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Drecous
Drecous asks:
Q:

My potty trained son is wetting the bed on purpose. What to do???Help

My 3-1/2 year old is potty trained. He has never wet his pullups until recently when I have been making him go to bed. 2 nights in a row I have told him to go to bed and he is very defiant about going. Well he used the bathroom and called me and said: "I peed on myself" and smirked at me. OK - I didn't react....ok may a little and told him "why would you do that after you just took a bath and got ready for bed?" He responds "I don't Know". Well tonight again! I tell him to go to bed and he doesn't want to but I lay with him for awhile and then leave the room. I sit outside the door in a chair (he doesn't know this). About 15 minutes later he comes running out of the room naked. He doesn't realize I'm sitting there and he stops stunned and says: "I peed on myself". OK.....my reaction got a little worse. I was angry because he is purposely doing that. I firmly ask "why are you doing that? You never did that before. Is it because you don't want to go to bed?" He responds "yes". Ok now that really triggered me. I said get in that room and I'm giving you another pull-up. Do not....and I mean do not use the bathroom on that pull-up. If you need to go to the restroom, come get me or go to the bathroom. If you are awake and aware you are peeing, that is pure defiance. Do not defy me!"

Ok...I'm a man and  just feel that the tough approach should work. Please let me know if I am taking the wrong approach.

Thank you.
In Topics: Potty Training, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Dr.Monika
Nov 10, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

It can be frustrating when a child is defiant.  Children are smart and they will do just about anything for attention, even negative attention like the bedwetting.  Instead of getting upset and giving your son negative attention, get a plastic cover for the mattress to prevent serious damages, and let your son know that if he wets himself, he needs to change his sheets and pajamas without your help.  On the nights that he does not have an accident, praise him and reward him with a small prize, like a sticker that he can place on the calendar.  You can tell him that if he collects so many stickers he will get a bigger prize (both of you agree what that prize will be ahead of time). Although it is very easy to get upset when a child misbehaves, positive reinforcement might work better than angry words and negative approach.

If your son's bedwetting continues, or he starts to complain of pain or burning during urination, take him to his regular health care provider for an evaluation.

Best regards.
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Additional Answers (3)

mommeedearest
mommeedearest , Parent writes:
I have been a parent and am now a grandparent of 14 grandchildren.  My daughter-in-law had my grand-daughter (age 3 1/2) deal with her own messes.  If she messed herself... she had to clean herself up!  When she came to my house I was always there to assist her.  What I discovered?... She took responsibility... more so when she had to correct the problem herself!  Her mom sent her to do it by herself.  I did it a bit differently but I feel I got the same results!  I accompanied her but was only there to help her figure it out and assist where I could see it was completely becoming frustrating for her to do.  I assisted in a teaching manner but also helped her to prevent a bigger mess (I also cleaned her after she had cleaned herself... I just can't get past being a nurse!)
> 60 days ago

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Karenmom
Karenmom writes:
I agree with the expert to place a waterproof mattress pad over the mattress to protect it from damages, but I disagree in having a 3 1/2 year old child strip the bed and change the sheets.  That's a little bit of a hard task for a 3 1/2 year old to take on by themselves.  I know it's difficult not to loose your patience, especially being a man (no offense) but my husband also ran a little thin in the patience area when it came to the potty training.  

My advice-
1.  Don't give him too much liquids to drink as it gets close to bedtime.  If he's thirsty, just a tiny sip of water.

2.  Make sure that he uses the potty last thing before bed.  As soon as the teeth are brushed, use the toilet, wash up and then straight to bed, read a story to leave him at ease.

3.  Even at best, a child that young will have the occasional accident, don't punish the child.  It is not too much to have the child clean themselves and change their training pants though, they can handle this.

4.  On the nights that he does not have an accident, reward him.  He'll soon see that it's better not to have the "accident".

It probably is an attention issue, good or bad attention, they have your attention, maybe by reading the story he'll get enough attention to settle down and rest.  Try to be patient, each child develops at a different pace and they go through different phases, this one will pass too.

If he continues for a long time to have difficulties with this matter, please discuss it with his pediatrician, because some medical conditions do cause this to happen and his doctor should be made aware of it.  Best wishes!
> 60 days ago

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Drecous
Drecous writes:
Thank you everyone for your help......I did use the reward method which started right after the expert advice was given and I thought about having him change and clean himself, but thought perhaps too harsh. I asked my sister and she said just be patient and like the last person said - he is seeking attention. I am happy to report that it was only that one time, but as you could tell I was rather at my whits end and needed some advice and help from the outside. Again, thank you and please keep the advice coming, I really appreciate all I can get.
> 60 days ago

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