September 23, 2008,
M.P. asks from Providence, RI on September 21, 2008
10 Year Old Wont Use Toilet Paper
My ten year old has struggled to use toilet paper since she was toilet trained. Unfortunately when she was trained at 2 1/2, my mother babysit her frequently because I had to work. Nonny is not very concerned with cleanliness and hygiene, and I think that this attitude transferred to my daughter.
We have tried everything under the sun, calm explanations of the importance of being clean, encouraging her with pretty new undies, the grown up wipes, a sign in the bathroom, making her accountable to clean these pee and poo stained undies, showing her articles on how sick people get from not washing their hands after the bathroom, rewards for finding all "gently" used pairs when we do laundry, etc. She constantly does not wipe, and lies that she does. We even caught her throwing unused sheets of paper in the toilet and not flushing, which she admitted she did so that we would think she uses toilet paper.
I am at the end of my rope and am just utterly disgusted. In the next few years she is going to get her period, and that is just going to escalate the problem so much further if we can't get her to exercise good hygiene.
D.S. answers from Boston on September 22, 2008
Have you asked her why she does not like to use toilet paper?
I have found that whenever i am at wits' end i have to start trying harder understanding the other persons/my childrens motives/feelings/thoughts/perceptions.
Maybe you will find a new base to start talking again. Good luck.
L.D. answers from Burlington on September 22, 2008
My daughter is 2 so I have no experience with this issue, and really no authority, but maybe using the flushable little kid wipes like Kando would help? At least maybe she would be cleaner. and you could put some in her backpack for school, etc.
And they have a whole line of soap and other cleaning supplies.
As for the lying, I think you might have to have someone monitor her.
Have you talked to her about her period and all of that?
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C.W. answers from Portland on September 22, 2008
ONe more idea, if you can walk through an area with homeless people and she can smell the urine smell from them, it may help her see that when people smell her, this is what they think of. Or perhaps take her to a dirty area...that has that odor..--Good luck.
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T.D. answers from Boston on September 22, 2008
Oh my! I've never had that problem, but what if you take her to the pediatrician and let the doctor tell her. Sometimes hearing it from someone with authority like that helps. I know my son would not poop until he was close to impacted for a long time and having the Dr. tell him that it was a necessary bodily function helped alot. Not sure if it will work, but maybe worth a shot?
J.D. answers from Boston on September 22, 2008
That certainly sounds like a serious problem. Have you tried having your pediatrician talk to her? the school nurse? I'm not sure they make pull-ups in her size, but you could take away her underwear and have her wear disposable diapers. They do come in a range of sizes for adults. Good luck!
T.A. answers from Providence on September 22, 2008
I would have her do her own laundry if all the other things have not worked.Let her use stain remover and throw her own undies in the wash.I have had my 8 year old do his laundry when he decides to stuff dirty stuff back in his drawers and it workes like acharm.Good luck T.
C.R. answers from Boston on September 22, 2008
I would definitely talk to your pediatrician about it, and maybe get a referral for a child counselor. The fact that she is trying so hard NOT to wipe, could there be another reason? (i.e.- painful to wipe, such as when one has hemorrhoids? Or maybe she is just so averse to the feeling of touching herself there, or touching something that seems "unclean.")If there is a deeper issue, maybe they may have some luck in getting to the reasons.
K.A. answers from Boston on September 22, 2008
Maybe she is worried something will happen, have you asked her why?
L.E. answers from Hartford on September 23, 2008
i'm wondering why she doesn't use the toilet paper? there has to be a reason and it needs to be addressed. a counselor might be of help if she won't open up to you. the possibilities are endless. in the meantime, might i suggest she use panti liners to save all of you time and effort cleaning soiled panties. also, seems like she needs to be'potty trained' all over again. just like you do when toddlers are beginnng to be trained, do the same for her now. go with her to the bathroom, clean her afterwards, etc. until she's capable of doing it for herself.
R.F. answers from Boston on September 22, 2008
Have you tried different brands of toilet paper? You've seemed to have tried everything else. I know personally, I get rashes and infections from any toilet paper that has perfumes or dyes. Even the "extra soft" stuff is very irritating to me. In my house we use Scott (the plain white kind that comes in the single rolls) or the equivilant store brand. Seventh Generation also makes a similar product if you're looking for something more environmentally friendly. Have you tried talking to her to find out why she doesn't like to use tp? Maybe having a discussion about "trust" and how you are disappointed when she lies to you about it. Let her know that if she continues to lie then you are going to have to watch her when she goes to make sure she's cleaning herself properly.