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My 4 Year Old Pees on Herself Constantly (She knows what she is doing)
lsamson82 posted:
My youngest daughter just made four in May. She has been fully potty trained since the age of 3 almost. Lately for the past couple months I have noticed she has been having accidents regularly sometimes. At one point it was just her losing track and focus about going to the bathroom because she would be playing. Tonight I watched her closely and the results I got just threw me completely off.

She was eating and I asked her if she had to go to the bathroom and responded no. So about 10 minutes later she was like she has to go to the bathroom son I told her to go in the bathroom and use it. She got up and ran out the kitchen. When i got up to look and see if she was in the bathroom which was right after she got up she wasn't/ She had got up and ran into her bedroom and peed on herself instead of going in the bathroom which is right next to her room. I took her to the doctor about this peeing problem months ago and they told me there was nothing wrong with her system or anything like that.

So I take it she is just being lazy as usual. The thing that is bugging me the most is that she starts preschool in the fall. If she is constantly having accidents on purpose now then what am I going to do in a couple months when school starts? She knows when she has had a accident because she will go in her room and change her wet underwear and clothes and put something else on. Once she does this she hides the wet clothes and acts like nothing has even happened. When I ask her about her clothes she will say she doesn't know. Once I go looking for them I find them and she acts like nothing has even happened.

Me and her dad don't know what to do about this situation. This has been going on back and forth for a couple months and it's really starting to bother me. I don't know what else to do.

Any Ideas?
4Watermonkeys responded:
I definitely wouldn't call it being lazy. The AAP doesn't even recommend pushing the concept of potty-training until around the age of 4 - that does not mean that a child has to be fully potty-trained by that age, simply that you start working on it around that time.

Physically and mentally, she just may not be ready yet. Since she was potty-trained prior to this, there's three possibilities (among many!) that come to mind. 1) Development in children isn't a constant upward level - sometimes it's one step forward and two steps back, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. For example, while the brain is working on one developmental area such as fine motor skills or language, it will back off in another area (like being potty-trained). This is typical up until age seven. 2) I get the impression that she knows she needs to go and knows that peeing her pants is "bad" since she's attempting to hide the issue of wet pants. If she's getting feedback that involves words such as "lazy", then there's likely some shame-based thinking going on which isn't beneficial to her. Frustration is tough, especially for young kids that haven't developed a variety of coping techniques yet or the insight to handle such emotions. 3) Besides frustration, stress can play a big role in potty-training making it a behavioral issue. Four years old is definitely old enough for her to have an open, non-confrontational, conversation with you regarding what's going on - keep it light and use humor. We tend to underestimate kids' ability to simply tell us why they do what they do!

Personally, I would give her space, keep it positive, and when you notice her getting frustrated or displaying shame-based behaviors such as hiding the wet undies, swoop in and give her the positive reinforcement she needs right now.

Good luck!
MrsWhiteCastle responded:
The only other thing I can think of is that she may be constipated. DD (who is now 5) has accidents, and it is usually because she is constipated and really can't control it. We have been working on what your daughter is already doing -- changing her clothes without being told. It is a good thing that she is cleaning up after herself when it does happen.

I know how frustrating it can be when they have accidents, especially on a regular basis. Try to not get angry.

When my DD was having a lot of accidents, I would get the timer out and set it for every hour or so. When the timer went off, she would have to go try and go, no matter what she was doing. If you think she is really doing it because she is lazy, maybe set the timer for an annoying time, like every 40 minutes. Not exactly a punishment, but she may remember the next day that it's better to go when you have to, rather than waiting too long. This worked for us because DD would still have accidents within the 40 minutes. That's when I figured out that there was an underlying medical problem, rather than her just being lazy.

I know how frustrating it can be right now. The good news is that they will eventually outgrow it. Hang in there!
Emily (5) Elizabeth (3)

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