10 yo difficult child Wetting Pants at school

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by 4timmy, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. 4timmy

    4timmy New Member

    This will be the 4th time now that the school has called at the same time during the day (right before school lets out) telling me difficult child has wet himself and needs picked up. I think he's trying to get out of riding the bus. The bus causes quite a bit of anxiety for him and my husband won't go pick him up even though he gets off work in time to do so. husband says that he shouldn't have to pick him up, that he should ride the bus.

    UMPH!!:anxious: Please Vote:

    1) husband should pick him up to reduce difficult child's stress.
    2) Take extra pants for him to change into and make him ride the bus.

  2. wethreepeeps

    wethreepeeps New Member

    I'd create a third option. Tell him that you understand the bus stresses him out and you're happy to work with him on his feelings about that, but that wetting his pants to avoid the bus is not an option. Then send him to school with a pullup that he changes into after lunch each day.
  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Ask him why he thinks this is happening. See if you can get him to verbalize what he's feeling when this happens. It might be bus anxiety, but it might also just be lack of awareness.

    I know my difficult child 2 wet himself several times at about the same age, same time of day, and he DID NOT ride the bus. It was simply a matter of him not being able to "hear" what his body was telling him (that he had a full bladder).

    We made SURE his teacher allowed him to use the restroom at any time and not force him to delay his request simply because they'd just come in from recess or the bell was about to ring or whatever reason it might be inconvenient for them. Because we knew that when he finally realized he had to go, it was an emergency!

    If it IS a deliberate attempt at avoiding the bus, see if he can help you come up with some options for getting through the experience without the manipulation. I'd focus on some positive reinforcements/rewards for him successfully arriving home dry.

    in my humble opinion, I don't think putting him in pullups is the answer. I really think you need to figure out why this is happening and then help him learn how to fix it.
  4. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    It seems to me that the anxiety itself could be contributing to the accident...Wetting his pants may not be the deliberate act you think it is. Sometimes nervous kids will find that their bladder kicks into overtime--and they will need to use the bathroom 2, 3, 4 times in a row. If that's the case, the teacher may not allow all those extra trips...the child may be try to "hold it" to avoid the teacher's disapproval...but he's still nervous about the upcoming bus ride...PLUS he's additionally anxious because he had an accident in class before (and he's probably worried about being embarassed again)...the anxieties build...and next thing you know, his pants are wet, again.

    Perhaps he could get a ride from school temporarily while you work on relieving his anxieties? And then when he is ready to try the bus again...a "contingency" plan like an extra pair of pants could be available. Chances are...if he knows he has the extra pants, he won't need to use them.

    Just a suggestion...

  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I vote for the 2nd pr of pants. Poor kid. Poor mom!
  6. BigMamma3

    BigMamma3 New Member

    Just after Thanksgiving both of my difficult child's had several occasions when they wet their pants. My youngest even wet the bed a couple times. I also discovered weeks after the fact she'd used my antique wood potty chair (from my childhood) that she uses for her babydolls to relieve herself during the night.

    These incidents occurred on the heals of several weeks of stealing and misbehavior from both difficult child's that I have begun to notice occur each Fall. Therapist and I have discussed possible "Anniversary reactions" to past trauma. Upon investigation, I discovered quite a few traumatic incidents occuring in the past during the Fall for them.

    I try not to make a big deal about these "accidents". My sister was traumatized by "creative punishment" as a child for her bedwetting problems which contributed to a lifetime of incontinence and emotional problems. I always try to keep it simple, clear and non-punitive. We went through a couple weeks of sporadic accidents and then nothing since.

    Here are my tips...

    1. Try and figure out the underlying problem without causing the child any distress. Some possible factors I have encountered:
    • Over-excited/distracted and forgets (holidays, parties, etc.)
    • Drinking more than usual or drinking late in day
    • Pants/belt are difficult to undo
    • Too scared to get up and use it (bedwetting)
    • Scared to use the toilet (my youngest daughter's toilet has a tendancy to overflow). She also will refuse a dirty public toilet.
    2. Take precautions:
    • Pack extra clothes in backpack. I put them in a large ziploc that can be used to store the wet clothes as well.
    • Place a plastic cover over the mattress. ($9.99 at Target)
    • Limit use of belts. Practice with child to make sure they can undo it quickly.
    3. Review the expectations:
    • Go when you need to go
    • Report any issues (such as pain or irritation)
    • Tell Mommy right away if you have an accident
    4. Leave it alone! I NEVER punish for wetting pants.

