Advanced search

AIBU to keep punishing my 6 year old

(115 Posts)
Arrowfanatic Tue 13-Oct-15 08:05:41

My daughter is 6, and she still wets herself daily.

She will sit on the sofa and just wee herself, she will sit at school and just wee the carpet. She wees her bed constantly.

This has been an almost daily occurrence since we started potty training when she was almost 3.

She has two younger siblings who are totally dry. She is ruining her bed, we have to buy new bedding constantly as the smell just stops washing out. She refuses pyjama pants, says she's not a baby. When she wees herself in the day time she says she just didn't want to stop what she was doing

It's been 4 years, you name it I've tried it when it comes to solving this. We even see a consultant at the hospital for it, there is no physical problem that may be causing this.

I'm ashamed to say after she wet the duvet we got her yesterday that I told her to go and find somewhere else to live; I'm not proud of it but unless you've been dealing with what I have every day for 4 years and the endless attempts to get it resolved you just can't understand.

I told her today she will be going to bed every day after dinner this week and won't be allowed to go to her after school club.

If I thought she had no control it would be different but she can stay dry when she wants. She'll stay with grandparents in their house and be totally dry. She can be out with us all day and say she needs a wee and hold it till we find one. So its pure lazy behaviour that causes this.

AIBU with punishing though? I honestly don't know what else I can do. I've tried EVERYTHING and believe me when I say everything I mean it. I've seen health visitors, incontinence nurses, reward charts, ignoring, praising, getting her to wash her own stuff, taking away toys, incentives, bribes, shouting, crying, begging, helping me potty training her siblings, explaining that wetting herself is what causes her never ending soreness down "there", I've had family involved to help, the hospital, teachers, we've done stickers, stars. Over 4 years I don't now know where to turn.

StampyMum Tue 13-Oct-15 08:13:01

I would put her back in nappies day and night. Not sure how a six-year-old gets to decide - put her in nappies and don't let her do any of the things she likes doing, like eating, saying etc, unless she's wearing one. My enormous seven-year-old boy is still much smaller than me - I'm very nice to him, but if I wanted him to wear pull-ups, believe me, he'd be wearing pull-ups. And he was wearing pull-ups at night until fairly recently. He didn't stop wearing them because he wanted to, he stopped because we thought he was ready.

StampyMum Tue 13-Oct-15 08:13:36

--playing, not saying!

PacificDogwod Tue 13-Oct-15 08:17:33

I think YABU to be 'punishing' her.

Chances are she'd much rather not have this problem either.

There IS either a physical or psychological reason - or simple immaturity of her nervous system that controls her bladder.

Visit the ERIC webiste - lots of constructive advice on there.

Don't punish, but do what is practical until things are better. Pull-ups surely are the lesser evil just now, aren't they?? Back right off, don't make a fuss, change her when needed. Stop making this a battle ground.

Has Desmopressin been tried with her?

PacificDogwod Tue 13-Oct-15 08:18:10


helloelo Tue 13-Oct-15 08:18:36

It's very hard situation but YABVU. If all physical health issues have been ruled out it's a mental health issue and you should seek advice from a professional in that area. Punishment increases fear, resentment and loneliness. She doesn't have the brain maturity to control her impulse. Work with her, not against her.

Senpai Tue 13-Oct-15 08:21:40

If I thought she had no control it would be different but she can stay dry when she wants. She'll stay with grandparents in their house and be totally dry. She can be out with us all day and say she needs a wee and hold it till we find one. So its pure lazy behaviour that causes this.

Somehow you're rewarding this behavior then. It could be the attention she gets, it could be she likes the complete undivided attention it gets her even if it's negative.

Something about your place specifically is making her wet herself. It could be she feels safest at home, it could be she's experiencing abuse somewhere and this is how she's coping. Have you tried a child psychologist?

