43 answers

My Son Is 6 Years Old and Continues to Pee on Himself During the Day at School!

I just dont get it! Any suggestions please. I pick him up daily to find him with wet underwear due to him peeing on himself. I ask constantly what the deal is and his excuse is that "I dont want to stop playing"! Ugh!! I'm frustrated, dont know what to do, I spoken to the school about b/c it's becoming a daily problem, but nothing. He says that it happens during recess. Someone please help, single mom going insane :|

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Well when I took the issue to the teacher, she did state that she would start telling him to go potty before he went outside, but that was all she could do, yea not a receptive teacher at all. I'm sorry her exact words were that's about as intimate as I could get with him. So, my idea was to stop him from going to recess. If he pees today then there is no recess the following day. That way he learns the concept that i have to stop playing and go pee. It would be the same decision making if he were at home, can you believe the teacher told me that she would not comply with my request, that a child needs play time, that I'm doing a disservice to my son. That would be a negative, he would stay inside he was home. It's not going to kill a child to stay in so that learn that their behavior is unnaccetable. Yes, it's difficult. I think I will send another note stating that he is to sit out due to his behavior, and then just show up at the school to enforce that. I dont know, I'm frustrated, and if something was to happen to him health wise due to him peeing on himself, then the school would have a bigger problem on their hands for not handling the situation more responsible. Thoughts?

Featured Answers

Try having the teacher ask him every 25 min.Or you could say if you don't go to the bath room then were going to have to put a diper on you

As a teacher, what I would recommed is setting up some sort of schedule with his teacher. Ask his teacher if he/she would remind him to try "to go" several times throughout the day, even if he doesn't feel like he needs to go.

Buy the underwear diapers that they have for older kids who have trouble wetting at night. Tell him he has to wear those to school because he still wets like a baby. Big boys take time to go use the restroom.

Hope it helps.


More Answers

Don't worry, a lot of kids do this some just do it a little more and I find it's mostly boys. He will stop.

hey L.,
have you asked his teacher to MAKE him go to bathroom before recess? maybe that would help.
i wish you the best of luck.
R. b

Hi L., why don't your try the (kind of like pull ups) but not pull ups. They will keep his clothes dry, You can find them at Wal Mart and places like that. I think they are called
GOOD NITES but there is one for day hours.


I don't think that it is uncommon for children that age to have accidents at school. In time though, other kids will tease him and if he truly just doesn't want to stop playing, he will stop to be accepted be his playmates. Also, you may want to consider if he is unable or shy about going to the restroom during the time of day he is peeing on himself. Another problem could be with his urinary system or small bladder. A doctor could check that. Sometimes kids say what they hear, so "I didn't want to stop playing" may be what he hears another adult saying about him. If you can not get the teacher to agree with your proposed solution, take it up the the principal.

Try having the teacher ask him every 25 min.Or you could say if you don't go to the bath room then were going to have to put a diper on you

talk to your doctor there could be a deeper problem here. let us know how it goes! or just make sure the teacher lets him go to the bathroom often

Please have your son evaluated by his pediatrician. It is important also to see what is happening at school, evaluate signs of stress. When did this started? Is he sleeping well? Has he complain about pain, discomfort? Any behavior changes lately?


I actually remember doing that as a child! I would be in the middle of playing and would "hold it" so long that I wouldn't make it to the bathroom. My mother threatened to keep me inside if I didn't quit, and she would make me wash my own underwear. I wonder if you could talk to his teacher about having him miss recess if it happens - it is obviously something he can control, he just needs the incentive! Good luck!

L., Well... maybe it's an emotional problem? " I'm a single mom, living here with out family, trying to make it on my own, and hard raising a little boy"
Your right, it is hard especially without any family around to help, or give support to both you and him. You're stressed and kids can feel that. Maybe it's his way expressing that, or looking for attention? Just a thought. I have no idea how to fix it if this were the case, but positive reinforcement works better than the negative. If there is no medical reason for his problem, may check into the other.

Hi L.,

I really feel for you sweetie, I can say I've experienced very similar situations with my sons. I have a 7 year old who occasionally still wets his pants at night. WHen he is over exctied or extremely frieghtened he will wet during the day. That's different at night I know.

While he was 6 he still wet during the day due to laziness and not wanting to stop playing. I know how frustrating it is for you, believe me. Please don't let anyone put you down as a parent or make you feel like you are doing something wrong. Your son is choosing to do this, he's 6 not 2.

