The Kid Who Runs and Hides

Question: My son seems extremely shy or something. When I say it’s time to go potty he runs and hides and pees there. I can’t catch him in time! Any advice for super shy kids?

Answer: Yes! The child who appears shy and runs to hide is actually asking for privacy.  They just don’t know how to articulate that yet. This is awesome news in the potty training process because it’s moving along the timeline of socialized behavior. Remember: peeing and pooping are primal, putting it somewhere in particular is socialized.

It’s also a form of emotional safety in the midst of a big transition. Think of it as “big kid swaddling”. Kids love small spaces that feel contained.  It makes them feel snug and safe.

While I’m not a fan of making any part of the process of potty training a song and dance, I AM a huge fan of supporting our kids as they are learning a huge developmental milestone. Too often, in potty training, parents rush through certain aspects at the expense of their child needing support; to be done.  As in any learning curve, some children need more support in some parts of the curve than others.

We can support the child who needs privacy in a few ways. The most common hiding place is under a table. You can put the potty chair RIGHT UNDER THAT TABLE. I know it sounds funny but hey…they’re going there to pee anyway…might as well put the right container there for them to use.

You can build a small potty fort. A simple fort with a couple of chairs and a blanket.

Or if you have one of those pop up playhouses, you can put the potty right in there.

Put the potty wherever your child has a propensity to run; if it’s their room or even a closet.

I don’t recommend leaving the child in a bathroom, just yet. There’s far too many distractions and potential dangers in there.

This is usually a problem only in the early days of potty training and usually fades pretty quickly. But remember, it’s always best to work WITH your child instead of AGAINST your child. Putting the potty in a little hidden place for a week or two is only going to help your child and show respect for his needs at this time.

As always, these posts and my Youtube videos and podcasts are meant for your average bump in the road. If you are having a truly hard time potty training, consider booking with one of our trained experts.  Sometimes it’s just a small tweak or getting to know your child’s quirks, that can bring you back from the brink of insanity.