My 8 Year Old Son Will Not Ask to Use the Bathroom

Updated on June 21, 2017
D.L. asks from New York, NY
7 answers

my normal hyper active 8 year old boy will not ask to use the bathroom .
not his parents his teachers grandparents , we are all watching him for fidgets , he will go if told too.
he does not have bathroom phobia or people stress when peeing . i have taken him to multiple baseball football games and he will jump up whip it out and pee happily .
BUT he will not ask to go even if we are driving just him and the parents , he will pee in his pants rather than ask to pull over , he will not ask his teacher he will not ask anyone the only thing he said that makes sense is he doesn't want people to know he pees ???

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So What Happened?

my son has seen a psych, a play therapist ,a regular therapist .
we have seen a hypnotist a behavioral specialist .
he has seen a urologist a specialist at NYU for bladder problems .
his pediatrician has been involved since we realized it was a problem .
we have been down every avenue .
the reason i posted this is because there seems to be no help in the regular channels and maybe some parent had the same issue .

this is not physical this is a mental block that he knows exists but cannot overcome it .

i need him to tear down that wall in his mind we have given incentives bonuses support nothing is working .

he just had an accident in the car and said i didnt want to stop the car there are no bathrooms yet he will pee on the side of the road if told too ..

More Answers



answers from Springfield on

You need to call your pediatrician. As far as I know, this is not common and needs to be addressed. Your ped should be able to address or rule out anything physical and refer you to a psychologist, if need be.

In the mean time, I would make a point of telling him to go every couple of hours. Make a point of telling him to go at the same time everyday. Maybe he will just get into the habit of always going at those times.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

You say "normal hyper active". My friend has a son who would pee in his pants regularly. He's get engrossed in something and just forget to go, or to ask .. she was making trips to the school routinely with dry pants.

He was recently diagnosed with a learning disorder and ADHD. He's quite a bit older than your son.

I have no idea if the two were related. He would always go if my friend reminded him. He would make the signs (obvious to her) and she knew. He didn't.

What has his paediatrician suggested? I had one who had to go very frequently - and they were able to rule out a bunch of things quite easily. I think that would be my first step. If it's psychological, his doctor will know what questions to ask.

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answers from Boston on

If you have an 8 year old who will wet his pants, you should have had him evaluated several years ago. Can you update us on what discussions you have already held with his pediatrician and a pediatric urologist to investigate/rule out sensory issues that prevent him from knowing he has to go? If that's already been done, can you update us on what referrals the doctors gave for a child psychologist or behavioral specialist to work on this? It's hard to know what you mean by "normal hyperactive" - because for many, hyperactivity is a diagnosis. I can't tell if you are throwing the term around as meaning "an active kid" vs. a diagnosis of hyperactivity.

It's just so difficult to venture a guess without knowing what you've already done. But clearly just talking to him isn't enough. I'm not sure I understand what you mean about the baseball and football games where he will "jump up, whip it out and pee happily." Do you mean he will willingly go with you to the public restroom and pee even with people around? Or are you saying he will pee somewhere besides the restroom? It's not clear if you are saying that he asks to go, or if you take him with you and then while there he's happy to go.

I think you are saying that the presence of other people doesn't bother him, but apparently asking to go is a huge stumbling block. So that sounds behavioral or psychological to me. Get the pediatrician on board and go from there. But do not allow this poor child to go one more day without someone advocating for him.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

another reply to say talk to the pedi! they can point you in the right direction to get your child on track to asking to go instead of having an accident.
you could also try sticker charts, and other incentives to get him to talk about it more than he is now.. but the pedi will probably have other ideas too


answers from Norfolk on

I think it might do some good to take him to a child psychologist and get to the root of the problem.



answers from Columbus on

Is he normally shy about asking for other things? For instance, if he's hungry or thirsty will he ask for food or water? Or is it just going to the bathroom that he won't ask for?

He told you that he doesn't want people to know that he pees? Did you ask him why he doesn't want people to know? The irony is that if he actually pees in his pants people are definitely going to know, and it's going to draw a lot more attention than just going to the restroom.

I'd call his pediatrician just to see if they have any ideas. But in the meantime, if he's going to act like a younger child, then you have to manage it the same way. Remember when our kids were toilet training and we had to tell them go frequently so that they wouldn't have accidents? Do the same thing. When you're driving somewhere, take bathroom breaks and insist that he use the bathroom. If you're in a restaurant or a store, show him the restroom and tell him to use it. .Don't say it in a way that will humiliate him, because that's not the point. Eventually he's going to get annoyed at having to go so often, and you can then explain that you don't have any other choice because he refuses to tell you when he needs to go.



answers from Oklahoma City on

In this instance I would punish the child for not asking. He is aware he needs to go. Choosing to not go is different than not knowing and having an accident.

Peeing in the car seat or in his clothes is damaging to property. Your vehicle will smell like pee and pooh the rest of the time you have it and even if you clean it and sell it those people who buy it will open the doors when it's hot outside and gag from the stench of pee and pooh.

So punishing him might be the only way to get him to go on his own.

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