Daughter age 9 still wets/soils her knickers and is going to a residential trip in June

(103 Posts)
bengal38 Wed 27-Feb-13 20:50:26

My daughter is 9 years old and since she was 4 years old has been wetting and soiling her knickers. Have taken her to the Drs recently (and in the past a few times) and there is no problem.

She says she can't be bothered to go toilet. When she has friend round/goes to a friend she will go toilet for a wee but not for a poo which results in the soiled underwear.

She is going away in June for a 2 night trip to a residential trip and I am worried she will be wetting/soiling her underwear. I have spoken to her about this and she tells me not to worry. Can't mention to the teachers either as it is really embarrassing.

Anyone have any ideas please?

gordyslovesheep Wed 27-Feb-13 20:52:11

Have you not sought help before now? What does your GP, school nurse etc say?

surely she soils at school - what do they say?

bengal38 Wed 27-Feb-13 20:56:37

Doctor did a swab test on her they thought it could be a condition when children soil their underwear. Results came back fine so we have come to the conclusion that it is laziness (maybe). At school she wets herself but soils her underwear. Teachers in Reception said she would grow out of it. Then in Year 1 things were ok-ish but back in Year 2 things got worse again. Thing is she is in Year 4 and is almost 9 and a half years old. Teachers in Year 3 and Year 4 haven't mentioned it to me because I don't think they have noticed properly.

Im guessing her teacher is about to find out. I really think you should give them a heads up !

Smartiepants79 Wed 27-Feb-13 20:57:49

PLEASE speak to her teachers. They HAVE to know this.
However I suspect that it is possible that in this situation, surrounded by her peer/friends she may use the toilet.
Her teachers maybe able to help with some ideas. I am surprised that this scenario has not occurred at school yet anyway.
She cannot go away for any length of time with adults who are responsible for her but do not know this.
I am presuming you have tired all the usual rewards etc..
At 9 she really is at an age where she must become responsible for herself, presuming there are no medical issues.

Have you thought of seeing a psychologist about it ?

bengal38 Wed 27-Feb-13 20:58:36

How should I go about mentioning it to the Teacher? I don't want her friends to find out (which I know they will) and make fun of her. Last thing I want. She is sharing a room with another 3 girls in there.

Earlybird Wed 27-Feb-13 20:59:03

Could she 'be bothered about going to the toilet' if it was the deciding factor on whether or not she could go on the residential trip? What if you told her that she has to sort this out, or she won't be going (assuming there is no physical issue)?

Is she not anxious about embarrassing herself in front of friends and/or classmates?

CSIJanner Wed 27-Feb-13 21:00:06

Have you tried the Eric website? I have a young LO who we've been struggling with for 18months. we'll get there but it's so disheartening especially when youve had a good week and oops! It happens all over again sad

makemineamalibuandpineapple Wed 27-Feb-13 21:01:17

OP, my son is 10 and still soils himself. I posted about this recently on here. He too has a residential trip in August which I am very worried about. He seems to do it more during times of stress (often related to his absent father). Can you pinpoint anything like that? We have just been given an appointment to see a paediatrician. Not sure if it will be any help sad

MajaBiene Wed 27-Feb-13 21:02:09

You really need to push for more investigation into this - no 9 year old would deliberately choose to wet/soil themselves because they can't be bothered! Either there is some psychological issue here, or there is a physical problem and she is putting a front on by claiming she can't be bothered. Can't believe you have seriously let this go on for so long to be honest.

Smartiepants79 Wed 27-Feb-13 21:02:26

I teach children her age and I would be horrified and deeply upset if a parent felt that I couldn't be trusted with this information. And to deal with it sensitively.
I can't believe they haven't noticed.

secretofcrickleyhall Wed 27-Feb-13 21:02:42

I used to do this and if I am honest still struggle from time to time with getting to the toilet on time (very occasionally, I might add grin)

It must be really difficult for you, and for her too as well. Please do not use it as a stick to beat her with though as suggested by another poster - it's horrible enough as it is. I sustained an injury to that area as a very young child and think that may have been the cause.

With-holding poo is a biggie and I do think referral to a psychologist may help, or a dietician even.

"Can't mention to the teachers either as it is really embarrassing."
Well, if she does soil herself and you haven't raised it with them, they're going to think it's not normal for your daughter and get really worried etc. WHen they find out it is normal, they're going to feel a bit pissed off with you that you didn't have the courtesy to tell them. Embarrassment is really not a good reason, is it?

TBH I'd be reluctant to let my child go on a residential trip under these circumstances. I'd be unwilling to subject the staff to dealing with it, and possibly opening up the DC to ridicule from the rest of the children.

NomDeOrdinateur Wed 27-Feb-13 21:05:30

I really doubt that "can't be bothered" is the truth, OP - at her age, it's much more likely that there is an underlying problem (either psychological or physical) which she isn't mature enough to articulate or admit to. There's a fantastic thread on this site somewhere about a woman whose daughter was roughly the same age as yours, had the same issue (right down to residential trip), and also claimed that she didn't care - it turned out that the poor girl was suffering from faecal impaction so she couldn't feel when she needed to go but also couldn't bear to confront the problem, so she just lived in denial while really suffering inside. I'm crap at searching, but maybe this will trigger a memory for somebody?

