Potty Training Method: Relapses

Some kids lose interest in the potty, some kids use the potty as a way to get attention, some kids will even use it to compete with something like a new baby or moving to a new house.

Listed below are some possible relapses your child could face and how to deal with them. Keep in mind that slightly damp underwear are not and should not be considered a relapse. Damp underwear just show that your child is controlling the urge to wee. He is showing control which is a good thing.

• After being potty trained for a little while some kids realize that taking time to go “wee” or “poo” is an interruption to their play time or will procrastinate until it’s too late and will just wee or poo their underwear instead of taking the time out to go to the potty chair.

This type of relapse can be avoided by occasionally telling the child that you are proud of them for being a big boy/girl and that you appreciate them not messing in their underwear. If these accidents continue you will need to look at these as behavior problems and quickly put a stop to them with disciplinary action. Use the same type of disciplinary action you would normally use for bad behaviour. Be firm, be consistent. If the bad behavior continues you will need to increase the punishment until he/she recognizes that it’s not worth it. Here are some steps that have helped cure the bad behaviour or messing their underwear:-

At the beginning of the day sit her down and tell your child that if he poops his pants he will have time out. Don't say anything else but that. When he has an accident, don't react. Get a clean pair of underwear for him and tell him to clean himself up. Don't react! Have him clean himself up. When he's done, take his hand and put him on a chair facing the corner. Put a timer on and make him sit for 6 minutes. After 6 minutes, tell him that she must keep his underwear clean. Just keep repeating this. Without you reacting....he will stop.

• Some children are simply looking for attention. They will mess themselves not because they were playing, not because they were procrastinating, just outright doing it for attention.

This type of relapse can be easily fixed. Make sure the child knows that you are displeased with their actions but then afterwards spend some time with your child. Children need the love and attention from their parents. As parents we all so often get distracted that we don’t always remember to take the time out for one on one with our children.

• The sweet joys of a new baby. Everyone is so excited and mummy is busy with the new baby. People come in and out of the house and all want to see the baby. What about the “big boy/girl”? Yup that “big boy/girl” could have a little jealousy problem with the new baby and will have accidents to get some attention.

This type of relapse can be avoided all together. By talking to your child before the baby comes about the baby and about how the baby will be wearing diapers because he can’t walk and go to the potty chair will help your child. Talk to your child about helping you with the new baby. Call them your “helper”. Make them know that they will be part of this. If they still have accidents for attention follow the steps above.

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