Breakthrough?April 9, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Posted in Battles (aka: toddlerhood) | 1 Comment
So I’ve had this theory for the past couple of weeks: That Lucky’s potty resistance and control issues with using the bathroom when we tell him to go is a result of his inability to stay dry.
A couple of times when I pointed out that he was wet, before he REACTED, he’d look down, put his hand on his underwear and say somewhat surprisedly, Oh. I’m wet.
I’ve noticed that when Lucky is embarrassed about something, he avoids looking into our eyes and flatly refuses to do anything we ask him to. Like refusing to apologize if he’s hit someone, for example.
And I’ve been wondering if the refusals and freaking out is more a result of being embarrassed that he can’t keep himself dry than it is a CAUSE of being wet. And I’ve put myself in his shoes and really tried to look at it from his eyes.
What does it look like if it were me?
I have been dealing with these mini-accidents now for 9 months. I am frustrated and angry and wanting to figure out how to make the accidents stop. I keep hearing my mom and dad and teachers talk about me staying dry, but when I am not paying attention to having dry underwear all of a sudden I’m wet.
Then what’s the POINT of using the potty? I can’t control it, might as well just stay wet since that’s the way I’m going to be anyway. And why are all these adults SO FOCUSED on me going to the bathroom? I don’t WANT TO.
The thing is.
Everything I’ve read is that you need to stay neutral with accidents, basically out not-care your kid about them. And with the exception of a couple of weeks where both Charlie and I were low on patience, we’ve been pretty good about following that. We’ll point out his pants in a matter of fact tone, then tell him it’s time to take a potty break and get into dry clothes.
Cue tantrum, depending on the time of day.
So this weekend I decided to try and see if I could give him some positive attention whenever there was an accident. Where when he started to react and freak out, I’d get down on his level and give him ENCOURAGEMENT. I told him that I knew it was really frustrating, but that his Daddy and I KNEW he was trying really hard, and that we understood that accidents happened sometimes. I told him it was okay and all we wanted was for him to keep trying because we KNEW he could do it.
And you know something? It didn’t stop the accidents. But it did make things just a little better. He didn’t fight me as hard when I told him it was time for a potty break. When he was wet, we didn’t have massive freakout meltdowns. We had a couple of issues but not nearly as bad as it has been.
From everything I’ve read, when kids are constipated, it takes time for their colons to shrink down. IF the issues we’ve been having is a result of Lucky being constipated – which honestly, I’m nearly 100% bought in on – then it’s going to take time until he can really FEEL when he has to do to the bathroom.
So really, it’s not just about US being patient with him. We have to teach him how to be patient with HIMSELF, too.
So anyway. Marginally better this weekend – all of us.
Here’s hoping this continues.