NatashaBee Wed 27-Feb-13 21:07:10

How is the school not aware of the issue already? I think this really needs to be addressed by a doctor... no doubt the kids at school will start to notice and will tease her.

RedPencils Wed 27-Feb-13 21:08:03

Of course you can tell the teacher, they need to know. There won't be any gossiping with the other kids.

Smartiepants79 Wed 27-Feb-13 21:08:14

Go into school and ask for a meeting with her teachers. Explain, honestly, what is going on. Emphasise your desire for this to be kept as private as possible. They should NOT share this info with anyone except the staff that need to know to deal with her. They will have dealt with many situations that are similar.
I understand your concerns about her embarrassment but could this not be the push she needs to use the toilet.
Does she get embarrassed?

Fairypants Wed 27-Feb-13 21:08:54

It really sounds like this is worth pursuing with the dr. My friends dd was wetting at 5 and eventually found (after much hassling of drs) that she had a form of epilepsy where she was just absent for a minute but didn't fall or fit.
I really think that at 9, there is enough social pressure that being lazy isn't enough reason, she could just be trying to brazen it out?
All you can do with school is ask for a private meeting with the teacher to tell them but they won't be able to stop to other kids from finding out-assuming they don't already know.
I do hope she is ok, it must be a very difficult issue for you both.

bengal38 Wed 27-Feb-13 21:09:17

To MajaBiene
If you re-read my post I have said that I have taken her to the Drs recently and a few times in the past and they have said there is no problem and that it is probably just laziness.

xigris Wed 27-Feb-13 21:09:17

How often does she do this? I think that she needs more investigation into this. Maybe you should ask your GP for a paediatric referral as this is not normal behaviour at the age of 9. I wonder if there is a physiological rather than psychological cause (although of course may be wrong!) Did she used to get constipated as a child? My friend's DD (age 6) also soils but has no problems with weeing; as a younger child she used to get horribly constipated which resulted in her rectum becoming very distended. She then had very little control over her bowels and at times was faecally incontinent. She's now improving rapidly under the care of a paediatrician. Children can be very cruel, if any of them find out about this they may make her life a misery. If the trip's not until June then hopefully there's time for something to be done. Do not be fobbed off by your GP!

Have you told your DD that her friends might tease her ? Is she worried about this at all ? I remember the thread Nom is talking about too but dont know where it is.

gordyslovesheep Wed 27-Feb-13 21:11:05

No medical reason maybe but that doesn't mean there is no problem - I would certainly be looking at psychological reasons and asking for referral or support

PennyBrowne Wed 27-Feb-13 21:11:50

Inform a member of staff going on the trip, and also see a GP and maybe talk to DD about any issues or worries which may be concerning her?

cory Wed 27-Feb-13 21:11:58

Dd was incontinent (and under medical care for it) when she went on her residential aged 10. We told the school and sent incontinence pads with her. I'd have thought it a bit off if they couldn't deal with such a minor case of SN tbh.

Any particular reasons that you are so sure that her friends would bully her if they knew? It never happened to dd.

In dd's case her incontinence was caused by hypotonia. In a friend's ds it was faecal impaction.

cory Wed 27-Feb-13 21:13:05

Was the doctor who saw you a specialist or just a GP?

bengal38 Wed 27-Feb-13 21:13:16

Yes I have sat her down and had a proper chat with her. I have told her that her friends will tease/make fun of her when they find out she wets/soils her knickers and that she will be very embarrassed as well. She just tells me that they wont make fun of her.

CSIJanner Wed 27-Feb-13 21:16:08

Our paediatrician really has helped. LO has been diagnosed with toilet phobia, there has been reward charts, toys for so many stars etc. You do have to keep changing the rewards to keep their interest however they do gear the rewards etc towards age ranges. If you give the Eric helpline a ring, they are fantastic and it really does help to talk to someone who knows.


DH complains that LO is lazy going to the toilet but if there is something exciting of if LO is really into something, then of course there's no trip to the toilet. I've resorted to giving a warning that there is only one pair of clean pants and then home, but that a non-accident day might give you a trip to the cinema, horse riding, ski slope etc. Of course, the specialist has explained that it's not laziness - at some point, LO got v bad constipation which has led to a fear of hurt associated with the toilet. The worst thing to ask is "could you try for a poo?" as it results in meltdown. Wetting themselves goes hand in hand with constipation, as the child tends to hold the poo back and which means that the colon can get malformed, meaning they only get a 20sec warning at best that theres a poo en route. Can you get your daughter referred to a paediatrician? Seriously - they really do help.

Smartiepants79 Wed 27-Feb-13 21:17:49

Have you tried things like rewards? What have you tried?
If you truly believe it is down to laziness (unusual in a child of her age I would think, but where not experts!) then maybe it is time for a bit of tough love?
Will she sit on the loo if you ask her?
Can you go back to potty training basics? Sitting on the toilet every half an hour etc..

Dominodonkey Wed 27-Feb-13 21:20:15

bengal If your daughter seriously thinks that other children won't make fun of someone who stinks of poo and wee then she really does need professional help of some kind as she is in complete denial. Please pursue this.

