34 answers

Almost 7 Year Old Won't Wipe Bottom.

My step-daughter is staying with us for the summer and she won't wipe whether she urinates or defecates. She ends up with caked on poop and wet underwear by the end of the day, is constantly scratching herself, and she has had a rash on her bottom for a full month. My husband has talked to her mom but she says it doesn't happen at her house. When I asked her if anyone other than us has told her she needs to wipe, she said her mom always tells her and her grandmother, too. She and I have a very good relationship (her father and I have been together since she 22 mo) and we sat down and had a talk about it, and I found out she knows and thinks about wiping after but just doesn't. I asked if there is any particular reason, but there isn't. She just doesn't do it. She is very matter-of-fact about making a conscious decision about not wiping. I figure she has made a habit of not wiping and now she must break that and make a wiping habit. I have told her that it she doesn't start, certain privileges will be taken away. (TV, toys, etc) I also told her I won't get her any new underwear and I will throw each pair she "messes" away. So eventually, if she continues, she will have no underwear. I gave her a bracelet to help remind her throughout the day to wipe when she goes to the bathroom. I have also told her if she does well, she can pick out a new package of underwear and a new night gown. I guess I want to know if I am doing the right thing or if there is any other ideas I can do to help her. Thank you so much in advance for your advice!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Tell her how bad "it" as in her bottom or underwear can get if she keeps on refusing to wipe. Then she may want to start wiping. Just a thought. Good luck! :-)

1 mom found this helpful

Instead of throwing her underwear away, I'd make her clean them herself, let her see how nasty it is...

1 mom found this helpful

Have you thought about having wipes handy, they may help her feel like she can do a better job cleaning.

More Answers

Step-parenting - it can be challenging. Sometimes children feel out of control of their circumstances and so choose other ways to exert control. Really to her it is her bottom - and if she knows it drives you crazy - then it makes doing it worthwhile - and now Daddy has a new little girl - I am a step-parent and when my children came along, she was envious which she later admitted. I suggest you back off and let Daddy do the talking, and most of the disciplining, it is his attention she is wanting. He is her parent. She will tire eventually of being itchy and having ugly underwear, don't buy new ones and don't bribe her - as you expressed she is making a conscious decision. Do put some wet wipes by cottonelle on the back of the toilet just in case she decides to begin, they help clean the bottom better especially if the last wipe was less than adequate. Don't turn this into a tug of war with her -- get Daddy involved - not in a dictatorial way but an encouraging way -- maybe he can tuck her in at night - make sure he notices something to compliment her on each day - leave a note for her before he goes to work - and he can bring her some little girl bath stuff from Bath and body and say how little girls should smell sweet and clean - etc.... good luck - your fun is just beginning!!!

3 moms found this helpful

Tell her how bad "it" as in her bottom or underwear can get if she keeps on refusing to wipe. Then she may want to start wiping. Just a thought. Good luck! :-)

1 mom found this helpful

If she has a rash, maybe it hurts? Maybe some of the flushable towelettes might make it easier, and feel better?

1 mom found this helpful

Instead of throwing her underwear away, I'd make her clean them herself, let her see how nasty it is...

1 mom found this helpful

A friend of mine went through something similar with her step-daughter. She made her daughter handwash all of her panties. After a while she figured out that it was dirty and she hated having to handwash her own things. It got better; but it took time. I'm not sure what kind of relationship you and your husband have with the ex; but if the daughter is saying that she's told the same thing at her house, then both households should be on the same page and handling this issue the same way. Otherwise, on her next visit she may have this very same issue.

If having your step-daughter wash her own panties doesn't work, I wold take her to a peditrician. Maybe there's something going on that she's not comfortable discussing just yet. It's possible that her rash is starting to crack and bleed and now it just hurts to wipe.

Good luck!
A. W.

1 mom found this helpful

Have her leave the door open if this helps, and stand by the door. Sometimes it feels strange for children to use the restroom in a differnt home. Sometimes they feel they will be left behind so assure her you will standing by the door in case she needs help.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi L.
Well done on being such a great step-mum - one of the hardest jobs on earth!
My own daughter went through a stage of not wiping either and it is a really awful phase - I put it down to looking for attention and she just outgrew it.
What you are doing is absolutely the right way to go and if things do not improve, you should have a chat to your doctor about it.
Perhaps she has worms?
Jewel

1 mom found this helpful

It may be the toilet paper that you are using. Try letting her pick out the toilet paper at the store. I think Cottenelle makes a trainer toilet paper that is fun for kids and teaches them how many squares is enough. Maybe she would like the Kandoo wipes that are wet. I would not throw out her underwear. She may like not wearing underwear and then you are in a different boat. It is easier to throw away a soiled pair of underwear than it is a pair of soiled pants! I think it would be more appropriate to make her wash them out herself. Maybe a sticker chart to work towards a prize. Then she sees the stickers in the bathroom and is reminded of the prize that she is working towards. I would really try to focus on the positive. The natural consequence is cleaning her underwear herself. I would not give any other punishment.

1 mom found this helpful

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.