6 year old doesn't care if he pees in his bed

Jennifer - posted on 11/03/2012 ( 7 moms have responded )

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My step son is 6 and we have always had some issues with my step son peeing his bed at night. Last time I posted about this about a year or so ago we took the suggestion to set an alarm during the night for him to get up and go pee. Well over the last few months he has really gotten horrible with this. He gets up, turns off his alarm and chooses to go back to bed without going to the bathroom, and then ends up peeing in his bed 2 hours later. Then when he does he tells us it was an accident and lies that he did go pee but later tells the truth. It doesn't even phase him. He doesn't care if he does it cuz he knows all he has to do it take the sheets off, change, and go back to bed. Last night he did it twice!! Once at 3am and then again at 7am and tried to lame it on his alarm both times. I don't know what to do! I think we need to phase out the alarm because he should be able to wake up himself but I don't know what to do! He just doesn't seem to care and he knows he gets no real consequences from it. He takes the sheets off on his own most the time and stuff but that doesn't do anything. Any suggestions please! He shouldn't be doing this anymore when he used to be fine and we had stopped using the alarm!

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Jennifer - posted on 11/05/2012

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He is not currently in pull ups. I was just saying that we have tried that before and he didn't want to be in them anymore and was making it thought the night and wasn't peeing. He is not "still dealing" with his parents divorce, they have been apart since he was 1. I have been with him since he was 2 almost 3. He usually doesn't want to go to him moms house but he knows that he can push her buttons and get his way there. And yes, my husband and the bio-mom are on board with all of this. He listens to me more then he does his mom.

[deleted account]

I agree with what Dove said - if he's in pull-ups then he should not be expected to get up and go to the bathroom. The pull-ups are an admission that his body is simply not ready. IF you go that route, there should be no argument or even discussion about whether he uses the pull-up at night. He wears it, and in the morning he takes it off, throws it away, cleans himself up, and gets on with his day.



It sounds like there's a lot going on with your step-son and his acceptance of his parents' divorce, a new step-mom, etc. The nighttime wetting may just not be worth it right now. And if controlling that one thing makes him feel more secure in the midst of chaos, then maybe you should let him keep that security for now.



Aside from the son I mentioned before, I have a son with some medical issues who wore pull-ups until he was almost 9. We had a lot of pressure from family members that he was "too old", but I was the one who changed the sheets, and I knew my son was not capable of making it through the night. We didn't give him a hard time about using the pull-ups during that time. We just used them. Eventually he decided himself that he wanted to be free of the pull-ups so he could have sleep-overs and be more independent, and we helped him do it. The first step to helping him was to take away the pull-ups - that changed the expectation: without pull-ups, he knew he needed to try to get up at night. It was not easy for him, even at 9, but once he really wanted it, we woke him multiple times each night until he got used to doing it himself, and after several months he was successful. Now, at almost 11, he never has accidents at night. It wasn't easy or straightforward, and it took a lot of patience on everyone's part.



To be honest, it really sounds like you have an ugly battle set up here. And you are the stepmom, so you probably don't have as much influence as dad and bio-mom do. Are they behind you on this? It really sounds to me like you should use the pull-ups and let it be for now. But if you insist on forcing the issue, you need to get your husband behind you, and one of you need to get up at night and take him to the bathroom. Obviously the alarm doesn't work, and the repeated cycle of accidents, lying, arguing, blaming, is only hurting your son. If all the adults agree that it is this important to have your son be nighttime trained at this time, then you need to do more to help him to do it successfully, so that he will feel encouraged to continue and you will feel like you're making progress.

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Jennifer - posted on 11/04/2012

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Don't put him in pull ups. It'll probably make it worse because he wont even have to wake up when he goes. Don't let him drink so much close to bedtime and make him go before he goes to bed. Then during the night you get him up to go potty. Accidents happen but don't give up. Stay on him. You could make him a chart and if he stays dry for a week then he could get a reward.

Dove - posted on 11/04/2012

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Poor kid. I feel so bad for him now. Especially after your second post. Don't put him back in pull ups then and keep dealing with a child suffering emotionally by battling with him. If he's in pull ups.... there is no battle. Poor guy has a lot more to worry about than staying dry at night.



If he can control this and it's one of the only things in his life he CAN control..... he will keep doing it. He will win this battle or you will break him.



I'm sorry. That's just what I see here. I'm no expert, of course, but do have kids that wet the bed on occasion til over 8 years old.... and it always got more frequent when they were going through emotional stuff.

Jennifer - posted on 11/03/2012

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The hard thing is that we have tried putting him back in pull ups before and that makes it worse. He knows he can pee in them without having to get up and he has told us that before. The alarm is across from his bed on his bookshelf and he does get up all the way out of bed and is right next to the door to turn off his alarm. The bathroom is literally right next to his room. He tells us the next morning when we ask him that he got up, turned off his alarm and that he was tired so he just got back into bed without going pee, but during the night he always lies to us about it. I am against putting him back in pull-ups because of what he does. He is a smart boy and does anything he can to try to get his way. And I think this is the 1 thing he can truly control so that's why he does it. Found out later today that he was giving me a hard time, not listening and that he didn't try to get up last night and peed because he wanted to be at his moms house. She was sick so she asked us to keep him on her night. He will whine and throw a fit to try to get his way even tho it doesn't get it but we don't know how to get that through to him

[deleted account]

I would ask your pediatrician, but I don't think it's unusual for a child to revert that way. My son didn't potty train until 3.5, but he was immediately night trained at that time. Until he was 4.5 or 5, when he started wetting the bed almost every night. He would go months dry, then months with accidents nearly every night, alternating, until he was 7 or 8. We were sorry we had ever gotten rid of the pull-ups, but we couldn't go backwards, and the doc said to just be patient about it. She was right. And I know it was never intentional - he was miserable when he did it. But he is a very deep sleeper.



Moral of the story - what your step-son is doing doesn't sound purposeful to me. Making it a battle probably won't help. He may not be choosing not to go to the bathroom when his alarm goes off - he may not be waking up fully. I would say that you have 3 options at this point. One is to simply wait and keep changing the sheets, but don't argue about it or make him feel humiliated. Just be patient for him to grow out of it. The second is to put him back in pullups until he does better staying dry at night. I don't have a problem with pullups on a 6 year old, and it would make things less messy, but I do think that going backwards if he wears underwear now might not be the best idea in the world. The third option is for you (or your husband) to take a more active role. Instead of using an alarm for him, set your alarm and go wake him up. This way you make sure he gets out of bed and goes to the bathroom. As he gets back into the routine of waking up, you might be able to go back to the alarm, but put it somewhere that he has to fully get out of bed in order to turn it off, so that there's a better chance he will actually go to the bathroom.



I know it's frustrating. Good luck!

Dove - posted on 11/03/2012

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At 6... personally, I'd just put him in a pull up and leave it alone. Making an issue out of it has apparently turned it into a battle. Take the battle out of it and if he CAN help it.... the issue will go away. If he can't help it... making it a battle is just cruel.



If there is nothing medical (like an infection) then perhaps it is psychological... or just a developmental issue. A developmental issue will resolve itself with time, but a psychological one may need some counseling or something.

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