Goldmandra Wed 27-Feb-13 21:22:40


I think your GP may be doing your DD a disservice.

You should seriously consider going back and asking for a referral to a paediatrician for further investigation.

I think there is a strong possibility that there is a reason behind this incontinence that you are and she possibly is unaware of.

I know it is embarrassing but you can't keep putting your head in the sand.

You need to communicate with her teachers about this too in good time before the trip.

secretofcrickleyhall Wed 27-Feb-13 21:26:59

The problem with saying that her friends will tease and make fun of her is that it misses the point. Either she can help it, or she can't - either way, there's a reason.

It is really difficult and I do sympathise but I would urge you to try to not make her feel bad about it - you don't shame someone out of incontinence as a rule.

someoftheabove Wed 27-Feb-13 21:27:50

One of the children I worked with had severe constipation (didn't poo for up to six weeks at a time) due to a close family bereavement. We got him referred to CAMHS for the emotional side and to a "soiling clinic" at our local hospital for the physical side. We worried he wouldn't manage on the residential but the teachers were all on board and everything was managed brilliantly, even trips up a mountain! Please tell the teachers. Don't think how embarrassing it will be for them to know, think about how embarrassing it will be for your dd if they don't know. This really is more common than you think.

Floralnomad Wed 27-Feb-13 21:28:25

You definitely need to tell the teachers before the trip . We took some children to a cub camp and discovered that one of the girls (10) had incontinence issues and we then had to ring the parent to bring up another sleeping bag etc it was all very embarrassing for everybody concerned . If we'd known it could have been handled much better . Tbh ,whatever the cause I'd be getting it investigated .

DIYapprentice Wed 27-Feb-13 21:29:37

CSIJanner - thank you for the Eric website link! DS1 has suffered from constipation for many years, was under paediatric care, used to be on movicol etc. It's now a lot better, but still not fully under control. Having a quick look at the website I have a few new ideas that I can try!!! smile

BalloonSlayer Wed 27-Feb-13 21:34:03

Where we live the school nurse used to be the person to talk to about continence issues; since then stuff like this has been taken over by a specialist continence nurse. There is help out there - you need to seek it out for the sake of her DD.

And you MUST tell the school. You don't want to be the parent they talk about incredulously on their return "OMG, DD's name wet and soiled, she clearly does it all the time but the parents told us nothing!"

Presumably she wears PJ pants at night? The centre will be able to provide a bin for her to put them in which is easy for her to access - probably in her room. If you send her with a load of clean pants, wipes and plastic bags she will be able to clean herself up discreetly as and when. Again, a sensitive teacher will be able to take a sniff in her vicinity from time to time and tip her the wink that it's time for a wipe and change.

HecateWhoopass Wed 27-Feb-13 21:35:23

What tests have been done?

Because the doctor surely will not have just dismissed this? They will have sent her for tests, right? And if not - why not? If she hasn't been referred, go back and demand it.

Your daughter may be denying there will be a problem because she is embarrassed.

You need to go to the doctors and refuse to leave until they take this problem seriously and she has every test known to man and a thorough assessment.

And you need to tell the school.

And you need to consider the possibility that it may not be in her best interests to go on this trip. If she has an accident, she WILL be tormented about it for the rest of her school days! You may have to protect her from that possibility. There will be other trips.

(That last one will be unpopular, but I have a 13 yr old with autism who soils and no way on earth would I ever allow him to suffer such a humiliation.)

MajaBiene Wed 27-Feb-13 21:38:30

Yes bengal, I see you went to the GP and got no answer but you need to pursue this - get a referral, see a specialist, investigate psychological causes.

No 9 year old chooses to poo in their knickers at school due to laziness.

YABU in not pursuing with your doctor and letting your poor child continue with this problem
And you either have a truly awful doctor, or the whole thing is bullshit.

ooer Wed 27-Feb-13 21:47:40

DS2 aged 11 still has wetting and soiling "accidents" but only at home or at Grandma's (OMG how annoying is that - never at school or on days out or on trips to his friend's house, grrr!)

Nonetheless, when he went on a school residential we did warn the teachers and gave him pull-ups for night time, also spare pants and trousers, and asked if they could help him deal with it discreetly. I would not have felt happy not warning them. You can do it in writing (in fact I think that's better because it puts it in black and white what you want the teacher to do, and you can make sure you mention everything that's relevant). If they think they can't cope then they will tell you.

My DS went to the incontinence nurse years ago, but I think improvement was only gradual. His excuse is he is too interested in what he is doing/ can't be bothered going to the toilet so holds it in until it is too late.We can't quite get to "perfect" yet and we are going back to the doctor next week.

PedlarsSpanner Wed 27-Feb-13 21:50:27

GP is failing your DD, and you are too, by accepting a diagnosis of laziness (WTF?)

PedlarsSpanner Wed 27-Feb-13 21:53:09

ooer I would urge you to ask for a ref to a speciaist, ask for a scan to establish how far backed up he is, get a script for movicol and get DS on the train back to health.

IncrediblePhatTheInnkeepersCat Wed 27-Feb-13 21:53:44

You really must talk to the teachers. I run guide camps and have dealt with 10/11yr old girls with incontinence issues.

