21 answers

Son Is Deliberately Peeing on the Carpet

My 3 year old son is having problems with defiance right now and when he doesn't get his way he he will threaten to "pee in my house" but what is worse is that he will pull his pants down and pee on the carpet or other things like pillows or stuffed animals. He is potty trained and they are not accidents because he literally pulls his pants down to do it. Sometimes he will just sit off teh side of teh bed and pee on the floor. Obviously this is very irritating and I am at my wits end. Does anyone have any advice on how I can control this? He is trying to assert his dominance and I'm definitely not liking it. Is there any way to redirect him to assert dominance in another way?

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all for the wonderful advice. My son is definitely getting the best of me. I just can't figure out what is going on with him. I have actually been spending MORE time with him and praising him more and doing much more things. For the past month he has been having some acting out issues and he can't explain what is wrong, but I do klnow that he has been having headaches on a regular basis. I took him to the doctor and he will be getting a referral to a neurologist, get and EEG and and MRI. He has also been wanting to sleep to an excess, whih is not normal for him. I'm afraid he may have the same brain mass and disease that my daughter has so they are going to agressively look at it to make sure that he doesn't. I don't think he is mad at me, maybe my husband, I don't know, but he just flat out doesn't care who it is when he doesn't get what he wants. I have tried everything from talking to him, time out, putting him back in a pull up. He just doesn't care. I have taken away his favorite toys, TV, learning video games and nothing has worked. I have spanked him and he knows that would be a consequence but still not working, so I'm leaning toward a lack of coping skill for all the headaches he has been getting. Some so bad that he pounds his head. Still headaches and all that, it really pisses me off (no pun intended) that he is ruining the carpet. He doesn't like to clean it up at all, so I think that will be the best method however, he is still doing it. I'm going to try to stick with it and see what happens. We are also going to see a behavioral specialist to see about possibilities that work with his temperment. He is a good kid, but lately these temper tantrums and out of control behavior are too much. I am definitely going to look at the books and try other suggestions. I think they might work. He was pott training at 16 months old but his daycare refused until after he was 2, so he lost interest and it was SO hard to do it after he lost interest. He would say, "No you change my diaper!" I made him clean up all the accidents which he hated but I tried so many things and for him I had to use several methods and it finally worked. I don't want to resort back to all those poop accidents all over again. He doesn't like being wet anymore or messy so that is a good deterrrent to him peeing in his pants. He is totally a momma's boy and has been wanting extra attention and I have been giving it to him. But I definitely do not want this kind of acting out, that is for sure! I can't help but lose my cool and yell at him sometimes, but I will take your advice and try to give myself a time out and then have him clean it up without me reacting to it. Thank you so much for your advice!!! Now if I can just get my husband to help with some of this advice it might work! I'll try to post a what happened after we see specialsts for possible medical problems. It may be a month though....

OK, new update, my son has not had anymore headaches and his behavior problems are so much better. We are still waiting for the doctors appointments, and I have to find out tomorrow when it is since they finally called today. YEAH! I have also tried listening to my child talk more and explain his feelings and validate them and trhat has helped tremendously. I haven't got any of the books yet but am going ot buy them this weekend that you all recommended. I so appreciate all teh ehlp! I was at my wits end! We are also spending alot of tiem with him and giving him positive attention and not focusing on teh neagtive as much. I am sorry it is taking me so long to write back. I have not had time to get on the compute rthe past week. I will write people back though, I promise! And i will update everyone after we have his appointments to see is he has the same brain stem mass that my daughter has! They should be coming up very soon.

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my three yr old was doing this when I would put him in time out. He would pee on the time out chair.

I found that if I just laid a towel on the chair and still kept him there that after awhile he stopped. He saw it didnt' bother me. I would quietly go to where he was sitting in time out and lay a towel down and continue on my business until the timer went off. Then I would have him wipe up the rest, we would talk about why he was in time out and then he would apologize. I had to keep on him though. Yes, it's very frustrating!!!

Show him it's no big deal, no emotions...remember you are the mom!

1 mom found this helpful

My son did something similar at that age and we ended up reducing his room to a bed and dresser. No toys whatsoever to start and he had to earn them back. And he didn't get his favorites back first. He spent some time in that room "thinking" about his actions with no distractions. Spanking didn't work, so we cut the door in half and sent him to his room every time he threw a fit. He couldn't get out, but we could monitor him. Took about 6 months, but he came around. Drove me crazy to have to stop everything all the time and focus on him, but eventually he wanted the praise and not the time outs. Good Luck!