I started buying my son goodnights at night. He wasn't happy about it, but I couldn't change sheets everyday. I explained these weren't diapers, but simply underwear we throw away. I stressed that he was not a baby.

Now as for the during the day stuff, I have to ask, does he get rashes or anything from the urine? My son did, so I really couldn't let him stay wet. That works for some kids, so if he doesn't have sensitive skin, considerate it.
If he wants to smell like pee, so be it. Urine on the front of his clothes is actually not that unsanitary. Does the school insist he change clothes?

Six year olds are at an age that should understand when its time to use the restroom. Its very normal for boys to wet though. Try not to stress over it, Mom you have bigger fish to fry I am sure. I had to keep telling myself that.

Just the other day my 4, almost 5 year old pooped/peed in his underwear because he didn't want to stop playing at McDonalds. I almost lost it. He hasn't pooped in his pants in over a year. He potty trained at 3.

I don't recommend trying to make him feel bad, or bribe him like some have suggested. Don't threaten diapers unless you intend to really buy some, and make him wear them. Kids can see through empty threats.

As for recess, no he won't suffer if he sits out once or twice from recess. I wouldn't suggest it happen every time though, that would be unfair.

As long as he isn't doing it as a retaliation measure towards you in rebellion of some sort, try to let it go. When he does it, tell him it's unacceptable, and if wants to change his clothes and wash them everyday to prepare to do so.

You could try that. Get him some rubber gloves, a bucket, fill with some water and detergent and make him wash his peed on clothes. You could even charge him a quarter for the extra water and detergent use. I am really big on kids being responsible for what they do.

Hope that helps.



I am not sure if you have tried talking to his teacher directly or not. There is no reason why she could not help make sure he uses the bathroom before he goes outside. Since he comes home wet does that mean they just ignore it and let him sit in wet clothes. You would think they would help. That can not be very sanitary. You could try a sticker chart with him at home. Let him put a sticker up everyday he comes home dry. After so many stickers (10 or whatever you think is fair) he can earn things. Could be a trip to the park or dollar store or even an ice cream cone and to play at McCdonalds. Find things he likes that do not cost you alot of money. I hope you have luck and get this resolved.


He may be afraid of the school bathroom. If he doesn't do this at home, ask him if he ever uses the restroom at school. My son would come home every day and run straight to the bathroom, and had an accident a few times when he couldn't wait, because the school bathroom smelled bad, was big, and he didn't like going in front of the other boys. He still, at 18, really hates public potties, but after I found out the problem, we discussed that he really had to go at school sometimes, and I made sure to go straight home after school. And as he grew, his bladder grew so he could hold it longer!
If he doesn't do this all the time (like at church or on weekends) it's probably something like that. But also, little boys really do forget to go when they're playing. Have his teacher remind him to go before recess (maybe she'd supervise him to the door of the restroom the first few times until it's a habit.)
You might also check with his doctor to be sure he doesn't have a hidden bladder infection or muscle control problem.

If it's happening at recess every day, maybe the teacher should take some initiative and do a potty break before recess!

I would ask his teacher if she could have him make a trip to the bathroom prior to recess.

Hi L., I know its hard to be patient but I remember distinctly that there were times when I would have an accident at that age myself. It does take a certain amount of bladder awareness and learning to detect the signs in yourself. It took me quite a while before I was 100% able to do that. My parents would always just send a change of clothes to school that came in handy on more than one occasion. Maybe going to school around recess time is a helpful thing both for you and the teacher. You could look and see if your son WAS exhibiting any sorts of physical warning signs ahead of time. You could also make teach him the sign language sign for potty (shaking hand and making the letter "T" at the same time) and that could be your nonverbal way of reminding your son to go without broadcasting it to the rest of the kids and embarassing him. Best of luck!

I know what you are going through! I am also a single mom with two daughters. I have a 6 year old daughter who I have been having similar problems with. After I had taken her to the doctor and had her tested for a bladder infection (which was negative), one day she had 6 "accidents" at school which meant I had to take her three extra changes of clothes to school. I had been packing at least three extra pairs of pants and panties in her backpack by this time and this day was my final breaking point. That same day, I called a child psychologist and got her scheduled for an appointment immediately. She told the psychologist that she felt like she did not get to see Mommy enough and if she wet her pants, she knew I would come to school and bring her clothes.

So, I talked to my daughter and explained to her that if she continued to wet her pants at school, she would not see me anymore because if she ran out of clothes from her backpack, I would just drop more off at the front desk. Additionally, she also said that she just could not hold it long enough and I have discovered that she does not want to stop having fun to use the restroom. I had to talk with her about how she's not a baby anymore and if she wants to be a big girl, then she has to go to the restroom like a big girl. I've explained that she is not going to miss out on anything THAT important just because she has to go to the restroom.

