Hi, I'm really struggling with my 4 year old son. He simply refuses to wee or poo anywhere other than in a nappy. I live in Belgium and am struggling to find support, particularly as we are not fluent in french. I've tried the ERIC helpline countless times but just can't get through. I don't know what to do and I worry the decisions I make are making things worse.
We had a a day of potty training when he was 2.5 years old and he did really well for the day. Just a few accidents, but since then he has literally refused everything.
There were spells when he would throw the potty across the room and refuse to go near a toilet. Over the summer we got him to sit with a nappy and wee inside the nappy (quite some progress) using m&m's as rewards. But as soon as we take the nappy off it's like a psychological block. Sometimes I've felt like he's trying to wee in the toilet, and when it doesn't come he's disheartened, thinks he can't do it and is reluctant to try again.
He has learnt to withhold his wee and poo very effectively. Last year he went to a kindergarten 9am-noon where he was supposed to be toilet trained. He wasn't of course. This was the biggest mistake ever. He went without a nappy and just learnt to hold his wee and poo until he got home. At which point he would want a nappy and fill it completely with wee in seconds. He has had problems with constipation and is on laxatives.
He is now at school until 3.15 pm and we've been trying all summer just to get him to do one wee on the toilet. It's been so stressful. He hasn't managed it. He went 3 days to school without a nappy, by day 3 he was holding his wee all day. So I spoke to the school who were supportive and he's in nappies at school. There's no sign of a change in his attitude. I feel like we're going nowhere but I'm terrified this habit of holding all the time will lead to really long term problems.