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9 Year Old Won't Stop Wetting His Pants at school......help!!

My son has never stopped wetting his pants during the day since he was a tot. I have taken him to the doctor to see if he had any bladder problems, none. I considered stressers in his life (being a step child, middle child syndrom, very shy) but none of which are new occurances. He occasionally wets at night and sometimes he has dry spells where he doesn't have any accidents during the day or night at all. I don't want to punish him for peeing his pants as I know it is extremely embarrasing to him once someone figures it out. I want to approach it positively but I've been talking to him about it for over four years now and he is at the age where it isn't just an "accident" anymore. Is it just laziness? Do I just wait until he grows out of it? How can I convince him to use the restroom frequently as to avoid wetting his pants? I tell him this already and he just says "Okay Mom, I will". Mamas...some help please.

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Find out if it is his teacher. My son told me that the teacher tells them to only raiser their hand to go potty if it is an emergency. Then he told me that when he raises his hand the teacher tells him no. Once I picked him up after school and he raced into the bathroom and I told him not to hold it for so long because he will develop bladder problems and he told me the teacher wouldn't let him go-it is so strange. I understand that when one child goes, it starts a trickle down effect (not literally-smile)but sometimes when they have to go,they really have to go. So now my son won't even ask the teacher to go. Yikes!

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I have read several places that food allergies or intolerances can cause poor bladder control. This is more common than you think and doctros are generally not with the program yet on how much the foods we put into our bodies affect the way our bodies function. I have specifically been told that dairy is often a problem.

Here are a couple of articles: http://www.sleepdisordersguide.com/blog/bed-wetting/can-c...


I'm sure you can do a search of your own and find some info on foods and you an do some experimenting. Many people I know don't want to explore the food route to treating this condition but it can be worth it.

I also just read your last post about your partner being verbally abusive to your son. To be blunt, I think you need to take control of that situation immediately. You say you are torn between your partner and your son...Your son is just a child and needs you. He has no control over the way he is being treated and is probably trying to get your attention (consciously or subconsciously) with the wetting. He sounds anxious and scared. I really think he can't help it. You said yourself in that last posting that your partner is extremely difficult to deal with. Imaging how your son is feeling having to walk on eggshells all the time and not being heard. You already know this is a huge problem and it is time to take some action!!! Your partner needs some boundaries and your son needs your support. Hang in there!

Good luck.

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My suggestion would be to ask your pediatrician for a referral to a pediatric urologist. I read somewhere that there is a hormone that if it is low, children don't feel the urge until it's too late. While often we want to attribute it to laziness or defiance (i.e., emotionally based), you absolutely have to rule out physiologically based problems or your son will just become depressed that he's trying and can't help it. Then you inadvertently add emotional issues on top of any physiological problems.


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Your doctor should have done a wee bit more than just to screen for organic issues. There are specialists in this area -- it's not uncommon, but as you know, it's really, really hard on your son. You need to find someone who works with this issue -- check your area for good urologists who work with children on this issue, and there are behavioral therapists who can help as well.

If you have a children's hospital nearby, that's where I'd start. Or slap your pediatrician upside the head and ask for a referral! :)



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I would start by insisting on a referral to a pediatric urologist. I would also put him in some kind of pull up so that he can hopefully avoid embarassment. And do talk to his teacher about when it happens and what seems to lead up to it. Maybe he's embarassed to ask to go? Maybe she can schedule potty breaks into the day for everyone?

Good luck - that sounds really hard.

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Sometimes this is a medical condition. You should research it from that standpoint.

One time my son had some boys spend the night. They were 15 or 16 years old. In the morning one of the boys wouldn't get out of his sleeping bag, and sat in it until it was time to go home at noon. I then discovered a big pee stain on the rug where he had been.

Obviously this poor boy was embarrassed by his inability to control his bladder. I know he would have controlled it if he could. Fortunately my son and his friends were too kind to tease their friend about it.

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I had a relative that wet the bed due to milk allergies. Once they stopped drinking milk, the problem stopped. That may be something that you can try while you're waiting for Dr.s appointments.

