15 answers

Son Will NOT Pee at School

My 3.5 yr old son recently started a new school for the summer months. At his previous school he was only there for 2.5hrs so not peeing wasn't a big deal. Now he is there for 5 hours! He absolutely won't pee while there. The teachers take him. Have him stand, sit (we even brought in his potty seat from home), offered a prize- nothing. He sat on it today for 15 min and nothing! He is a VERY very shy kid. But still I worry about him not peeing for that long. He hasn't had any accidents but I know its only a matter of time. Plus, he takes a nap there- that can't be comfortable trying to sleep while needing to pee. Also, I worry he is going to fall asleep and have an accident. Any ideas?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

My daughter is 4 and not going for 5 hrs is nothing! Honestly she pees 3 maybe 4 times allday! Maybe he just doesn't need to go? He's not having accidents even at nap time. I wouldn't worry about it mama.

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers

My daughter is 4 and not going for 5 hrs is nothing! Honestly she pees 3 maybe 4 times allday! Maybe he just doesn't need to go? He's not having accidents even at nap time. I wouldn't worry about it mama.

3 moms found this helpful

Yeahhhhh..... my daughter was like that too. She had one or two accidents but then accepted that she had to go at school sometimes. She was 4. She NEVER went at school. They only had a half day and she would hold it until pick-up time. Of course, as SOON as she got in the car she would tell me she needed to use the bathroom... :( Good thing we lived close to the school. She is also my child that almost never had an accident overnight. And I mean ever. She potty trained by 2 and was night time dry (with regular panties even) before 2 1/2. She has had...grand total... about 4 wetting the bed incidents in her life. She turned 10 yrs today.

I agree with the caution to not make a bigger deal out of it than needs to be. You will only make him more anxious about it. What helped my daughter (who is VERY rule/justice oriented) was to explain how to go about it when the need arose... i.e., if she was in reading group and it wasn't her turn to read, she would not raise her hand or interrupt the reader to get permission (or even just get up on her own without express permission) to go use the potty---not that express permission was required, it wasn't. But SHE thought she should get permission first. So she would wait. So, I had to have a talk with her IN FRONT OF her teacher, so that her teacher could confirm that what I was saying was perfectly fine: that she could get up to use the potty ANYtime. Even without asking. That it was always better to go use the potty first, and then explain after, if need be, than to end up with wet clothes. Once we understood some of her issues (the rule following thing) then she never had an accident at school again.
So maybe letting him do what comes natural to him is okay for right now. Then, if/when he has an accident, you can talk to him about that specific incident and try to pinpoint why he didn't use the potty instead. It might be a more productive way to approach it. In the meantime, keep a gallon ziploc bag at school with a fresh change of clothes in it...including SOCKS. Trust me on the socks. :)

3 moms found this helpful

Having an accident is not the worst thing in the world - just make sure he has an extra set of underwear and pants to change into in case he does. You didn't mention his age but I'm sure the teachers there have dealt with sort of thing before. If he gets uncomfortable enough, eventually he will decide to just go pee in the toilet, or he'll have an accident and maybe then he'll decide he's better off using the toilet. Sometimes my daughter doesn't have to pee for 5 or 6 hours if she hasn't been drinking very much, so I don't think it's that unusual. There is a book though that I liked called "How To Talk So Your Kids Will Listen and How to Listen So Your Kids Will Talk"...maybe after reading it you will have some ideas on how to communicate with your son, and maybe then you'll be able to find out from him why he doesn't want to pee at school. Then you can work together at coming up with a solution.

3 moms found this helpful

Hi E.,

Your son has to learn on his own that holding his urine isn't to his advantage.

It sounds like the teachers are doing all the right things. I do think that prizes are a bit much, but that's me: I don't feel rewarding a child for self-care is a great idea. Too much of a trap in the long run.

What may eventually happen is that he's going to have an accident, which is informative. The only thing to mention is that we don't want to overtalk the lesson of it. Waking up from naptime wet might upset him, but it's not the worst thing in the world. It's a natural consequence of not using the toilet.

