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linda524's avatar

My son is 7 will be 8 in 5 months. He pees himself daily at home or school.

Asked by linda524 (33 points ) October 1st, 2012

He does not seem to have a problem at night as long as i cut off his drinking in time for him to empty his bladder before bedtime. He says that he pees himself on purpose and that it doesn’tt bother him to be wet or that he is wet. He says that he goes in his pants just because he doesnt want to go to the bathroom. He does this whether he is doing something fun or classroom work. I’ve punished him, spanked him and he still doesn’t care. He does this constantly. He doesn’t even care enough to change. He just walks around wet until he dries naturally. He says this is not an urgent need and the he knows what he is doing and that sometimes it happens because he has tried to hold his bladder too long. Please help me!!!!

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34 Answers

Coloma's avatar

I think this issue needs immediate, professional attention.
It seems it is behavioral issue and I would strongly advise having him seen by a family therapist. If he was 5 or under I might not be as concerned, but at almost 8, clearly, he needs some sort of evaluation, both physical and mental. Best wishes.

gailcalled's avatar

Are there other behavioral issues besides this? This sounds serious enough to perhaps have a school counsellor (one trained in dealing with 7 year olds) talk to him.

Punishing (and most particularly spanking) is not the answer. You need to discover root causes.

The other children are not put off by the smell of dried urine? They are not shunning him or teasing him?

^^^I’m with Coloma.

janbb's avatar

i would recommend counseling too. Spanking is clearly not the answer although I understand your frustration with him.

linda524's avatar

When I tell him I will put a diaper on him. He cries and tells me he doesn’t want to wear one. I tell him to use the potty like a big boy. He doesn’t listen to me.

josie's avatar

Edit. Never mind. Just take him to a shrink.

_Whitetigress's avatar

Take any hobbies away for a whole week? Do hourly check ups with him if possible.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

It sounds like he needs some serious counseling. Urinating on oneself is not normal. At all. Are there perhaps other issues at home that you’re not mentioning? Issues at school? Something is going on.

linda524's avatar

I have a feeling that one of his friends who lives around the corner from us. He put him up to it. He started doing this around the time they met.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I think there’s more going on here than a friend. No one likes being wet like that.

YARNLADY's avatar

I agree with the above – see a family counselor.

Kardamom's avatar

I think you should first have your boy evaluated by his pediatrician, and then you should discuss potential counseling options with him/her. This is not normal behavior for a child this age. Some kids still wet the bed at that age, and it is usually a physical problem, but since your child seems to be doing it and not feel any embarrassment about it, suggests that there is something else going on. Possible sexual abuse from the other child that you mentioned (or someone in that household) or maybe there’s something awful going on in the bathroom at school, maybe a bully or worse.

Do NOT punish your child, that will scar him for life. There is clearly something wrong going on here.

janbb's avatar

I was just typing you might want to start with his pediatrician and I see that @Kardamom has suggested that too. This needs attention.

gailcalled's avatar

Threats of humiliation (like insisting he wear a diaper) and making him cry will make things worse.

No 7, almost 8 year-old will use “potty” language. Children that age (third grade) go to the toilet.

linda524's avatar

thanks for your help

Earthgirl's avatar

What @Kardamom said seems spot on. I think this behavior may be a cry for help. He is dealing with some issue possibly that is overwhelming him.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Definately talk to someone for some help with this. I had a relative that did something similar. She developed full fledged aneroxia as a teen and almost died. It was so so close. She has her stuff together now and she’s pursuing a good career, but it would have been a lot easier if her mother had got help early on.

Bellatrix's avatar

Ditto see a counsellor. This young man is trying to communicate something but perhaps doesn’t have the maturity to understand or explain what it is. You and he need help with this.

Kardamom's avatar

I was trying to research this a little bit and came upon this Discussion which sounds similar, although most of the kids on this discussion involve defecations more so than urination, but read all of the responses, I think you will gain some insight.

Encopresis and Enurisis are 2 things that might be contributing to this, in addition to a potential abusive situation. Some of the parents said that extreme anxiety, due to other problems in the home (maybe an ugly divorce or having a parent that is mentally abusive, as opposed to sexually abusive) even extreme cases of ADD or Asperger’s syndrome might be factors.

creative1's avatar

I would also advise seeing a have him see a child therapist as well but just so he’s not walking around with pee in his pants I would suggest getting him pull-ups or even Good Nights which is able to hold more pee until you get this under control.