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It's clear that you are a wonderful mom with your son's best interest at heart. I understand that you don't want to make this issue more stressful to your son than it has to be.

That being said, I think it is worth some serious effort and intervention NOW. He is getting to the age where this kind of thing will cause him social problems. In addition to the immediate embarrassment when someone notices he has wet himself, his peers are getting to an age where the incident will not be quickly (or possibly ever) forgotten. It might be worth doing a couple of intense days at home focussed on using the toilet. Have him get very involved in something he enjoys then practice stopping and using the toilet in the middle of an activity. That said, it might be worth getting him some "protective underwear" until he get's this under control because once kids start making fun of him, he might never be able to get social acceptance with them.

Hope this helps,

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Aside from there being emotional considerations several recent studies have shown the benefits of chiropractic care for children suffering from "Nocturnal Enuresis" more commonly known as bedwetting. Several studies published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics showed marked improvement in children with this problem over children who did not receive chiropractic care. Chiropractic has been very successful with bedwetting. The nerves in the lower back innervate the bladder and if there is any disruption in the communication from the brain it can effect this. It is an extremely conservative intervention and worth investigating.

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Dear K.,
I feel badly for your son. 9 years old is way too old to still be wetting. Especially during the day. You're just going to have to dig a little deeper to get to the bottom of it.
My son has a friend that was still in Pull-Ups at 10. I love his mother with all my heart, but it had more to do with her than anything else. Their first child got cancer. He's perfectly fine and in college now, but I think because of that trauma, she went a little overboard on babying the other kid. He spent the night at my house all the time and she would go through the same routine and speech with me about how she packed his pull-ups and he was to be allowed privacy while the other kids were distracted so he could put one on. He never used one a single time and never peed in the night when he was here. He didn't really need them. But, he'd pee all day and all night in his pants at home.
When I was in the 5th grade, I had a very good friend who had bladder problems. She was obviously a girl and your son is a boy, but she could not hold her bladder. No one made a fuss about it and she was allowed to go to the restroom whenever she needed to at school. She had the problem from the time she was very little, but she needed surgery to correct it and the urologist waited until she was in the 6th grade. She needed something corrected in her urethra or something, (I don't remember the exact medical details after all these years), but they didn't do it when she was younger because they needed to account for her growth. If they had done it too soon, they would have had to operate again to avoid the opposite problem of her not being able to empty her bladder. She finally had the procedure and it changed her life.
Have you ever been so scared or nervous or excited that you felt like you were just going to pee yourself? Maybe your son just really has a hard time controlling it if he's anxious. It could be that by the time he actually feels the urge to pee, it's too late.
Either way, I strongly urge you to get a referral from your doctor. Your son needs to see a good urologist. Don't wait any longer. The older he gets, the more difficult and embarrassing it will be to talk to someone about his "winkie" functions. They can either rule out things not working properly or fix them. If his problem is emotionally based, they can assist you with getting help for that too.
The main thing is letting him know that you love him and that it may be difficult for him to talk to you about these things, but you want to make sure that he's okay.
Talk privately with the teacher. Make certain that he's not wetting himself because he's not using breaks or recess time to go to the bathroom and just playing instead. See if she is noticing if it seems to happen at a certain time of day or after a certain activity.
That information will be very helpful when you get him in to see another doctor.

Very best of wishes!

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I would get a second opinion on this matter. Or even a third. A friend of mine has a six year old daughter with day time wetting problem. It turned out not to be a bladder problem, but a problem with the hormone triggers in her brain regarding the let down of urine.

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Your post says he's been doing this since he was a tot and the stressers in his life are not new. It doesn't sound like the wetting problem is new either. perhaps he does have some issues around the step-parent thing (do you and his mom get along? What are the dynamics between the two households?) If he's finding it embarassing but can't stop, I would take him to counseling. If you know it's not physical and it's not that he makes a conscious decision to wet his pants, it may be psychological. I was in an abusive relationship with my daughter's father. She wet the bed EVERY night. I would set my alarm and get up and take her every two hours, but at some point during the night, I would come in to find her wet -EVERY NIGHT. When I finally took her and left her father, she never wet the bed again - not even one "accident."

