19 answers

Almost 5 Year Old Peeing in Pants Again.

I am about to be in tears this is so frustrating. My son will be 5 in June and has been potty trained since he was 3. He has been in day care since he was a baby and now goes to the 4K program at school which he loves. He started mostly doing this at school. He is only peeing a little bit, enough that his teacher does not even notice. After he comes home I find his underwear damp and a tiny bit of pee on his pants. He wakes up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and never wets the bed any more which makes me think that this could not possible by something medical or that he cannot control. We have talked him to death, to the point where he knows exaclty what we are going to say before we say it. He knows the lecture, it does not help at all he keeps doing it. We recently decided that we would take the tv away, if he pees in his pants he cannot watch the normal 30 minutes or so we usually let him watch before bed. This has not worked and he has a love for tv and movies. Today is the last straw for me, I am so frustrated wth him. We were at church this morning and he used the bathroom there, then lunch after where he also used the bathroom. We then went to the store where he used the bathroom as well. We get home and I discover he is wet while we are changing out of our church clothes. So we have the talk again and I tell him he cannot watch TV tonight. Then I decide to impliment an idea my girl friend gave me to give him a sticker for each day he can stay dry and when he gets 5 in a row we can go to Chic fil a or somewhere of his choice to eat and play on the playground. So I tell hm about this and he is very excited. We change underwear and he goes outside to play for probably about 15 minutes. When he comes back in to show me a stick he found I discover a wet spot on his pants and he has done it again!!! This time I wiped him with a baby wipe and put a pull on him. He is not alllowed to go outside and play for the rest of today and he also is not getting TV. I am so very frustrated right now. Please tell me that someone else has been through this. I hve threatened him with making wear a pull up to school even. This would break my heart and is defiantly not something that I want to do. Please help.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I really really appreciate all of the responses I recieved. Most of you said you would take him to the doctor and I may do that just to rule it out but as I said he makes it through the night with no issues and even wakes up to go so I am thinking that is not it. I do think that he does get busy and does not want to stop what he is doing to go to the bathroom. I of course have asked him about it over and over and all he says is I don't know. We do have conversations and not just lectures about it. This is a big deal to me because it is disrupting our lives, plus he has had accidents at school and what breaks my heart is that he may be picked on for it. I realize accidents are normal but this is an every day issue that is more than justs drops in the underwear but not always full blown accidents either. I think it is normal for boy to put it off as long as possible and after feeling like I am at the end of my rope yes I did decide to punish him by taking the tv away. Thanks again to those of you who offered supportive suggestions.

Featured Answers

My reply's a little late:) My daughter who's 7 still has trouble asking to use the restroom in school, and sometimes will cut it VERY close and miss for the potty... and she's 7 in gifted classes, almost skipped a grade... Doc's a good reaction, and he'll see how concerned you are when you ask for another "expert adult opinion" -- maybe he could talk with the Dr alone to see if anything else to discover. Perhaps just waiting too long, and perhaps you could ask the teacher to assist a bit, without his knowledge.

Good luck and good patience:)

It's a tiny bit, I would not worry too much about it, it sounds more like bladder control than him.


More Answers

So you think he is doing this on purpose? Or do you think they are accidents? I do not understand why you would give him a punishment for having accidents.

Instead you may want to try to do the opposite, let him know he will be rewarded for going through each day at school without an accident. Make it something amazing.

Could be he is having so much fun he is not paying attention? I wonder if there is any way to figure out if maybe this is happening at a certain time of day like when they are at recess and he does not want to stop and go inside?

I agree with Amalthea, ask him when do these accidents happen. If he does not know today, ask him to think about it tomorrow at school. Also in the morning as you drop him off, whisper to him to try to remember what he is doing when these accidents happen.
I am sending you strength and patience.

3 moms found this helpful

I really do NOT think he is doing this on purpose.... and he is still young. Sure, he's been potty trained. But that has nothing to do with it.

My girl, is now 7 year old. When she was in Preschool and Kindergarten and 1st Grade... she and other kids had accidents. I"m not talking a little squirt of a leak on the underwear. I'm talking real pee accidents. The Teachers said, this is normal. Normal.