Just my opinion, but 15 minutes sitting is way too long. Please tell his teachers not to keep him on for more than 4 minutes. This is only going to make it more of a battle of wills. I'm a preschool teacher and if they've 'tried' for a few minutes, I'm really ready to let them move on. I figure an accident will be more helpful in their learning process at that point; my making them sit there is only going to up the ante for both of us. The teachers should let him change his own clothes after an accident. They can bring him a plastic bag for wet clothes (and will likely need to hold it open for him, from my own experience with kids this age) and have him dress himself in dry clothes. Keep spares at school.

I have dealt with the same situation before with a couple of my former preschoolers. My guess is that it might be a month or so before he gets comfortable with the teachers. Everyone just has to remember that this is his challenge to deal with. (LOVE the suggestion of "How to Talk...." great book. Good call there, DVMMOM) If we try to make it ours, then power struggles increase. He must learn this on his own.

3 moms found this helpful

I feel for you. My son has a phobia of public bathrooms and will only go in specific single stall bathrooms and places he knows well. We found when we went to Disney World that he could hold it for up to 8 hours, and would cry in pain before he finally would go (with a candy bar as a reward). Luckily his preschool room had a small bathroom that met his specifications, but he wouldn't poop there, only pee. After about 7 months his teacher managed to get him to go into a different bathroom by showing him that his best friend used it and talking about how magical the urinal was. I have no idea how full day kindergarten will go next year, and he didn't go his entire day at camp the other day because he claimed the toilets are just "too tall." If you find a solution please let me know. We have had to end our activities early because of this issue before.

2 moms found this helpful

Not to worry! Many kids feel uncomfortable with using public toilets and it is very natural. My son did not use toilet in school until he was 7. Until 6 he would not go to any place other than home. He slowly expanded his choices doc office, shopping mall, friend's house, and then school. He can easily hold on for as long as 8 hours. When he was 3 & 4 and sometimes we would get late coming home from a party at night, he was uncomfortable but fine. He usually goes three time in a day, morning, evening, and before bed. Never had any accidents and no bed wetting even with drinking plenty fluids before bed time.

Whenever I were in public places with my son, I would just tell him that I was going to use the bathroom and if he would give me company. And he would come along. Then, I would ask, would he like to try sitting on toilet seat. He would say no I don't have to go. Then I would say he does not have to go just try sitting and see if something happens. And sure enough he peed. I said nothing after that and refrained from saying 'I told you so'. When he started Kindergarten school, I went to his school bathroom at pick up time and said the same thing to him. In time, he started to go on his own. So, I did it in a subtle way without pressuring him or lecturing about medical reasons to go or telling his teachers. I think that makes children too conscious and makes them more resistant.

As long as your child is comfortable and can hold with ease, I would not push him. Support him, not lecture or punish. He will come around on his own. Tell him it is okay but if he feels like going he can ask his teacher or a friend to go with him.

1 mom found this helpful

I would add that it is important that the solutions you try or the teachers try don't heighten his anxiety about it as well. This is an anxiety issue so you don't want to heighten the fear anymore. Maybe try some relaxation techniques or teach him to sit on the potty there and close his eyes so he can imagine being at home? Do the teachers stand there with him? I would think a shorter trying time would be better and that they should leave him to have some privacy. Eventually he'll go when he needs to. But the experience can't feel stressful, the repetition of it should become a relaxing routine. Maybe a potty buddy?

1 mom found this helpful

My guess is that you and his teachers making a big deal about this is making it much worse. I would back off of the issue if I were you. Also-where is the bathroom located? My son did not go at all during Kindergarten b/c the bathroom was in the back of his class. He just felt strange going and I gave up worrying about it and he was fine. AFter that when the bathroom was in the hall and they had official breaks he was able to go no problem.
One last thing-I have found that kids bladders are much better at holding it and not needing to release than ours. When I take the boys out for the day I find that I go at least 3 times and they don't go at all. This is in the course of 8 or so hours!

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.