or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › Kid Question
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Kid Question

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
I have posted this on other boards on child raising websites and gotten no responses and I thought if you all are as helpful with kids as you are with cats, I may get some new ideas.

My son, who will be 7 in April, is still having accidents in his pants. This has been an ongoing thing since he has been out of diapers. I didnt actually potty train my kids, I let them do it at their own pace with reinforcement and rewards. I have no problems with my youngest, who will be 5 in June, but I am at my wits end with my oldest. He will do very well for about 3 months then relapses into an accident or two--sometimes more each day. I have taken him to the doctor and they cant find anything physically wrong with him. They only suggest that I find a new reward/discipline system. After 4 years, Im a bit out of creative ideas. I have tried money, candy, small toys, stickers, a calendar to keep track of his going to the bathroom with rewards at the end of the week, saying things like "great job", "Im proud of you", "what a big boy you are"..for discipline I have sent to bed early, taken away privileges such as: gameboy, playstation, tv, staying inside for the day. I hate to punish him for accidents, I dont find it to be useful. Nothing seems to work, even if I change them from day to day. Ive tried talking to him about it and what the problem is and get "I dont know" and "nothing" in response. What am I doing wrong???Any new ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 39
I remember when my stepmom was potty training my half brother she used this video tape, I don't remember what it was called, but something about poop. Lol, he loved it since that was his favorite word, and she also gave rewards as presents, all wrapped up and special, maybe also have him wash his own clothes when he has an accident? He might decided he doesn't want to do that, and maybe try harder? I don't know, just a suggestion!
post #3 of 39
Thread Starter 
I tried having him wash his own clothes, but then I got worried that he would get some sort of bacterial infection from it. Being a boy he forever has cuts and scrapes on his hands (and everywhere else too lol) I will look into this video though. I remember watching something like that with kids when I worked in a daycare center.
post #4 of 39
I wonder if there are any medical conditions that could cause this? Have you tried discussing this problem with your son's doctor?
post #5 of 39
Thread Starter 
Yes, and I was told there was nothing physically wrong with him and to find a new reward/discipline system for him
post #6 of 39
How did it work letting him wash his own clothes ? That what I would do . You always can over look what he is really doing and when he is done let him wash his hands with antibacterial soap (sp) . He will be ok . We mothers always worry to much , I know . But with boys it take longer some times .
A friend of mine had a son and did the same thing with 7 years of ages . He did not even mind washing his own clothes . She was on the end of the rope . But then he stoped at 8 years of ages all by himself . Go figure .
post #7 of 39
My younger sister was out of diapers fairly early, and everything went very well. But some time later (I think she was about 4 by then) she started having those accidents. There was nothing physically wrong with her, she usually was just to busy playing to come in and pee, or kept it to long and then ran to the bathroom, but to late.
I remember my mum trying all kinds of reward things, stickers, little presents etc...but nothing seemed to work for the long run, only for a while at the time. I´ll ask her tomorrow what finally worked, but I think it finally was just time and this stopped.

I hope you will find the magic trick! Good luck!
post #8 of 39
Thread Starter 
How did it work letting him wash his own clothes ?
Washing his own clothes didnt phase him a bit, he actually liked doing it for whatever reason that may be. There isnt much that does bother him really which is why I have such a hard time with him lol. I know what you mean about worrying God knows I do it plenty. I am scared to death he will do it at school, especially since next year he will be in all day. I dont know, maybe that would shift him into gear. Ack...its so frustrating
post #9 of 39
First let me state my credentials, before you take my post in the wrong tone. I am a mom of 2, but I own my own daycare ( family daycare) and deal w/ potty training OFTEN. I am trained for this.

Please, please, please do not punish him in any way, shape or form for accidents. Its absolutely incorrect to do so, and if your pediatrician tells you that its ok, then I highly suggest you find yourself a new doctor.

Children up until the age of 9, yes I said 9, can have accidents and its normal. There may be nothing more to it other than not being 'physically' mature, meaning that his bladder/colon is not yet triggering his brain on a regular basis.

You need to seek out a specialist in behaviour as well, to be sure he isn't doing it subconscienciously just for attention. You may not even realize it, but he may be doing this just to get a rise.

