About 2 years ago my son was in daycare and we caught him a few times coming home wearing the younger kids diapers, when he was already fully potty trained. He was taking them from the bathroom at the daycare and putting them on over his underwear. We spoke with him at that time and he couldn't really explain why he was doing it, but we just figured it was an adjustment problem from going from the younger group to the older group and starting Kindgarten. Yesterday after swimming lessons, I caught him with another pair of used diapers in his pants. When I asked him if there where more he through down another pair that he had taken from the garbage in the walk in clinic a few weeks earlier. He told me he's just putting them under his bed, but lied a few times about where they came from. I really don't know what to do, as i have never experienced anything like this with my other son, who is now 11. My 6 year old is also possibly gifted. His older brother is in the gifted program already and his teacher is telling me my 6 year old is following in the same path. Very high marks, but is very difficult to deal with and is distracting other children. If you can please direct me to what to do, as i am at a loss.
When we had a baby sister (I think I was about 6), my mom used cloth diapers, and we all thought this was really entertaining, so my friend and I went through a short period where we put on diapers and wore them instead of underwear. We liked the thickness and support of the diapers, if I recall, and we thought it was funny to wear them. We didn't think much of it, and our moms never said anything (if they even knew), and we stopped after a while as a natural matter of course when 6-year-olds are playing and get bored with it. I'm sorry you've already made something of a deal about it with your son, in your shoes I would have tried ignoring it or even supplying some clean ones so he didn't need to fish any out of the garbage. Whether it's a minor-league 'fetish' of some kind or if he just likes the thickness of the diapers and the reminder of the good old days when he felt like he could just be a kid with no expectations on him, it seems like the fastest way to get him past it is not to comment and to let him do what he wants. They sell pullups in sizes big enough for a 6-year-old, maybe diapers too, I'd buy a small package of each or of either one, and give them to him, and tell him that if he finds it fun to wear them he can. He'll probably tire of them after a while.
thank you for your feedback, but if it were the first time then yes I would just ignore it, which i did do in the begining when he was 4. This is the first time in a few years that this has started happening again, to the point of him going through garbage and getting used diapers from doctor's offices and swinning pools. I feel that by buying diapers or pull ups, would be enabaling him in an obsestion that's not exceptable behaviour. I've just never heard of children doing this before and am concerned that maybe something is wrong with him and I just wanted to get some other opinions.
I think that if he is getting them out of the garbage, he is going to feel more furtive and worse and get more cemented into his obsession than if you had them available with no comment. Sometimes the only way out of a habit is to experience it without resistance, not to have to fight for it and plan for it and put a lot of energy into making it happen. You certainly don't have to believe me, I can see that you don't, but if you think having the diapers available will cause the obsession, it doesn't really explain why he still has it two years later when you haven't been providing them. I'd talk to a children's therapist about the whole question, he or she will be able to guide you better than some stranger on the Internet who you don't believe anyway. Good luck!
Annie, I can't imagine how frustrated you must be as a parent. I am 43 now but what you explain could be a story about me or many others in the world. I took my little brother's cloth diapers and no matter how many times I got caught or tried into my teens to stop I just could not.
I think you have two things you need to consider and will speak from experience. 1. He will continue to find diapers, and is not object of taking used one, creating what could be a serious health issue, so if he is willing to take used dirty diapers then you getting him clean diapers may be best for his health. 2. Getting him, and I'm not saying you should, diapers would certainly send him a message that diapers are OK, something that right now he probably believes is not true. I know that the emotional aspect of diapers being morally wrong played a HUGE roll in the opinion I had of myself, I struggle to this day with that issue. I know that if any of my children wanted diapers I would provide them, maybe make him pay for them by helping with some household tasks, and or limit him to when and under what circumstances he might be able to wear them.
He is probably not proud of lying to you about what he is doing and the more you remind him that you do not approve the more guilt he will feel about how he feels and why he just can’t shake the feelings he has and the disappointment you have toward him. It is a matter not much different than what a parent must do if a child decides they are homosexual, you don’t have to agree, nor love the act, but as a parent feel you must love the child, if he is going to wear diapers then you take some control of it. I made make shift diapers of towels, and rags with plastic bags with the corners cut out as plastic pants.
I am sorry you are dealing with this but you are not alone as a parent nor is he as a diaper lover.