Next, there are many kids, adults included... that when they laugh or if they are horsing around or having fun... a little pee leaks out. Not because they did it on purpose. It just leaks out INVOLUNTARILY.

You said yourself, that the wetness on his underwear is only "damp"... but not enough where other people/the Teacher can tell. Right? So, its not a full-blown pee 'accident.' It is pee seepage or pee dribbling or leaking out, a bit. It is NOT like he is emptying his entire bladder and then creating a huge puddle of pee on the floor beneath him. Right?
SO, this is a BIG difference.... because he is NOT peeing a puddle on the ground... his is a "leaking" of a SMALL amount of pee, onto his underwear.

Next, MANY kids, do that. MY daughter included. And she is 7. Or, whenever her bladder is real full and she goes to the bathroom, a tad little pee may escape out. But it is NOT her doing it willfully... it is just a leak. A SMALL leak. Not anything to punish her about... because it is involuntary. INvoluntary. I know she is NOT doing it on purpose... and besides, why would a child continue to leak pee on purpose... if it only brought them punishment and nagging and lectures and scolding by the parent???? NO child would do that on purpose.

Your son's situation, to me... is not him doing it on purpose. Nor consciously. I think, that when he is awake and active (as most kids and boys are), and when he laughs or what not, a little pee just leaks out. NO biggie.

all the best,

3 moms found this helpful

I just wanted to lend another voice to the "take him to the doctor camp." My 4.5 year old daughter did the same thing, but went into a period where she was having full on accidents almost every day. I was at my wit's end (she was a nightmare to potty train in the first place). I brought her to the doctor 2 times to check for a UTI, and there was nothing. Finally I brought her to a urologist who thought that she probably had a bacterial count that was low enough to not count as a UTI but high enough that it was irritating her. She also was _constantly_ picking at her underware. Long story short, she now showers instead of bathes and has to sit very wide when she pees, and the accidents have stopped. I don't know if your son is circumsised, but if he's not, it could very well be the same thing. Good luck.

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Never ever punish a child for urinating or defecating on themselves. You will cause emotional trauma for later years.If her is not responding to positive reinforcement, is happy at school, home life has been stable, he may have an infection or some other medical issue, Take him to the doctor It may be something he cannot control. J. Gordon

3 moms found this helpful

I think you are being a bit mean to him over a bodily function. Heck, I am almost 35 years old and I will spot my underpants a little if I sneeze really hard. Go to the doctor already. Oh, and the age maturation of the bladder/impulses is not 5 years old, it's generally between 7-11 years old. Sorry, but there is lots more in the world worth a heartbreak than supporting your son's bodily functions by allowing him to use a pull-up. Development is not always linear, it tends to ebb and flow:)

3 moms found this helpful

It sounds liek this is not that big of a deal and you are very upset about it.. his pants are a tiny bit wet.. his teacher doesnt know.. your son is not bothered by this.. there is no puddle on the floor.

Have him checked by the dr.. is there a medical reason.. does he have a bladder infection. If thre is no medical reason.. I would ignore it for a while and see if it doenst just go away.. he could be doing it for the attention that you are giving it..

I would not put pullups on a trained child.

1 mom found this helpful

I think sometimes we tend to talk too much at our children and not listen to them. Have you asked him why. It may be a simple thing that a little bit of encouragement can help him through. If he has to pee all the time, maybe he has some medical issue. It may be a sense of urgency that he can not control. Maybe he is having such a good time at school that he forgets. There could be a lot of "maybes" but you should speak to your doctor about this.

1 mom found this helpful

You might consider taking him to a doctor. It is possible he has a uti. It is also possible that he's dribbling because he hasn't gotten the last drops out at the end of using the toilet, so those are ending up in his underwear over the course of multiple trips to the bathroom.

What does he say when you ask him about it? Or are you just lecturing? I firmly believe in asking the kid first what's going on. Sometimes they can give you the answer or at least a clue.

In any case, I suspect it may not be in his control if all attempts to get him to work toward not doing it are getting no where and he's amassing punishments to no use. Generally kids want to please for the most part. If they get to the point that incentives and punishments are equally useless, you're probably missing the cause that is beyond his control.

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