My six year old step son won't stop peeing on the floor in his room. I have tried everything that I can think of and nothing works. What should I do?
Alanna from Alamagordo, NM
By Samantha (Guest Post) 12/09/2008 Flag
Have you asked him why he's doing it? He has to be getting something out of it, otherwise he wouldn't be doing it. Try to figure out what he's getting out of it and find a way for him to get that, but by doing the expected behavior, rather than the unexpected one. Maybe you don't concentrate on that as much as on the behavior that you want him to do, which would be to go to the bathroom in the toilet. Find something that he likes and use that as a reward.
You can take an empty egg carton and number the cells inside with a marker. Then as a counter, you can use dried beans, or whatever you have around the house. Every time he pees in the toilet, he gets a bean. I'd suggest he puts it in the highest numbered cells first, that way he can always look inside and see how many more he needs to get all twelve (it's also a math exercise). Then when he reaches twelve, he gets to do something that he really likes. Maybe you want to make it be a smaller number needed because he's so young. I did it with my step-son and each bean was a minute on the Game Cube, then I gave him a bean for doing all kinds of things "right."
Is he rebelling against something? Maybe you put down some of those puppy pee pads in the mean time to protect the carpet while you concentrate on the expected behavior. Also, you could call and talk to your pediatrician and ask him/her. Or, since he's probably in school, you could ask the school psychologist. Good luck!
-Samantha B. - Elementary School Teacher / B.A. in Child Development - Minor in Psychology / Step-mom to a 9.5 yr old boy with autism
Alanna, you don't say whether your step-son does this all through the day or just at night. If it's just at night, is it possible that he's unaware that he's doing it? Perhaps he's asleep and thinks he's going to the restroom. God bless you and stay patient.
You may find he is doing this in his sleep. This is one reason, and there are solutions.
I would investigate this first and seek solutions to this. Paitence and understanding are very important at this stage of the game, as I am sure you are already doing as you sound like a very caring step-mother.
If it's in his sleep he may be dreaming he is in the bathroom when he is in reality in the bathroom. If this is the case you should try cutting off liquids a few hours before bed so he doesn't have to go during the night.
If this is not the case then it's behavioral. Are you a realatively new step-mom and could he be lashing out as a result?
By rae (Guest Post) 12/10/2008 Flag
As you don't say if this is happening in the day or night, I will presume it is at night time. My 7 year used to do this at night. He would sleep so soundly that the nerves messages were not getting from his bladder to his brain to wake him up. We invested in a bed wetting alarm that has a sensor that you put in the jocks - so it feels the moisture and this is connected by a small cord with an alarm that pins on to his pj top. WHenever the sensor sensed wetness, it would set off the alarm and wake my son up. He then had to go to the toilet and put on clean pj's himself and help put clean sheets on his bed. I always got up to help him if needed but he did most of it himself. I would then reset the alarm.
He got the idea of waking up but couldn't get to the toilet on time, so I found a large bucket and put it near his bed, when he could wake up and use the bucket without any problems - I just keep moving the bucket a few centimetres closer to the toilet each night and within 8 weeks - we had no more problems. I do notice though that if he is very tired and doesn't go to the toilet before he goes to bed and empties his bladder, he has an accident. Also if he has had cough mixture that makes him sleepy - he might sometimes not make it to the toilet. We have also invested in a night light, so that he can see his way to the toilet. He said that when he woke up in the dark, he was too scared to get out of bed. I also limit his drinking before bedtime. Our doctor said we should not limit his drinking, as the bladder needs to be full for the child to wake up - but there are various schools of thought on this. I make sure that he has finished his milo at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
He has also on occasions wet himself if he has been so busy playing that he forgets to go to the toilet, he also tends to get very nervous in new places and always needs to know where the toilets are located, as he worries that he will not be able to find them in a hurry.
By jen (Guest Post) 12/10/2008 Flag
It is a sign for attention, What he needs to realize that this will not be tolerated. You first must restrict his liquid intake, within reason, next each time he pees in his room or any room besides the bathroom toliet, he will lose a toy, if he still insist on peeing in his room, buy him diapers. I guarentee he will stop, once he has to wear then to school and everyday until he stops. You need to show him that this is not tolerated .
it sounds like he is angry and doesnt understand what is happening. what about allowing him to do it on the condition he gets to sit in or near it for several mins and then he also gets to clean it up.
