January 08, 2008,
K.H. asks from Eugene, OR on November 02, 2007
Six Year Old Wetting His Pants.
My six year old has had a problem with wetting his pants off and on for the past 3 years. It happens quite often and when we talk to him he says he doesn't know why it happened. We have tried reminding him every few hours and he will often say that he doesn't have to go but when we tell him to go anyway without fail he does. He does get tied up in activities and then wets his pants. If I ask him if he has wet his pants he lies and then gets in trouble for lying. I don't want to constantly have him in punishmnet for wetting his pants or lying and I'm at a loss. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
M.P. answers from Portland on November 04, 2007
First of all, stop punishing him for wetting his pants. He is not doing it on purpose. Of course he lies when he thinks he's going to be reprimanded. Kids at this age do not yet have a firm understanding concerning lying. We are still teaching them the difference between a lie and the truth. Notice we're teaching; not punishing. Each time he wets his pants don't ask him if he has. Then he doesn't have a chance to lie. Change him into clean clothes while being sympathetic about having this happen.
If you think he's doing this on purpose it's time to figure out why he'd want to wet his pants. It's common for children to not want to interrupt play. Make it a game to use the toilet ever couple of hours or so. Race him to the bathroom is one idea. Give him a hug and a star each time he makes it on time. Treat the accidents as no big deal.
Some urinary incontinence can be helped with training the bladder to empty every couple of hours. A doctor can give you more information on this.
Have you taken him to the doctor to see if he has a medical problem, such as a small bladder or an inadequately developed sphincter muscle? The pediatrician will have some ideas for you.
The most important thing for you to do is to accept that this happens without blaming or punishing him. Don't set him up for feeling that he needs to lie. And don't accept the lie or make a big deal of that either. Be empathetic, showing him that you know he's not doing this on purpose and that you're on his side and want to help him remain dry.
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S.R. answers from Seattle on November 03, 2007
When I was a kid I wet my pants up to about first grade, not often but occasionally. I had a small bladder which was some of the problem, I couldn't hold it in for very long and had to go more frequently than most. But I for some reason was emarrassed about going to the bathroom and asking permission from teachers in front of everyone. (I was extremely shy.) I also was worried for some reason that people would hear me peeing. Even at home with family, I was uncomfortable. I guess I don't have any real advice, but maybe this can help you gain insight into what he is feeling.
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K.O. answers from Portland on November 05, 2007
Ask your pediatrician for a referral to a pediatric urologist. He might have some sort of physical/medical issue that is causing him to wet his pants.
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C.F. answers from Seattle on November 06, 2007
I know that my five year old, who was perfectly potty trained, started wetting her pants. Not always fully wetting but none the less, I felt like I was always changing her clothes. This lasted months from the time she was 4 years old until now (she is over five). The doctor told me to learn to change clothes and not to make a big deal of it. He said it was normal developmentally. It seems like when I took stop making any response other than changing her it finally stopped. (No more reminding, praise, or punishment). It took a long time but now it is very rare and I think truly an accident. Good Luck.
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S.M. answers from Seattle on November 06, 2007
I worked in the health profession and have had several conversations with Dr. Doris Rapp who is a leading authority on chidlren's sensitivities.
In her experience, bet wetting is often a sign of systemic toxins. Find a good Naturopath who can advise you on toxin removal, or contact Dr. Rapp via her website, www.drrapp.com.
C.C. answers from Portland on January 08, 2008
I just started using this website so sorry my response is so late. I have a 7 yr old boy. He will be 8 in early Feb. He will still (once or twice a week) wet his pants. Only recently, I'd say within the last year did his bed-wetting nearly stop. He does have occasional accidents. I used to get mad at him, but as you have discovered it doesn't help. The incidences are less and less frequent so I am just going to give it time. In contrast his 6 yr old brother rarely has an accident. I have talked to 3 men who also wet their pants over the "normal" age. One actually into his teens. Two of the three just needed time. The third was abused so that could have had something to do with it. Of course the usual advice, see the doctor, but he may just grow out of it.