any suggestions would be appreciated

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by siren_man, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. siren_man

    siren_man Guest

    My wife and I are foster parents and have been for 5 years, we have dealt with everything from Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) kids to ODD to abuse and neglect. We are having a hard time dealing with a 4 year old female who has some sexual abuse history and has been doing well with her milestones until she started pre-k. Once pre-k began this fall she began to have major problems with soiling herself. the thing is she doesn't do this at school just at home or with us in the car. This child is in foster care and we are in a bad situation, she is still having visits with the person who she said abused her ( tho she recanted that after a visit with him )and we are very limited in our ability to discipline her. My wife and I have always prided ourselves in our patience and our ability to get creative in motivating our kids but this one has got us stumped. we've tried timeouts, withholding her toys, even making her help clean up her messes but she simply smiles and goes on. She has been evaluated and doesn't seem to match any psychiatric profiles, she is normal except for her refusal to use the potty at home. what do ya'll suggest ( sorry for the southern drawl can't get away from it lol )I hope someone can give us some ideas, thanks BL
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator


    Is she actually using the bathroom at school, or is she holding it until she gets home and then soiling herself?
    Was she completely potty-trained before school started?
    Is it for both urination and defecation?
    What happens on the weekends?

    Sorry for all the questions, but your answers will help shed light on the situation.

    Again, welcome.
  3. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Recanting may just mean this person scared her into retracting it and soiling herself might be a cry for help.
  4. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! I don't have much to add except to welcome you to the crowd. I'll dig around and see what I can find out - it sounds like there are a couple of good guesses here - the recant resulting in added stress that's making her do this at home.

    My oldest had ODD type symptoms and when he was training (at just short of 4 years old!) I must have asked him 100 times if he had to go always with a "no" reply. He looked me in the face, said wait a second, wet his pants and told me "Ha - I just peed in my pants!" I promptly took his new "Buzz and Woody" underwear off him, clearly announced that I wasn't washing them and threw them away. I then announced that when he ran out of underwear, he wouldn't be going ANYWHERE. No shopping, no park, no front porch, no walks - no where.

    Wow! He was trained!

    This, however, doesn't sound like a power struggle. It seems like a cry for help. Are there any therapists/counselors that are trained in dealing with children that are sexually abused? It may provide a breakthrough that you need.

    Keep posting...we're here for you both! It's quite a diverse group here - with a LOT of experience.

  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    And I'm going to be speaking here as a child sexual abuse victim, so bare with me as I'm not sure what you'd be allowed to do or not to do as the foster parents.

    Based on her pointing out this man is the person who sexually abused her and visits with him have triggered this behavior it can be 2 things.

    1. Just visiting has triggered the regression.
    2. There is the possibility he is abusing her again unless these visits are supervised by someone outside the family unit.

    A child soiling themselves in this situation isn't really a regression in toilet training, it's not to be bad. Doubtful any sort of discipline is going to work. It's a subconscious way to draw attention to the abuse, either past or what may be going on now.
    Unfortunately due to her're going to have to be very very careful with asking her about it. Because a child so young is going to be seen as susceptible to power of suggestion by the authorities involved.

    How is your cw with children's services? Do you think she would listen to your concerns and have this child professionally evaled to see what is going on?

    If I were dealing with it............. I would clean up the mess with little or no comment. Reassure her that you as her foster parents care for her and are trying to keep her safe.

    The sad part of all this is at her age she is not a reliable witness even to her own abuse. Unless a physical exam by a doctor trained on what to look for can varify sexual abuse has taken place.....and hopefully pinpoint a time frame due to findings (slim, but possible) or her cw with children's services is experienced enough to recognize that such regressive behavior is a huge red flag no matter what the child says is going on or not going on.........not much can be done.

    I hope you can help this child and I hope children services gains enough information to stop visitation with this person permanently for this child's sake.
  6. Jena

    Jena New Member


    and welcome also! i was literally going to say what Hound Dog just did. Her visiting with the abuser is a trigger, her urinating is a sign of that and symptom clearly. Also an abuse survivor and that's usually one of the first signs with-little one's.

    i wouldn't scold for this behavior at all. id' try some play therapy. does she like barbies or dolls?? you can get it out of her that way probably on your own.
  7. agee

    agee Guest

    I'm so sorry for her and for you for having to deal with this!
    The only thing I wanted to add was that my son, who hasn't been abused, regressed in potty training when we moved. It was largely defecation and he mostly did it at home, although there were a few times at pre-k as well. I didn't react very well, I'm ashamed to say, but once I got over being mad about it and we settled in to our new house he stopped. I agree with everyone that it's a response to stress and also could be a way of telling you she needs help. Interesting she does it just at home - she is obviously saying something to YOU by doing this. Either that she feels safe/is testing or she is stressed and she wants her parental people to know or she wants attention in the only way she can get it? Or that you are giving her to her abuser (I know you have to do this) so you need to be punished? Their minds are so complicated.
    I know you wrote this several weeks ago - has it gotten better? Worse?