my fiancé has two children from his former marriage. The oldest (boy) is almost 5, and his daughter is 3 years, 4 months. I have been actively in their lives for 7 months. Penny is extremely intelligent and independent, and has been potty trained for a while, but for the last couple of weeks has been wetting herself again. Last week, at pre-school when she had an accident, she didn't want to wear the second dress they gave her to wear, so she took it in the bathroom (she won't let anyone help her dress), laid it on the floor, and peed on that, too! Yesterday she peed herself (down to her new shoes) and then became upset when I wouldn't let her change her entire outfit. She threw a fit that the new, dry pants didn't match her old shirt, so she wanted a new shirt, too. Later that night, she peed sitting on the couch and was tickled pink to dress herself in her "little mermaid" pullups (she was watching "little mermaid" at the time). We both know not to punish or shame, but it's been hard for my fiancé because it’s getting progressively more frustrating (the same day she ‘went’ on the dress in daycare, she ‘went’ in the car seat because she didn’t qualify for a treat for being good in the grocery).
Yesterday, I asked her if she wets herself so she can change her outfit and she said ‘yes’ but I don’t think she knows what I mean. This morning when she wanted to wear her new shoes to school, I told her she couldn’t because she wet them and they were dirty. She seemed to understand that, didn’t throw a fit, and simply asked me to please clean them. We’ve considered not letting her wear her favorite “princess” panties because “they are too nice for someone to wear them and pee on them, so let’s save them for when you don’t have any more accidents” but we think this may seem like a punishment and is possibly not the best way to go. Yesterday we also differentiated between “accidents” and purposeful “peeing” saying accidents are only that when you can’t help yourself and don’t mean to do it.
She wet herself twice today at pre-school. Is it possible she’s really doing this so she can change her clothes? Or, seeing as their mother came back into their lives shortly before he and I started dating; is this simply her way to keep some control in her chaotic life? And if that’s what it is, what can we do?
you asked her if she does it to change clothes and she said YES-
I think there is a chance she understands.....
but there are 2 things not sure of here:
1. Can she tell you when she needs to go and does she? and do you get her to the bathroom as soon a you can?- Wetting the carseat on the way home from school is a matter of possibly not letting her empty her bladder before you leave the preschool?
2. your post is not clear whether or not she was ever fully trained yet -IF she was fully trained-
Here's a way to find out- if the wetting is on purpose- this is used in Randy Carlson's book Parent Talk- the child gets one pair of clean pants for the day for play time- and I am n ot suggesting she be left wet or dirty but cleaned right up in a bath/ I know you can't do this at preschool- she will need a change of clothes- but you can figure out after school anyways-
after she wets at home there is no more play time. It's all down time- no more outside play or outings that evening. She bathes, gets in her night clothes and her day is over except for books, etc. That way she is not being punished but you will just tell her she gets one set of clothes for the day and that's all---- try it for a week anyway-
Yes, she was fully trained. for several months "accidents" happened rarely and only at nap time or during the night. There have been times that I'll catch her running to the bathroom, like the urge to go caught her by surprise, but she either makes it, or barely doesn't. and of course, in those situations we just say, "oops! there's an accident. that's ok!!" and make it no big deal.
I like your suggestion, and will let my finace know about it. maybe we'll get the book too! I appreciate your feedback. thank you!
afekety - I think somehow you've misunderstood the whole punish or shame thing. You certainly don't punish or shame a child for accidents or things they really don't have any real control over.
This child is purposely peeing everywhere and no one is expressing anger. She is getting no real feedback that this is disgusting and unacceptable - just that she can't wear her things because they are dirty and her princess panties will be saved for later when she's no longer having accidents.
I would choose 2 or three outfits that do fit, not her favorite, and if she pees on her clothes this is what she wears. And she needs to clean her own shoes and wash her own clothes and get in the bathroom with 409 and a rag and clean the pee off the floor.
thanks for the feedback. that's actually what we've decided to do. If she pees on her clothes, she gets re-dressed and she has no choices. But I think saying that we are disgusting and unacceptable is not neccessary and a bit over the top! :)
As for the cleaning her own mess, that is also something we've discussed. But since my initial posting, she has had only one accident and it was during nap time, so it was truly an accident.
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