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When Potty Training Goes Wrong


Do you see this face?

This is MY baby. My son. My life.

And his school is f***ing up everything.

It’s dawned on me in the last two weeks that my child has changed. At first, I thought, wow, he is growing up, he is maturing so fast in his new class. Wow. I should stop worrying so much.


Yesterday morning, Pookah told me he had to potty. Yay! I thought in my head!

We got there, the boy is HOLDING his penis in his hands( might be TMI for some of you but bear with me) and won’t go.

I mean he cried, he screamed, he shook his head back and forth, refusing to step up to the toliet and pee.


I was confused. He obviously had to go, but wouldn’t.

I pushed it off and just put a pull up on and dressed him.

I did notice that he asked

“we go to school?”

“Yes, we’re going to see Sister P.”

He was quiet.

He ate breakfast, seemed to cheer up.

We walked in hand and hand, he gave me a kiss and then we entered the classroom.

Sister P asks if Pookah had gone to the bathroom this morning. No, we tried, but he didn’t go, I explained.

She tells him to go to the bathroom.

He BURSTS out into hysterical tears.


There my friends, lies my problem.

I think that now that SHE has put so much empasis on it, he doesn’t want to go!

What am I going to do?????

I had noticed his aversion to going to the potty in the last few days, but I had been ignoring it. But something is wrong.


I don’t know what to do. *cries silent tears*


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  • Reply
    June 7, 2012 at 7:21 am

    Pookah associates going to the potty with Sister P and I think she may have told him that he may have to miss play time or something if he doesn’t go. She needs to explain to him that it’s ok. My girls were late potty girls, my family was so against that. You know old school….you were potty trained by the time you were 12 months & 1 hour old! You, Sister P and Pookah need a meeting, and she should explain what she said to him. I just know she used some kind of scare tactic/withhold fun with him.
    Whitney recently posted..Comment on Moodiness, Middle Aged and Random by WhitneyMy Profile

  • Reply
    June 7, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Hmmm. This is really tough. Really tough. I want to say that you should talk with her about how she’s been teaching him to use the potty and tell her your concerns. But, I have a feeling that that conversation may end with her getting defensive and annoying. So…maybe speak to someone above her. Does he have to be potty trained to attend that school?
    Jessica recently posted..How to Be Present With Your Children at Indoor Play SpacesMy Profile

  • Reply
    June 7, 2012 at 8:33 am

    Actually, my son went through the same thing sort of, it was a very short phase (one of thousands) of potty training. He was simply scared to go! He would cry his eyes out, and then when it started happening, cried his eyes out more in fear than anything. We backed off for a few weeks and asked him again. He started to go sporadically and then finally often. My son is 3y3m and we are FINALLY starting to get him to go round the clock. He now wears his briefs all day. This has been a very, very long frustrating process. But when they are ready they are ready. Your son may be a bit overwhelmed with the whole process. Possibly feeling pressure from the teacher.
    Nellie recently posted..A Very Fishy SituationMy Profile

  • Reply
    June 7, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Hmmm have you watched them how they potty train during the day. I would want to see exactly how she does the potty training I would sit my but up there to see how they do it because he may be thinking potty and teacher are hand in hand. This is strange though
    Kita recently posted..Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

  • Reply
    June 7, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Hugs to you both!

    I would ask to meet with her and discuss her methods to find out where it is going wrong. Maybe, to disarm potential defensivenrss, approach it as, “Pooky is displaying a lot of anxiety about going potty. I am hoping we can work together to solve it.”

    Personally, I would ask that she not ask Pooky to go potty for a few weeks, until you tell her it is ok again to start trying. Just vmback off and let his anxiety subside.

    When she starts again, I would ask her to simply ask him to try. No threats, no “you have to” or punishments (because I suspect she’s using one of these to cause so much anxiety.). You could talk to him too and tell him it’s ok if he doesn’t want to use the potty or doesn’t have to go when asked.

    My oldest daughter is almost three and she’s a reluctant pottier. Sometimes she’ll go but mostly she resists. We are not pushing at all, but we certainly have gotten some “She isn’t potty trained YET?” As if going potty is some necessary milestone before three.

    Stopping by from SITS!
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  • Reply
    Baby Shopaholic
    June 7, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Poor baby! I am hesitant about starting hardcore potty training. Still dealing with sleep training!
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  • Reply
    Cam - Bibs & Baubles
    June 7, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    My first thought is to tell her to back off. Potty training should not be a traumatizing experience. It’s a gradual process. While we have to be consistent, we also have to treat every child as an individual and do what works for them. If what she’s doing doesn’t work for Pookah, then she needs to try a different approach. His crying like that and his response to her are concerning.
    Cam – Bibs & Baubles recently posted..Hot Topic Thursday: Shut it!My Profile

  • Reply
    June 7, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    I agree with Kita too. See what’s going on up there. There’s no reason for a child to fear potty training if it’s done right. Usually the parents end up in tears… not the kids. They shouldn’t be pushed to potty.

    Hugs and Mocha,
    Stesha recently posted..5 Things I’m Doing This SummerMy Profile

  • Reply
    June 7, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    I think this teacher needs to back off the potty training for a little while. It’s clear something she’s doing is upsetting him which is just making the situation worse. I agree that you should observe her potty training method to see why he is so afraid. Last thing you need is for him to get a bladder infection or constipated from holding it in all the time. Good luck!

  • Reply
    June 7, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    I have no advice, but I really hope that you’re able to get some type of resolution to this!
    Christina recently posted..Me + the Potty = FrenemiesMy Profile

  • Reply
    June 7, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Poor little guy 🙁 I am dreading the potty training days. I have no advice since my boy is too young but I hope you find the solution. I hate that he is so scared b/c they pushed him too far too fast. Thanks for stopping by my blog from SITS!
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  • Reply
    June 7, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    I agree that you should (tactfully) tell your child’s teacher to back off. (I doubt I would be able to be tactful about it if I was in your situation!)

    I am not looking forward to potty training. I am going to move in the next couple of months, so I am not even trying to attempt potty training until after the move, because I know that he is going to regress. Also, boys seem to potty train later than girls. I know that he is not going to go to college in diapers. I also feel that it is better to start later rather than earlier.

    Good luck, with whatever happens!
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  • Reply
    June 8, 2012 at 11:08 am

    This is tough one, but you just have to be consistent with your instructions and make him feel comfortable about it. And when he is read he will do it. But you do need to know how they are approaching the subject at school. It should be a group effort. What do you think?

  • Reply
    bethany actually
    June 15, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    You know, it’s entirely possible that the teacher is doing everything exactly “right” and he is still just experiencing anxiety because of something else that’s happening in his life, something at school, something another kid said to him, something on TV…kids are weird. 🙂 It could be anything!

    I have good friends whose 3YO, M, was completely potty-trained, and then after their second daughter was born two months premature, there were a few months there where mom and dad were preoccupied with caring for their new baby’s needs, and M was often with grandparents or friends. Not long after her sister was born, M started having issues with pooping her pants. She actually had to leave her preschool because she kept doing it. Her parents were frustrated and tried everything they could think of or read about. Finally, a pediatrician told them that they should just take the pressure completely off. Let M wear pull-ups and continue to ask her if she needed to use the potty, and praise her when she did, but if she went in her pull-up just change her without criticism or getting upset about it. Basically, just don’t react to the times she went in the pull-up at all but make a BIG deal about going in the potty.

    About two weeks after they started that tactic, nine months after the problems started, M was back to completely using the potty all the time and almost never had accidents again.

    Good luck!
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