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Do we need to start punishing DS for having accidents?

(26 Posts)
StealthPolarBear Sat 01-Oct-11 18:19:56

DS is 4y5m. He was late-ish to potty train but has been trained for a long time now - maybe 9months or a year? We are well past the stage where I remind him to go to the toilet, or take out spare clothes - just don't think to do it.
and yet recently e has started having the odd accidnet again, with about 3 in the last week - whihc is just ridiculous. They all seem to be caused by him just leaving it until the last minute before bothering to take himself off to the toilet.
I hvae never pnished him or told him off for acidents, but now his attitude seems to be "sorry mummy" and back to his playing, and what I say about thinking abot whether he needs a wee or not leavng it until the last minute seem to go in one ear and out the other.

He has started school recently though - all seems fie but I wonder whether it is linked. I don't want to punish him , I just want him to see this as an actual problem - which he doesn't/

nenevomito Sat 01-Oct-11 18:23:00

My DS started wetting the bed again when he was back in school and it then stopped once he was settled. I'd give it a couple of weeks.

Only other thing I can think of is that he may have an infection - as that can make em wee too, but I'd go for the school thing.

StealthPolarBear Sat 01-Oct-11 18:24:22

I thought about an infection, but they're fairly rare in boys, aren;t they? Plus he 'still' only is having maybe one accident every 2 or 3 days.
I wil persevere with what we're doing for now. Thanks

coccyx Sat 01-Oct-11 18:26:03

how cruel. you need to remind him again, not punish him

Shannaratiger Sat 01-Oct-11 18:29:21

Don't punish him. My Ds is just 5 and has just started school, at this age they get so absorbed in their games they don't notice the signals from their bladder until it's really desperate. Hopefully , I've been reliably informed, this stage will pass soon!

StealthPolarBear Sat 01-Oct-11 20:18:12

coccyx, but we are, and it is having no effect. I'm not talking about 40 lashes, just the usual sorts of punishment he'd get for not doing as he's told. Earlier today he had an accident 5 mins after I'd asked him if he needed the toilet - I know that sort of thing is common when they're learning, but he's been accident free for months on end for a while now.

Glad it may just be a phase though - looking forward to thius one passing!

LoonyRationalist Sat 01-Oct-11 20:32:43

Many many children go through temporary regressions, they are more adept at holding on and overestimate their capabilities. Punishing him is not the way, just remind him to go earlier and be patient, I'd be willing to bet this will behind you in a months time if you don't make a huge issue of it.

alittlebitshy Sun 02-Oct-11 13:23:07

Another thread that makes me think "thank goodness".

My ds is only 3y 2m and has only been trained since the end of July but was doing perfectly and suddenly accidents are happening. It is frustrating the hell out of me and I am being far too cross about it blush sad.

I am not sure how much is leaving it too late and how much is having got too comfy in being out of nappies so not thinking about it any more. But it is making me very anxious which I guess is not helping ds.

Ticklemonster2 Mon 03-Oct-11 12:26:07

I am yet to potty train my 15 month old son, but have two nieces and worked as a nursery teacher for 3 years many moons ago.
I can understand how frustrating it is when children suddenly have accidents during a regressive patch. A lot of children, in particular boys, go through this at times of stress ie new baby or school. Boys get engrossed in activities and just forget. Take him to the toilet ever 20 minutes and watch what he is drinking and respond to that with adequate trips to the loo. Take a change of bottoms with you on trips out so that you don't get stressed by accidents.
Starting school for some (I know as I found it hard) is very stressful. Extra cuddles and attention plus talking to him about his day should help him settle.
Getting cross will make this worse as it envokes shame. What would be a better way to approach this is by rewarding dry days and then weeks with positive praise and treats. If it's still happening in a few weeks it may be worth checking there is no infection, but if handled with compassion I think this phase will pass.
good luck x x

Greensleeves Mon 03-Oct-11 12:28:22

I know 3yo twins who live with their grandmother and are smacked every time they have an accident

the grandmother actually asked nursery staff to do the same so that it would be consistent hmm

The boys still have accidents - lots of them - but the result of her approach is that they run and hide when they are wet, or when they see her coming at hometime sad

MmeLindor. Mon 03-Oct-11 12:31:16

No, don't.

DS was exactly the same. A game was more interesting, so he would not go to the loo.

He did have a couple of weeks that he was wetting the bed, cause he was too lazy to get up and I made him help me strip and make the bed which put a stop to that.

The one thing that I did make DS do was take his clothes upstairs to the washing basket and get changed.

