Question by Jen: “potty trained” child peeing on the carpet?
I’m at my wits end.
My 7 year old has been potty trained since she was 3 and a half to 4ish (Late for some kids, but I let her quit diapers when she preferred the potty.) Off and on since before she started kindergarten I would find little wet spots on the carpet on occasion and I wrote it off as spilled water, but it’s become clear (since I caught her in the act) that when she doesn’t feel like walking to the toilet, she simply squats, pulls down her pants, pees on the floor, and goes about her day. She doesn’t bother cleaning it up, and sometimes she puts large toys or chairs over the spots recently so I don’t find out right away and she doesn’t get in trouble.
She shares a bedroom with her 4 year old sister who is grossed out by it and tells me when she sees her do it or finds a wet spot.
I can find no psychological or physical reason why she does this.
I’m a stay at home mom and she gets plenty of attention from me and her dad, with her sister and alone. She’s not abused or mistreated by anyone. Both her parents live in the same house and love each other and her, so it’s not like she’s acting out from stress, insecurity or worry. She has a bathroom that is “the kid bathroom” alone adjacent to her bedroom that is perfectly clean, well stocked, and everything works.
She does not wet the bed, suffer from nightmares or sleepwalking. She has no problem holding her bladder while she’s at a friend’s house, at the store, in the car, or through the night.
There is no connection with the frequency of her behavior with the school year, vacation, moving, family problems, or family changes, other than it happens less when she’s in school because she’s simply not at home during the day, or more at times of day when I’m too busy to watch her constantly. (She does it when she thinks she won’t get caught.)
It appears to be a simple matter of opportunity and laziness and I have no clue how to handle it any more.
I’ve tried punishing her, talking to her, making her clean up the carpet, grounding her, telling her it will make her very sick, telling her I will talk to her teacher (worked for about 3 weeks until school ended) taking away TV/books/toy boxes that keep her distracted in her room for long periods, and finally today when I found her most recent spot I dug out a year old (clean) diaper from before her sister was potty trained, and put it on her without ceremony, and informed her I’d be buying her more if this continues any longer.
We are not permissive or heavy handed parents. We usually favor standing on the wall and save spankings for serious or dangerous behavior and after the fact of the punishment explain why the behavior is bad in a way a child can understand.
The pediatrician can’t find any medical reason for this and thinks she is otherwise a normal well adjusted first grader. Her teachers think she does great in school and is a normal well adjusted first grader.
I’m now 7 months pregnant and I can no longer be bent down on the floor scrubbing the carpet with laundry detergent and bleach every day, and I certainly can’t be doing it when the new baby arrives, plus I think it’s outrageous to have a second grader wetting the floor like a poorly trained puppy, a 4 year old who’s been potty trained for two years, and a baby in diapers.
Please God, I can’t be the only mother on the planet that has ever gone through this?
The only other story I’ve ever heard of this that was similar was of a 16 year old who peed on his floor because he didn’t want to get out of bed and blamed it on the cat. O_o
Answer by Snowbarbie
I wouldn’t punish her for this, other than having her clean it up.
But what I would do is this – get books from the library and talk about Urine and the kidneys, the whole bladder and getting waste products out of our bodies. She likely thinks that it is just water, but it isn’t, it will smell if it is left on the carpet, and bacteria can breed in there.
Teach her why it is wrong to do this and how it is unhygienic for your whole family.
Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!