PM me at any time for more suggestions. And please do not punish him. It really will not give you the results you want.
post #10 of 39
Thread Starter 
PM me at any time for more suggestions. And please do not punish him. It really will not give you the results you want.
I will PM you. I have talked to everyone (including a few friends that are pediatricians and family doctors) about this and always get the same answer...take away a privilege for a day. Like I said before, I dont think it does any good, and it also seems wrong to me to do anything to him about it. Anyways, I will PM you, I'm open for any and all suggestions to solve this.
post #11 of 39
The number one cause in my opinion is pressure. If he's got any sort of pressure to stop doing it, he's going to have a harder time stopping. It is possible that he's just not ready yet. Some children take longer than others to 'grow out' of certain habits. I recommend not pushing him about it. By now he knows he shouldnt be doing it. Once the pressure is gone and he understands you are there for him to help him and he's ready he should stop. I wish you luck and let us know if there are any more problems.
post #12 of 39
I think Daniela hit on a good point that you haven't mentioned that you have looked into. It's very possible that there is something going on psychologically and this is manefesting itself in accidents. Does this happen in public or just at home? Has this happened when you aren't around, or only when you are there? (I'm not imply that it's something that you are doing, but perhaps it may point to the attention seeking that Daniela brought up.) Have you tried taking him to a councelor or psychiatrist?
post #13 of 39
Thread Starter 
He does this at home, at my mom's house, at his dad's house and sometimes while we are out shopping. I have had him in counselling when this first started but they could never link a cause. I would even leave the room so if he was having a problem with me or something I was doing, he could speak freely without the fear of hurting my feelings and he simply told the counsellor that he didn't know why he always has to use the potty. The counsellor that we were seeing said that he is just "acting out" and he would grow out of it. I have never talked down to him or discouraged him in any way. I would take away what he was doing at the time he had an accident and tell him that he needed to go try to use the bathroom. I have even stood outside the door (I'm not allowed inside) while he was going. Sometimes he will go and sometimes he will sit in there and play with the toilet paper and never go. Then later that day hes went again in his pants.

My ex sister in law suggested he could be jealous because of his brother being born, but would that carry out for 5 years?

I am sure I have made many mistakes in raising him but if he would just tell me what I have done or havent done that is causing him to do this I could fix it. I always stress to both of my boys if I dont know whats broke, I cant fix it and I always encourage them to speak up if they have a problem with anything. If I am not spending enough time with him, I can spend more that has never been an issue with me at all. The only time he isnt with me is when one of us is in school or he is at his dad's for the day (he refuses to stay the night). I'm not overly controlling with them. We have 5 rules that are unbendable: no physical fighting, no lying, no stealing, no name calling and no harassing the cats, the rest is usually negotiable. I want to help him somehow but I am at a total loss.
post #14 of 39
I too think that Dtolle is correct!! I also Have years of experiance potty trianing. ANd punishment never helps the situation only makes the child feel bad. I think that your best bet would be to take him to another Dr. Because Like some here said maybe that his Bladder/Colon aren't making the right conections just yet. Nad if so they have medications for that Both my SO and my Brother were on these meds for the same reason. They helped them out TREMENDOUSLY!!!! Also Stress can cause chhildren of all ages to not be able to control themselves. Has he done this since he first became potty trained? or is it something that started all the sudden?
post #15 of 39
Thread Starter 
I have been up all night trying to think of a cause. I cant think of anything that my little guy would be stressed about unless its alot of little things. I am going to make an appointment with the doctor tomorrow morning, there are 6 doctors in the office so we are going to try a new one and see what they say. This has been happening off and on since he was potty trained, but I cant find a breaking point between accidents while potty training and accidents after. I have a notebook that I keep track of all this and was looking at it last night too. Its very hard to distinguish between when I considered him potty trained, there is about a 6 month break and then its got a pretty distinct pattern after that, every two and a half months almost to the day.

