To punish DD every time she wets herself.(222 Posts)
DD is five years old and still wets herself multiple times a day, in the last 6 months she has been dry for 2 days!
I am at my wits end as we have tried absolutely everything to help her, star/reward charts, lots of praise for going to the toilet etc etc, you name it over the last 2 years we have tried it. The only thing we haven't tried is a consequence for being wet!
We are currently waiting for a paediatric referral but this has been cancelled once, so I am not holding out much hope.
The main crux of the problem is that she just doesn't care about being wet, going to the toilet is an inconvenience which she puts off and off. She will wet her pants and still not go to the toilet!
Normally I just ignore it as much as possible and then send her to get herself changed but I am completely fed up of her whole attitude towards it and her determination not to help herself.
We have bought her a watch which vibrates during the school day (every 1.5 hours) to remind her to go, but she just ignores it, puts it in her bag or leaves it at home! Every day when I pick her up she has had at least one change of clothes and is usually wet again and she smells really bad!
Tonight at bath time, she got in the bath (with her 2 year old brother) and stood and wee'd in the bath rather than go to the toilet less than a meter away. I took her out the bath, put her on the toilet and told her to sit there whilst I refilled the bath at which point she started screaming at me so I calmly picked her up and put her in bedroom and shut the door.
Two minutes later she comes in the bathroom "mummy it was a bad idea to put me my room because now there is poo on the floor".
At which point I explained that her behaviour was completely unacceptable, told her to go to the toilet, walked out the bathroom, cleaned the carpet and went to play with her brother.
I know everyone says to ignore the bad behaviour and praise the good but as you can see it's just not working!! There are no real consequences to her wetting herself, we send her to get changed and she plays in her room still in her wet clothes or puts one of her princess dresses on.
So do we give her a consequence every time she wets to make her realise that this is not acceptable or do we continue to ignore through gritted teeth and hope she is dry before her tenth birthday.
Thanks for reading
What is she like with understanding other things?
How does use get on with the teachers and class mates at school?
Just wondering is she getting too much attention when she wets that it is in a weird way rewarding the behaviour?? I may be totally way off. I just know with my ds ASD that if we react too much to his negative behaviour with lots of attention even telling off attention, he seems to feed on it and enjoy the drama. Hence we try really hard to just clear up mess quite matter of factly. Very difficult I know in your position but it's a thought?
no real advice just to say that you have my sympathy. MY DS 5 (6 in may ) still wets himself occassionally during the day because he couldnt be bothered to go to the loo usually. He is not wetting himself at school any more , but during reception he did regularly. I think he would be really embarressed if he did it now he is in year one. He still wets him self at night, refuses to wear dry nights. On two occassions recently though Ive found the waste paper bin in his room soaked with wee (eeew)
By the way YANBU for punishing DD for pooing in her room.
How is she with her peers? If she had a friend round to play, would she wet herself then? Do her classmates comment when she smells, etc? Does she show any sign of embarrassment?
And how is the rest of her behaviour - are you struggling a bit generally or is it all about the toileting?
Really push for that referral.
No problems with understanding other things. School wise she is in the top phonics group for her class and her teacher says she is getting on well, if cruising a little bit.
I suspect she is picking up on the fact she knows it's a good way to push your buttons - either that or a medical issue. I don't like to be punitive around toilet training and I would try rewards for staying clean/dry first but I assume you have done that already. I would definitely hold off punishment until you have had it confirmed that there is no medical reason for her incontinence.
Does she manage to stay dry and use the loo if she's out at softplay or a party or something?
I understand the frustration but I don't think punishing her is going to help her, or you for that matter. Negative reinforcement will make you both feel awful. I would go to the doctor (or back to the doctor, assuming you have already been there with this problem) and demand a referral. It is not usual behaviour and may have an underlying cause that is rectifiable.
we had a similar issue with DD and her wetting herself when she was too absorbed in something. She still often waits 'til the last minute to go when we are at home and needs carrying to the loo 'cause if she moves, she'll leak!
I did try everything and, in the end, resorted to letting her know that it made me very fed up when she wet her pants and it was NOT ok. I was sure there were no medical issues etc. too. I combined that with saying she could have a juice pop on "no wee in pants" days but NOT if she did a wee in pants. Just saying "don't worry, try more next time" made her think it was ok since it didn't bother her either!
Is she a socialble child? My DD was bad at wetting herself at that around that age, but became aware of the issue once she was at school - she became embarrassed to be wet or smelly in from of other children, and improved rapidly. Is your DD aware what other children think, ie that they can notice, and will not want to play with her if she smells? If she's not, and is otherwise normal developmentally, then this level of awareness should come soon and should help things.
