets cranky when he needs to pee and doesn't want to take a break, so it is a little possible that he had to go bad, although I am pretty sure based on his expression and demeanor that he did pee on purpose and could have waited to get to the potty, but I leave the possibility that is wasn't as intentional as I felt in the moment! Melissa, I completely agree, we also have 3 kids and the older 2 are just easy. But our youngest is a very strong willed child and like you, I know God put him in our home (literally, because we adopted him from Korea) for a purpose and I know he truly belongs with us. But yes, he is our child who we just shake our head and say "wow, this is gonna be the one that tests us and pushes us like crazy...." God gave him this amazing personality, social ability and sweetness along with the double dose of stubborn and strong willed... So he is quite something to watch and our home would be way too quiet without him... But some moments he really pushes my buttons. I also have felt recently God has given me this precious little boy to teach me patience, because I really have to pick my battles with him. At times I feel like maybe I am letting him get away with too much. But I know not to get in control battles with him over small issues. He gets disciplined if he hits or hurts anyone, but most other thinbgs I try my best to make them teachable moments! Thanks for all the words of advice. They really help!

Melissa - posted on 08/12/2011

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Sounds like you have a strong willed child. I have one also, a boy about to turn 3. The key to having a strong willed child is you being even stronger willed and choosing your battles wisely. If you put him in timeout he is there for certain amount of time whether he says sorry or not. This will teach him that you will not accept that behavior and that sorry is more than just a word to say to get out of trouble. If he continues to pee or poop when in timeout he has to sit in it the duration of the timeout. I do a minute for every year old they are. He is probably doing it to get out of the punishment. I am not a very strong willed person. I do not like conflict, but God gave a strong willed son and I believe He knows best for us both. It is a constant harder work in process for me. My older daughter is easy going & so is the baby. My son he is going to be the one that makes my husband & I say We survived it, Lol! Good Luck!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/12/2011

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But, just remember, accidents DO happen, and he may have needed to use the bathroom before he went to time out. Usually when they just learned to potty train, they will voice that they have to use the bathroom literally at the last second.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/12/2011

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Ok, that sucks. Sure it is an act of defiance....they can completely control their pee and poop (at least after being potty trained) and you are controlling him when you put him in time out. It is his way of showing himself or you that he has control to.

I would not dicipline him for it no matter how much you want to. It can still give bad thoughts about using the bathroom and getting in trouble for peeing. Not good. If he poops and pees, I would just either quietly get him changed and ignore it, or have him do it himself. It is very uncomfortable to poo and pee in underwear...diapers are great cause it draws the wetness away, and keeps the poop contained. Underwear won't. He will stop because he will learn
1. it is not getting attention
2. feels gross.

Good luck.

Amanda - posted on 08/12/2011

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You're not alone, my 3 yr old has been known to wet his pants because he is in trouble and he's been toilet trained for 10 months. I think my son does it sometimes because he's annoyed or embarrassed about being in trouble but sometimes I think he just does it because he can. I'm hoping he grows out of it because my daughter (22 months) is starting to copy him with weeing on the floor.

With him telling you he doesn't like you or love you or didn't want it anyway, snap. I think it's just a way to try and get back at you for telling him off and trying to get a reaction out of you. I get down to my sons level, tell him I still love him but he is still going to time out for whatever reason.

Emma - posted on 08/12/2011

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You say hes only been potty trained for 6 weeks i would say it was most likely an accident.
Toddlers push and often say things they don't mean when cross just like us adults do sometimes.
The best response to the I don't love you thing is to say well mommy loves you and leave it at that.

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