A.C. asks from Silver Spring, MD on July 15, 2008
4 Year Old Still Has Daytime Pee Issues
I need some help in figuring out how to help my daughter deal with getting to the bathroom on time. She is potty trained and goes to the bathroom pretty much by herself. But...she will just wait until the absolute last minute and will pee in her panties or just pee in the middle of the floor. This would be fine if it happened a maybe a couple of times in a month and I have no problems with peeing in bed at night or in the morning(I remember having many a bathroom dream). However, this is still happening 2 - 3 times a week, sometimes more, sometimes less; sometimes twice in a day. She does it at school and since she's getting ready to goto preK I don't want her to have this problem there. I have told her, that we want to be a big girl, done some charts, but then after not peeing on herself for a while, it will start up again.
I think it really is about not wanting to stop what she's doing. I've tried to set times to goto the bathroom(when we get up, come home, when we goto bed), but she's starting to get frustrated herself. Last night she said, that she just doesn't get this right; and she was just crying her little eyes out. I ain't gonna lie, I'm mad, but I want to help her figure this out for both out sakes. Don't feel like cleaning extra underware, floors, carpets, etc. ;) As well as knowing that she can do it. Please help me figure this out for all our sakes. Thanks in advance.
T.P. answers from Washington DC on July 16, 2008
Hi - One tip I heard on this was to have the child practice starting and stopping the stream while on the potty. This will help her get to know the feeling and strengthen her control.
I might also keep up the point-star chart for every day with no accidents. My daughter is 3 and 1/2 and I was surprised at how long I had to keep this us. Now I do it just for when she goes completely by herself (to encourage the independence).
I did find that when I reacted strongly to an accident, this seemed to be counterproductive. The less I reacted, and the more I praised the days with dry panties, the better it went. Good luck!
L.R. answers from Washington DC on July 15, 2008
First I'd take her to her pediatrician and get her checked to be sure she doesn't have a physical issue. She could even have a urinary tract infection that isn't hurting but is making it hard for her to stay continent. (yes, little kids can get those.) Don't make her feel the dr. trip is a punishment or is being done because she's failed but be casual about it.
I'd talk to the dr. in advance too and be sure the dr. will have a talk directly with her (if there is no physical problem) about how she can do this, she is big enough, etc. -- not a scolding talk, though; you want to build her confidence, not reduce her to tears and frustration. Some kids listen better to an authoritative adult other than a parent.
It won't be the only solution but might get her attention for a day or two that you can then spend buckling down and getting her to stick to the schedule of "we potty when we get up, after breakfast, before we leave the house, when we arrive at (store, school, grandma's), before we leave there, when we get home..." etc. Lots and lots of praise and rewards when she uses the toilet.
I think your idea of these kinds of set times is a good one. But be firm without showing your own anger. Remember, one thing we cannot really force another human to do for us is use the bathroom. It's hard to say if she is still having trouble stopping her playing etc. or if this is a control/getting mom's attention issue, but it sounds like the former if she's upset rather than defiant about it. She probably is picking up on your anger and frustration, which feeds her own upset, and if she's upset it will be harder for her to read her body's signals.
E.T. answers from Washington DC on July 15, 2008
Yes. Take her to the doctor. As a kid, I remember my best friend's little sister had some type of chronic bladder issue... she is totally fine now all grown up.. just prone to getting UTIs... but as a kid, she got a lot of UTIs as well... and she had lots of accidents, etc. I do remember that once her issue was diagnosed, it really helped out the whole family, because they understand the condition, symptons, etc... and they could explain it in easy terms to the little girl, and let her teachers know. I think her teachers always sat her by the door and she did not need permission to go the lavatory... she just got up and exited quietly and quickly when she needed to go.
You are doing the right thing by being patient with her. Hang in there.
J.Z. answers from Washington DC on July 15, 2008
My soon to be 5 year old still does the same thing. I've had medical test done to make sure nothing medically was causing the problem. But I believe it's just an attention factor. They wet themselves, they get your sole attention. It works! Hope this helps
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