How do I get my 9yr old to shower after a night of wetting the bed?

Tracy - posted on 03/22/2011 ( 13 moms have responded )

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My son refuses to shower in the morning after wetting and pooping himself at night. I have to physically put him in the shower and wash him myself. I am sure this is embarrassing to him but I can't stand to smell or be around him when doesn't shower. I need help, please!

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JuLeah - posted on 03/22/2011

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A 9yr old boy still wetting the bed is not uncommon, but still pooping? I assume you have a reason for this, are addressing this, and dealing with the issue from that perspective. Becuase there is an issue there that must be addressed.

As for showering ... well, he is nine. They still are all about magical thinking. If they deny something, it didn't happen.

So, he refuses to shower because in his magical thinking way, that means he doesn't need to.

For the health of his skin, he must shower. For social reasons he must shower. But, nine is kind of old for you to be forcing him and washing him ... as I assume you know becuase you have written this post.

So, maybe set up the day to being after he has showered - to your standards. You can be in the room maybe and inspect.

So, breakfast after he showers, TV after, whatever it is he wishes to do with his day happens after he showers ... if he is late for school for a few days, then he deals with the consequences of that choice.

I'd not yell or demand, just calmly explain ... "after you have taken a good shower"

He will get tired of standing in the hall way (his only option and activitiy) and shower sooner or later.

Try to talk with him. I know many nine yr old boys call this abuse, but try to talk with him about his feelings ... I have no doubt he is embarressed ... it might help to talk about it

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Elizabeth - posted on 03/25/2011

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This is aweful...he poops himself at night? that is utterly disgusting..you need to talk to the doctor about that..because that is not normal ..it can't be

As for your husband..he is being pig headed..for what? he doesn't want to pay the medical bill? yeah money is a great reason not to find out what the heck is going on with your child.
DEFICATING ON ONES SELF IS NOT NORMAL AT THIS AGE.

Carolyn - posted on 03/23/2011

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I certainly feel for you and I hope it gets resolved. You need to take him to a pediatric doctor and make sure it is not physical. I know he is embarrassed by this and he needs your sympathy. It could be he is doing it for attention. I will pray it gets better for you and him.

Danielle - posted on 03/22/2011

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Kate:
I am not suggesting for him to be placed in school to be peer pressured. I was just suggesting that if he was lacking social interaction he may not have the awareness of others, and how his decisions concerning hygiene affect them.

Of course, if there are other reasons like learning disabilities that have influenced the decision to home-school then thats the parents perogitive.

I thought this was an question about getting him to shower. Obviously the underlining problem is his bowel issues, which should be addressed. Maybe with more social interaction he will be more motivated to properly clean after these incidents.
Again, I am not talking about humiliating the child to wash.

If I am not planing on leaving the house, I don't shower every day either. Maybe he is lacking incentive. Maybe knowing he has people to visit, or places to go outside the comfort of home, will inspire a better, general cleaning habits.

Obviously, the underlying issue needs to be addressed, but I am answering the question that was asked to how I see this situation.

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Please get him to a doctor asap to have him fully evaluated (for all possible physical, mental, and emotional causes of this situation). I have twin 9 year olds (girls, not boys) and this behavior is definitely NOT normal. Please get him the help he desperately needs. If you don't do it, who will?

Good luck!!!