One girl's mum didn't inform us about any issues in advance, which meant that we were unprepared for the soiled sleeping bag, lack of clean underwear, faeces over the tent canvas due to her position within it etc. Cue having to find spare bedding in the middle of the night in a pitch black field amongst other things.

We always say at the parents meetings that we can deal with any additional need fully as long as we know in advance, otherwise we just have to do our best. FWIW on subsequent trips with this child, we had strategies put in place to minimise discomfort/accidents such as reminding her to go to the toilet frequently, making sure she could get changed in the tent on her own so the other girls didn't see her incontinence pad etc. As a side note, the other children were brilliant with her and didn't make fun in the slightest.

Please, please, please talk to the staff involved.

foreverondiet Wed 27-Feb-13 21:53:53

I bought Ds1 a vibrating watch from the Eric website. He is almost 7. It really helps - teachers know he is supposed to go when it vibrates. Buy her the watch, work out how often to set it and discuss with teachers that she will be told to go at the set times.

nkf Wed 27-Feb-13 21:55:57

I would imagine that everyone at school knows already.

This is not typical behaviour for a 9 year old. The GP should be referring onto a paediatrician in the first instance.

bengal38 Wed 27-Feb-13 21:56:27

How should I word it with the teachers? Should I just come out with "xxxx still wets/soils her knickers". If they tell me it isn't advisable she goes what should I say or do?

nkf Wed 27-Feb-13 22:00:43

Just like that. And ask what they need to make the trip possible/manageable. And yes, I do agree with people who say you should be back at the doctors.

fallon8 Wed 27-Feb-13 22:08:27

It's very simple..either she sorts herself out,or she doesn't go on the trip..think you will find the "problem" will resolve itself very quickly..why should the other children and staff have their trip spoiled ?

ooer Wed 27-Feb-13 22:21:20

Thanks Pedlars - the thing is he "sits up" every morning and does a nice big poo no problem (TMI sorry!) and he eats loads of fruit ... he went to the incontinence clinic before and he got movicol. We will be going again I suspect!

Adversecamber Wed 27-Feb-13 22:21:43

Does your DD have siblings? Friends DS had this problem till he was almost 11. He saw a psychologist, turned out it was attention seeking due to sibling rivalry after younger sister arrived. His was wetting only.

SirBoobAlot Wed 27-Feb-13 22:29:12

I think you need to be pushing for more medical help, a psych assessment and more detailed physical exam. At 9, there is no way she is just lazy.

And you do need to speak to the school, I can't believe you haven't so far.

hmmmhmmm Wed 27-Feb-13 22:33:58

ds had this age 8 and 9
resolved itself without intervention thank god
wouldn't have sent him on residential trip however. nightmare going on days out just with us!

amck5700 Wed 27-Feb-13 22:39:07

my guess would be that she wont do it when she is away - My 12 year old still wets himself from time to time at home simply because he doesn't want to come of the computer/skype to go to the toilet. He doesn't do it at school or during the night or if he is out. Drives me demented, sheer laziness/absorbtion.

Goldmandra Wed 27-Feb-13 22:39:15

You need to ask for a meeting. Don't talk off the cuff at the beginning or end of school.

Just say that they may not be aware but DD has some continence issues with which she might need some support during the trip. Say that it is related to bowel and bladder control and she may need some reminders to clean herself up. explain how you support her at home and ask them to let you know what arrangements they can put in place to help her on the trip.

You need to decide whether she should go on the trip. If you want her to go the school should be prepared to make reasonable adjustments to allow her to attend while keeping her dignity and privacy protected.

In the meantime go and see your GP and ask for a referral to a paediatrician and the continence nurse at least. Don't take no for an answer or she'll still be soiling when she's a teenager and that will be even more embarrassing for her.

cory Wed 27-Feb-13 22:45:57

Everything Goldmandra said. The school has a duty to make reasonable adjustments to support any additional need, but they can't do that unless they are told.

Until your dd has been investigated by a specialist (whether on incontinence/bowels or a psychologist) you can't know whether it is a problem that will resolve itself. My dd needed medication for several years (but now has no issues). It would be horrible if you tried to cure it by making her frightened of being bullied and it then turned out to be a physical problem.

Lancelottie Wed 27-Feb-13 22:47:10

I have a DS whose school trip triggered a lasting bout of wetting and soiling. There wasn't anything we could have done to prepare for it, and as a result of his acute embarrassment none of the staff found out -- but all the kids did. Some of them were merciless.

Don't subject your daughter to that when you have time before June to sort it out

MyDarlingClementine Wed 27-Feb-13 22:49:42

GPS are " general practitioners" they are first line defense and seem to know a little about a lot and only sometimes something else in depth.

I used to have occasional accidents at a friends house at sleep overs - because I felt alot of anxeity at her house, I really really liked my friend and wanted to go but the general atmos was alot more rigid than my own house. I only ever did it at her house and I would never have disclosed at that age why I thought it was.

As her mother as others say please please take her back to GP, see another doctor, say its not good enough etc....its also not something i would wanting to be made a huge issue of infront of the child either - I would perhaps even just phone gp and ask for referal or - say if we visit I dont want issue made of it - until you can see someone who is more specialised in this field and knows how to approach it with your DD in a sensitive manner.