Rest assured, I do NOT plan on punishing him for this ever again even if the doctor suggests I do.
post #16 of 39
Another question I would ask: does he have accidents at school? Are these accidents only involving peeing in his pants? I do think another trip to a different doctor is in order, as well.
post #17 of 39
My sons 6 and he went through the same thing, we used goodnight pants on him and just kept asking him gotta go potty alot until it clicked in his brain he has to go, sometimes the blatter and the brain nerves don't work correctly and trigger at wrong times, like Jade would be playing outside and he would have a accident then think he has to go potty. it's a chemical problem in the brain when they hit a certain age. but the good night pants are great not to expensive and there thin like underware but still protect the clothes really well. also have u had the "we go potty cus" talk. My sisters son was doing cus he thought he'd get attention and me and her tag teamed him on why a human goes potty (talk about getting the ewwy stuff out of ur body) and he seemed to really take a interest in getting the ewwy stuff out and into a toilet...but each kid is diffrent just my personal experinces good luck with it tho..
post #18 of 39
According to some research I read, one suggestion is to make him go on a schedule, every 2 hours i.e., so his body and brain get their signals together.
post #19 of 39
Thread Starter 
Another question I would ask: does he have accidents at school? Are these accidents only involving peeing in his pants? I do think another trip to a different doctor is in order, as well.
He has never done this at school. He went thru 3 years of preschool and has started kindergarten this year. No, it is usually him pooping his pants. When he has wet his pants he doesnt even notice it. Its not alot either, just a small wet spot on his pants and a small bit of poop too both are relative in size to a baseball? However, he doesnt run to the bathroom and take care of it. He will go on as if there is nothing wrong at all until I see it or someone else does. I asked him this morning if he had went to poop in the potty and he said no he didnt need to and I told him to try and see what happens and he did need to go afterall. He was surprised so I wonder if it is that he doesnt realize he needs to go until its too late but doesnt seem to be aware that its there.

we used goodnight pants on him and just kept asking him gotta go potty alot until it clicked in his brain he has to go
I have used them and when I asked if he needed to go potty I was hit with "Nope mom I already went--these pants are cool they dont even leak" I just stood there looking at him with my mouth hanging open. I couldnt decide whether to laugh or cry about that one so we didnt use them anymore lol.
post #20 of 39

I guess I am a bit confused. Is he peeing, pooping, or both? I found this article online, which seems to have some good suggestions.
post #21 of 39
Thread Starter 
Thank you for this..I am going to print and take it to the doctor's office tomorrow.
post #22 of 39
Abby, there are a couple of things you have posted that might give you a clue as to what's going on. The first is that you mentioned his dad's house. From this, I'll assume you and his dad are separated/divorced. Are there interactions between you and his dad that may make Mr nearly 7 feel anxious, scared etc? Kids are very perceptive and he may be picking up on your body language, what you don't say or your tone with each other. Does he stay with his dad on a regular basis eg. on weekends, every second weekend etc? Have you asked him why he won't sleep the night at his dad's house? Is there something there that's making him scared or anxious?

Another thing is, you said he has never had an accident at school. Sit down and really think about what it is about school that is different. Is it because things are very ordered? Is it because his mind is busy but in short bursts? Is it because others are going to the toilet too? Is it because of what he eats or drinks at school? Do the toilets everywhere but school have something like scary/too high/seat too big etc. that the school toilets don't have? Are they those cute little ones for smaller kids?

Something that can really make a child afraid of the toilet is constipation. He will hold on as long as he can because it hurts to go and then, of course, it makes him more constipated. Because he's holding on, he doesn't wee either, so he gets a really full bladder too.

You also said that his accidents happen every 2 and a half months, almost to the day. This makes me think that it really is something external that is happening. Can you look back and see what has happened in the 1-2 weeks before you notice his accidents again? You'll have to be a good detective with this one. Do you go to a certain park regularily? Do you get your car/house cleaned? Do you go to the zoo/pool/playground/restaurant every couple of months? What you're looking for here is a place that he comes into contact with a specific food/chemical/plant/drink about every 2 months or so.

My last point isn't a nice thing to think about but must be explored as an option. Is there anyone who may be harming your son? I can't go into too much detail here but hopefully you'll understand what I'm getting at. PM me if you need to about this.

Good luck with finding a solution, he sounds like a lovely boy.
post #23 of 39
Thread Starter 
You certainly have thought of somethings I havent..His father and I are great as friends and terrible at living together. I dont think we have fought or exhanged words one time since we have been separated (7 years) We broke up when I was pregnant. He goes to his dads every other weekend from 10am to 7pm. His father and I have agreed to this because the one time he did want to spend the night I ended up picking him up at midnight because he demanded to go home. There isnt anything that makes him scared that I know of. He has never acted like he didnt want to go, unless he hears that I am going to be doing something while he is gone and then he will put up a bit of a pout that hes not included.

I've never considered school being an issue. He's only there for afternoons this year. I assumed he never did this at school because it would embarrass him in front of his friends. I will try to ask him about this in the next few days. I dont want to wear him out on the subject to where everytime I try to talk to him about it he tunes me out.