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he does it because he knows it irritates you, it gives him power. i promise this will take care of it: do not react (i know it's hard- i've been through simillar things). instead, say 'oh, that's too bad, now you have to clean it. Give him a natural consquence without reacting, and without saying "told you so" or giving any warnings beforehand ("well, if you do, you'll just have to clean it up"). the idea is that his actions have consequences, not that his actions create reactions from you and get punishments. this method is called "love and logic" you can get the book from the library. it's hard to implement at first, beacuse we are so used to reacting, but i promise it works wonders!

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I am a mother of 3 and I'm becoming aquainted with Love & Logic. My son's school is offering a "training" course to become a love and logic parent and it's helping us to deal with our children's acts of rebellion. It sounds to me like you need an energy drain. Basically, when he does that you tell him it drains your energy and he needs to find ways to replenish the energy so you can do things for him and with him. Or you can take things that he is accustomed to you doing on a regular basis and say, 'i can't take you out because i'm afraid you're going to pee on the floor." For instance, let's say your family goes out for pizza every friday night and he expects this. When Friday night comes he says, mom its time to go for pizza and you say, 'We're not going to get pizza tonight because I'm afraid you'll pee on the floor of the restraunt and that would make me uncomfortable and I'm not going to be uncomfortable all evening. We'll try again another day." When he swears he won't pee on the floor you say, "I hope that you don't and we'll try it again another day." and you do this for a couple of weeks in a row so he gets the message. don't criticize and don't explain any further. hopefully he won't pee on the floor again because he wants to go for pizza, but if he does, start all over with no pizza night. it may take a few times, but he'll eventually get the hint that behavior is unexceptable. Basically, with love and logic, you're giving the child his own problem and the consequences that follow...its not your problem, its his. and make him clean up the mess as well.
to find more on becoming a love and logic parent, and to find examples of children's behavior and how to handle them go to www.loveandlogic.com. I'm also sure you can contact the love and logic institution and talk to the founders and they can help you with your child's specific behavior. good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

my three yr old was doing this when I would put him in time out. He would pee on the time out chair.

I found that if I just laid a towel on the chair and still kept him there that after awhile he stopped. He saw it didnt' bother me. I would quietly go to where he was sitting in time out and lay a towel down and continue on my business until the timer went off. Then I would have him wipe up the rest, we would talk about why he was in time out and then he would apologize. I had to keep on him though. Yes, it's very frustrating!!!

Show him it's no big deal, no emotions...remember you are the mom!

1 mom found this helpful

Wow. He really is upset at something isn't he. I would suggest talking to the doctor about it. Some of the other things that you may want to try is telling him that if he pee's on anything then he has to clean it up, also every time he does it then you remove one of his favorite toys and keep it removed no matter if he throws a major tantrum. Talking to the doctor may give you the reason why he is doing it but at the end of the day you are the one left with having to clean up. He is three years old and he knows exactly what he is doing.
When he threatens to pee on the carpet i wouldn't say anything to him at first i would just go and get the cleaning equipment for him and say ' If you pee anywhere but the toilet then you use these to clean it up', also when this happens show him the toy that you will be removing if he should pee when he threatens to do it (this is other than when he has done it without you knowing of course).
I know there are some Mums out there that will disagree with me but he is three years old and does not have the right to exert any dominance over you. It is a form of bullying. You are the adult here and he has to know that actions produce reactions and what your reaction to him peeing inside is telling him is that this is definately not ok and that you are in charge.

Good luck.

S..

1 mom found this helpful

well, I'm going to be the old-fashioned one here. If my son was doing that, I would simply tell him how many swats he would receive if he did it again. If he did, I would calmly carry through (not in anger).....
I guarantee it will not take very many times to correct this problem. Like you said, he is obviously defiant. Remember you are the mom- carry through on whatever form of punishment you choose to use. If he's doing this when he is 3, imagine what he will try when he's 13. It's better to teach him to be submissive and obedient now. You love him and you are the parent whom God has put in place to direct his steps in the right ways.

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I am a special education teacher and a parent and I am with Vera on this one. You can not just suppress a behavior (Show him whose boss). Nor can you allow your son to become "dominant" Children need to be dependent on adults until they can individuate (not rebel and conform to peers).
You need to give him an outlet for his emotion that is acceptable to all...him and you and others. Joining him in kicking pillows or whatever shows him that you are on his side...you are his bedrock ....you understand him. He will not then need to defy. Why defy an ally? It should also lead to faster resolution of the tantrum.
Keeping the relationship with your son strong should be the priority. If he wants to follow your lead and please you, there will be not battle here, and few or none elsewhere. A battle of wills is not going to strengthen your parent-child relationship. You may force him to comply and everything may seem ok for a while...but what other things will crop up??

