People ask if I would ever get a pet dog, and I look at them dumbfounded...Why would I ever get a dog and willingly clean up more accidents when I have ENOUGH potty training trouble as it is? Clearly, I don't understand the joys of a dog, they say. Clearly, they don't understand my aversion to poop.
My two boys, ages 3 1/2 and 5, taught me a thing or two about some typical potty training behaviors. One of them was the typical didn't-want-to-stop-what-he-was-doing-to-go child. "It takes too long!" He'd complain. And as a result, the constipation resulted in tummy aches, laxatives, and an encopresis diagnosis. My other son displayed that typical fear of going on the potty because "It's going to hurt!"
Fear can be a powerful factor in a child's life. Just one painful bowel movement can alter his or her confidence about the next visit to the potty, and when that happens a frustrating cycle of fear, avoidance, constipation, and pain can set in.
Perhaps your child has done this, too: Cried so hard because his tummy ached because he was constipated, but cried harder learning that going potty was the only way to make him feel better.
This book, It Hurts When I Poop! has helped my kids overcome all of their Number 2 fears! *insert complete elation and sigh of relief here*. It is written by a pediatrician and is geared for 3-6 year olds. It is an adorable and appropriate children's story, packed with tips and education for parents, and even includes a "Poop Program" to help kids get back on the right track. It is an invaluable tool for parents to help children become "The boss of their bodies!"
When my 3 1/2 year old was afraid to use the potty one day, I pulled out this book and we read it together for the first time. And amazingly, he "got it!" He didn't want his body to be bursting with trash, like Coyote Bill's house. He wanted to be the Boss of His Body and let the trash out.
Not only could my kids relate to the story of the book, but they really appreciated the knowledge and education in the book, too, about how their body works and how the foods they eat can make going to the bathroom easier.
Of course, that last part is a little bit to my dismay. Like when we had company over for dinner and my son interrupted a rather pleasant conversation around the table with, "This food will make my poops be softer, right Mom?" "...Um, yes, sweetheart, it will...now where were we? Please pass the peas?" Sorry to our guests, but at the same time, I felt a little elated that he was taking control and gaining confidence to use the potty again!
The book puts Ryan on a "Poop Program" that is adaptable for your own child and his or her needs. While it's helped my younger son to not be afraid and to know what to eat, it has helped my older son understand the importance of sitting down for 5-10 minutes a day "to let all the trash out".
I love the book. Encourage your library and your pediatrician to buy a copy. I am so happy to have it on hand, and I KNOW you will be happy with it, too.
And who knows, maybe in a few years I will gain the courage to actually get a pet dog. I know puppies are cute, but my kids are cute, too, and I don't particularly love cleaning up after them. But in the meantime, I'm happy with the progress we're making!