I have a 7 year old step-son. He was completely potty trained by the age of 2 and didn't have any accidents until he was 4 1/2. At that point he started wetting his pants constantly. His parents havn't been together since he was an infant and their parenting schedule has been the same since that time. Nothing major happened or changed, at least at our home. At age 5 we brought him to the doctor and were told, after they did a urinalysis and because he wasn't wetting his bed while asleep, it wasn't a physical problem and that it was completely normal. The doctor also said that it would most likely stop sometime over the next two years. Fast forward to now and he still wets his pants daily, sometimes multiple times a day. He still doesn't wet his bed while sleeping. Obviously the accidents are a pain but what worries me is his lack of concern. He doesn't tell us that he wet, he won't even change his pants unless we tell him to. If we ask him, Did you wet?, he'll answer honestly and isn't phased by it at all. He just doesn't care that he does this. We've never yelled at him for this, I'm sure he knows we're annoyed and frustrated by it but we've never made him feel as if something were wrong with him. We've tried giving him rewards when he doesn't wet for a while, we've tried pull-ups, we've told him, when he's at the toilet, to count to 20 after he's done urinating to make sure he gets it all out. He wets at our home, his mother's home, at school, while we're out, anywhere. Is this a normal reaction from a child? I don't want him to feel shamed but I would at least think he'd be a little embarrassed. He thinks it's funny and doesn't care if other people know about it.
No, the situation is far from norma. In fact, it is bery unusual, particularly since he is dry at night. My adice is to establish a very systematic behavior management plan that involves both rewards and punishment. That is, reward him for periods (divide the day into several blocks of time) when he remains dry, and punish him (by way of a ten-minute time out) for wetting. Be very consistent about the approach. You are doing a wise thing by not yelling or becoming emotional about the behavior. That will not help. But it is OK to discipline him as well as reward him.
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