A couple of months ago my 6 yr old son started urinating on furniture and floors. He first urinated on the couch and blamed it on the dog. He admitted to it when I was putting the dog outside. 2 days later I found a wet spot on his floor. He again admitted he did it. Since then I have found our recliner wet and he has admitted to doing that as well. This morning he was in our laundry room and then later I went in and found the laundry to be washed was soaked with urine. He tried to blame it on the dog again, but confessed to me. We have disciplined with time outs, taking away privelages, etc. He says he just cant make it to the bathroom in time. I am not really sure this is the case though. We have 2 bathrooms that were unoccupied this morning. I have read that it could be acting out. He isnt upset when he does this. I have explained to him that the toilet is for using the bathroom and no where else. He says he knows and promises not do it again. But he does. He has been diagnosed with ADHD and takes medication for it. Could this be more than just not getting to the bathroom in time? Is it deliberate? I just need advice how to handle this problem and to correct it.
My wife and I are encountering a similar problem with our 5 year old (will be 6 within the month). This behavior started several months ago with our son urinating on the floor in the bathroom and again in his playroom. In both instances he was reprimanded and instructed to use the toilet for urinating. In addition to this, he has exhibited an obsession with feces. He has been reprimanded for spreading feces on the wall in his bathroom and defecating in the bathtub. Of course this raised the fear of sexual abuse, as I am aware that encopresis and enuresis are symptomatic of children suffering from sexual abuse. My wife and I have both discussed appropriate and inappropriate touching with him and have inquired if he has been in a situation where he felt someone had touched him inappropriately. He has denied this I feel comfortable that he is being honest. It also appears that his obsession with body excretions is not to soil himself but rather is directed at other objects. Recently, while staying at his grandmother’s house, he urinated on her dog. After requiring him to wash the dog, my wife discussed the inappropriateness of this behavior and received information that he had previously urinated on our own dog. When asked if he believed that he would not be punished for these actions he stated that he didn’t think he would get caught. At this point I am attempting to determine if this is some form of control issue for him or if there are possible antisocial tendencies. I recognize that due to his age he is egocentric by nature but this seem a bit extreme to me, even for a child. I am stumped by this behavior and would welcome any advice that you would be willing to offer.
Although the described behaviors sound similar, each child's situation seems very different. In both circumstances, it seems to make sense to ask them what they were thinking and feeling when they did what they did, as well as trying to get them to try to provide an explanation of why they did it. Their answers (assuming it's something more than I don't know) may help shed light on this. You may have done this already but it didn't come through in the postings.
JWM73: In the first situation, assuming your son isn't having a reaction to the ADHD medication (which should probably be discussed with the professional prescribing it), his behavior impressed me as a child who may be angry. Some kids are lazy about going to the bathroom, but the frequency and destructive nature of the behavior sounds more than a child urinating in a corner as an easy-way-out of more mature toilet use. My suggestion is to ask him if he may be angry about something and to try to explore this possibility with him over time and help him voice possible anger or resentment, even if it seems like a reach.
ARsocialworker: The second situation with feces smearing sounds like a child who may be dealing with more disquieting emotional issues. His obsession with feces,urinating on the dogs, and the general description of the circumstance suggest a possible underlying emotional problem. By the way, there is no clear relationship between encopresis, enuresis and sexual abuse, although years ago, before this area of behavior was systematically studied, many professionals thought there was a "sexual abuse syndrome" that included bed wetting, nightmares, etc. as indicators of sexual abuse. This is no longer considered valid. The most robust indicator of "exposure to sexual behavior" (NB - not necessarily sexual abuse) is sexual behavior itself. In fact, many children with documented histories of sexual abuse show no symptoms at all. In any case, how is your child doing in other areas of his life - school, social relationships, family relationships, self esteem? Do you think he may be struggling with some kind of emotional difficulty?
Just some ideas to consider. Good luck. I'd be interested in what others think.
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