This patient support community is for discussions relating to the challenges of parenting children (age 6-12), including physical development, handling school & classes, emotional development, cognitive development, and games and activities.
My step son is 10 years and is wetting his pants consistently. There is no medical explanation and he does and has not suffered any abuse. he does not wet his bed and it does not appear to be an issue of him not knowing he needs to go until he goes. It almost seems like he doesn't care and doesn't see an issue with it. We have been very supportive and have not been disciplining him for these 'mistakes' however we are now at a loss as these 'mistakes' do not appear to be mistakes at all. Lately when we ask him why he is wetting he says things like 'I didn't know where the toilet was'. He doesnt ask anyone where it is, he doesn't go outside on a tree. he doesnt seem to try to find any alternate solution he just pees his pants and seem quite comfortable with it. He doesnt mind being wet and doesnt mind the smell. He gets a little embarred when people comment but gets over that quickly.
He does come from a broken home but has a great relationship with all family members and is loved and cared for in each of his homes. He has changed schools recently (partially in an attempt to see if bulling or environmental issues may be the cause). His wetting did stop for a couple of weeks but has returned.
Does anyone have any ideas for us? We are beginning to think that we need to implement some punishment as to get him to acknowledge that is really is not acceptable to sit and wet your pants rather than asking someone where the toilet is?
I adopted my two nephews and the one who is now 9 is still wetting his pants during the day. I remind him to go to the bathroom often but he continues to pee and poop his pants everyday. I have taken him to doctors and therapists but they have no answers. My husband and I are very frustrated by this as he didn't have this issue until about 2 years ago. We also tried different things rewards and punishments and nothing we try has worked. One doctor had us give him extra fiber to make sure he was not constipated, you might try that. It didn't work for us but it is worth a shot.
Very often children do not like to use the bathroom and leave the room at school, when they are young it is easy to ask a teacher to remind them but at this age it would be embarrassing for him, maybe check out regarding any bullying may be occurring at this school .I feel positive talk and helping him understand he has to use the toilet is the best way rather than 'punishment' which will create anxiety, rewarding is better . Does he empty his bladder each time , so it pours onto the floor? even at school ?
I have a daughter and she had a simliar problem when she was 11. She is 13 now and almost never does it. Her behavior was very similar to what you are describing. What we did was take away most of her electronics and fun toys and then hang a giant "dry chart" above her bed or anywhere in her room, make sure its large. Then we made sure to put pooping and wetting pants chart on it so everyone knew what it meant. For every week she was dry we gave her a toy back and had a sticker on the chart for that week. If she didnt make it a week, we would restart that week. Then also definantly put her back in diapers with little girl baby designs on them, in your case little boy designs up too you, and have him wear them to school, at night, to friends houses, in the pool, during the day, everyday! all day! and everywhere! And have him change himself. Make him do this for at least until se is a month to 2 months completely dry. If he stops permenantly then its your choice to have him stop wearing them. Make sure that diapers are noticeable to everyone. Then in a cauple days when all of this is set up have his friends come over and have them see what he is doing and is wearing. At night when they are together for the sleepover go in and ask in front of everyone, do you have you night diapers on honey if not lets go change you. And then in the morning start the process as i described. I can almost guarantee this will work. Start asap, like today and make it as embarrasing as possible. Tell him if hes going to act like a baby youll treat him like a baby. Im sure this will work. Write back with how it goes. Good luck!!
Stacy1122 the only problem with your theory is I have a 12 year old who does the same thing and I tried pretty much what you said like saying come on have you got you night nappy on let me change you when she was at sleepovers but her friends didn't care and thought it was cute and excepted it damm, and she is quite small and hasn't started pubity so she's cute to her friends and she cried when I said that and all her friends hugged her and said it's okay nothing to be embarrassed about, she also has a dummy so when I was changing her to get more attention she cried I want my dummy,, so that won't always help she still does it now but she has admitted she dies it for attention because she has a 1 year old sister and she doesn't like it when she doesn't get attention so I told her if she wants mummies attention just ask and she got really upset and she was really sorry so now it does about once a month (I think it's of she gets left out) but after the talk we made a deal if she has a bottle before bed like her little Sis and a dummy when she's said she won't wet herself it does no harm and it's much easier hope that helps!
Our 10 yr old daughter has had this problem off/on for about 4 yrs. We took her to a Pediatric Urologist. Our daughter explained to the doctor that she doesn't have the "urge" to go to the bathroom until it just happens, then it is too late. The doctor explained that the receptors between her bladder and brain do not communicate and what she described was exactly the outcome. He prescribed Detrol LA once per day, and she had the "Urge" within 4-5 days and not one accident. Please, please don't belittle and embarrass your child (as some have suggested) as a way to bully them into doing something they really want to do, but medically they can't. Have the doctor suggest a better way. Good luck.
@stacey1122 I think what u suggest is basically abuse. Basically ur saying humiliate them until they cut it out, they couldn't have a friend in their room or anything due to the "reward chart" which is not a reward but humiliation. Doing this to an 11-13 year old is terrible, they are probably wetting due to the stress of how you handle "discipline". if there is no physical medical problem and they appear to "just not care" that they're sitting in wee this is still a psychological issue and humiliation would cause further distress.