We dont really have any regular activities. We do alot at home together and we go to my parents so the boys can ride their 4 wheelers all the time when its warm enough. In the summer we go to the park every few days and to the pool on the weekends when we are in town.

Your last point is every parents worst nitemare. Even though he only goes to places and people I know and trust, I never let my guard down about that. That tends to raise its ugly head when you least expect it. I have always been way over the top about my children's safety but I dont think you can ever be too cautious.

And last but most important, he IS a lovely boy, both him and his brother are the greatest of the greatest to me. No matter what they do, that will never ever change. Like I told him this morning when we were talking about this, we have hit a slump, but we will pull out of this and conquer it like all the rest of the challenges weve encountered since we have been together. It will all work out, it always does. I may be bald and half insane, but we will get through it
post #24 of 39
Wow! Everyone's posts are truly excellent! As a clinical psychologist who works with children, I support everything that has been written by our very smart members. I strongly agree with everyone who said not to use punishment. The last thing you want is for your son to equate pottying with being in trouble.

Also, boys are much slower than girls at becomming fully potty trained. It is not unusual to see 12 year old boys who still wet the bed. However, daytime pee and poop problems are much less common, though at your son's age it is not a rarety at all.

As long as the physicians have found nothing wrong physically, the fact that he only does this at home suggests to me that he has a combination of a weak "I need to potty" signal AND some stressors that are leading to this problem. In general, when we see encopresis (poop problems) it is the child's symbolic way of saying that there is something $hitty about his life.

So, the first thing to do is to figure out what he is unhappy about. Is he an anxious/nervous child? Does he get sad often? Does he look forward to visiting his dad? Does he sleep in his own bed without fear? Does he feel like he has to protect you by being happy or by keeping you happy? How much one-on-one time do you two spend together...does HE feel like he gets enough undivided attention from you? How are his relationships with his peers? Are they nice to him or does he get picked on? Does he have a few good friends or is he a loner? etc...

Second, you need to figure out whether there are any reinforcers for these accidents. In almost all boys with encopresis I have worked with, the time they got the most undivided, one-on-one attention from the parents was when the boys had a big, smushed-into-the-underware poop that needed to be cleaned. Once we made sure that the parents no longer helped the child clean his bottom or his clothes in any way, AND spent a good 10 minutes of undivided attention doing whatever non-violent game the child wanted to play on clean-bottom days, most of the problems disappeared. Note that the child gets this special "I get to chose the game" time only if he has pooped in the toilet (and you witness the results) and his underware is completely clean (not even any skid marks). (Of course, always spend lots of time with the child, but only give him his special "I get to chose" time when he is clean and poops in the toilet.)

Third, take a look at your life. Very often, the parents of kids with encopresis are dealing with a great deal of stress in their own lives. They are often struggling with depression for example, or perhaps anxiety problems or even substance abuse problems. This certainly is not always the case, but children are excellent barometers of how their parents are doing. So, he may be picking up on stress that you are experiencing. Perhaps not...but, it is worth thinking about.

Finally, make sure his diet is healthy. Feed him lots of fiber, vegetables, and fruit (except bananas which are constipating). Cut down on the junk food. By retraining his colon (with healthy high-fiber food) and retraining his sphincter with the above suggestions, I think you will find success.
post #25 of 39
Thread Starter 
So, the first thing to do is to figure out what he is unhappy about. Is he an anxious/nervous child? Does he get sad often? Does he look forward to visiting his dad? Does he sleep in his own bed without fear? Does he feel like he has to protect you by being happy or by keeping you happy? How much one-on-one time do you two spend together...does HE feel like he gets enough undivided attention from you? How are his relationships with his peers? Are they nice to him or does he get picked on? Does he have a few good friends or is he a loner? etc...
He is a "fly by the seat of his pants" child. Totally fearless and hits new things head on with no trouble at all. He is very seldom sad-the last time he was sad was when the neighbor dogs killed the cats at my moms house (appx 2-3 months ago or so?) He does NOT sleep well and never has. He only started sleeping through the nite when we moved into the house we have now. He was always sick as a baby and spent the first year almost continuiously on antibiotics for ear infections. Hes also very small--hes about the size of an average 4 year old. I dont think he feels he has to keep me happy, I stay pretty happy all the time, but I cant work the buttons in his little head. He always feels like he needs to take care of someone or something and hes very very caring towards everyone. He has alot of friends at school but never wants to go to their house.