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Hi K.,

I'm the oldest of 7 and remember our own family issues dealing with such a variety of family members. We had a couple of bedwetters and weak bladders were a common occurrence for us.

It doesn't sound like he's being lazy to me. I think he needs quiet, regular, one-on-one attention with his closest parent and then maintain a routine connection so that he feels "noticed." It could be that he's feeling unimportant and unnoticed by his parents, especially if there are other bigger, older, smarter, smaller, cuter kids around and family construction and development might seem more important than any one individual in the family.

Make a family night a regular routine and then make a special on-on-one with your son so he knows that he's "seen." Also, try some local social services where you might be able to find some extra help and advice. The library is a good source for useful info and more in-depth advice from reading material.

Hope this is helpful for you.


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get a second opinion, maybe if it isnt physical,it could be emotional. as he gets any older, it will be worse!!

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Are you the same one who just posted about your partner being verbally abusive to your middle son? Maybe the poor kid has some anxiety issues and is extremely stressed out. Get him and your family some help ASAP!!!!!!

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Just a quick thought. Have you considered that he might be allergic to some food additives? My neice would wet the bed at night until she stopped having yellow food coloring (tartrazine?) and my 5 year old wets the bed at night when she has a particular (red) cough medicine.

But those were both at night. Check it out, though. There might be something to it which really is beyond his control.

During the day, I found my 5 year old having accidents when she was bored at school. Is your boy very bright? Could he be bored at school? Hard to imagine this would be the answer for a 9yr old, though.

best of luck, M.

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Request a referral to a pediatric urologist and go to: goodnights.com

The website has bulletin boards for parents and kids and offers lots of helpful information for older kids who wet. You might even find some encouragement! Hang in there.

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Have you looked at the school bathrooms? Some are so gross, I wouldn't even want to walk in there to wash my hands! If this is possibly an issue for your son, ask the office staff or teacher if he could start using one of the staff bathrooms. My daughter doesn't like public restrooms, and will only use one if I insist, and go in first to verify that it is ok (not dirty, no automatic flushing toilets - they scare her).

I would make sure he goes before he leaves the house - EVERY TIME! And keep a plastic bag with some clean clothes (including socks and shoes?) in his backpack that he can change into if necessary. You may need to buy extra pants if he wants to keep wearing the same color/style all day.

I wouldn't make a big deal about it, ask your pediatrician for a referral to a urologist. When I was his age, I used to be on medication to help my bladder not spasm. It was a once a day pill that I took for a few years. To this day, I wear a pad every day of my life to catch the little drips and spills that sometimes occur.

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Maybe try getting him a whacht that has an alarm on it. When it goes off it well remind him he needs to go to the bathroom. It well put the control in his hands.

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Find out if it is his teacher. My son told me that the teacher tells them to only raiser their hand to go potty if it is an emergency. Then he told me that when he raises his hand the teacher tells him no. Once I picked him up after school and he raced into the bathroom and I told him not to hold it for so long because he will develop bladder problems and he told me the teacher wouldn't let him go-it is so strange. I understand that when one child goes, it starts a trickle down effect (not literally-smile)but sometimes when they have to go,they really have to go. So now my son won't even ask the teacher to go. Yikes!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi K.,
Hope you have already found something that helped you. I know when my goddaughter was young she would wet her pants and bed. Her mom found that for her it was milk that was her trigger. Hope this can help.

B. M.

1 mom found this helpful

I would also involve his teacher if this is happening at school. Maybe she needs to work out a system where she sends him to the nurse or the restroom at certain times since he does not seem to be able to/choose to monitor his own bladder needs. Teachers don't want to see kids embarrassed, either! Maybe also looking at the amount of time he urinates after drinking might help with a schedule as well. Hope this is helpful!

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