I was extremly depressed and anxious when I was 9, I carried the weight of the world on my shoulders and I know that all the adults round me had absoluty no idea of the depths of my worries and fears.

cory Wed 27-Feb-13 22:51:12

Otoh, unlike Lancelottie's case, we were forewarned and staff prepared and so ready to deal swiftly with any teasing that might have occurred. It is not a given that children will bully- it will depend on how differences are generally treated in that school and how well the children have been taught about tolerance.

Viviennemary Wed 27-Feb-13 22:55:20

I think it would be very unfair to her and the school to send her on the trip without telling the teachers about it. If it's just laziness would it help to tell her she can't go on the trip until this stops.

MortifiedAdams Wed 27-Feb-13 22:56:49

A nine year old does not choose to have poppy knickers over going to the loo.no matter how lazy. She obviously has issues over toilet visits and these need to be addressed and I certainly wouldnt be sending her on a resi until they are resolved.

HollaAtMeBaby Wed 27-Feb-13 22:57:22

how is this happening at DD's friends' houses without them being aware of it?

Given that the trip is not for 3 months and this seems not to have caused issues for your DD at school for the last couple of years I would be going back to the GP before you talk to the teachers into it. You really need to push for more investigation - if the cause of this isn't physical then it must be psychological and the GP should have offered you a referral to that type of support.

I may be wrong but once you have admitted this won't DD need some sort of statement to be allowed on the trip? I cannot imagine mainstream primary teachers merrily agreeing to clean up after a NT 9yo who soils herself because she just can't be bothered to go to the toilet". Also think that you presenting this to the school as a fait accompli with no plan in place for helping your DD to stop soiling could raise questions for them - it's great that you are asking here for advice but this is such a serious issue and you should be seen to be taking action when you bring it to school's attention. How soon can you take her back to the surgery?

cory Wed 27-Feb-13 23:14:10

When dd was due on her residential trip, one thing that happened was that her paed referred her to an incontinence nurse who gave her pads but also talked through the whole trip with her and how she could deal with any situations on it. E.g. how she would use her pads without anyone noticing, how to dispose of them etc. This gave dd the confidence that she could handle her situation and made her less embarrassed, because the nurse was so matter of fact.

DewDr0p Wed 27-Feb-13 23:24:19

OP please do look at that link to the ERIC website, it really gives fantastic advice, can't recommend it highly enough.

My ds had continence issues (at 5-6 yo) and we were referred to a paediatrician - he had an overactive bladder. I disagree with your GP, I am afraid. There is probably an issue and it can almost certainly be treated.

And please talk to the school. If they know to keep an eye they can do so very discreetly. (What normally happens at school? Surely she must have had accidents there before?)

Btw it was a bit of a long slog sorting out ds's issues but he is brilliant now.

newcastle34 Thu 28-Feb-13 00:29:15

I am so glad I have seen this thread. My 7 year old is having poo soiling issues and sometimes wees. Feel like worst mum ever. Been to gp and taken advice from school nurse etc.
Going to push for a referral.

Tolly81 Thu 28-Feb-13 01:23:12

As a dr this thread is really frustrating. For anyone who has a child with wetting/soiling issues over the age of 5, you need to see a paediatrician. GPs are simply not equipped nor do they understand complex issues like this - there are even paediatricians who specialise in this area for goodness sake! I'm sorry you've been fobbed off. Please remember that many GPs have done no postgraduate training in paediatrics. In an area like this, they really don't know what they are talking about. As many have already mentioned, continence issues in older children are most often (but not always) related to problems with constipation which can cause faecal impaction, "overflow" incontinence and diarrhoea (where softer poo leaks around large blockages of firm poo). Faecal impaction and constipation are painful, and can cause anal fissures which are excruciating and not visible to the naked eye. Constipation almost always causes difficulties with urinary continence in children. Over time, the problems become deep-rooted and have both a physical and psychological basis. There will be no quick fixes - issues like these take some time to sort out but the sooner you get a management plan, the better. Go back to the GP and insist on a referral to a paediatrician. All the better if there is one that runs a specialist incontinence clinic. You may be able to find this out by asking the health visitors or searching on the website for your nearest hospitall with paediatric services. Do not be fobbed off. Make sure the referral is sent immediately (you could ask the GP receptionists and even phone the next day and say that there is an important referral and you wanted to check it had been sent). As it is you will have to wait up to 8 weeks for an appt. No child of this age soils purely out of laziness - people just don't do this. Otherwise there'd be a hell of a lot of teenagers (and adults come to that) who started pooing themselves!
In the meantime I would go on the Eric website and put some interim measures in place. Of course you will have to tell the school. They have to treat everything in confidence. I suggest you say DD is having this issue. She will therefore need extra changes of underwear. We are trying this (maybe the watch or whatever) to help at the moment but we are waiting for a paediatric appointment about it and I will update you with the plan after that.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 28-Feb-13 02:29:18


please do not threaten your DD with not going on the trip.

Seek help

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 28-Feb-13 02:30:34

And your embarrassment about not mentioning to the school, whilst understandable, does not help anyone. Huge amount of denial from her and from you.

blameitonthecaffeine Thu 28-Feb-13 02:52:10

I also doubt it could be laziness.