In the mean time, put her back in nappies until she stays dry in them. You're just causing yourself undue frustration by constantly having to clean up after her when it could be easily contained.

catkind Tue 13-Oct-15 08:21:42

I think you'd be quite reasonable to give consequences for that. Not going to after school club, reasonable. Personally wouldn't go for bedtime as a punishment as I want bedtime to be a good thing for them. And prob a single as immediate as possible consequence rather than long drawn out. Will it work though?
My first stop, which you've prob already tried, would be more natural consequences and as little attention as poss. So making sure she does all the clearing up, of herself and the mess, so that peeing herself is far more of an interruption to play than popping to the loo. Or alternatively if she can't act responsibly, treat her as a younger child and take her to the loo for a check at regular intervals.
What are the professionals saying? I'd be wondering about some kind of councilling or sthg, it seems an odd issue and I'd be worried about why she's doing it.

OhWotIsItThisTime Tue 13-Oct-15 08:22:07

Look up Eric for advice. Make her wear pull-ups at night - this is to make your life easier.

pictish Tue 13-Oct-15 08:23:56

Yes yabu to punish her. It's not going to help with anything bar sate your temper is it?

I can understand why this is driving you up the bloody wall though...must be extremely frustrating.

Minisoksmakehardwork Tue 13-Oct-15 08:28:28

You know you are unreasonable to keep punishing her. But you're not unreasonable to be at your wits end.

ds1 went through a long phase of just wetting himself after he eventually potty trained at 4 and a few months (literally just before he started school). Especially when he was just doing something he wanted to carry on doing, and also doing it when he had been put in timeout ( because he knew he'd have to come out to be cleaned up). We ended up forcing ourselves to stop reacting negatively as it was getting silly and we'd just end up with more wet clothes.

I think you're going to have to mentally stop making a big thing of it yourself, even though it is maddening.

Invest in a lot of waterproof bedding and even waterproof backed (picnic) blankets for her to sit on the floor and sofas - the reward being when she is dry she doesn't have to sit on them to protect your furniture or put up with sweaty, rustling bedding.

If you think it is something she genuinely has control over, I see no reason why she couldn't replace her bedding/soiled clothes out of any savings she may have. Especially if she is saving up for something she wants. So the more she ruins, the longer it takes her to achieve what she wants.

Spartans Tue 13-Oct-15 08:32:27

Yabu. Because the next step is one you are letting her decide she isn't going to do. Tell her she must wear pull ups. Until she is dry.

Or take her to the doctors, let them speak to her or start investigating if there is a problem. You can't keep doing the same thing over and over when it isn't working.

Yes Yabu to tell her she needs to live somewhere else. I can't imagine how upsetting that is for a small child. But I would also say that non of us are perfect and we all do things we shouldn't.

Micah Tue 13-Oct-15 08:33:45

Mine wore nappies at night until they were 7.

I explained that they'd need to wear them until their bodies could control the wee.

I had an end point- if they had 3 dry nappies in a row, they could try without. Wet bed, back in nappies until 3 dry nights.

I'd maybe do a shorter timescale for day- she has to do one day dry to try without.

Not a punishment, but to save your furniture and washing.

Dawndonnaagain Tue 13-Oct-15 08:36:07

Yes, you're being unreasonable punishing her. However, you can make her more responsible. She changes herself and cleans herself up at home. And yes, she wears pull ups at night. You're in charge. Not her.
You say the consultant says there appears to be no physical problems, is she stressed/anxious? Perhaps that's a cause?

Margaritte Tue 13-Oct-15 08:39:13

OP, are you me? My 6yr old DS s exactly the same. Please let me know if anything works for you

Arrowfanatic Tue 13-Oct-15 08:40:20

Thank you all for taking the time to reply to me.

We see a child behavioural consultant at the hospital, she's also seen a child phycologist (spelling awful probably) and both say that she's very intelligent and smart for her age (reads at a teenagers level for example), her understanding of he world around her is high comparative for her age, and they have said for very smart children the boring act of using the toilet can seem unimportant. But no one really gives me help on how to overcome this. A lot of what I get told is that she will just one day stop doing it but that doesn't really help me. On the one hand I feel if she's this smart surely she should understand that her actions have consequences which is where I figure the punishment should come in. I did contact ERIC but as I had already tried everything they suggested they pretty much drew a blank too. See that's the trouble I'm having, everyone gives me suggestions left right and centre and believe me when I say they are really really appreciated but I can almost guarantee that I've done it.

