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Urinating in wrong places
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Urinating in wrong places

My son is 5 - turns 6 in about 4 months and is in kindergarden.  He has been potty for roughly 2 years and we've never had any problems, accidents, etc.  Starting a couple of months ago, we noticed that the downstairs bathroom would occassionally be wet around the toilet, but assumed it was our dog.  We also noticed that sometimes the upstairs bathroom used by our son would have messes at the base of the toilet resulting from "poor aim".  We started insisting that my son help clean these occassional messes up and I chalked these incidents up to just mastering his aim so to speak.

Last week, I found that the trashcan in this upstairs bathroom contained urine in the bottom of the can and the carpet around the toilet totally soaked in urine to the point that I pulled the carpet out of that bathroom.  Last weekend, after leaving his grandparents, we received a call from them letting us know that the top toilet lid cover in their bathroom was soaked (more than would be expected from a mere accident).

We asked him about the bathroom at his grandparents house, and about the trashcan/upstairs bathroom as we started to connect the dots.  He tried blaming the incident at his grandparents on his little sister (who is 2yrs old and in diapers), and said "his brain told him to" pee in the trashcan.  He received a mild spanking and timeout at this point.

He came home yesterday from school with a note indicating that he had been caught peeing in the corner of the bathroom (not in a toilet, but literally in the corner of the bathroom).  

To my knowledge, this has started just recently (within the last few months).  The only change that has taken place is his starting kindergarden in mid-August.  We did not have this problem when he was in pre-k, and we have had no other similar type problems such as wetting his pants or his bed at night.  Aside from this very peculiar problem, he is a normal child and has not been diagnosed with any kind of behavioral disorder.

Any thoughts, suggestions or help would be very welcome.  Thank you.
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Such regression in an otherwise normal child usually occurs during a major developmental transition or change (even a crisis) in the family. Starting kindergarten is such a major change, and the behavior may well be related to this. Continue to set firm limits and yes, do discipline him for violation of the limit. I'd suggest you refrain from spanking him - that type of discipline is not particularly useful. Cleaning up, followed by a time out and then loss of some privilege for the day would suffice. It wouldn't be out of line for now to observe him as he uses the bathroom at home to be sure he's accomplishing this in a reasonable way. Sometimes boys at this age are careless more than anything else and quickly turn the behavior around.
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Wow, am I glad I stumbled upon this site.  I came home with my 5-year old kindergartner (he'll be six next month) once again frustrated, embarrassed and thoroughly confused.  Like in your situation, my son was potty trained very easily when he just turned three and never had any incidents--not even once since then wetting the bed.  However, in the past several weeks, he has urinated all over our bathroom wall; urinated all over a closed toilet seat at school; and taken bowel movements in the shower before swimming class at school, left a bowel movement in the middle of the bathroom floor while we were visiting friends in New York; and just today, had a bowel movement in the bathroom sink at school---when nobody else was in the bathroom with him and the toilet was free!
This is so frustrating and the teachers are getting quite fed up with his behavior.  Today, he was taken to the head nun at his private Catholic school.  I don't think they made him feel ashamed, but they did tell him this behavior was inappropriate and not acceptable.  What can I do?  Punishment in the form of time-out doesn't seem to do anything, I hate to yell at him or criticize him because I think he just internalizes everything.  He is a very passive kid, liked by his fellow classmates (although I think they do think he is a bit odd at this point), never combative with us or his teachers.  But he is also very distracted and does not always follow even the simplest of directions.  However, I do believe he is a bright child and is excellent at puzzles, mazes, and other games involving logic.  We are due to have him tested at our local children's hospital developmental center, but I'm curious to know if any other parents have ever experienced this problem.  Is this a sign of something greater, or just immaturity, regression, or what?  When I ask my son if he likes school, he always replies "Yes" without hesitation.  I do think the constant circle time throughout the long day (full day kinder.) taxes him and he is exhausted by the end of the day.  This school does not offer 1/2 day kinder. and he did just great last year at full-day preschool at the same school.  Help!
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