My boyfriend's 4 year old daughter keeps wetting her pants while watching TV. Her mother, grandmother, and father (my bf) have decided to spank her on the butt after she wets her pants, and I do not agree with this at all. I think they should ground her from TV and maybe timeout as well. So what do you think should be done? There's got to be something better than what we are all doing. Should we get her professional help?
By joyjoy33 from Hobart, IN
If she is only doing this when watching TV, I would say she is so engrossed in what she is watching she "forgets" she has to go. Have her go sit on the toilet during each commercial break whether she has to go or not, I'll bet most likely she will go. Heck, run the water in the sink if you must, she'll go, and praise her when she does. Spanking is not going to help her and will probably only make matters worse.
In response to the other post regarding the 5 year old, if there is no medical problem then please seek help elsewhere. It may be emotional, especially if her parents are not together. In both cases are these kids wetting more when they are with one parent or home more so than with the other? At this age, they are more likely to act out in some way as they can't articulate what is bothering them.
A child this age knows what she's doing. One thing she's doing is getting attention. She probably should see a doctor to rule out physical problems, but I suspect it's being done on purpose. I'd not let her sit on furniture, but on an old shower curtain or plastic table cloth on the floor. She would have to wear large diapers. She can also miss out on "big girl" stuff (think of some!) until she proves she's big enough to do them. If everybody gets all lathered up over this she's getting what (I suspect) she wants. It's just a simple matter to go back to babyland with no fuss from adults. (04/07/2009)
I don't believe punishing her will help at all. Our little girl used to wet herself regularly while playing with her toys. She just didn't think to go to the loo. Her mind was too preoccupied. We just had to keep reminding her, every ten to fifteen minutes with "Do you need the toilet?". She stopped constantly wetting herself by about the age of five, with a few accidents every so often. She was pretty much dry by the age of six. She never had the problem once she started school.
Our little boy is now the same. He is three, and he just doesn't think to go to the toilet or potty. He doesn't need a diaper, but we need to keep reminding him.
Children are not being naughty when they wet themselves, and punishing them for it, especially spanking, should have been left behind with the Victorians! Try rewarding the child for a whole day dry, with a small treat (doesn't have to be candy), or keeping a chart, where they get smileys and frowns for dry and wet days, and a little prize for so many dry days. Also, when they have a whole dry day, tell the, how good they were. If they have wet day, you can say it's not good., but don't be cross or angry. Yes, it wears the patience thin, when your running out of dry pants and your hands smell of wee, but they are just children, still learning to live.
I am strongly against the idea of corporal punishment or humiliation (e.g. treating the child like a baby) for dealing with this wetting issue, because in the event that it's unintentional and difficult to control, using the first two options as discipline could really shatter the child's self esteem and lead to further emotional or behavioral problems. Please remember that this is a little girl who needs to be treated with love, not taught that her body or its processes are shameful.
I'd seek a second doctor's opinion or request a referral to a urologist to rule out a medical problem, and use other posters' suggestions of consistent reminders to take a bathroom break (a kitchen timer would help!), limiting fluids in excess, and handling accidents with encouragement and kindness. She might also need to have her TV time shortened somewhat so that she's able to listen to her body's cues without being mesmerized by whatever's on the screen. (04/10/2009)
I had an acquaintance that was a pediatrician. She had an uncanny way of working with preschoolers with these types of behavioral problems. The solutions were usually quite simple or straight forward. This is all part of their training and worth a visit to a pediatrician to get to the bottom of it. I'm not against corporal punishment for kids, but only as a last resort. It does not look like it is appropriate in this situation. (04/10/2009)
Children need reminders and will until they move out of the house and still they will need reminders. It is your job as a parent to stay in control and instill good values and morals in your child. Accidents will happen. I think if you make sure she potties before she sits to watch TV and then maybe at 30 minute intervals, have her go during commercials, this will eliminate the problem. Lots of praise for staying dry and little reaction to the accidents will keep her self esteem in tact. (04/11/2009)
This is giving up their complete control. This is the only thing they themselves have control over and no one can stop it except them. Think about why she may be wanting to keep this control. (04/11/2009)
How many times have you sneezed or coughed till you "had an accident". Remind the child every hour if necessary to get to the BR. If this were an issue other times, chiropractic care is fantastic. There are little areas in the back that press on the bladder, etc. (lots of medical terms), but an adjust is fantastic for the pants wetter.
My 2 yr old granddaughter and her sister when 2 went through this as well. They were done with diapers except when accidents began, we got them in, adjusted, and wetting was over. Kids run and play and jump and don't tell us if they hurt themselves. Only wetting can do it. I am 54 and my mom took my bed wetting siblings in for the same thing, chiropractic care, without medical treatments and medication are the best way to start, totally non-invasive. Why medicate and still pee the pants? Take care of the problem. (04/13/2009)
By T&T Grandma
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