HELP! Defiance, Regression or Too Young?
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|Tue, 09-15-2009 - 3:46pm|
Hi there...long-time lurker and first-time asker...
We're so frustrated, we just don't know what to do or even what *not* to do... please help!
Our 3.5 year old son has been "working" on potty training for almost a year on and off. He expressed early interest at 2 - 2.5 yrs and we let him give us cues about pace. He had some successes with pee on the potty and we made a concerted effort to support and encourage him but we had several "false starts" where his pee on the potty seemed to be just a one-time novelty to him.
Each time we tried another means of keeping him motivated but nothing worked for him. Stickers, M&Ms, dancing and singing, etc. all worked for a couple of days, then lost their power to motivate. We tried the naked method. We tried letting him wear underpants so he could "feel" it.
He cannot start preschool until he is trained and self-sufficient in the potty. But we brought him to the orientation to show him how much fun school was and hoped this might be the motivator for him. It was. For two days. He wore underpants and was almost 100% dry (only two accidents) for two days - pee and poop. He even held it while out on a walk until we got to a public restroom and went pee there. He would even go to the bathroom by himself and inform us afterward. We were so excited and encouraged!
Day three it seemed like he was barely trying and had many more accidents. Now, day four, it seems like he is just being willfully defiant about the whole thing. The times he went it was in his pants, each time, but we calmly called them accidents and encouraged him and went on with our day. I noticed at one point that he looked like he needed to go and asked if he needed to go potty. He said "no" with a scowl and went back to what he was doing. He did "the crouch" and got "the look" so I said in an upbeat way, "come on, let's go put your poopy in the potty!" He crossed his arms, said "no way!" and proceeded to pee and poop in his underwear while standing there. I admit, ashamedly, that I lost my perky, upbeat and "it's just an accident" attitude, and lost it a little. I feel like a horrible mommy.
Now, this happened during one of our false starts before. I thought I was a smart mommy and read up on potty defiance and took the advice of playing it cool, not mentioning it and letting him think I didn't have a preference where he peed. Well... let's just say *that* didn't work.
Please help. I don't know what to do or even what not to do. He can obviously do this. I don't know if it's regression or defiance or if he is just emotionally immature... I feel like a bad mommy for being so frazzled, frustrated and *clueless*!