I had this problem with my son at the age of 7 or 8 and it was really upsetting that he didn't seem to care enough about himself or what ppl thought of him. I didn't punish him for wetting, I didn't reward dry days. I talked to him about how much he meant to me, that I wanted him to respect and care for himself and made sure he knew that he was an imortant and worthy person and worthy of being clean and hygienic. I assured him that if he had things on his mind he could talk to me or if he didn't feel he could talk to me he could go to a school councillor but made sure he knew someone's there for him.
It was a testing time but it passed and if he even remembers it at least he knows I was on his side, didn't hold it against him, bully him or embarrass him over it.
I'm now dealing with this with my 7 yr old sister whom I'm the legal guardian of. But when I read the responses, I was angry.
I went through this same problem until I was about 12. I never really wet the bed, but had a hard time making it during the day. Nightime is different though as generally bedwetting is a hormonal issue and the body doesn't get the signal to decrease urine production at night. For me, I remember feeling like I didn't need to go, and then immediately I'd have to go so badly I couldn't move and would wet my pants. My parents were spankers and until about 7 or so, if I had an accident I remember being so afraid because I knew it meant a spanking. After about 7, I got better and better at hiding it. If I wet my pants, I'd find the closest way to hide and change. I'm not suggesting teaching your child to hide the problem. I was bad for doing the pee pee dance and then the urge would go away, so I thought "oh good" but the thought never crossed my mind that I should go try. I didn't have to go anymore, at least in my mind. But when the urge returned, there was no making it. At most, I had 5 minutes to get to the toilet. I never once really wet my pants at school only because I think I was so afraid of kids finding out and was very hypersensitive to it. I did often dampen my pants by not getting there quick enough and I remember sitting on the edge of my seat (as an alternative to holding my crotch) so I could relax because I was straining so hard to hold it. When I was 9 I started to wet the bed (this one the one time that bedwetting was a problem) and had to pee literally every 1/2 hr. Turns out I had type 1 diabetes. I had a few accidents during that time that I'm convinced were a result of the diabetes and not being dianosed yet. I also think I would have outgrown it much younger had the diabetes not played a part. For me, an accident was when I would fully empty my bladder so it was impossible to go on about my day and hide it. But at 12, the accidents were a direct coorelation to high blood sugars, I think. From about 9 on, I think that was a major contributing factor. I dont agree with humiliating your child and I still harbour resentment to my parents for spanking me. They never consulted a doctor and always felt it was a potty training issue or that I did it out of laziness, and yet I also think the fear of punishment also made it harder for me to fix it.
Now I am dealing with my sister and her problem but with her, it seems at 7 she sadly hasn't made the connection between feeling full, wetting her pants, and being wet. She gives me any lie she can come up with to explain it away so I know its not that she's doing it just to upset me. I've put her in pullups when we go out because she has had accidents in public and I fear its embarassing. She wont ask to go. She wont ask where the washroom is and instead pees her pants when she cant hold it any longer. At home, she isn't allowed pullups. They're too expensive for one. But she seldom goes to the toilet except to poop. I dont think she likes to pee her pants but its just something that happens.
I really feel for you as I too get frustrated but for me, when I was young, I did outgrow it. It can be a lot of cause for stress but if you're able to take a step back and not pressure him into staying dry, it might help. The pressure and embarassment and fear makes it very hard for them to sort it out on their own. I look at it like a worst case scenerio thing. So what if he pees his pants? Who cares? You clean it up and move on. In the end, does it really matter? Are there not more pressing issues to deal with in a day. An accident is an easy fix, really. If he is going to do it, let him. Let him feel the urgancy and the feeling of emptying and being wet. If it doesn't seem to bother him, he's probably putting on a face. Now, I'm assuming that he's soaking his pants and we're not talking about a small release of urine to take the urgency off. If you notice him doing the potty dance thing, dont tell him to go to the toilet and play stupid like you dont know what he's doing and instead say to him "I notice you are squirming. I wonder how you feel right now?" but dont let on that you know WHY he's squirming. If he pees his pants, pretend its not a big deal. So he peed his pants? Big deal. Try and catch him while he's still soaked and say to him "uh oh. It looks like you peed your pants. Can you please go get dry?" but dont punish him. Dont play dumb at that point either though... its obvious that he peed his pants. Dont give him an out. If you dont catch him while he's soaked and its dried and you notice the smell, as hard as it is, dont acknowlege it. Perhaps its time to get ready for bed and for him to get in the shower. Or make up an excuse why he should have a shower, but dont draw attention to the fact that you know he peed unless you can actually se the big wet spot. But try and make a point to check on him and hopefully he wont have had the time for his pants to dry on their own. Take that pressure out of the mix. "uh oh" is really good at dispersing your frustration. I've stopped trying to micromanage with my sister (daycare does and is successful with it, but she's not learning to pick up the signals but instead is cutting it off at the pass, but its not going to harm her). I've decided that her peeing her pants isn't the end of the world and its hard enough being a kid without riding them about using the bathroom. While I've not given permission to pee her pants, I have stopped ordering her to the bathroom and making it an issue. Yes, she's wet her pants more since I started backing off (she was relying on me to manage it, so in essence I was the one that was being potty trained) but I dont think they like to be wet and are embarassed when it happens but get really good at putting on this mask as a means of handling it. He may at first wet his pants more often, but for each accident is a chance for him to learn to pick up on his signals. Good luck!!
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