Thursday, June 23, 2011

Potty Training Boys...I wish there was a reset button!

My tale of two boys, lot's of peeing in the great outdoors and now...faux butt wiping!

Finally a potty training blog post!  Actually I might have more to gain from reading your responses to this post then you have to gain from reading my experience.

I know you must think I'm crazy to say that if I could press "reset" and start our potty training all over again I totally would.  So where do I think I went wrong and why would I want to re-train my sons?  I'll give you the details on my potty-training woes below...

First let me tell you, I have twin sons, they're 4 yrs old and will be 5 yrs old in October.  They stay home with me and will be starting school in August.  They are "potty trained" so to speak but that's not technically the name for what they do.  Maybe "underwear trained" would be more suitable.

The first way we went wrong was teaching them it's ok to just pee outdoors.  Whether at the beach, out on a nature walk, bike ride, etc.  we pretty early on just started encouraging them to pee in the grass.  This worked great, after all, there's that age where they want to use the public restroom everywhere, just for fun.  Public restrooms give me the heebie jeebies so stopping somewhere to let them pee in the bushes just seemed like the preferred way to go.

So what's wrong with teaching them to pee outdoors?  Well for starters they now pee anywhere and everywhere and in front of everyone.  At home, instead of going to the bathroom they just open the sliding glass door and pee in the grass, on the patio, on toys, on eachother, the name it!  At the playground, zoo, beach, etc.  same story.  Now I am petrified that when they start school they might try to pee in front of people at recess or on the playground!

Another problem, I suppose because there are two of them, is that when they go to the restroom at our house they go in together and sometimes pee together even though I discourage it and ask them to wait their turn.  Bottom line is that they are used to having company in the bathroom.  So at a playdate or someone else's house, they'll walk right in while someone is washing their hands and start peeing in the toilet.

Finally, the issue of the butt wiping!  With girls it's natural, a non issue, they learn early that they have to wipe themselves and so they are also pretty knowledgeable by the time it's their own responsibility to wipe their bottom.  With boys, especially mine, I have wiped for them.  They yell "mommmmmmy!" when they're ready, they assume the position, lol, and that's it.

Now that they're becoming school age I am trying to teach them to wipe on their own but it's turning out to be more like "faux butt wiping."  No matter how I instruct them they just can't seem to arch their back right and their hand, with toilet paper, does not really come close to wiping anything at all.  None the less, they're happy with the "faux" wiping.  They ball up as much toilet paper as possible and then wipe everywhere but where they need to, then toss the clean toilet paper in the toilet and flush!

Now you must realize why I wish there was a do-over.  Perhaps if I hadn't encouraged them to pee in the bushes, or allowed them more privacy, or taught them to try and wipe for themselves when they were younger then I wouldn't be in this precarious situation?

If you were hoping my story would help you with potty training I apologize.  I am obviously the one in need of advice, but at the very least you can learn from my mistakes!

So let's hear it! Am I the only one who's trying to "potty train" already "underwear trained" boys?  I'd love to read your comments.

-Julie, the Cloth Diaper Geek


Anonymous said...

Thx for the giggle, sorry I don't mean to, potty training has been a challenge in this house too and I have a girl! In desperation I resorted to treats, Iknow the experts say that's ok, but I think it's a mistake! She's smart enough to equate the two at a young age and when she stopped getting a treat, she decided to pee on the carpet: the message clear, no treat, no potty. That bad habit is finally broken after I made it clear that the carpet IS NOT the place to pee! Now, she decides that bedtime is the time for poopies: last night, at 8:30 and after going to bed, she decided she needed to go. After an hour (yes an HOUR) she still hadn't gone! It was NOT a good bedtime for either of us. So, while I don't like to hurry or put time limits on her because I don't want problems/issues later, does anyone have any "time limit" suggestions?

Anonymous said...

You are not the only one! I have four little boys, 5, 4, 2 1/2, and 1. Three are potty trained and yes we do the peeing outside thing to, which has caused many "hide your face in shame" moments as they pull down their pants in the middle of the playground. Most of all I wish I taught them all to pee sitting down. Oh I know it's not manly at all, but my older ones must stand about a foot away, close their eyes and pee while turning around in a circle, or that's the way it seems when I'm cleaning the bathroom! So I taught my third to sit and pee. Yes, when he is older I will teach him to stand, or he will switch just by watching his brothers. But for me right now, to not have even more pee on the floor is great. Good luck with the wiping thing! Just remember there are no 16 year old boys calling for their mommies and "assuming the position!".

Andrea C. said...

I think all little boys like peeing outside. And all kids do embarrassing things when they are little around going potty. I peed in a toilet display at Sears when I was about 3. I didn't know you weren't supposed to pee in them. The wiping will get better too. My son is 4 and did the same thing. After practicing and realizing that his little tushie gets sore when he doesn't wipe well he has made the effort to do it correctly. Also, flushable wipes help too. They're fun, clean better and less messy then unraveling a whole roll of toilet paper. I have found potty training my daughter to be more difficult. Thank you for sharing!!! :-)

mom2natnkatncj said...

So I have two girls age 12 and 9 and now my 3 year old son. It is true, girls are easier to potty train. My son could care less that he is wet or has poop in his pants. Things weren't perfect with the girls, but it definitely went faster with them. As far as the wiping goes though sometimes there are still issues with that. I don't usually wash my oldests underwear anymore, but when I did there were some staining. Both girls have had this issue. We have had to discuss getting ourselves good and clean after going to the bathroom. And privacy issues have been a problem too. Now of course it's with my 3 year old boy. Once the girls were actually trained gentle reminders of knocking before walking in seemed to help. I do it now too with my son mostly when he walks in on his sisters especially his oldest because obviously she's at the age where she really needs privacy. Although that's hard to understand at this age since I'll go in there with him to go to the bathroom. During potty training an open door policy has always been the best way in my opinion to help them train and then you work on the rest of it later. It will come.

Secret Mommy said...

It has always cracked me up that my sister always told her daughter, "We wipe our butts until they are clean. BOYS wipe their butts until they're tired of wiping their butts." :) On the other hand, my 3 yr. old who recently potty-trained himself (I can't take credit...he just decided he wanted to use the potty and hasn't had many accidents since...) is SO EAGER to wipe himself, but he makes a terrible mess. One day I found him in the bathroom with poop all over his hand, bottom, back, the large mostly unrolled roll of tp and the wall around the paper dispenser. I said, "WHAT HAPPENED IN HERE? WHY didn't you call Mommy to help you?" And he said, "Because Daddy told me big boys wipe their own bottoms." Sigh.......

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