Hi scaredmom, from the time I was your son's age or younger even, I was fascinated with diapers. I remember as a kid I would watch diaper commercials wishing I had a diaper. I would try to find diapers at church in the nursery and childcare rooms; but never found one. I too as a preteen/teen would take diapers from the trash as I was so drawn to them, but could never find any... I remember when I was probably ten, my grandpa wore diapers at 95 or so, and I almost took a diaper to try on, but I didnt, I was scared to get caught. When i started driving at 15, I would see the adult diapers at the store and finally got enough courage to pick a pack up and take them to the bathroom and I put one on. It was weird, but it felt so soft and comfortable. I put a couple diapers on over the other diaper and used my underwear to hold them in place. I would do this every so often... I put the diapers behind the toilet in the stall and they stayed there for days. Eventually I would start buying after almost getting caught. I would hide them in a bag and sometimes under my mattress. I have done this on and off for years. I would love to go back to when I was 6 years old or even older to try diapers as a kid. I think that if I had the courage to wear diapers as a kid that I might not have these desires anymore. I still wear
...diapers from time to time. The main reason is I'm trying to capture my childhood and wonder what it would be like to wear diapers as a kid... If I had, I don't think i would be fascinated with them... I would say let him wear them, experience them so possibly won't take this into his adulthood. If you deny him, I believe there could be worse circumstances, he might go to extremes as he already has to get them. I am a God-fearing man who to this day loves life, I love people, and I sometimes like to wear diapers. God bless you and your son!
This behavior is not normal or acceptable. I agree with you about avoiding enabling an obsession. What I found interesting was that older people with this problems responded to your post as if it were normal. Maybe this is some inside on the mindset of what the thought process must be to a certain degree. But I would ***** other behaviors and see a pyschologist. Likely there is an underlying issue.
It has been some time since you originally made your post so hopefully you will see this, or it will help someone else.
It is interesting to see the comments that have been made, from many different perspectives. What I find most interesting is what Drandmother has to say:
"This behavior is not normal or acceptable. I agree with you about avoiding enabling an obsession. What I found interesting was that older people with this problems responded to your post as if it were normal. Maybe this is some inside on the mindset of what the thought process must be to a certain degree."
This behavior is certainly not normal and many believe it is not acceptable, but then how do we really define normal? In my long experience on this earth I have come to realize that there is so much variation between people that we can hardly define a person as not being normal because there is something different about them.
What I am trying to say, in so many words, is that there are things that make each of us different and special, and sometimes these things are contrary to what our parents might want or expect of us.
Before I continue I will provide very little background. For myself when I was around 4 or 5 and through my entire childhood I had an interest, compulsion and even emotional need for diapers. It is not something that I can explain but I have done extensive study and research, and have looked at my own life very introspectively. I know that there was a fair bit of conflict and abuse in my childhood and I suspect my behavior could have been related to this, essentially being a form of regression. From my study there is also some evidence that there are other factors, like anomalies in genetics, or even in how an infant develops in the first couple of months with regard to how he learns to process.
What I am saying is that Drandmother is correct, it is important to see a psychologist but care should be taken to ensure your son's self esteem is not damaged in the process. Even before this I would see your GP to make sure there are no underlying physical issues. MOST IMPORTANT, I would consider very carefully your sons relationship to every other person in the home, including yourself, and I would ask these question (at least):
Is there conflict between that person and my son?
Is the relationship nurturing, safe and caring? (this is specifically for the parents)
Has there been any physical, verbal, sexual or other abuse?
Now, the question of allowing your son to wear diapers and even enabling him. I know form a substantial body of research, writing and from my own experiences and advice I have received from other professionals that this is not an easy, or pleasant question. In most cases this is not something you will be able to put a stop to, and your son will probably have these interests his entire life. He is young enough that therapy might help but the underlying cause and any triggers will need to be addressed. In other words, he may not be the only one that needs some help.
Should you enable the behavior? Most people that have an emotional need for diapers, like myself, would say sure buy him diapers and let him wear them. I, however, differ in opinion. As a parent I would not enable the behavior and I would not provide diapers. This wont stop a determined child who likely has a very strong need. I would also NOT forbid him from using diapers. I would set rules of expected behavior like no diapers from the trash, no stealing, etc. I would also NOT humiliate or punish him. I would absolutely make sure his emotional needs were being met, in preferably appropriate manners.
There is a conflict here that will probably make your job a lot harder. It is pretty common during potty training that a, or both, parents start using harsh language and ideas with regards to diapers. This can confuse a very young mind but also tends to set a lifelong attitude about diapers beyond babyhood. If you ask most people they will say diapers are for babies and they might even treat a peer, wearing diapers, in a harsh manner. Yet when we are babies the diaper is often a symbol of endearment, and is absolutely tied to some of the most intimate and loving moments a baby can experience. So there should be no wonder why your son has one attitude (potentially subconsciously remembering something that was good) and you have another attitude that diapers (at his age) are bad.
In reality a diaper is a form of undergarment, it is not immoral, not illegal, and it has a number of useful purposes. I am not saying that you should let him use diapers but you should consider that there is an emotional need. Find the underlying cause if you can, LOVE him and make sure he knows that you love him. Do not treat him in a harsh manner, especially regarding diapers, as it will just make the problem worse and is likely to drive it underground.
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