General chatter - frustrated with my 7 year old son and need advice!!!




zephyr524
04-10-2010, 09:42 PM
So my son is 7 and in first grade. We realized maybe about a month ago that he has been peeing in his pants. I'm not sure how to handle this with him. Do I punish him for not making it to the bathroom, make him go once every hour, use positive reinforcement when he does make it to the bathroom, etc? I have made a doctor appt for him to discuss this issue with his doc but I'm at my witts end. I know that kids can regress when a big change happens at home like a move, divorce, new baby.. but none of that has happened at our home and even if it did I'm not sure a 7 year old should be responding in that kind of way.

I've tried asking why he isn't going pee in the toilet and all he says is he doesn't make it or that he waits until the last minute and sometimes he even tells me that he didn't know until the last minute that he had to go.

Does anybody have any experience in a situation like this? Any advice?!?


eclipse
04-10-2010, 09:49 PM
I think getting into the doctor ASAP is a good idea. This is a new thing for him, so there could be something medical going on (like a urinary tract infection or something) - especially if he's not knowing he has to pee until it's too late. I know when I've had UTIs, I've had issues with having a sudden urge to go and barely made it. There could also be something emotional going on. (Sometimes wetting is linked to things like sexual abuse. I'm NOT saying that to scare you, just putting it out there. If you guys haven't had that conversation yet, this might be a good time, especially in the context of seeing the doctor - only parents and doctors should be looking/touching this part of the body, etc. Odds are that's not it, but it's not something you'd want to miss if it is) Is he wetting at night, or just during the day?

Whatever you do, I wouldn't punish for this, even if you can't find a medical explaination. I'd stick with positive reinforcement, lots of reminders, extra trips to the bathroom, etc. If he has an accident, don't make a big deal about it, even if you're mad on the inside. Just remind him to go clean up, change his clothes, etc.

Asherdoodles87
04-10-2010, 09:57 PM
I recently read in my child psychology book about children bed wetting or urinating in clothes. Not sure how severe your son's case is, but this what the DSM IV has to say:

Enuresis
Repeated voiding of urine into bed or clothes (whether involuntary or intentional)
The behavior is clinically significant by either a frequency of twice a week for at least 3 consecutive months or the presence of clinically distress or impairment in social, academic, or other important areas of functioning.
Chronological age is at least 5 years.
The behavior is not due exclusively to the direct physiological effect of a substance or general medical condition.
Specific type: Nocturnal only, diurnal only, nocturnal and diurnal

Anyway, there are different treatments. Could be medical, could be psychological... I would get him to doctor.


angelskeep
04-10-2010, 09:59 PM
DEFINITELY DO NOT PUNISH HIM! He is still a little boy and is probably already scared of being unable to control his bodily functions. See what the doc says and go from there.

*HUGS* to you.

Barb

ValRock
04-10-2010, 10:02 PM
Don't punish him! This happened with my 5 year old about a year ago and it turns out he had a UTI! Get your son to the doctor ASAP!

zephyr524
04-10-2010, 10:12 PM
Thank you for all the quick responses!! He isn't wetting the bed that we know off and he even had an accident once at school a few weeks ago. We have had the talk many times that the only people that should be looking at his private parts are either me or his daddy and the doctor. I think he completely understands that..

I've got an appt in a little over a week for him and think I may just call on Monday to see if I can get him in this week sometime instead. I'm just so frustrated with this and mostly for the fact that I don't know what's going on.

Viviane
04-10-2010, 11:05 PM
You should have him checked for diabetes. Seriously. A friend of mine's little girl starting peeing her pants in second grade all of a sudden and then one day passed out and was rushed to the hospital. Her blood sugar was sky high and she was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. Do you know anyone with diabetes that has a meter you could use? It's really easy to do.

Have you noticed any excessive thirst/hunger, disorientation after meals, a sweet smell on his breath (like fruit or alcohol), diarrhea without apparent cause?

*Definitely not trying to worry you, but it can be pretty dangerous to have a child with undiagnosed diabetes and I was just thinking if you knew someone with a meter, it might give you a little peace of mind to check before you can get in to the doctor. Good luck!

bargoo
04-10-2010, 11:37 PM
Could he be bashful about raising his hand signfying he needs to go ?

kaplods
04-11-2010, 01:07 AM
Because he's been through "potty training" it's far more likely that there's a physiological component and it should be treated as you would treat an adult with the problem - compassionately and practically.

