I am a preschool teacher and have recently acquired a 4 year old child who seems to intentionally urinate on themself when angry, bored, or simply wants to change their clothes. The child has been involved in the same school for 3+ years and I have talked to past teachers and learned they experienced the same problem. The child can have consecutive days without accidents or consecutive days of 3+ accidents a day. I've spoken with the parents and they experience the same behavior at home. I've offered positive praise, negative reinforcement, and positive reinforcement. I feel like nothing is ever going to work and I'm out of ideas. The parents and I have decided to try to stop the problem before it begins. We will put a diaper on the child as soon as they have an accident, as to distract from the want to change clothes all day. The child is not overly hyperactive nor impulsive so I feel that ADHD is not the cause. Can this simply be an attention grabbing technique? If so, any advice on redirecting to a new behavior?
just reward system- If it is defiance and he is in control and he is strong willed there is something out there he LOVES- his parents will find it- money? 30 minutes playtime at burger king in the bounce house on Friday evening if he has been dry all week?
That is the only motivator I can think of- I know it's hard when you want an answer NOW- and I do agree with the pull ups or diaper thing- child experts say it is confusing but you can't spend all day changing a 4 year old.
When you set whatever goal you set for rewards DO NOT change it or deviate from it for about 3 months- he seems smart but he is being TRAINED still at this age- don't try so many different tactics at once or jump around- he has to be TRAINED and consistent consequences is of course what trains a four year old..... I know it is HARD.....
If you sense that he just wants to change his clothes often and this is why he is urinating, can you offer him the chance to change clothes during breaks in the preschool day? Maybe his mom could pack 2 extra outfits or so for him, and during breaks if he wishes he could change clothes? My middle son (now 17 years old) was a clothes horse and liked to change clothes frequently.
BTW, "negative reinforcement" is learning based on removing a negative stimulus. For example, when the alarm clock is blaring you learn to reach it quickly to turn the darn thing off. This is not a big deal in this discussion, but I'm a big believer in "learning theory" and for some reason teachers have begun to think that "negative reinforcement" means punishment. It doesn't - far from it.
I just choose to think in this case you will find out faster if he can control it by offering rewards.
I can also see Rock Rose how your suggestion would show if it is a control issue.
And I believe negative reinforcement also means "removing something that is undesirable to make the end result a desired one" a rat will not be stung over and over if he finds one path in a maze brings him a sting- A strong willed child that is rewarded and can be reasoned with well is going to be motivated and trained easier than strong willed child that blah blah blah- who cares what I think
anyways I just hate anything whatsoever negative associated with toileting- it's a just a hang up of mine-
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