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Obviously, he sees that it bothers you - a lot. His satisfaction in seeing you helpless when he is angry is what he is after. He should have to clean up every mess, with you supervising to make sure it is clean - but in a detached manner - no anger. Now, we know that he can't get it as clean as you would like, but he has to really work on it - every time - no exceptions - for him to realize that it is a bad idea to do it. Then, when he is in bed (so that he doesn't know that you re-did it), get it done right. It will take a lot of time for awhile, but it is worth it.

1 mom found this helpful

Wow - that's intense. I guess my first question would be what situations are bringing things to this point. What is he defying? And what other avenues of protest are you willing to allow? Are there specific needs of his that could be otherwise addressed to help reduce his dedication to annoying the heck out of you? Like maybe addressing his need for attention? Let's face it, he certainly has your attention now.

Parent cannot control children, as your son is creatively showing you. What parents can do is enlist cooperation. I think you are going to have some relationship rebuilding work to do. I would suggest your first action be to back off the intensity of your demands, and not engage your son's defiance for awhile. Let things cool down. Then start building some emotional skills. What CAN your son do when he is mad? Is he allowed to go into his room and yell about it for two minutes? Is he allowed to punch or kick pillows? Whatever it is, make sure it is physical in expression, and put this in place BEFORE he is mad about something. Then, when he gets mad, direct him to do the stuff he is allowed to do, and (and this is key), TOTALLY support him for doing the right thing. That is, get right down there with him and kick pillows together. Have fun with him when he is mad, and really show him that mad is OK, and there are ways to express it that are OK. Give him attention when he is mad, but do everything you can to offer attention for something he is doing RIGHT, not something he is doing WRONG. It will take some time to get there, but you will get there, and it will work.

I am sure this is not the quick and easy solution that you might want to hear. However, your son is really mad with you about something, and this is his way of showing it. If you keep pushing him to do what you want, without allowing him to communicate his anger, I think you will see more and more problems. Be the good parent you are, and admit that you have made some mistakes. Show your son that you can be responsible even when you blow it. Apologize, teach him a different way, and then support and applaud his efforts. You will put in more effort now, but you will both reap HUGE benefits by solving this problem now.

Hang in there!!!

1 mom found this helpful

Dear P.,

Oh my Dear...you must be beside yourself! Well, he is one smart cookie. He's know just how to push the buttons doesn't he. LOL!

I'm gonna send you my book..."Raising Humane Beings." Read Chapter 10 first. It's called "The yes after you...the solution to all your problems."

He will stop peeing on the floor immediately.

In the man time...the short answer is, bribe him to stop. Offer him a reward for every day that he does not pee on the floor. I have some other tricks but it will be easier for me to just give you my book, (email me your address) than try to write it all out here.

Best of luck my Dear.
XXOO, J.

###-###-####
www.JaneFendelman.com
____@____.com

1 mom found this helpful

Both of my boys did the same thing so I can relate to the way you are feeling right now. This is an act of difiance and/or lazyness. The only thing that worked for me was a good old fashioned spanking and to relay the message that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated. With boys I am learning that you need to show them that you as the parent are in charge not them, and what you say goes. I have never had any luck with the "time out" method. Boys seem to need a little more than that sometimes unfortunately. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi P.- I know this might sound terrible, but I would probably handle it by putting him in the bathroom. My conversation would go something like this," Son, we pee in the toilet. Pee is dirty, and Mommy needs to keep the house clean, so you get to stay in the bathroom until you learn that you cannot pee in the house." I would then place him in the bathroom and keep him there. I would maybe feed him a meal in there, give him some toys that can be cleaned, and just explain that if he is going to pee everywhere, he is not going to get to play everywhere. Keep your voice very "matter of fact" and say how he cannot be with the family until he learns that the ONLY place to pee is the potty. If he is doing this on purpose, he is a sharp cookie. When he see's you mean business, even if it takes a couple days, I think he will get it quick. Expect challenges. I am sure he will pee on the walls and stuff. I would then give him paper towels and have him clean it up. I Good luck.

