help i dont know what else to do!!! - FamilyEducation
help i dont know what else to do!!!
03/15/2010 at 15:23 PM

My soon to be step son is almost 4 he is with us on the weekends. He seems to be a little slow, he doesnt know his colors, numbers, only some animals, has a speech problem. In the past year i've finally gotten him potty trained (he doesnt have a very good mother)in the past few months he has started peeing on himself which has now escalated to pooping on himself. he woke us up at 200 this morning crying bc he had pooped himself and took his pullup off and put his shorts back on and smeared poop all on his face hair and mouth. he gets in trouble and pooped and peed on himself 3 times after that. he actuall stood beside the toilet and pushed and tried to poop on himself until i caught him. Then when you put him in time out he pulls his pants down and pees on the floor and all over clothes laughing.He also gets up in the middle of the night and stands in his baby sisters and brothers (3 months and 15 months) room over their crib just staring at them. he lies and says that ppl beat him and do bad things to him (never sexual) and these ppl havent been around him in weeks but will say that they threw him through a wall just a few minutes ago. He does things to be very spiteful. He doesnt have the best home life with his mother. she does not work and lives off child support and the government. they sit in the house all day and do nothing but watch tv. she also has a bad addiction to prescription pills. i dont know what to do! its starting to take its toll. His father has tried spanking, taking toys away, time out, standing in the corner, reprimanding, taking toys away anything we can think of. Please help!!!

This obviously is not normal and I think is probably way over the heads of most people posting on here. Your husband needs to get his son to a doctor and explain these problems. He probably needs a child psychologist too. Also, from your post, it seems like the child's mother isn't fit to take care of him. If I were your husband, I would get a lawyer pronto and try to remove him from this situation. It is unacceptable not to potty train a 4 year-old.

Yea, this is troubling to read, and I’m sure even more so to witness. Before we start to attack the fitness of the mother, it would seem appropriate to seek the help of a child psychologist. The behaviors you describe seem to go beyond a cry for attention and suggest that there may be a larger and more serious problem here. Bio-mom and Dad need to put differences aside and arrange to meet with a psychologist as a first step in helping this child.

It seems that all the strategies used for addressing the problem are very negative. Look at the board called survival skills for parents. I posted the process of extinguishing behavior on page 4. You could certainly try. Since he had demonstrated the ability of being potty trained before, you could frequently check his pants and comment that he is clean and dry. When he soils or wets himself, help him get cleaned up without making a fuss, then quickly turn to your own activities. After just a few minutes, check his pants and comment that he is clean and dry. Do this several times in the next hour. Before you let him play outside, check his pants. If he is wet or soiled, help him get cleaned up without making a fuss before you let him go out. If he is clean and dry, say "You are clean and dry so you can go out and play right now." Be sure that he can manage to get his own pants down and that he can use the potty without assistance. Offer to help him, too. Sometimes it's like they need "training wheels" from time to time. If his mother is severely depressed, or if her addiction is severe, it could be that she is not giving him attention except when he is wet or soiled. Your family might be able to offer her support during her custodial time so that the boy is having his needs met at both of his homes. It is important to address this problem quickly. If he is still having trouble in a week, have an MD check him for encopresis and/or bladder infection.