Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My 3 and half year old grand-daughter is pooping behind the chair!

Knowledgeability Clarity of Response Politeness 

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Comment: Kay, Thank you so much for your insight and help. I agree we are all grieving as you said. Aubee is surrounded by love and we will all do everything within our power to help her get through this time. I will be looking for some books soon to read with her during our sleep overs:) Terrie

Questioner: Terrie

Subject: granddaughter pooping behind chair

Question: My 3 1/2 year old granddaughter who has been potty trained (dry all the time, for over 6 months) took off her underpants and pooped behind a chair this morning. My daughter called for advice. She and the child's Father separated about 2 months ago after 5 years of marriage. He lives with his mother now.He now watches them mornings so my daughter can work (this was the arrangement before the separation). She did this in the beginning of the day not just before her mom went to work. My daughter just gave her a look and my granddaughter appeared to be ready to cry. Her mommy had her help clean it up and told her that she was to go in the bathroom to poop. She did not do it again so far.

My granddaughter also has a new Baby sister just a year ago. She seems to be stressed. What can we do
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Answer: Dear Terrie:

You said it best in your own words. "She seems to be stressed." The first thing you can both do is understand that her world is coming apart.

She has not memory of life before her parents got together. Therefore the separation is literally turning her world upside down and in two. She is 3 and 1/2 years old and lacks the ability to verbalize to you what she is experiencing. She pretty much told you how she feels by pooping behind the chair.

She also has a new baby sister. Babies get nurtured and take up a lot of well deserved attention. Three and half year old are expected to be slightly more independent.

So a quick recap, her world is coming apart and torn in two and she has a new baby sister so she is no longer the baby. She has a new role as the oldest child and the big sister.

She is very stressed.

I suggest getting books about parents separating to read to her (age appropriate books). I also suggest getting books which have feeling faces and vocabulary to help her start identifying her feelings and using her words.

She needs extra one on one time with momma even just 10 minutes a day of alone time which is uninterrupted or shared with anyone else will go a long way towards he adjustment.

Realize she is in the middle of her own private, personal grieving period, as you all are. It takes an adult approximately 2 years to cycle through grief so she needs an appropriate amount of support.

She is fortunate to have adults who are concerned about her emotional welfare!

Best Wishes.
M Kay Keller