    Just my two cents...
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I vote for #3:
    Have him evaluated by a neuropsychologist ASAP. Also, I'd make sure he doesn't have a physical problem. My oldest wet his bed until he was 12 because of a weak bladder, but he never wet himself while awake. He would have died first.

    Ten year olds don't wet their pants just to get out of doing anxiety producing events unless something isn't quite right. THat is very socially inappropriate, and by ten kids do know that and don't like being teased. Maybe it is a sensory thing due to a disorder. Maybe he is just socially unaware, which is a red flag for a few things.

    I would want to get to the bottom of the behavior rather than just thinking about how to best keep him dry. Very few kids even five years old regularly wet their pants in kindergarten and your precious little one is twice that age. My friend's son both wet himself and pooped in school until middle school--he was diagnosed eventually with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified. It could be there, it could be something else. Good luck! :)
  8. Janna

    Janna New Member

    I'd call the school first and see if they can give him a bathroom break 15 minutes before school lets out.

    If they can, and it continues, send along a 2nd pair of pants.
  9. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Agree with Janna.

    Oh, and husband needs a reality check! What should happen does not always coincide with what does happen.
  10. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I would make sure there is no physical reason he's wetting, make sure he has access to the bathroom before school's out, and have extra pants stashed in the nurse's office just in case.
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think you need to figure out what is happening on the bus. Something is very wrong for a 10yo to start wetting his pants in public.

    First thing is to have him checked for a urinary problem. When my son was 8 I noticed that when he went to the bathroom it wasn't a continuous stream. It sounded more like a machine gun. He also had an accident in his pants - something he hadn't done since he was 3 1/2. Since he had urinary problems as an infant (problem he was born with that required 2 surgeries), we had him checked out for infection and then had him checked for any problems related to the original urinary problem.

    He needed a medical procedure to fix a problem. He also had a bladder infection and due to his sensory issues couldn't really tell me where it hurt or what was wrong. He just honestly couldn't tell me.

    Your husband needs the reality check BBK mentioned. he also needs to react to this in a matter of fact way, rather than with anger, irritation or hostility.

    until you know for SURE there is not a medical problem, husband SHOULD pick him up. He should also have a second pair of pants in a ziploc in his backpack. Preferably in a part of the backpack that he doesn't normally open. (Some backpacks have different areas, each with a separate zipper. This could save your son a LOT of embarrassment and humiliation and teasing.)

    If you know he doesn't have a medical problem, then it is time for a complete neuropsychologist evaluation to see what is going on in his head. because this is FAR from normal for a child his age.

    I hope there is a simple solution, and one that can reduce stress in the family and reduce your son's anxiety.
  12. 4timmy

    4timmy New Member

    You guys are wonderful! Thanks for ideas and support.

    It got me thinking.... 1st, the bus produces anxiety because 1) he worries he's going to miss it all the time, and 2) the bus driver will stop the bus when kids are acting up and won't start again until all are calm. difficult child hates this because he has it in his mind that the bus takes too long to get home. Another thing that recently happened was that the teachers stopped letting him go to the bathroom alone because he would get distracted and do something he wasn't supposed to do like write on the bathroom wall (his own name:confused:) and one time he poured and rubbed glue all over the desks in an empty classroom.:surprise:

    My husband is on Zoloft for Social anxiety disorder and he's also very explosive at times, but never violent..... Yes, he needs a reality check, all I can do is be supportive of him too and hope that he changes his mind (which he usually does eventually;)) husband is having a hard time dealing with having a special difficult child. Ironically enough, they are very much alike.

    Today I packed extra clothes and I told difficult child there would be a reward if he could make it through the rest of the week. He has his first Neuro psychiatric appointment. this Saturday!! (Thank you Wintersgrace (Heather) for the referral!) Also, I spoke to his teacher this morning and asked her to make sure he gets a bathroom break towards the end of the day and she said they would.

    We had him in to the doctor to check for infection and that proved negative.
  13. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    When my son was on 5 mg of Abilify, he had a wetting pants issue. When we reduced the dosage, the wetting stopped. It is apparently an uncommon side effect.

    Sounds like medications are not the reason for your child, but if Zprexa is recent or you upped the dosage, I might have a look at that.

    sorry for you all. Its tough.