I think UI in children is overattributed to emotional stress. Even when it's stress-related, there's often a physical component. If he's nervous or upset for another reason, or if he has UTI infection, diabetes, or even migraine headaches or stomach aches, it can make him less aware of having to go "until it's too late."

6 - 8 is also the age when kids start having "big fears." They start to realize the world is not entirely a safe place, and have the emotional and cognitive ability to imagine all sorts of horrible events (both those that could happen, and those that are entirely fantastical - children don't just believe there are monsters in their closets and under their beds, they KNOW they're there). Children can come up with "what if....." scenarios that would make a diehard horror writer wet his pants.

Even when it's "emotional" it's rarely intentional. Rather, stress can make even an adult more susceptible to UI - it's a physiological response. You'd be surprised at how many adults lose bladder function when severely stressed or suddenly frightened or startled. It's a physiological defensive reflex to prepare for fight or flight (essentially, voiding the bladder and bowel "lightens the load" for running).

In the meantime, I'd treat it as you would if YOU had the problem (a lot of adults do). If you found yourself with LBL or UI (light bladder leakage, or urinary incontinence), would punishment help? Would you go to the doctor to see what's going on? What steps would you take to prevent it from happening and minimizing the inconvenience and embarassment should it happen.


I know I have LBL now that I'm older (the sterotypical "pee when I laugh"). I don't have to use Depends, or even the Poise and other LBL pads, but I do use panty liners, and if I'm going to be away from home overnight or longer, I use thicker pads and take extra panties, in case I need more frequent changing.


If this is a frequent problem for him, I'd consider one of the products on the market, and explaining that it's a bit embarassing, but there's no shame in having the problem (I'd even tell him that adults sometimes do too, and show him the adult products to prove it). He's old enough to be embarassed, and he probably is (I suspect that if it happened in class, he's already been teased about it - or he's seen other kids teased, so you don't have to do anything to make him more ashamed of it, or more motivated to prevent it if he can).

zephyr524
04-11-2010, 09:05 AM
You should have him checked for diabetes. Seriously. A friend of mine's little girl starting peeing her pants in second grade all of a sudden and then one day passed out and was rushed to the hospital. Her blood sugar was sky high and she was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. Do you know anyone with diabetes that has a meter you could use? It's really easy to do.

Have you noticed any excessive thirst/hunger, disorientation after meals, a sweet smell on his breath (like fruit or alcohol), diarrhea without apparent cause?

*Definitely not trying to worry you, but it can be pretty dangerous to have a child with undiagnosed diabetes and I was just thinking if you knew someone with a meter, it might give you a little peace of mind to check before you can get in to the doctor. Good luck!

That has crossed my mind actually recently but haven't noticed any of those signs. My husbands family has alot of diabetes in it but alot of them have weight issues also so I'm not sure if the diabetes is related to weight or not. Definately worth mentioning to his doctor tough!


I don't think he's scared to raise his hand because I've talked to his teacher about this problem even making her aware of the accident he had in school (he sat in wet pants all day because he said he was scared he would get into trouble for having the accident). His teacher told me that he's is going to the bathroom often during the day but isn't drinking much during the day.

zephyr524
04-11-2010, 09:11 AM
Because he's been through "potty training" it's far more likely that there's a physiological component and it should be treated as you would treat an adult with the problem - compassionately and practically.

I think UI in children is overattributed to emotional stress. Even when it's stress-related, there's often a physical component. If he's nervous or upset for another reason, or if he has UTI infection, diabetes, or even migraine headaches or stomach aches, it can make him less aware of having to go "until it's too late."

6 - 8 is also the age when kids start having "big fears." They start to realize the world is not entirely a safe place, and have the emotional and cognitive ability to imagine all sorts of horrible events (both those that could happen, and those that are entirely fantastical - children don't just believe there are monsters in their closets and under their beds, they KNOW they're there). Children can come up with "what if....." scenarios that would make a diehard horror writer wet his pants.

Even when it's "emotional" it's rarely intentional. Rather, stress can make even an adult more susceptible to UI - it's a physiological response. You'd be surprised at how many adults lose bladder function when severely stressed or suddenly frightened or startled. It's a physiological defensive reflex to prepare for fight or flight (essentially, voiding the bladder and bowel "lightens the load" for running).

