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1. Sticker Charts. (I simply can not understand how anyone motivates their kids with a sticker chart. I bow down to you parents but I make these charts and they just hang there all sad and empty.)

2. Disposable Wipes. (Dylan is like… “Yeah, mom. It’s a wipe. So what? Seen a million of them. Big whoop. Can you wipe me?)

3. M&M’s. (Damn. This really worked when she was potty training. The lure of the M&M is gone.)

4. Toys. (Who needs a new Paint Her Nails Barbie when your mom is wiping your arse? Not Dylan.)

5. Leaving her on the potty to cry. (I tried this once and caved quickly. I simply can not stomach it. Way too easy to visualize her in a therapist office talking about her bowel issues. Worried she will mentally stop herself from pooping to avoid being abandoned on the potty. Worried that poop and abandonment issues will prevent her from being a productive member of society. She’ll then need to be in a special home for unproductive members of society where someone will wipe her ass anyway.)

6. Threats. Threaten to take away TV if she doesn’t start doing all her own wiping. Realize I’m only punishing myself.

7. Encouragement. (I told Dylan when she wipes herself after number 2, she can stop holding my hand when we cross the street. Dylan is now content to hold my hand.)

8. Extra TV. (According to the life rules of Dylan, no amount of “Fresh Beat Band” is worth the unsanitary, vile task of wiping yourself.)

9. Wait until she has to poop at school and she’ll have to do it herself. (Great idea except she absolutely, positively never poops at school. Maybe I should pack her prunes and Ex-Lax for snack time.)

10. Do nothing and hopes the situation changes. I’m worried that next year I’ll have a 7-year-old who doesn’t wipe her own bum. Oh, it could so happen.

mama bird notes:

I want to thank Momtourage for including me in their Fab Five Fridays.

And thank you to The Work at Home Woman for including me in their list of 50 Best Blogs by Women.

I am so flattered and honored!!

40 Responses to these things will not encourage my 6-year-old to wipe her own tush

  • ~Laura says:

    It seems to me that just when you give up on some milestone ever happening, when you are at your wits end, this is when you turn around and poof it’s done. Accomplished. And you wonder what you were so worried about to begin with. As my brother-in-law told me when I was exasperated at potty training twins, have you ever seen a college age kid not be potty trained? It will happen. That simple statement just put everything into perspective for me.

  • Jennifer says:

    Maybe she should have to give you a reward every time you do it for her. That Paint Her Nails Barbie is a good start.

    The wiping went on for a while at our house, too. I can’t remember when it stopped, only that it did. Hang in there.

  • Becca says:

    I ended up paying my kid cash everytime she wiped for a week. She ended up using the money to buy herself a toy. Now whenever I see that stuffed Andre the seal I think of it as the butt-wiping toy.

  • Peta says:

    So one day I am at thte grocery store with #2, and of course, being 4 yrs old, wants some toy. I say “Here’s $5. You get to choose, the toy or your PullUps.” Despite nearly chewing my own tongue off, I say NOTHING more. At check out, she drops the toy “Mom, I’m just not ready yet.” I dont think we even used up that last package, and suddenly she was dry all night. SHe’s 10 now, but I’m sure I’ll hear about it in therapy eventually.

  • Megan says:

    Oh mercy – I had no idea I was going to be required to wipe my kid’s tush as long as you’ve described here…and he’s only one. Thanks for the laugh, and to cope, I’m going to grab a Mimosa before work…

  • Kathi says:

    omg. I love Jennifer’s idea. (7:14am). You should totally make her give you a reward every time you wipe her bottom. If she’s like my daughter, she’s got way too much crap anyway, so as an added bonus, you’d get her room cleaned out a bit.

  • Robyn says:

    I’m still SO thrilled that my 4 year old is FINALLY pooping on the potty that I would agree to wipe him until he goes away to college!

    See? It’s all relative.

  • Wendi says:

    Putting my amateur psychology degree to use—maybe she’s holding on to this last bit of caretaking since you’re wiping the babies when you change their diapers?

  • Jodi says:

    My oldest was around 6 or 7 when he finally started wiping his own butt. Take heart, she WILL take over this chore eventually. I promise. And when she does, you’ll long for the days when YOU did it because there will be poo stripes in her unders for a while.

  • Meg D says:

    I agree with Wendi. At school they reminded us (parents of 4’s and 5’s group aka: kindergarten) that every two steps forward can include a step back. It’s all part of the very long road to actual separation; they fear that if they can do “it all” they won’t need us anymore. And that is scary to them.
    Mimosa before work is a good idea, Megan!

  • Beth says:

    Tell her you’ll wipe her tush if she’ll wipe yours!!! That’d do it around here. That’s the last thing my kids would want to do and it might scare them into taking care of their own! *wink*

  • Cat says:

    “…Worried she will mentally stop herself from pooping to avoid being abandoned on the potty…”
    “…she absolutely, positively never poops at school…”

    Sounds like 5 and 9 are already happening.
    I’d stop all candy at home for a bit and then offer candy (the kids don’t need to know where your secret stash is, and maybe peer pressure from summer will help).

  • Valerie says:

    I think a good idea is to spend time looking for something she REALLY likes and then use it as a reward. For me it would have been a date night with just me and mommy. Maybe if she does “well” for a week, you can take just her out on Friday night. Maybe time alone with you would be an incentive. Good luck! I’m afraid I’ll need it when my twins are old enough to potty train. They’re 8 months now!