The psychologist recommended using a progress chart and she loves seeing the smiley faces or stickers next to her name. We use this chart for other rules around the house and do not focus just on her wetting accidents, but it is on the chart. When the girls accumualate so many stickers or smiley faces, they get to choose an activity they want to do or get something from the treasure box, a drawer filled with items from the dollar store. I try to fill the treasure box with things they need...lip balm, small bottles of liquid soap and lotion, fun pens or pencils for school, notepads, etc. But sometimes I throw some fun stuff in there like small slinkys or party favor stuff.

The psychologist also recommended for her to try to strengthen her bladder. While she is using the potty, she needs to stop going then start again several times. Eventually, this will help her be able to hold it a little longer. I also spend more time one on one time with her and this makes her feel like she is getting her special Mommy time. The psychologist told me not to get angry with her but to just acknowledge it and hand her more clothes/wipes and tell her she needs to clean up and change herself. She stopped doing it for a couple of months and I thought it was over but she just started doing it again. I asked her about it but she cannot tell me why. We are seeing the psychologist again next week. Good luck and I hope this helped a little!

OMG I just saw the stuff about his teacher! Luckily our teacher has been really really cooperative. She lets my daughter go to the restroom whenever...she just has to get up and tell her she is going. I got a little angry when my ex wanted to meet with her teacher...he does not usually come across warm and friendly. Maybe that was a good thing! Can boys strengthen their bladders? Give that a shot! I know that my daughter is becoming embarrased...finally! I know the chart thing sounds hokey but it works and my friend in Nashville who has a 5 year old son swears by her chart system.

Our oldest child also had this problem. He would come home everyday in kindergarten with wet pants even though he never did it at home. We talked to his teacher and she gave him free reign to leave the classroom at any time to go, but it still continued. We even went as far as to see a urologist who prescribed medication that did work, but I don't recommend that. The medicine basically "dries them up" even keeps them from sweating. That to me is scary when kids are running around playing and not sweating. Anyways, the best advice I can give you is to wait it out, we did and after 6-9 months it just stopped. It's not fun, I know, but it will stop. Hang in there!

Does the school/teacher seem willing to try to help? If so, I would ask the teacher to assist. Maybe try to make going to recess a "reward." Explain to him that he will have to start going before recess. If he rebels to this idea, NO RECESS PERIOD. If he tries but does not "urinate," he will need to wait 5 mins of recess (or some reasonable amount of time and try again)... and this continues for that set amount of time until he goes. If he goes before, then he is allowed to go and have fun and enjoy entire period of recess. Just a thought.

Of course, I wrote my response before reading the others and now I feel like an ECHO!... lol... great minds...

I had the same problem for a while with my son at night in bed. He always watches a movie to go to sleep. i asked him why he said it was to interesting to get up and go. so i started making sure he went before bed. I know teachers have a lot to deal with but you could ask them to make sure he gets to go befor playing.

Good Morning,L.,
As far as your son and his problem of urinating on himself,
I wonder if he has a bladder infection or urinary tract infection?
You also, might want to communicate to the teacher that he needs permission to leave the room to go to the bathroom when he says he needs to go...

Good Luck,

You may want to take him to a urologist. My daughter had that problem when she was that age and she had to take meidine because she had a medical problem with her bladder.

Hi L.
Hang in there! :) It sounds like a habit and I bet he'll come out of it soon. I haven't had that particular problem, but I did have three bed wetting boys until they were each older (8-12) There was nothing wrong with them, they were just sound sleepers with little bladders. Just be careful not to communicate shame, but reinforce the necessity to stop and go to the bathroom before playtime. Maybe his teacher can make sure he goes before play.
**I just read your other post. Wow, the teacher seems a little clueless about kids. It could be she doesn't want to have to deal with it. I would probably do what you suggested and go up there for recess. That would make an impression on your son, reminding him to pee, and also allow you to deal with the problem instead of just letting it go.

My nephew did the exact same thing until he was seven years old. He preferred to stay outside and play and pee his pants instead of taking the time to go inside and use the bathroom. Similarly, when we asked him why, he would say "I'm just having too much fun to go inside!" In any case, my sister and my mother would talk to him about it after each incident (almost every day at some points!) and tell him why he should use the bathroom, and wondering out loud what the other kids may think, etc. It was a long time of always having a change of clothes and immediately going into the bath when he got home from school. He is now eight and doesn't do it anymore. In his case, it was a "normal" phase he went through. I would probably speak to his pediatrician if you are really concerned.