He would rather be with me all the time except when he goes to his dads house. He is always afraid of something happening to me and what would happen if something did happen to me. I was extremely ill with my youngest and spent the better part of my pregnancy in the hospital. He wasnt very old at the time 16 months to 20 months old and I think that has stuck with him too.

He and his brother and I were playing the other day and they finally asked me "Mom, dont you have anything else to do but play with us?" I told them I could find something else to do if they wanted to play alone for awhile. My youngest piped in with "well, we get tired of having to play with you too sometimes." LOL

I do know I dont live a stress free or even low stress life. I have a chronic illness and have been treated off and on for depression--nothing in the last year so thats a good thing.

I didnt know that bananas are constipating!!!! They eat every bit of 3 bunches of bananas a week. But that makes sense because they are included in the BRAT diet. They eat alot of apples, oranges and grapefruit and salad and are allowed a very very limited amount of junkfood, especially if it contains sugar because they become wall climbers.

I still plan to make a doctors appt tomorrow and take the print out of the website Deb linked me with. Once again, you have all managed to offer me some useful information. I really appreciate it, you dont know how much. Last nite when I posted this I thought there was no light at the end of the tunnel on this one, but the relief I feel now is unbelievable-Ive got somewhere to go from here now. I agree that all the posts have been extremely helpful and well appreciated. Thank you thank you thank you..kisses to you all. I will let you know what the dr says.
post #26 of 39
Thread Starter 
I have an appointment at 9am Wednesday. The doctor's office got a bit huffy sounding on the phone with me over even making the appointment because they have had an outburst of chicken pox. So, I explained in great detail what the problem was and mentioned the article that I had printed and nicely demanded that I get an appointment this week. Then I was asked why I waited so long and why now I felt this was urgent and I told them I have had lots of help and have been steered in a new direction on this and I want to speak to a doctor about this. Sheesh, would have been easier to book myself into the state hospital
post #27 of 39
My god, am I happy you posted here. I would have never thought to post this problem on a cat site, but why not???

I have the same problem with my almost 6 year old step-son. The only difference physically is that he never pees, it's just the #2's.

I'm ashamed to say that it's definatly our fault. He does the majority of it when he's with my husband and I (every weekend) and now I know why. he was being given time-outs every time he made this mistake.

Also, for years, his mother and my hub were in a terrible way against eachother. They've recently put their differences aside, finally, and we are all good friends at this point. She married a wonderful man whom my husband loves and I really think she's a great mom and we talk almost daily. I think we really have a good thing going now, but he is still pooping in his pants (and I mean a full load).

He's almost taken a humourous attitude twords it. When we yell or give him a time-out, he almost has a smirk (I just noticed this one last week). I talked to his mom about it and we weren't sure what to do. Little stinker is playing us like a card!!

Anyways, thanks for asking the question.....and thanks for everyone's answers. You helped a few people out on this post.

post #28 of 39
Thread Starter 
I would have never thought to post this problem on a cat site, but why not???
They have helped me out on a few other issues with my cats and all worked very well..I thought surely these people are moms too and would have some advice on this I am so glad I did post this and I am glad that you found it helpful as well. This site is great and I cant compliment enough on the help Ive had with this and other problems with my furry kids too!!
post #29 of 39
I don't have any additional advice, but wanted to say thank you to lotsocats for posting! She is BY FAR the most qualified of all of us 'normal' people So thank you Renae!!!

I really hope you find the answer to your question. I'd be willing to be money though, that as soon enough he will doing fine! Please keep us posted on your situation, and good luck!
post #30 of 39
You mentioned he does this at your house and his dad's house, so I'm assuming the 2 of you aren't together. Maybe that has something to do with it and he's just not willing to talk about it, or he's too young to express his feelings. Just a thought.
I have heard many times that a lot of boys take longer to be fully trained. I have 2 girls and they were each different. My first was very easy and once she was trained there were no accidents. My second would wet the bed many nights until the age of 8 or so and a homeopathic remedy put an end to that, which was only given a 50/50 chance of helping. My doctor thought that her bladder might just be too small to hold it all night, like one of his kids, but apparantly not since she doesn't do it any more. I know that's different than what your son is doing, but I do hope you can resolve it.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: The Cat Lounge
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › Kid Question