A mom writes in asking for advice about her 5-year-old son’s bad behavior. She says he has completely stopped using the bathroom. She has had to put him back in Pull-Ups even though he is fully potty trained. He is also exhibiting rude and sometimes mean behavior. He purposefully pushes and tests his mom and others in his life. This mom has tried everything and is feeling defeated. Any advice for her?
A member of the community asks:
“My 5-year-old has been acting out so badly: Advice?
I really need advice; I’m at a loss on what to do with my son, he’s almost five he’s been acting out so badly. He won’t use the bathroom anymore. He could. He just doesn’t want to; he has had constipation problems all this life, and he takes a daily supplement to help, and it does. So I know that’s not the problem anymore. He just refuses to go now. He’s back in a pull up full time because I can’t keep cleaning underwater all day every day. He won’t even pee in the toilet anymore.
And to top it all off, he’s been so rude lately and doesn’t listen to anything. I know the pandemic has the world upside down right now, and his daycare is closed; he can’t have a birthday party, so I sympathize with him being out of sorts, but I’m starting to lose my mind. He’s extremely intelligent, and he pushes me to my breaking point on purpose.
Today he tried to put a bag over his head, I told him that was unsafe and to put it away, and he took the bag and put it over his head and said he could do what he wants. We’ve tried ignoring the bad behavior and rewarding the good. We’ve tried time outs for accidents or raising his voice; I spanked him only when extremely necessary. I just don’t know what to do with him anymore.
He’s supposed to be starting kindergarten, we both work full time, and we have a younger son as well, and I’m feeling so defeated. Sorry for the long post, but I just really need some advice. I couldn’t even tuck him into bed tonight because he’s been so mean to me today that I didn’t want to be around him, and now I’m filled with this guilt like I’m letting him down.”
Community Advice for This Mom Whose 5-Year-Old Son’s Behavior Has Gotten Very Bad Recently
To see what advice the Mamas Uncut Facebook community has for this mom in need, read the comments of the post embedded below.
The community offered this mom in need a lot of great advice. Read some of their responses below.
“When he pees make him clean it and hand wash his underwear.”
“Don’t punish the accidents, get him to help clean it, and talk to him about his feelings and why he has changed. You may not get an answer the first time, but make it a safe space where nothing he says will get him in trouble. He should end up talking…
… I have found with my oldest if things are out of his control he will take control of other things, not going to the toilet and try to assert he can do what he wants could be his 5yo way of taking control in a world where he has lost all control now…”
“Constipation can affect moods and behaviour. Whilst he is having a supplement, is it definitely working? Are his poos soft so they don’t hurt him? If he has hurt himself in the past using the toilet, it may be that he has developed some kind of phobia so he won’t go on the toilet. Constipation can also cause issues urinating. It may be that you need to return to the doctors.”
“Sounds like he might have encopresis. You might want to check into that. There’s some great groups on fb that can help you find something that works for it. Also, constipation can affect behavior as well as Miralax, if that’s what he’s on.”
“I’ve had issues with my son as well with the bathroom thing and has had pooping issues too. What worked for me and his mom was having his doctor explain about his issue. Then I let him watch a video or read a book while he pooped and it worked. Now he knows that he needs to do his business every night before he showers.”
“If the daily supplement is Miralax, there have been plenty of concerns raised about behavioral issues linked to chronic Miralax use in pediatric patients. Just a thought.”
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