My 9 year old was diagnosed with OCD last year which, for her, is largely about germ worries. She was/is terrified of toilets outside of the home. For the whole of Y3 we had awful problems with her wetting herself at school and out in public. She would hold it and hold it until she could hardly walk and then have really big, embarrassing 'accidents'. Obviously she was getting very upset and therefore most of the time she was able to bring herself to get to a toilet in time but not on bad days. She was waiting to the point of fully wetting at least once a week and coming home with damp or very wet pants every day.

Since diagnosis she's had a lot of counselling and the school and her extra curricular activites have been wonderful in talking to her and working with her so that there is one toilet in each building that she feels ok about. She still struggles and has wet herself 7 or 8 times since starting Y4 but it's so so much better and I feel more positive that she can get over it.

Seriously, I would consider counselling, your daughter has to be going through something. Having an accident in public is so embarrassing for a child that age that I just can't believe she doesn't care. Especially if it's soiling that is more of an issue for her!

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 28-Feb-13 02:57:46


Yes, there are several possible reasons for the problem, physical, psychological, and probably a combination.

It makes me sad to think that this hasn't be dealt with, and that an assumption of laziness has been made. Even saying you child is lazy, in itself, is too simplistic an explanation for many things, IMO.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 28-Feb-13 03:04:39

your child.


Sorry, i sound judgmental. You obviously trusted your GPs opinion. i know soiling, in particular is an embarrassing and emotive issue, but please follow the advice on here.

MerryCouthyMows Thu 28-Feb-13 03:16:52

Smartiepants79 - some teachers really DON'T notice. You would - because you are a good teacher. Not all are. sad

(I have a 9yo DS2 who suffers from encoparesis)

IloveJudgeJudy Thu 28-Feb-13 14:29:50

DS2 had pooing problems past 5. I took him to the GP and asked for a second opinion. It was no bother for the GP, but a great help for DS1. It was sorted over a matter of a few months, with the help of Movicol.

Please, OP, go back and ask for a second opinion. You owe this to your DD. She says she's not bothered as she doesn't know how else to word it to you.

Please also mention it to your DD's teachers. They need to know so that can minimise the impact for her.

I really do hope you can get this sorted, for everyone's sake. Don't leave it.

justchuggingalong Thu 28-Feb-13 16:08:44

I have nc for this.

My 9yo stepdaughter also has bathroom issues; it doesn't seem like she uses toilet paper, or at least not properly. My DH had a quiet word with her; she got extremely upset, denied it until he showed her the knickers that made us realize there was a problem, and for a few days I think tried extra hard bathroom-wise.

Unfortunately it's happening again. From the look of it, she isn't drying herself after a wee, or has weed herself by accident.

But, is it at all possible that this might be some kind of pre-puberty discharge, rather than urine? I feel awkward about the whole thing as I'm not her mother; my DH is extremely sensitive with her and I'm sure will handle it well, but only if he's correct about what's going on. Her mother unfortunately can't be relied on for help.

any ideas?

Just how can you not tell if it is discharge or wee ? Do you think she might have thrush or anything like that ?

justchuggingalong Thu 28-Feb-13 17:18:23

I'm fairly certain it's wee; it's yellow and smells quite strongly, but isn't a urine smell per se. I can't remember having any sort of discharge when I was 9, but I guess I'm very concerned DH will wrongly approach it as an incontinence/improper cleaning issue, rather than a "growing up/changing bodies" issue.

Excuse my awkwardness - I love my SD to bits but feel very unsure of my place in handling this. It feels wrong to even know about the state of her knickers, in a way, like it isn't any of my business.

fromparistoberlin Thu 28-Feb-13 17:20:43

I would....

work between now and June on adressing issue (its v common)

and see where you are at by end May, and if not better have a straight conversaton with her, on whether she really thinks she will be OK?

AnneTwacky Thu 28-Feb-13 17:23:57

Just a thought. Is she scared to go to the toilet?

It may seem weird but it's a possibility I remember a period of being terrified after the door jammed and I had to wait for a grown up to come and "rescue" me, when I was about 6.

It would explain why she'd rather soil herself than go to the loo.

She says she can't be bothered to go toilet

If this is really the case I would be telling her that she isn't going on the residential trip.

just yellow discharge would be an infection of some sort. Or it could be wee. Maybe talk to her again and suggest GP ?

Would explain a smell too come to think of it.

I used to have this problem OP, and still do occasionally. It was down to my fibromyalgia giving me very poor bladder and bowel control. I wasn't diagnosed until I was well into my 20s. Its very doubtful a girl your daughters age is doing this out of laziness, and doctors make stupid mistakes all the time so I would strongly advise getting a second opinion. Does your daughter have frequent lethargic spells, or a 'spacey' nature?

I really feel for your little girl, I tried to put a brave face on it but its a horrible thing to experience. There's a whole set of holiday photos of me trying to smile but grimacing instead because I'd had an accident and was trying desperately not to let on.

bengal if she says she can't be bothered then I wouldn't send her either.
I was a long term night bedwetter (not during the day though and not soiling)
My DC were late to be dry (and I was very patient and understanding. Maybe they'd have been a bit quicker if I bawled them out)

When they went to bed without a pee (and I'd know because they were in too quickly) then that was the only time I got annoyed.If they couldn't be bothered then I would make them strip and remake their beds by themselves.
2 minutes of their time should not result in 20 minutes of my time being wasted.