Have you talked to his teacher to confirm that it is happening at recess? I would tell the teacher not to give him beverages before recess, or you may want to take him to the doctor. My daughter had the same problem every time she took a nap or during the night or at play. The doctor explained to us that her bladder had not caught with her growing body, which makes it hard for to control wetting herself. She was prescribed medication, and after 6 months, she was fine.

Have the teacher send him to the bathroom before recess.If it continues make sure he doesn't have an infection.

I would talk to his teach to find out if they have a restroom break before recess. If they do not, you need to ask them to let him go to the restroom everyday before they play.

As a teacher, what I would recommed is setting up some sort of schedule with his teacher. Ask his teacher if he/she would remind him to try "to go" several times throughout the day, even if he doesn't feel like he needs to go.

See if you can talk to the school about making him go to the bathroom before or during rescess.I know it extra for them but it might only take a week to set in then the routine will be there..hope this helps.
S. B

Buy the underwear diapers that they have for older kids who have trouble wetting at night. Tell him he has to wear those to school because he still wets like a baby. Big boys take time to go use the restroom.

Hope it helps.


Send an extra change of clothes for the teacher to keep at school (or maybe several changes) and make him change clothes when he does it. The teacher should also make sure the kids go to the bathroom before going out to the playground.

L., this is an easy one! Ask the teacher to send him to the restroom before recess begins. I'm sure she'll appreciate it if she doesn't have to clean up or interrupt class instruction due to his accidents. If it continues, you may want to see a dr. Sometimes children's bladders are slow to develop. Whatever you do, don't cause him further embarrassment by advertising his problem. Good luck!

Further to Lara's response, talk to the teacher. My daugther is in 1st grade and she still has had accidents. I insisted that the teacher make her go potty before she is allowed to go out for recess. If she won't then she has to stay in. It will only take a few weeks for your son to get the message that if he wants to do something, then he has to take care of business first. Worked with my daughter. Luckily my daughters teacher is a wonderful person who complies with my request. Good luck,


L., I would ask the teacher if it would be possible for him to go to the bathroom before recess. A lot of time recess is right after lunch and the kids drink a lot of milk/juice. If he says he doesn't need to or doesn't want to. The teacher may be able to tell him if he doesn't go, he can't participate in recess (per your instructions in writing possibly). If it still continues after the teacher assures you that he is actually going to the bathroom before recess, then I would possibly make a doctors appointment just to make sure everything is working right.

L. R,

I know how you feel. My son was doing the same when he was in DayCare. He is now in Kindergarten. He doesn't do it during the day anymore but he does have accidents at night. He told me the same story about not wanting to stop playing during recess. We just have to remind them that it only takes a few minutes to go and then you can go right back to playing. They are afraid that they are going to miss something.

I would have a sit down talk with the teacher, that is a shame that she or he is letting this happen to your child every day. She needs to make sure he is going to the bathroom, especially before heading outside every day. Second of all, I would look into having him tested for diabetes...constant peeing is a symptom. Just an FYI, I have a diabetic son. Good luck.

L.,I understand your problem. I had a child with peeing issues. Talk about frustrating!!!!
First,find out when/what time he goes to recess.Is it when he first gets to school or later in the day? Talk to his teacher. Ask if he has a chance to go to the bathroom before recess? Or Does the accident happen first thing in the morning/after lunch? If he rides the bus and begins playing imediately after arriving to school.....his bladder may be full from breakfast at home. (I remember when I was in school I had an hour ride from school, I was older and my bladder was bursting by the time I got home!)
School breakfast/You may want to(if possible) stay with him during breakfast at school and make sure he goes before recess. Home breakfast try to cut down on the liquids.
I tried giving my child a nickel for each time they didn't have an accident. They had to give back the nickel if they had an accident. Remember to tell him "to go to the bathroom before recess." If you must,get a Dr's staement stating that.
Remember his little bladder is growing..but a childs bladder doesn't always grow as fast as the rest of their body.
He remembers recess is fun,NOT that he needs to go to the bathroom;because it's recess it's time to play.To Him that is the important part, "play."
If all else fails...begin placing a pull up under his underware. At least he can take it off an throw it away.
Always, send him a change of clothes in his back pack.....tring to send the same color/type pants and shirts, as much as possible.AND a plastic bag for wet clothing.
Praise Him that you know he is "Trying"!!!! and that "You know he can do it!" and that you are proud he remembered!
Don't get discouraged! I'll be praying for you and for him,too! LaDonna
P.S. Recess is teachers play time too! So maybe you may have to go and help hang out at school for a while!