MmeLindor. Mon 03-Oct-11 12:32:23

Greensleeves
I would report the Grandmother for that. Many many 3yo are physically not able to control their bladders at that age. That is plain cruel.

heggertyhaggerty Mon 03-Oct-11 12:34:15

No don't punish. I'd bet you anything it's linked to starting school. It's a massive change and it always comes with changes in behaviour and so on as a result...it will pass, it will be temporary. Don't worry smile

ask him if there is anything stopping him going at school though, perhaps he is being told to wait, or can't use the toilets very well or is scared of them.

This could translate into similar issues at home I think.

heggertyhaggerty Mon 03-Oct-11 12:35:16

Greeny that's appalling. Are SS already involved with the family?

scaevola Mon 03-Oct-11 12:37:00

I wouldn't punish - unless you think he is doing it totally deliberately.

I'd send him to the loo at regular intervals, whether he says he wants to go or not (just tell him to let out whatever is there). This will probably remove the cause, so it becomes a non-issue.

If he is doing it on a calculated basis (which I think highly, highly unlikely), then you need to make sure he gets no "reward" for it - ie be very bored "oh no not again", rather than any drama/attention - and give him the natural penalty of the inconvenience of having to clean it up.

Blu Mon 03-Oct-11 12:37:25

DS who had been reliably dry for ages and ages started having accidents when he started school.
It will pass.

StealthPolarBear Mon 03-Oct-11 13:03:15

thanks everyone

MMeLindor - thats the sort of thing i mean - consequences! i will ask him to take his clothes up to the washing basket, help me clean the floor. Not a punishmnet as such but a reminder that it isn't a case of "mummy will sort it out, back to playing".

He hasn't had an accidnet at school. I thought about rewarding dry days, but tbh that would be most of them, so it wouldn't have a huge impact. It isn't ike every dry day is to be celebrated at the moment - they are normal iyswim

MmeLindor. Mon 03-Oct-11 13:04:17

YY, not punishment but that he sees that it is work for you.

Greensleeves Mon 03-Oct-11 13:09:27

the boys I posted about have been in care most of their lives, Grandmother is looking after them instead of foster care - but I think they are still getting some support officially. There is so much wrong, I don't know how high on the list the toilet-training thing is. Poor little buggers sad

anyway - don't punish a child for having accidents. It's cruel and counter-productive.

StealthPolarBear Mon 03-Oct-11 13:14:49

Oh dammit punish was the wrong word. I really wish I hadn't used it. What I meant was - handling it in the way you do when you're actually potty training (star charts, chocolate buttons) is not appropriate, how should I handle it - what consequences should I impose.

StealthPolarBear Mon 03-Oct-11 13:15:13

In fact, as my last sentence in the OP says - I want him to realise this is a problem!

suzikettles Mon 03-Oct-11 13:33:56

Ds did this when he started school in August. Thankfully we seem to be back on track now.

He actually had accidents at school as well for the first couple of weeks that he went full time and I was despairing - he had a poo accident one lunchtime and I had to come in and take him home it was so bad.

For ds I think it was the change of scenery, having to ask to go to the toiler rather than just up and go like at nursery, and also it was the first time he'd really come across a urinal which threw him a bit. There was also an automatic flush on the urinal which got him a bit spooked.

Anyway, I made sure he had a change of clothes in his gym bag, went back to reminding him to go to the loo (and after 2 years of this I'm an expert at noticing when he's holding on too long) and we did a sticker chart where a week of dry days would lead to a Doctor Who minifig.

He's been dry now at school for almost a month and almost completely dry at home and now I'm trying to phase out the minifigs before we get completely overrun hmm

suzikettles Mon 03-Oct-11 13:38:15

I'm with you on the wanting him to know it's wrong, but I think they do realise it's undesirable behaviour. Ds can be very breezy about it, but I think he's ashamed when he has an accident.

I always make him go to the loo (obv), have a wash, put his wet clothes in the basket and dress himself again and give it the stuck record "if you'd just gone to the toilet when you needed to go then you'd be playing now rather than cleaning yourself up".

CristinadellaPizza Mon 03-Oct-11 13:45:10

DS is the same age and I do what suzikettles does - am a bit 'why didn't you listen to your willy?' and then, never mind, here's some dry clothes, put the wet things in the machine. It's very, very rare that he has an accident nowadays but mostly it is about entirely underestimating how long he can hold it for so I make him go anyway every couple of hours, however much he protests he doesn't need a wee.

DD did this, it was infuriating. I share your pain.

We did sticker chart for dry pants at the end of the day, ten stickers for small prize.

So then when she said "NO I don't need the loo, stop asking me mummy!", I could say, "Are you sure? Because it would be a shame to leave it too long and not get your sticker today..." and she'd usually rethink.

Took a while though.

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