Me niece was about four and we had the same problem. If she wouldn't get her way she would wet her pants. I finally just got so upset and told her if that's what she was going to do then she could clean it up. She had to do it two or three times but she got the point. I hope that helps, best of luck!

My husband and I liked to refer to it as the terrible 3s instead of the terrible 2s. I think our son spent that entire year on time out.

My advice to you would be to lay down the law whenever he does something defiant. Choose a punishment and do it every time he is bad so he knows what to expect. It is not going to get better overnight but at least he will know who is boss.

You CAN controll your kids and you should provide boundaries so they know when they cross those boundaries there will be predictable punishments. There is no reasoning with a three year old, they don't have the life experiences to explain why they do what they do. That is why you are the parent and he is the child. The passive "lets talk about it" approach will not work. Children are looking for boundaries and will always push the envelope and when you provide those boundaries they will know that you are in control and will be more secure as a result.

Don't be afraid to discipline your child--it is your role as his parent. Stick with it. He will grow out of this behavior and be more secure and respectful of you as a result.

I like the suggestions of making him clean it up every time. Also, you could put him in pull-ups that he has trouble getting out of and tell him if he behaves like a baby, he will have to wear a diaper like a baby. I would also throw away his stuffed animals and/or pillow if he pees on them. All these consequences need to be done without raising your voice or getting angry though because that is what he is probably trying to provoke. It sounds tough but I believe that children should treat the people around them and their toys/possessions with respect. Good Luck!

My son did something similar at that age and we ended up reducing his room to a bed and dresser. No toys whatsoever to start and he had to earn them back. And he didn't get his favorites back first. He spent some time in that room "thinking" about his actions with no distractions. Spanking didn't work, so we cut the door in half and sent him to his room every time he threw a fit. He couldn't get out, but we could monitor him. Took about 6 months, but he came around. Drove me crazy to have to stop everything all the time and focus on him, but eventually he wanted the praise and not the time outs. Good Luck!

Hi P.. You are one busy mommy. Your son is very smart and manipulative already. Oh the joys of being a parent who cares. I have a 19 year old daughter and a 13 year old son. Their dad and I have had one roller coaster of a marriage so I know about acting out. What I have found that works the best with boys....take their toys. Warn him next time he does this that if he does it again....he will no longer get to play with such and such. The hardest thing as a mom is following through. You wont know what is worse, the tantrum or the pee. The tantrum you can and will have to learn to tune out. The pee stinks and if wrong. If he persists....tell him that he doesn't seem to be a big boy any longer and you will have to put him back in a diaper...Children are smart. He will figure out you mean business. When you want to laugh when he is doing it. Don't. Even a smile makes him think it is funny. Good luck. He is normal. Just a boy. He is probably facinated that his private is so special.
Remind him he has to keep it safe and protected. And private.

P., I am a Mom of 3 boys, have not dealt with this exact issue. I swear by karate as an adjunct to your own discipline. its a good outlet for the energy and they reinforce self control. Also Books by Kevin Lehman for behavior tips. I wish you strength and patience as you weather this one! A.

O P.! If it was my son I'd probablly either stick him in rooms that were only tile, or just tell him if he pees on the floor you'll move a blanket & pillow into the bathroom & he will stay there until he can figure out that peeing on things is not ok. And I'd definately make him clean it up-everytime! If it's a pillow or stuffed animal make him wash it, or (this sounds mean) make him carry it around all day, maybe the amonia smell will get to him & he wont do it again. Kids are smarter than you think, dont allow anything that could lead to worse behavior later! Good luck.

First of all have you tried anything because it doesn't sound like you've done anything to stop his behavior?

Sometimes our children do "bad things" because they know it drives us nuts. Children are smart and very good manipulators. It sounds like your son is going through a phase. One of many that he will go through. It is probably as simple as that. Not all of these kinds of phases happen because your child has anger issues with you or because he feels he doesn't get the attention he needs. They happen because he is a normal three year old boy who has figured out that he can get to you. If you set some new rules and consequences for breaking those rules, and then follow thru, you should be able to get thru this.

Good Luck!!

Make him clean it up. Tell him if he pee's on the floor, he has to clean it up - period. And then follow thru - get him a rag and spray it with whatever cleaner for him, and them stand there until he cleans it. He'll throw a fit, for sure, but keep your cool and stand there over him for as long as it takes, until he cleans it. Same with pillows, stuffed animals, whatever he pee's on, he has to clean it up. And don't make an argument about it - just be calm and cool and don't waiver.

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