Oh my gosh I feel your pain. I actually have a 6 year old girl that is doing the exact same thing. She now, unfortunately has what I would consider diaper rash. I've tried to explain to her that it's not healthy and that unfortunately, children are mean and may start taunting her. Exact same scenario, she doesn't want to quit playing whether it's outside or on the computer. We've set up a reward system for her, very small rewards - stickers only -but it seems to be effective. She comes home now and can't wait to tell me that she didn't have an accident that day. I also explained it's not an accident if you're aware that you're doing it. It's sad and heartbreaking, but I did have to introduce the "embarrassment" factor and it really worked. It's been at least 2 weeks since she's peed her pants at school. Good luck!!!

What about asking his teacher to allow him to go to the bathroom BEFORE he goes outside for recess? I am sure that she will want to cooporate.

The other option is that when he dosen't want to stop playing to use the restroom, and he has an accident, THEN take away the thing that is causing him to make the wrong decision that being recess. If he has an accident then he loses his next recess. He would have to sit and watch the other children play, which will cause him to miss more recess than if he had stopped and gone to use the restroom. TAKE AWAY WHAT HE LIKES BEST TO GET YOUR MESSAGE ACROSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I would have a talk with his teacher & see if they can't tweak their routine a bit & everyone goes pee before they go outside. Of course, it's no guarantee that he'll go then but it might help. Also, you might consider having the teacher take away his recess if he pees himself encouraging him to go before they go outside. If you are certain there is no medical reason he's doing this & it's simply because he doesn't want to stop (which is very common in children his age) then I would consider those 2 options.

Good luck.

Your response: seems most reasonable to me. That's just nuts that she would say that, sounds like she just doesn't want to deal with it..well too bad. At the school I sub for, if a child misbehaves at recess he/she is pulled out & put in time out right then & there..or they reduce their playtime if an incident happens in class. To say to you 'a child needs play time' well I understand that fully, but he also needs to remain dry during the day & help in understanding there are consequences for behavior. At 6 he needs immediate consequences, to say you have to deal with it when he gets home...he doesn't remember or really care...because he got to do what he wanted anyway. Not trying to sound mean, but just to say this teacher is off her rocker here. I would attempt again to speak to her about it and if you get the wall again, time to talk to the principal. Does this teacher allow any kind of behavior at recess for the sake of playtime? I would venture she doesn't so she should work with you to not reward him by letting him play.

Keep us update.

I wouldn't worry about it too much. I know it is frustrating. Maybe send a note to school instructing the teacher or "T.A." to take him to the rest room before recess.

hi L.
well i will tell you what i would do if the school is not helping then i really find it to be a problem there because in some ways they are not paying attention and then to let him stay in wet underware until you pick him up something dont sound right but anyways i understand you are on you own trying to make it raising a little boy on your own this is what i would do i would for a few days get with the teachers and explain this has got to stop i would then explain to your son that he might not beable to play outside if he pees in his pants agian and if it happens then make sure that he dont get to play the next day i am sure there is another class room that he can sit in and wait for his class i know its a bit of tough love but if you show him that you mean what you say i think you might see a change at least its a first step and you can try it it might not work but then agian you wont know until you try

Our 8 year old son does the same. Though I can't pin point when it happens. His urine is like a skunk. He wets at night too. We've taken him to Urologist, bought alarms and see little change. I may try the reward for each dry day system. He likes that kind of thing, even charts. Yet night time is less controlable. At ER visit other night when they took a urine sample I asked them to check if it was a infection since it smells so bad. We thought he was having a apendicitis but was just viral. I'm so frustrated and am not coddling him about it. I don't say things in front of others but do complain about laundry etc. I wet at night till twelve. It is hereditary. But day time issues just boil my blood. Yet I could imagine there are emotional issues. He was a only child till six. Though crazy about sybling life sure is different for even me. I've about given up but do complain. I will try rewards as taking away this or that doesn't seem to motivate his greed.

Hi L.,

Don't be afraid to ask the teacher to make sure he goes to the bathroom before he goes out to recess. I have two boys who are very busy aswell. They tell me they don't have to go, but sometimes you have to be tough with them and make them go(once you get them in the bathroom they'll go). Don't lose heart girl, be persistant and he'll get over it.

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