Ask her to put herself in this situation.
She wakes up on the residential. 3 other schoolmates in the room. And her bed is saturated with wee.

What does she do now. Ask her what her next move would be
Because children do know. And they will tease.

And yes, she needs to see someone. Get a referral to the Eneuresis clinic.

CSIJanner Fri 01-Mar-13 00:47:18

Right - my LO says "I can't be bothered" or"didn't want to" go to the toilet, but it stems from phobia, the pain associated with constipation etc. Usually if the child is wetting & soiling regularly, it's not use to laziness but being distracted or not having more than 20secs warning to go. The way you react will affect how your child goes to the loo. Be calm, talk positively and make it clear that they can talk to you as you are there to help.

And please visit Eric and get your daughter referred to a paediatrician

Doubletroublemummy2 Fri 01-Mar-13 01:26:42

please set up a meeting with her teacher. They need to know about this or they will end uo being the lastto find out after the rest of the kids on the trip. i have worked in outdoor ed for over fifteen years and there are many ways of dealing with the situation. But teachers and staff can only helpo if we know. And unfortunatly for her if she embarrased by the teacher knowing then if it really is just because she can't be bothered, she has kinda bought it on herself. Who knows this may be just the thing to turn this around.
Having teacher check on her may just be the push she needs to become bothered.

KTP Fri 01-Mar-13 05:49:32

I can't believe this thread is here. I have just been to the Drs with my 9 yr old DD. She has poo and wee accidents too. After she toilet trained, we had lots of issues with wet knickers, stinky wee and a persistent 'holding on' strategy that she herself developed. If she needed to go, rather than heading straight to the toilet, she would go and sit in a corner and concentrate like mad to the make the feeling (the need to wee/poo) go away, and then went back to what ever she was doing. My son was regularly calling to me, 'Mum, DD's making that face again'.

I've realised that over the years, rather than deal with it effectively, I've just had a huge supply of knickers.........can't believe I've been so useless.

Anyway...... it all came to a climax when I was pulling the washing out of the machine last week and two balls of poos rolled out with the washing. The entire wash stank of poo......

So, she and I had a huge talk (we've talked about it ad nauseum in the past). We covered her age, bullying/teasing, whether she was in pain with pooing etc. she admitted that she still did the 'holding on' thing, and rarely went when she first needed to...so the accidents were when she just couldn't hold on any longer and a bit of wee/poo leaked out before she could get to the loo.

At the GP's, as soon as I sat down, I knew he'd be useless.....and he was. I basically told him everything, and his only concern was of constipation (which is not an issue). Offered the idea of her having a regular time to poo. We have a chart on the wall, on which she marks off glasses of water drank, the time of day she does a poo, and a score where 1 = held on every time, 2 = held on 50/50 and 3= went when needed to all the time.

Do I need a paediatric appointment?.......from the above comments, I think I do.

My main concern is that her normal bladder/bowel feedback mechanisms aren't working properly due to years of not listening to them.

Sorry......this is really long.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 01-Mar-13 07:44:41


Yes, please get a referral

And OP, again please do not assume anything about what is going on, do not threaten her with consequences, until you know what is going on. The problem needs pull assessment.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 01-Mar-13 07:44:57


JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 01-Mar-13 07:46:43

I seriously seriously doubt she really isn't bothered. She may have adopted this attitude as a way of denying it is a problem. Just as some children who have difficulty with schoolwork give up or act out.

cory Fri 01-Mar-13 09:08:54

What Jamie said. If a child of mine was soiling at 9 and claiming they couldn't be bothered, I would assume that was bravado and that they were very bothered indeed.

fromparistoberlin Fri 01-Mar-13 10:35:43

may I also suggest you consider Tena lady pads or liners for her? These could be a short term solution whilst this gets addressed. Plus of course some wipes and spare knickers

This is better than having her "stuck" with soiled or wet pants and facing humiliation

I have mild incontinence after my 10lb baby and they are a lifesaver

I just hate the thought of her suffering when there is a soluton (yes short term) that you can buy to alleive embarassment at school

I think you have been given some excellent advice about further medical treatment and strategies etc. So I'm not going to comment on those.

I just want to let you have the perspective of someone organising such a trip.

I am a brownie leader. We have taken a young girl away several times (between age of 8ish and 10ish). She is was still bedwetting (known physcological issues which were being addressed).
The parent discussed this and her needs with a nominated member of staff each time. She wore pull ups or similar at night and our awareness of this helped the girl to be discreet. She was given early access to the toilet in the morning so she could deal with her needs in privacy. We didn't actually need to intervene at all. Her mother had discussed with us what facilities would and qould be available. This meant the mother could discuss with her daughter how she would deal with her needs. As far as we are aware none of the other girls were aware of her additional needs, and that could only be acheived effectively by her parents having an open and honest dialogue with the supervising adults and her daughter.

What I'm trying to say is that you must talk to the teachers. They will work with you to develop a strategy to facilitate this trip. They will be sensitive about it.

The OP stated a thread about the same thing last July.