In the meantime, I'd treat it as you would if YOU had the problem (a lot of adults do). If you found yourself with LBL or UI (light bladder leakage, or urinary incontinence), would punishment help? Would you go to the doctor to see what's going on? What steps would you take to prevent it from happening and minimizing the inconvenience and embarassment should it happen.


I know I have LBL now that I'm older (the sterotypical "pee when I laugh"). I don't have to use Depends, or even the Poise and other LBL pads, but I do use panty liners, and if I'm going to be away from home overnight or longer, I use thicker pads and take extra panties, in case I need more frequent changing.


If this is a frequent problem for him, I'd consider one of the products on the market, and explaining that it's a bit embarassing, but there's no shame in having the problem (I'd even tell him that adults sometimes do too, and show him the adult products to prove it). He's old enough to be embarassed, and he probably is (I suspect that if it happened in class, he's already been teased about it - or he's seen other kids teased, so you don't have to do anything to make him more ashamed of it, or more motivated to prevent it if he can).

I'm interested what migraines could have to do with this. He has had some migraines over the course of the last month or so. Although his accidents have been going on much longer than the migraines. You've really given me alot to think about!!


With all the responses I've gotten I'll be going to the doctor a little more educated on things to talk with him about or to ask him.

Viviane
04-11-2010, 12:50 PM
That has crossed my mind actually recently but haven't noticed any of those signs. My husbands family has alot of diabetes in it but alot of them have weight issues also so I'm not sure if the diabetes is related to weight or not. Definately worth mentioning to his doctor tough!


In Kayla's (my friend's little girl) case, she was a normal weight girl with no family history of juvenile/Type I diabetes. Type I has nothing to do with weight or lifestyle, it's due to an inability to produce enough insulin or for your cells to use it properly. Basically, kids with Type I are born with a bum pancreas and it eventually catches up with them!

I hope this isn't the case with your son, just something worth checking. I hope it's something simple and easy to fix for you and him! Let us know how it turns out ;) Good luck!

kaplods
04-11-2010, 03:04 PM
I'm interested what migraines could have to do with this. He has had some migraines over the course of the last month or so. Although his accidents have been going on much longer than the migraine.


He may have had the migraines much longer than you think. Children, especially thouse under 8 often don't report pain because they don't know how to communicate it, or they intentionally hide it out of fear. Often crabbiness or temper tantrums are the only symptom you'll see. Heck I can say the same of my husband. He doesn't report pain, he just becomes a giant jerk.

We have a family story that my mom took me to the doctor after seeing blood on my pillow I think I was six. I had a raging ear infection, and the doctor was extremely angry that my mother hadn't brought me in sooner, he said that I had to have been in obvious severe pain for more than a week. She told him that I had played more quietly over the week, but I didn't cry, look sad, or say anything about the pain, hold my ear - any of the symptoms she would have recognized as severe pain. The doctor was skeptical until he realized that I should have been much more upset during the examination.

Even as a much older child, I rarely complained of headaches and stomach aches, even when I had them (I loved school and didn't want to be kept home, and I hated taking medicine and was a little afraid of the doctor).

My brother was even worse. If my parents noticed I was "off" and asked if I felt sick or if something hurt, I'd tell them. My brother would deny it, because he was afraid of medicine and the doctor. I remember him crying whenever mom said "I think he's getting sick."

Our doctor said some kids hide illness very well. I learned just how true that was in my my developmental psych graduate work. Illnesses that would drop an adult, some kids just silently "take."

bargoo
04-11-2010, 04:02 PM
The teacher says he goes often during the day. That is a huge clue, be sure and tell the doctor this.

AzimuthRing
04-11-2010, 08:57 PM
Kaplods - I like your answer.

I don't have children, but I would agree with others not to punish him. I'm sure he is already humiliated and embarrassed by it.

When my cousin was little, he would get so excited about being somewhere, there were occasions he would wet himself - was about 7 years old or so. When it happened when I was with him we would change his clothes and take care of it, then we would talk about it. We would talk about what we could do to make sure he made it to the bathroom next time. He was always so devastated when it happened, scared other people saw what happened. All I could do was reassure him that I still loved him and his parents did too - and I remember him asking me if I was mad. No way! All he ever got from me was lots of reassurance.

His parents used this approach as well. They told me to always gently remind him or ask him (very quietly - not to draw attention to him) whether he needed to go or not. That helped immensely. It happened for several months when he was 7 then it disappeared. After that he was good.

He has a learning disability, and learned things differently than others.

Sounds like you have a plan and I'm hoping you and your child get through this!!