But if she is aware of the problem, and can't do anything about it, then it's a physical problem and she maybe needs to wear pull ups for now, and wait for the appointment. My DP's DD2 was in pull ups til the age of 7. She's fine now.
Have a go at the total lack of interest/response approach then. "You've wet yourself? Oh well - time to get changed then and put your stuff in the washing machine." End of conversation - go back to whatever you were doing. It's a non-event. It's of no consequence or interest to you, and if anything is a bit boring.
She has no problem wetting herself in front of classmates, she has no shame. This week she left her wet clothes in her bag a school so the next morning. Go her to fetch them and in front of all her classmates she held u the bag and was saying "look these are my wet clothes!"
What does she say when you talk calmly to her about it?
I used a lot of praise for "nice dry pants" and also waved them in front of her nose when they weren't! But didn't go any further in terms of punishment.
No, you shouldn't be punishing her. There must be a physical or emotional reason and you need to find out what it is. In the meantime, you must make sure she is secure and loved in spite of the problem. What you said about the watch worried me - that she puts it in her bag or leaves it at home or ignores it. I don't think many five year olds are responsible enough to put on a watch every day when it might be essential - they need a responsible adult to do it for them. Likewise your comment that she smells at the end of the day. Infant wee doesn't usually smell that bad - the only time one of mine's wee "stank" was when they had a uti.
That sounds very frustrating.
Can you not ask her teachers to tell her to go to the toilet during the day and go with her to encourage her to go? At least she might be dry at school then.
I would also not punish her, but perhaps completely ignore her. If she gets no reaction to being wet, and positive reactions for going a period of time being dry, she may be more enthusiastic to go to the loo.
Is it full on proper wees or just dribbles?
Have you had her checked for UTIs?
What else happened in her life at about the same time as she started with the accidents again? Anything major?
Yes it does smell when it's been there all day!
Have you asked for a referral to a child psychologist? Her behaviour with regards her wetting herself doesnt seem normal, she has no shame, she should be embarrsed but isnt. Id push for that referral tbh.
Have you tried not taking clean stuff out with you when doing something she enjoys. Like if you are going to the park or something. And when you get there let her know that she needs to remember to use the loo because you haven't got any stuff with you. That might show whether she just finds going to the toilet inconvenient when there's something more fun to do or whether she really can't help it.
I know it's probably been tried (or you don't want to go that route) but have you tried rewards for "clean" days? As in, is there something she really, really wants, and could you tell her she has to achieve X number of dry days before she gets it? Obviously it might be best to wait to see if there's a medical issue behind it, but if she is medically able, and ignoring it has been unsucessful, and telling her off, then rewarding the good may end up with it being the norm, maybe? I don't know, sorry if that's a daft idea, but it sounds like habit by now - that she's just so used to not using the loo - and the only way to alter those is to create new ones, perhaps. And if she gets used to not wetting herself then hopefully she won't return to it?
Hi Op, I understand your frustration as I have been there myself with my dd.
I used to react the samd as you and think she did on purpose, it actually turned out (a few years laters) that she had an overactivd bladder snd she really could not control herself. I still feel guilty about it
Pretending not to care can be a defensive mechanism, while actually being incredibly ashamed about it. The bad smell can be due to a UTI, my dd had recurrent UTI (as shd wasnt emptying ger bladder properly) without any symptoms apart from the smell.
Has your dd ever been dry, and is she dry at night?
If I were you I would get her tested for infections and get ger to be seen asap as this is going to affect her confidence at school.
Also go on this website www.eric.org they have lots if info about childhood incontinence.
I am not trying to diagnose your daughter from a distsnce but it all sounds too familiar and I wanted to at least make you aware of this, as it took us years to find a solution to her problem and if someone had pointed me in the right direction early in, dd would have saved herself 5 years of this!
Btw, my dds problem was solved with medication in about 12 months.
Hope this helps, best of luck to you and your dd.
Sorry if you've mentioned this, but have you been to gp?
A girl I knew had this to age 7 but it was related to urinary / bladder problems. She didn't recognise the urges or have full sphincter control - her bladder also didn't know what it meant to be 'full' so she was encouraged to drink more even though that often meant more accidents - with the aim of it being helpful in the long run. She got so many uti's though, poor thing.
There seems to be a controlling / behaviour side to it though with the bath incident and poo in the room - but that could be acting out at the distress of this issue being beyond her control, if it is medical (iyswim)?
It can't be pleasant for you but I do know that toiletting problems can be very intricate and indicative of all sorts of things, so any solution would be tricky to both find and implement.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.