  • Jenny says:

    Dude, seriously with the sticker charts. I make them, we’re excited about them for a day, and then we’re over them. My daughter is 4 and highly motivated by candy, but that seems counterproductive when trying to get her to brush her teeth…

  • So true about taking TV away being punishment for YOU. My neighbor threatened to keep her daughter home from the much beloved preschool if she didn’t improve her behavior and then had to follow through on the punishment. Now THERE’S a lesson I’ll learn through example.

  • pharmgurhl says:

    my three year old is very independent and we actually have to BEG him sometimes to let us wipe him because he ends up only wiping his lower back which obviously doesn’t do much good! Hang in there…she’ll come around once she sees her friends being big girls and doing it on their own.

  • francine Kasen says:

    Have I taught you NOTHING!!!!
    1. Let her call you a few extra times to wipe her, Just a sec honey, I’ll be there as soon as I ……(rotate the tires, finish learning Bridge…folding this towel)
    2. Come into bathroom smiling and lovey and wipe her a LITTLE too hard, or with the hand that has the ever-so-slightly jagged nail.
    3. when she says owww, apologize like you mean it, but make sure it happens next time too.
    4. 3rd time, say, “Honey, that’s the way I always do it. Maybe you are better at it.

    Trust me!!! I would still be wiping Mike (28) if I hadn’t thought of this litttle gem!!!

  • Kristi says:

    This post scares me. I have a 2 1/2 year old who has no interest in potty training. I was just worried about getting her to go in a potty and now you are telling me I will need to fight with her about wiping her own butt??

  • Valerie says:

    This makes me feel better. My daughter is five and won’t wipe her own tush. She says she doesn’t want to get her hands dirty! While I hate to think I’ll still be doing it in two years, it helps to know I’m not alone.

  • layla solms says:

    oooh! try this:

    give her a number of quarters/dollar bills/fake money, whatever is valuable to her. each time you wipe her, she pays you. at the end of a week, day, hour, whatever, she could “buy something” from wherever…
    i don’t really know, i’m just making it up as i go along, which is what all of us are doing, right?

  • Aunt Marcia (Guess Whose?) says:

    Make a legitimate looking sign for a Brillo Box that says, ‘Tushie Wipes for Pre-teens’ and paste it on the box. Show her the new ‘toilet paper’ you bought just for her…unless she wants to use the old stuff HERSELF. It might solve the problem…

  • Colleen says:

    Zoe is 5. Sometimes she wipes herself…. sometimes she calls for help. I’ve found that the bigger a deal I make out of having to help her… the more frequently she asks. If I just quietly go wipe her without a word… she seems to ask less.

    She DOES wipe herself just fine at school… or at other places. Only yells for help at home. I figure… eventually she’ll just stop asking. I’m trying VERY hard to just give up stress that shouldn’t matter.

  • Momma Goose says:

    Congrats on being named in the 50 Best Blogs By Women! I clicked through to that list, hoping to find other blogs that I liked as much as yours…there were some good ones on there, but none as funny and classy as yours! πŸ™‚

  • Ella says:

    I’m with Wendi in that this looks like a baby behavior she’s not ready to abandon.
    We had a book called “Grover learns to read”. Grov didn’t want to learn to read cuz he thought if he did, then mommy would stop reading to him. But old Grov discovered that when he learned to read, mommy still read to him AND he could then read to MOMMY!
    It’s a similar deal.
    Maybe point out to her that you’re still taking care of her when she takes care of herself.
    Or just resign yourself to the fact that you’ll have 4 asses to wipe for he rest of your life.

  • Loukia says:

    So believe it or not, a sticker chart worked on my oldest son when I toilet trained him. I never thought it would work, though. Stickers? BO-ring. But… lo and behold, it worked! It took one day to toilet train him! My youngest is now basically toilet training himself. As for wiping their own bums… I’m still not sure how to make that happen!

  • jackie hall says:

    Have you tried giving her those dr gloves or the lunch lady kind of gloves if she is freaked out about getting poo on her hand? IDK…. it was just a thought! Your an awesome mom. I can still recall my son yelling…… mom come wipe my butt! he’s in college now. I’m sure he’d be thrilled I’m putting that out there! haha Best of luck. oh, have you tried to get her to change one of the babies diapers like its a baby doll? or gotten a potty dall that pees and poos she can practice on? sorry that just came to mind. Bless your heart!

  • jackie hall says:

    I just thought of something? How does she spend the night at a friends house? At that age they would make fun of her and really hurt her feelings….

  • gross. I stopped at 4. I am serious. I would say ‘I don’t do that. If you want that done you will have to wear a diaper. And I am serious’….with one of my kids I BOUGHT giant diapers and brought them home to make my point. Worked like a charm

  • izzy's mama says:

    All in its own time. Just as with other milestones, some start sooner and others later. Completely normal. So sad that parents choose to shame their children into doing something they are not developmentally prepared to do.

    Instead you might try this: Have her prepare the toilet paper and then explain that you are going to wipe together. Have her hold the toilet paper as you guide her hand and show her, explaining the details. Children are very frightened of not being able to clean themselves properly. It may take several weeks, even a couple of months but one day, after all of the practice, they will feel comfortable and surprise you!
    Good luck!

  • Megan says:

    We had to start telling them to at least try. I will not go in the bathroom until you have tried to wipe yourself. If you try, I wll make sure it’s all good and help if i need to. That seemed to help get us over them being scared to make a mess or not get clean. πŸ™‚

  • Coma Girl says:

    I should just copy and paste the exact post for myself 2 years from now. I just know, since it took my daughter forever to actually poop on the potty, that she will never wipe herself.

    Aren’t kids fun?

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kelcey kintner