New here and needing help......


New Member
Hi. I'm new here and feeling very depressed. I apologize if I ramble or don't make sense. We had a rough morning here and I'm pretty frazzled.

To give some background, I have a 4.5 yr old son named Riley. He has been a challenge ever since he was a young toddler, although it seems to get harder to deal with him the older he gets. Riley is very smart and is advanced for his age in a lot of areas. However, he is also defiant, talks back a lot, and explodes if things don't go his way. He really only acts that way with husband and I. That's the part I don't understand. He's actually quite shy around strangers, and although not perfect, he does pretty well at preschool and with other relatives.

The problem we're dealing with right now is toilet related. Riley has been potty trained since he was 2.5 or 3 yrs old. He's always done pretty well with peeing on the potty, and although he will only poop on our potty at home, he's done well with that for the past 9 months to a year. Last week though, he suddenly developed a fear of the toilet clogging and refuses to poop on the potty! He has been pooping in his pants since last Wednesday.
I have no idea where this is coming from. This morning I finally had enough and put him on the potty and told him to sit there until he until he poops (it had been two days with no BM, and I didn't want to deal with another accident). He threw an absolute screaming fit and kept trying to get off the potty when he felt the poop coming out. I ended up having to hold him on the potty until he was done going! The whole process ended up taking about a hour.

I probably dealt with this the completely wrong way, but I was really at my wits end. It made me furious that he put me through that, and I didn't know what else to do. Every other 4 year old I know uses the potty, so why can't he? Especially since he's been trained for quite a while and doing well. I would completely understand if he couldn't make it to the potty in time or wasn't completely potty trained yet, but this just doesn't seem normal.

Anyway, sorry for going on and on, but I just feel like a really lousy parent right now, and I'm at a loss as for what to do. Thanks for listening!


Active Member
Welcome to the I Feel Like A Lousy Parent Club. :smile: We've all been there and then some!

You've got enough going on here that I think it would be wise for you to step back from issues like potty training until you have a full picture through assessment and your own research. I'm in the middle of a paint project but some other moms should be along shortly to give you some ideas on that.

My difficult child is now 11 but once upon a time he was 4 years old and "very smart and is advanced for his age in a lot of areas" also "defiant, talks back a lot, and explodes if things don't go his way". He also was not toilet trained and would have irrational (to me) fears of things such as toilets clogging. I'd do exactly the same kinds of things as you described above for difficult situations only it would usually set us back 2-3 hours instead of 1. Unbeknownst to me my son's various difficult behaviors had a common underlying neurological cause. When we started getting some answers I wound up feeling terrible because many of his behaviors were very reasonable in light of his cluster of disorders. Here I had been pushing because "every other 4 year old" and because I felt it was my job to help tone down his defiance. What my son really needed was to be understood and to overcome and learn to compensate for his issues.

You've only told us a little but since you've come looking for answers and help I hope you'll keep that in mind. I needed more information and a whole different game plan to help my son become who he was meant to be instead of floundering around on the parent-child battlefield.


Well-Known Member
Has he been evaluated by a multidisciplinary team of experts? I'd start there and worry about the pooping after you have some idea of what is going on (a socalled "working diagnosis") The diagnosis. will likely change as the child gets older, but you can start getting help now; the sooner the better. It's NOT your fault, so banish that thought.


Mom? What's a difficult child?
been there done that.... My now 5.5 yo drove me crazy with her not caring about pooping or peeing... she didn't potty train until 4... some g'sfg much later!!! For her we discovered a bit too late, that this was sensory related, she has a lot os snesory issues and really couldn't tell, feel, care less, be bothered etc... by the bathroom. Sometimes they start off really well and then regress... there are many reasons. Some it is anxiety. What we learned is that pushing them and punishing her didn't seem to help... it made it worse.
I agree with SRL and Midwest Mom... evaluation early and you hopefully can get some acurate answers for your family.

Good luck and welcome... He might also have to be put back into a pull up for awhile to decrease his stress and yours, go easy on each other. You will figure it out!!!


Active Member
difficult child 1 has fears of the bathroom. Sometimes he will go in the bathroom if I sit where he can see me, but I can't see him. (Faceing the wall). difficult child 1 also loves gameboy. We let him play gameboy while sitting on the potty and it destracted him enough that he'd go. Maybe a potty chair would be less frightening?

Do get him evaluated so you know why and can help him.