What to Do When Your Potty-trained Child Suddenly Isn’t
Understanding regression — and what to do
So, you thought your child was potty trained. While you may feel disappointed or even frustrated, it is very common for children to go back to having accidents — temporarily.
Having intermittent accidents (for example, wetting themselves a few times one week but not the next) is not potty-training regression, however.
If your 3-year-old wets herself twice this week after being dry for eight months, that’s what I call a “bump in the road” — not true regression. If your 5-year-old forgets to go because he’s captivated by his new video game, that’s really not regression either. Variants like that can be expected.
Regression is when the behaviour recurs for several weeks, such as when your 8-year-old regularly wets her bed after being dry at night for years.
While many kids go back a step here or there, true regression is far less common. True regression usually indicates that something needs to be fixed, such as:
As children develop, they learn what to expect from their environment and how to gain some control over it. But sometimes what seemed under control suddenly becomes different. Learning to cope with a new reality can take a child’s attention and energy away from staying dry because they have new fears or expectations. That’s why they start having accidents.
It can happen to older, school-age kids, too. Stressors can include changing schools or perhaps being bullied. Those kids haven’t lost the skill to be potty trained; they’ve just become mentally and emotionally overwhelmed. They unintentionally ignore their body’s signals to go to the bathroom.
Parents sometimes worry more than they need to about potty-training regression. Instead of jumping to conclusions:
Educate - Don't Stagnate