Novemberish Fri 01-Mar-13 11:49:08

Just chipping with agreement that this should be taken seriously and checked out but with a hand-holding rather than threatening approach.

Apologies if I have missed anything but is the soiling wetting happening only at school or friends houses? Does she do the same at home?

Around the same age I had similar issues and frequently came home from school with dirty knickers. Being told I was naughty and disgusting by my parents did not help the situation. The truth was that I was terrified to go to the loo at school; I don't know if it still happens but at my primary school it was jolly good fun for older girls to stand on the toilet seat and look over the top of the cubicle into the next cubicle so they could laugh at girls having a wee hmm. Unfortunately I got caught mid-poo blush, having been unaware of the apparent rules that (a) girls don't do poos and (b) if they do, it is always at home and never in public which is wrong and disgusting. These girls started squealing in both mirth and disgust and then starting persuading others to come and have a look at me while I sat in tears, humiliated and just unable to actually stop pooing while they watched. I was bullied for years after that and soon realised that the screams of laughter if anyone saw me heading for the toilet were something I could avoid if I just pretended never to have to go. Even with friends, I was so sure they would turn on me that I couldn't bring myself to admit to needing the toilet in front of them and yes, accidents did happen at times.

Please try to talk to your daughter in a non-judgemental way and find out if there is anything behind the bravado of "I can't be bothered". Speak to the teacher also - they will be able to help and spare your daughter's embarrassment.

valiumredhead Fri 01-Mar-13 11:53:18

I think your GP may be doing your DD a disservice

Quite! Good grief, if a 9 year old is soiling and wetting there is a good reason for it and IF it is 'laziness' then the reason behind the laziness needs to be investigated.

fromparistoberlin Fri 01-Mar-13 11:54:47


this reminds me of my school trip when they pretended they had taken photos of me in the showers (they had not) cunts!

god being a kid is shit sometimes

ShShShSh Fri 01-Mar-13 12:35:45

KTP - You definitely need a pedeatric appointment for your daughter. You probably should have brought her years ago. I really can't understand why you didnt. There could have been some physical problem that made her afraid to use the toilet for fear of it hurting and it sounds like this has developed into phscological issues too.

BabeRuthless Fri 01-Mar-13 14:48:35

Do you know for sure that no one is making fun of her at school? I remember being at primary school and playing around with a girl in my class. We were sat on the floor and kicking out at each other (this was playing not fighting). I caught a glimpse of her knickers and saw that they were filthy (as in soiled). I didn't tell anyone else as I was too embarrassed myself but I avoided her after that and wouldnt play with her. I'd hate to think of the same thing happening to your dd.

Lovelygoldboots Fri 01-Mar-13 15:11:50

GP's and school nurses are in my opinion all absolutely useless in dealing with this issue. I know several people who have ten year olds who still wet the bed regularly boys and girls. My daughter was wetting and soiling at school until she was seven or eight. Referring to the child as lazy, or making them feel bad about it in anyway is completely counter productive. My daughters Reception/Year 1 teacher was an absolute witch about it and made me feel as though it was all my fault. I ended up talking to the head and she helped me. I finally after months and months of pushing got an appointment with paediatrician. My DD was displaying signs of epilepsy and an EEG confirmed this. A further appointment with a paediatric consultant; who told me that the EEG was a "red herring" and that my DD did not have epilepsy.

She is now 10 and the form of epilepsy she had, benign focal, she has largely grown out of and the wetting and soiling stopped and my feeling was they were linked. There was not treatment. She grew out of it. Its very hard for people to understand unless you have had a child like that there is not a straightforward answer. You could go to ten different sources of help and they will all give a different answer. Just try and give her strategies to cope, keep going back to the GP and I am fairly certain at some point she will grow out of it. Try not to worry, it is not uncommon. But send her on the trip. She should not be punished for this as it will just make it worse. The teachers will have seen this a million times and will help her out if you let the school know.

TartyMcTart Fri 01-Mar-13 15:44:05

KTP Just to second the others and ask for a referral as soon as possible. My eldest has had poo issues since he was potty trained and it's only in the last year or so that he goes when he wants / needs to and doesn't 'hide' like your DD, hoping that the feeling would go away. He used to do this and consequently his bowel got used to it and would end up going for a poo only every 3-5 days.

Unfortunately a few years of this means that his bowel has been stretched and so he still gets a tiny bit of leakage but only every few weeks or so. I'm hoping praying! that we're nearly at the end of it all. 5 years of poo problems have really taken their toll sad

Sorry but I imagine your DD will continue to have problems with soiled pants and leakage for quite some time. I was told that a long time of witholding and denying you need a poo can mean that it takes a couple of years for the bowel to get back to normal.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Fri 01-Mar-13 22:37:21


I see.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Wed 06-Mar-13 16:39:45


Have you been to get a referral?

annh Fri 08-Mar-13 23:30:17

Take your daughter back to the doctor, demand a referral and get this treated! I have now looked at your thread from July, where you posted and then disappeared, and things are getting worse, not better. Then you said your daughter would go to the toilet at school but the problems were at home. Now she is also wetting herself at school. Why are you not pushing for this to be sorted out? Are you expecting your poor 9 year old to do it on her own?

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