realRach , Parent asks:

Is it something to worry about?

my son seems to be going backwards all of a sudden, he is 3 going on 4 in August he is toilet trained and knows the boundaries, but recently all he does is disobey me, just lashes out at the other children and won't use the toilet anymore (just keeps wetting his pants). Is this normal for boys his age??
In Topics: Children and stress
> 60 days ago

Wayne Yankus
Apr 12, 2013

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Dear realRach:

You are right to be concerned.  Once toileted, most boys have no desire to return to wet pants or diapers at that age. Something is going on and I would start with your pediatrician by asking the question and possibly having an exam.  Disobedience is very normal at this age but not usually in the form you describe. Give strong love and support but make him help in the clean up and ask your partner to do the same.  Sadly, this is sometimes a sign of child abuse and I would ask if any one has hurt him. Again, your pediatrician can be very helpful.  

Wayne Yankus,MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics
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Additional Answers (1)

momof2monkeys writes:
I don't know about boys, but it sound a little like my older daughter. She was a strong-willed boundry pusher from the time she could walk/talk, but was smart. She has toilet training down by a little over a year and then as she got older she realized it was one of the few things she had total control over. It led to issues into kindergarten when she finally realized it didn't go over well with classmates. She was never one to lash out at other kids, but we battled over control issues for years (still do!).
Has there been any changes in his life or routine lately? Changes can often lead to these types of behaviors. Is he in a daycare or head start program? If so I would speak with them about anything they may have noticed. He is young but talking to him may produce some clues as well. I may just be a stage if nothing else seems to pan out. If so, I would recommend stability, consistency and pick the fights you can win!!
> 60 days ago

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