My daughter adopted twins who will soon be four years old. Both are potty trained but one intentionally wets her pants. She does not do this when at school, church or with grandparents. She only does this when at home under her mother's care. We have tried to make excuses for her but this habit is really getting to be a problem. The child does not seem to care and knows the behavior lands her in trouble and disrupts the family rountine. Her dad recently accepted a job which means the family must relocate and he is away during the week until they can sell thier home. We think that change contributes but this was happening before. How can we help this child who when happy is sweet loving little girl. She has frequent melt downs which have gotten better but still occur from time to time. These girls were taken from thier mother at birth because she tested positive for drugs. They were in care of a loving foster family for the first fourteen months of thier lives. The foster parents planned to adopt them but made a decision to give them up. We think the high pitch screaming episodes of the child contributed to thier decision. They have been with my daughter's family which inculdes a big sister who loves her little sisters.
There has been alot of upheaval in their lives hasn't there. Erm, the fact that this behaviour is only happening in the mothers care actually states alot.
It sounds like the little girl knows that when she wets her knickers she will get the attention she wants from mum, if you think about it this is very cleaver actually on her behalf as she has worked out that by peeing herself mum has to stop whatever she is doing to focus all her attention on her. SHe has to take the little one to one side and spend time cleaning and changing her and in this moment she is the focus not her twin or big sister, just her. She has mummy.
This could also be a reaction to being taken away from her earlier foster mother and subconsciously she is afraid that this will happen again and so this is an anxiety triggered response. It may be that she sees her other sisters getting more attention than she does, or she feels left out of what is going on around her, this in turn provokes her anxiety and so she then feels the need to do what brings the attention back to herself.
Can i ask how does her mum react when she wets herself? Does she become irrtiated, shout at her or does she just calmly take her and get her changed? Does she give her alot of cuddles with sympathy? Anything more you can add with help in building a picture.... as reaction to the situation will make a big difference in the outcome.
I will wait until i hear back from you, look forwrd to hearing from you soon....
WHat i will advise her mum to do is when she wets her knickers when she takes her off to get her cleaned and changed NOT to engage in any conversation or physcial engagement whatsoever. Just to simply take her up to her room and change her, little eye contact, no verbal interaction, if the little one talks to her simply do not respond, if the little one gives her a cuddle the cuddle is not returned, if she starts to cry or throw a tantrum that this is completely ignored in this situation. So in essence, her mum is dealing with this situation but is not engaging in this situation.... two completely differnet things.
I know this will be heart breaking for the mum as her little girl will be very upset by the lack of attention she will receive and will proberly cry but the important part to do is ONLY when she is cleaned, changed and back amoungst the family again should mum give her a massive cuddle and show attention with the interaction of the other children.
This will tell the little one that she will not gain her attention from mummy in this manner, and if she does this nothing positive will come from it, she wont get mummy time.
I think it would be a very good idea (if mum isnt already doing it) to take her for 10/15 mins very now n then outside of the wetting situation and just read her a story or simply place her on her knee with a massive cuddle while watching TV....
I think the aim here is to focus positive attention in other situations and completely ignore in the wetting situation.
I think too that kids can get really busy at home and not want to stop to go to the bathroom. They wait too long and then they go. I'd have mom remind her to go on a schedule-------- say every 45 minutes. I know it happens only at home, but she is most comfortable at home. So, mom can keep reminding her to get on the potty. I had to do this with my younger son. He didn't have accidents but he would wait so long that he barely made it and it was a stressful rush to the bathroom. He didn't want to stop playing to go. No issues at preschool though. So try the schedule idea. good luck
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