I'm so grateful to see so many people responded on here to help me. I honestly just cry with the state of the situation these days, I'm under pressure so much, I'm not well with investigations for stomach issues and this constant issue is draining me so much. I want to help her stop, but I'm honestly at the stage where I'm not sure I can anymore. I know totally unreasonable for a parent to say

APlaceOnTheCouch Tue 13-Oct-15 08:41:35

What you are doing isn't working so that's why YABU to keep doing it. You need to try something different.

Put her back in pull-ups. It's not a punishment; it's a natural consequence.

If she says it's because she is too caught up in what she is doing then can you give her a timer and when it goes off she has to go to the toilet regardless of what she is doing and whether or not she feels she needs to go?

It's difficult to know what to suggest because you're saying you've tried everything but if it's not physical then it seems it's psychological so I would ask the GP for a referral to explore that.

0verNow Tue 13-Oct-15 08:46:10

How do school deal with her when she wets herself?

APlaceOnTheCouch Tue 13-Oct-15 08:46:46

sorry - massive cross-post

I think if you have tried everything then it's ok to say that you're not focusing on helping her to stop now - you're just dealing with the consequences of it. If most of the experts are saying they think it will just stop one day, then give yourself permission to take the pressure off. So pull-ups until she is dry and otherwise treat it as a non-issue.

attheendoftheday Tue 13-Oct-15 08:47:33

YABU, you shouldn't be punishing her.

If the issue is not going because she's busy doing something more fun, then you need to be interrupting her play at regular intervals to use the toilet, and rewarding her for going.

laundryeverywhere Tue 13-Oct-15 08:51:26

My dd had incontinence problems and I admit it drove me crazy. It is hard to be cleaning all the time and not know what to do. It's also makes you feel like a failure as a parent. I once ate a whole chocolate cake when she had an accident in a place I found embarrassing.

You did over react though and I think you need to back down from the punishment and apologise for saying you wish she didn't live with you. Maybe talk to the school about getting some behavioural advice to help you, as it is a problem there too.

Lweji Tue 13-Oct-15 08:53:44

Certainly unreasonable for telling her to live elsewhere. FGS.
You should apologise to her ASAP. And reassure her you won't.

I'd agree with pps about need for attention or problems elsewhere. And would go love bombing for a while and talk about all aspects of her life.
At the same time I'd expect her to help sort out her mess. Take sheets and clothes, put them in the machine, fold, change bedding and so on. I'd also point out how damaged things are getting and that the money you'll have to spend won't be possible to spend on other things for her and the family.

Hairyfairy01 Tue 13-Oct-15 08:54:36

It sounds really tough op. I guess it wouldn't be so bad if she couldn't be dry anywhere, but as she is dry at grandparents, days out etc it does suggest it's more psychological than medical. It's strange she's also wet at school though. Does she feel embrassed, try and hide it or anything? Could it be she's only wet in places that's she's very relaxed / familiar with? My Ds was constantly wet, day and night until 8. We got referred and were given some medication for small, weak bladder. I still don't know if it was the medicine that worked or just the fact that his body was finally ready or that he finally wanted to be dry, but he's been fine during the day since and only has the occasional accident at night. Have you tried the medication route? I would insist on pull ups at night. It would drive anyone mad having to sort bedding out that often and would be better for her skin.

Boobz Tue 13-Oct-15 08:57:32

I'd put her in nappies until she was dry.

GrouchyKiwi Tue 13-Oct-15 08:57:32

I wonder if it's worth keeping a kind of diary of wet days and dry days and see if there's a common thread?

And I also wonder if it's worth getting her checked for hypermobility. I know I see it everywhere, but your comments about being investigated for stomach issues made me wonder if it could be that. Hypermobile children often have trouble with bladder control, and it could be that when she's focusing on staying dry - like when you're out or she's visiting grandparents - then she's better at it. But when she's in a normal situation she's just not thinking about it the same so doesn't notice the cues. Long shot but maybe worth a try in your situation?

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: