Struggling to know what to do to help my DD (5yrs), would appreciate advice(16 Posts)
Hope this is ok to post, I've already posted in Parenting but thought I might get some useful responses here too.
DD2 is 5.5years old and we are having ongoing issues with her wetting herself and now starting to tell fibs to try to hide the wetting.
She has been previously been potty trained, she was potty trained a little after she turned 3 and whilst she has always had the odd accident (when tired or stuck in the car a long time) she is now wetting herself everyday, sometimes more than once a day.
She comes home from school wet everyday, the school have tried to put in place things to help her and they work for a week or so then we're back to the same story.
At home we have spent months with sticker charts and chocolate bars, rewarding keeping herself dry. When there is a chocolate bar at risk she can keep herself dry for weeks on end; take away the reward and she just wets herself again. I can't give her a chocolate bar every afternoon forever though, at some point she needs to just do it for herself.
She says she is choosing to wet herself because she doesn't want to miss any of the game she's playing or any of the work she's doing at school.
She has started to lie about whether she needs to go, saying she doesn't need a wee and then wetting herself 5 minutes later. She apologises and says she lied because she didn't want to go to the toilet.
I'm at the end of my tether now and (shamefully) I yelled at her lastnight. I asked her if she needed a wee before we sat at the table for dinner. She said she didn't need it. I asked if she was sure and maybe she should just go for a try, she was insistent that she didn't need a wee. A few minutes later she wet herself at the dinner table. I was furious that she'd lied to me, when I was trying to help her by reminding that she might need a wee before dinner. She apologised and said she knew she needed a wee but just hadn't wanted to go.
Telling her off lastnight obviously made no difference though because tonight when she came home from school I asked them to go upstairs, go to the bathroom and put their play clothes on. When I went up I asked them if they'd remembered to have a wee. DD2 said she had, I was pretty sure she hadn't (she takes ages and its hadn't been long) so I asked her again. She still insisted that she had been to the bathroom. When I went to ask her sister if she really had been she starting apologising and saying she'd go now instead. She had a time-out for fibbing.
I'm exhausted with it, its everyday and I worry about sending her to playdates and parties. She's getting to an age where I think others might start picking on her.
I've had a chat with her tonight, stressing the need to be truthful and to make the right choice to go to the toilet to keep herself clean and dry. We've taken her to the GP already, they checked on multiple occasions and she doesn't have a UTI. The doctor wasn't much help beyond that.
What should I be doing?
Oh gosh, it sounds tough and I can imagine how frustrated you must be feeling!!
If there is absolutely no medical reason for it, how about putting her back into pull ups and tell her that if she is going to act like a baby wetting herself then that's how she will be treated? Don't know if that's a bit harsh, but it may make her realise.
Other option is to stop making a fuss of the wetting. Simply change her, don't mention anything but go super overboard with praise when she stays dry.
I would try insisting that she tries to go for a wee more frequently. Maybe do a sticker chart for trying rather than staying dry and speak to the school to get her to go to the loo every break and lunchtime.
Can you put a fav toy in rhe bathroom - only allowed on the toilet? Second reward `trying`
Also can you get a balloon and show her how it fills up and bursts?
they know everything.
Thanks for the responses, really appreciate the feedback.
dobedoo When I've felt totally at a loss I've been tempted to do that but what would her friends in year 1 say? I don't want her to be bullied at school, that would break my heart.
I've already tried the 'make no fuss' option, it made utterly no difference to her. Each time she wet I sent her upstairs to get herself changed without saying anything other than 'go get yourself changed'. I kept it up for 2 weeks and she just kept doing it. Shortly after that we went back to rewarding with a chocolate bar, a mini sized milky way bar, and magically she was dry for a whole week straight. After a month we phased out the chocolate and she went straight back to wetting.
choude We agreed with school that she'd get reminders to go to the toilet but I'm not entirely sure it happens.
Yes, I thought that as well re her friends...
What about an older cousin, or aunt or someone she looks up to. Maybe they could talk with her, if DD is very keen to impress this person and seem more grown up, that may work. Do you know what I mean?
Do you think punishing her when you know she has done it deliberately may help? Not so much punishing for wetting but for deceiving you by saying she has gone to the toilet.
I'm sure she will eventually grow out of it but I can totally understand how you feel xx
I don't have the answer to this but want to offer my sympathies. Our DD1 does this too, she's almost 8. Drives me nuts.
There is a whole long back story as DD1 has bladder and bowel issues which are managed by medication as well as routine and positive reinforcement.
I have lost my temper more times than I care to admit to but it only makes things worse. Do try and keep up with getting your DD2 to manage things if she wets herself, putting wet clothes in laundry and get herself changed - that helped us - took longer to do that than just go. I also instruct DD1 to go if I can see she is withholding.
I second checking out ERIC. A lot of wisdom on their website.
I think DD1 just needs to grow out of the behaviour, just like she did sucking her thumb. Stopped that in less than 48 hours, 5 years and counting on weed though!
She missed a treat tonight, not for wetting but for telling the fib, I was sure to make it clear what the punishment was for. She cried but understood that she can't tell fibs. I feel heartbroken when my lovely, sweet, well mannered girl lies to me.
I have a really close friend who is a childrens nurse, DD worships her so I've asked her to have a little chat with her at the weekend. It might be easier for DD to open up to someone that isn't mummy or daddy, a trusted family friend.
I've been looking on the ERIC forums for advice, found this through the search and it sounds exactly like her, except its been going on years. This is exactly what I'm worried about happening for DD www.eric.org.uk/Parents/viewThread/2400
Soup How do her friends react to it? What about when she's at school? Does she get herself changed there too?
If DD wets in the morning she doesn't tell anyone and is in dirty pants all day until I check when she gets home. She has clean pants, skirt and socks in her bag, never uses them.
That must be so so frustrating.
I'm maybe projecting a bit here because I have a very stubborn DD, and this stubbornness manifests around toileting (she wasn't out of nappies until 3.10 and even that was a huge psychological battle!) but is this a control/power thing, do you think? It just sounds like she is SO determined not to go to the toilet when she needs to, and it's definitely a behavioural issue rather than a physical one, because like you say, she's perfect when bribed with chocolate. Like she's so pissed off with being hassled and cajoled, she's digging her heels in?
No embarrassment over being wet and classmates knowing she's wet herself?
Seems unlikely it's a fear of toilets (are the school ones yucky?) because she doesn't behave any better at home.
Tricky one. It really sounds as if things won't improve until you achieve some sort of breakthrough where she just decides to stop this. I'm still waiting for my four year old to stop refusing to use any toilet away from home. Having to take a potty out with me (and convincing her to use THAT is a battle) is really embarrassing. I really understand how you feel.
Vague You're spot on. To say she is stubborn doesn't cover it, she is a girl who knows her own mind!
Partly that makes me think I'm better to back off, almost ignore the issue and see what happens.
She hasn't appeared to be embarrassed about it, though I'm wondering if she is just starting to develop some with school friends.
Ruthie our DD1 has spares in her bag and never changes into them either! She wears dark school uniform and rarely had a whole wetting incident so the problem is hidden from her pals most of the time. I live in fear of her being the kid who gets bullied because she smells.
I would back right off. I made the mistake of being constantly on it with DD1 and it just made the whole thing so much more pressurised for her and made her more likely to lie about being wet.
I agree this is more than likely behavioural and so I would push for a referral to CAMHS to get support. This helped us, me in particular.
My DD1 is as stubborn as they come. I know she has to make the decision to keep dry and there is nothing I can do except ride this out and hope that it happens before she is a teenager.
Ah, so I was barking up the right tree then. Have this
So she is just going to have to decide for herself that she's going to stop this. When my DD was refusing to toilet train, it was a year of removing the nappy and her withholding for hours and hours and HOURS to the point of pain. I'd give up for a couple of months and try again with the same result. I decided to act like I didn't give a shit whether she toilet trained or not, and fully expected her to wake up one morning and decide no more nappies and that was that.
Well, that didn't happen.
In the end I really got tough. Usual result - 10+ hours of no wee. It ended with me sitting on the bathroom floor with her, telling her she wasn't getting off the loo until she did a wee (DD: "But I don't waaaaant to!"). I was very firm and emotionless and quite angry. She relented and did a tiny wee, withheld again until about 3pm on day two, and then it was plain sailing after that.
Apart from the away from home thing
So, in my experience, backing off and ignoring may not work. But you should definitely try it, because the current tactics are just making her dig her heels in further. If ignoring doesn't work, then you may have to get cross (obviously I'm not suggesting psychologically damaging her for life, but making sure she knows how unacceptable it is and it has to stop, like yesterday!).
Maybe I should try backing off first, then if that doesn't get us anywhere then try throwing everything I've got at it? Vibrating reminder watch for school, absorbant normal knicker-looking pants, chase up the GP
Yeah, back off. She'll either take it as permission to carry on as she is without being hassled about it, or the compulsion she has right now to resist you will go away. Good luck
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