SuperMouse's avatar

Please take all of the great advice above and get the little guy to a pediatrician then a therapist. There is more here than meets the eye. He does not need punishment or shaming.

wundayatta's avatar

My feeling is that he is trying to get your attention. There are many things that might cause a child to seek attention in this way. If a parent is working all the time and never home, in addition to being a single parent, and the kid is a latchkey kid, this might happen.

If a child feels alone and lonely, then he could look for ways to get his parent’s attention. If he can’t get attention with positive ways, he might try negative ways of getting attention. So the peeing. It drives a parent crazy. Most parents will feel shame that their kid pees himself at school. So they might spank him or try to shame him.

But that plays right into his goal. He doesn’t care whether the attention is negative or positive, so long as his parent is paying attention. Spanking and shaming, in this case, could be what he wants in some form. Of course, he doesn’t really want to be shamed, but he may want parental attention or any attention more than he wants anything else.

If you see a family therapist, you may be able to get some insight into your son’s psychology. You may learn different ways of parenting that will help with this problem. But this is a serious thing and it is good that you are asking for help.

I hope you will stop spanking and stop thinking about ways to shame him into behaving well. They clearly don’t work. They shouldn’t work. They don’t work with healthy kids, except to make them feel bad about themselves and potentially give them problems later on in life. In any case, there are other ways to discipline children that don’t involve corporal punishment, so why not use the less aggressive and more effective way?

How do you discipline kids without aggression? Well, partly you need training. Partly it is philosophy. Partly it is knowledge about how kids work. The easiest way to get this knowledge is through a therapist, but you can research it yourself. There’s a lot involved, but it is worth learning.

JLeslie's avatar

I agree with @wundayatta.

DWW25921's avatar

Typical boy. If you have him wear pullups until he stops the embarrassment may curb this behavior.

gailcalled's avatar

@DWW25921: I have to respectfully strongly disagree with you. Embarrassing a seven-year old who is clearly in distress is a cruel and destructive suggestion. Typical boys of that age do not urinate daily in class and exhibit the ancillary behavior his mother describes.

DWW25921's avatar

@gailcalled I should have mentioned that only him and his mother would be the ones that know. I would certainly never advocate any sort of peer awareness of the issue. In fact, if anything it would hide it well. I can see where you would think I was going there though as my answer was rather abrupt.

Do you think it’s a way of getting attention or the result of some sort of abuse? It could be nerves as well. Sometimes it’s as simple as changing from briefs to boxers. There were lots of kids in my family…

gailcalled's avatar

As all of the others have said, I feel that this child and his mother need to see his pediatrician first and then a therapist. I cannot speculate as to causality. I am not there and I am not trained.

JLeslie's avatar

@gailcalled I would say straight to a therapist. How can it be a physical problem if he can actually get through the night without wetting himself?

gailcalled's avatar

That’s a question for his pediatrician., not me. Bladder and bowel control are complicated issues. HIs PCP can also recommend a suitable therapist.

gorillapaws's avatar

I’ve heard this can be a symptom of sexual abuse. I would take this very seriously until you can be certain that this isn’t the source of the problem. Remember that sexual predators are usually the charming and charismatic guys who you would never suspect, not necessarily the creepy dude—it could be someone you trust completely (relative, neighbor, teacher, etc.). I’m not saying for sure there’s abuse going on, but the alarm bells are ringing and you should proceed with caution until you get to the bottom of this. Get professional help for him, and keep him safe. Best wishes, I hope it turns out to be something benign that gets sorted out quickly.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
Judi's avatar

You said it started when he met the neighbor kid. Are there adults in the other kids family that could be abusing your son? This is the type of behavior a child sometimes does when they want to build a barrier around themself. Child sexual abuse is more rampant than most realize. You need to get him to a counselor he trusts who can help him reveal why he finds a need to be repulsive.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Judi My exact thought. He’s peeing on himself to make him less attractive to the abuser.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@linda524 Someone is messing with him. They’re too big for him to defend himself so he’s resorting to the only thing he can do.

Judi's avatar

Please come back and update us after you see a doctor or counselor!!

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