I know my brother and stepbrother were twice your stepson's age when they did the same thing, but the reason could be similar.
Things were pretty tense in the family at the time, so there could have been a "social" thing there. Diapers might've been the answer, but there weren't diapers that big then.
The other possibility was proximity to the bathroom and their not wanting to make that long a trip in the small hours.
You don't say how far your stepson's bedroom is from the bathroom. Other than the obvious strategy of assuring him you love HIM, but NOT the behavior, I suggest perhaps a portable urinal. They sell them at medical supply stores. Another alternative is, keep an old 1-liter or 2-liter bottle for him to use at night.
Hope this helps... God bless.
By (Guest Post) 12/11/2008 Flag
A friend's son did that around that age and he was diagnosed with having petit mall. You may want to have him checked, to make sure there are no medical reasons for this behavior.
There could be a medical reason. I would take him to his pediatrician for a check up.
Having boys in my house, I know for a fact they love to take 'Aim' at things.
Beat him at his own game! You can do 2 things here
1. Paint a Bullseye in the toilet. Let him aim at that
2. You can use that new product on the market.. The Gel that sticks to the inside of the toilet bowl. He can take aim at that while making your bathroom smell good :)
I hope it's not family problems and he's just being a boy. My son used to pee in the yard, on a tree facing the busy highway! I would hear honking and know my boy was going to the bathroom outdoors.. lol
By alanna (Guest Post) 12/11/2008 Flag
Thank you for everyone's feedback. Sorry that I was unclear. His bathroom is right next to his bedroom, not more than 4 steps away. He does it all day long & chooses to make a right into his bedroom instead of a left into his bathroom. I have already taken all of his toys away including his tv as a last resort; with no change at all in his behavior.
His dad & I have tried everything that we can think of from more attention to less attention, rewards, punishment, talking to him about it, making him clean it up. nothing seems to work. i took him to the doctor the other day. the next step is a psychologist.
I am completely lost. He is even wetting his pants at school a lot & the school has threatened to step in if the problem is not fixed. His teacher will tell him to go to the bathroom & he refuses to go, telling her that he wants to continue to play with his toys. even at home you can tell that he is holding it in & when you ask him if he needs to go to the bathroom he says no & will absolutely refuse to go & even fight you about it. Then not even a min later he either wets his pats or runs to the bathroom. He does the same thing at school. He doesn't get embarrassed about it or anything. He just doesn't care. I don't get it.
You need to discuss this with your step-son's doctor. Either there is a medical reason for his continuing to do this, or it he is angry about something and using this as a somewhat "safe" passive-aggresive way to show it. If he has only recently moved in with you and his dad, it could be the adjustment, and he could be haveing resentment issues with you that you're unaware of, and maybe on a concious level, he isn't either.
Good luck. Hope that you can get this resolved soon for the little fellow's sake.
By Julie (Guest Post) 12/31/2008 Flag
I would recommend taking him to see a psychologist. Forget the stigma that some may hold about such a step. Your son may have an issue to work through that a mental health professional could be of great assistance with, cutting down on both the number of methods you end up trying to address the issue and the stress your stepson goes through as a result. Best of luck to you.
By JM (Guest Post) 02/08/2009 Flag
I'm having the exact same problem with my 5 year old right now. He started peeing in his room during the day. We've tried many different things including time-outs, talking to him, spanking, taking all of his toys away, etc etc etc and it just keeps happening! I was wondering if you have found any solutions to this problem yet?
My son is 5 years and has recently started doing the same thing. He is peeing in his floor during the day and the night time. His bathroom is right next to his room. So there should be no reason for him not to make it to his bathroom. And a few times during the month he sleeps with me. And when he sleeps with me he never pees in my bed nor my floor. I just don't understand this. He started peeing in his floor about 2 months ago. I have took his toys away, computer time away. And even took his tv away. Plus spanked him. But nothing is working. His room smells so nasty! Pee is very hard to get out of carpet. I ask him why he is peeing in the floor and he tells me he just can't make it to the bathroom in time. Yet his bathroom is closer to his room then mine is in my bedroom, Yet he doesn't pee in my bed nor my floor while sleeping with me.
His bathroom is probably not even 3 feet away from his room. Bit instead of using the toilet he would rathet pee in the floor. He doesn't pee in his bed and he doesn't pee in his pants. He only pees in the floor in his bedroom. He doesn't pee in any other room then his bedroom. I am so confused!