Tina - posted on 03/22/2011

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Tracy, There are three ways that a child will act out if they feel that they do not have enough control. Bathroom habits, (urination, defecating, showering) The next is eating (being picky, refusing food, overeating) The next is sleeping (refusing to go to sleep or awake) There are a few ways that will make your child feel more in control but the most effective way is to give him choices for everything from the moment he awakes. Both choice should be Ok with the both of you and should be geared toward accomplishing some part of a task. EG: Do you want to take a shower or a bath, do you want to eat cereal or waffles, do you want to wear the blue shirt or the green one? If they say I don't want either, then you continue to give them the choice before anything else occurs until they choose. Now, having said that, I want to address the bed wetting and pooping.
There may be some form of Autism (Aspergers sp?) but there is a physical condition that some children have too that will cause wet bowel movements to leak that the children have no control over. It comes from an enlarged lower colon that occurs from repeated constipation or large bowel movements. It stretches out their colon and new feces drips down the walls of the colon past the large bowel movement. This is sometimes created by siliacs disease which is the result of gluten intolerance. Try restricting all wheat from your son's diet for a few weeks and see if his night time bowel problems improve. My daughter had this and we did not know what it was until we went through years of frustrating trial and error with behavior modification, doctors & endless advice from well meaning but ignorant friends. Good luck and be compassionate, this bothers him more than it bothers you even though it doesn't seem like it, it is hurting his self image. As far as your husband is concerned, let him know it is child abuse to NOT get your child the help he needs and his embarrassment is nothing compared to how he will feel if this gets worse! www.tmc4.com

Kate CP - posted on 03/22/2011

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Danielle: The last thing this kid needs is peer pressure and kids making fun of him which is what will happen if he's sent to school in this condition. Homeschooling isn't the issue here.

Tracy, you need to see a specialist. Tell your husband to suck it up. You need to do what's best for your son: be his advocate.

JuLeah - posted on 03/22/2011

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There are many reasons this might be happening, but he needs to see a doctor. His health and emotional development is at risk. Diet, health issues, stress can all be factors .... he needs to be seen and soon. It doesn't matter if your husband thinks he should not be seen. And, frankly, it is a bit alarming that your husband feels this way.To balme/shame the child for something like this is emotional abuse - very mean ... your son is not lazy - please take action

Danielle - posted on 03/22/2011

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Maybe you should consider getting him in more public sports, or putting him in public school.
Does he have a lot of friends his age? Does he recognize that this behavior isn't normal?
I think putting him in public school with other children will help him realize, and nudge him to get past this hurdle.

I also don't think your husband has the right attitude for this behavior. It is not fair to put that label on your child. Maybe he is scared to leave his bed at night, or maybe it is a bowel issue.

To get your child to shower I would take away privileges until he has showered (if he is persistent), and I would sit him down and explain that when he has these accidents it is better hygiene to shower after.

I have to say though.. not to be judgmental... after reading this post and discovering he is also home-schooled sent up a little red flag. Does he have much of a social life? (again I'm not trying to be rude or presumptive, which is why I ask) Maybe (if this is the case) he just needs more social interaction to help realize that it is prudent to be clean...

Jennifer - posted on 03/22/2011

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He definately needs testing done. Even if your husband refuses, he is your child too. He can't take himself to the doctor, so he needs you to stand up and be his advocate.

Sharon - posted on 03/22/2011

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Tell your husband to F off. Its bullshit that he is standing in the way of getting answers for your sons' issues.

No normal child enjoys being covered in excrement. There is a problem at the root of it. Maybe molestation. Maybe some other abuse, maybe its purely mental. The last kid I read about who enjoyed letting shit dry on him, was using it as a deterrent to his rapist uncle.

Tracy - posted on 03/22/2011

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Thank you, I am looking into health issue, and I do refuse to let him have anything until he showers.At night we don't let him have anything to drink after 6pm to stop the wetting, and it just doesn't seem to work. With home schooling I can start his lessons anytime, so that is never a problem. I have talked to a couple of doctors and some friends with children that have had this problem and they think he should have some further testing done, but my husband is a huge obstacle in the testing. All he tells me is that our son is lazy and that if he is forced to do his own laundry he wouldn't do it anymore.



I have asked him how it makes him feel knowing that I don't like taking him out and about town the way he smells, or even be in the same room and he says he is fine with it, and I know that is bull. It's just so hard with him, he doesn't do things like most boys his age. I have friends that have kids with Autism and they think that he has some form of it. I am willing to get him tested for anything and everything, just so I can find out what we can do to help him.

Sharon - posted on 03/22/2011

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Wait.

Why is your 9 yr old shitting himself at night?

Occasional bedwetting, I get. But actually shitting himself? This sounds like either a developmental problem or a severe behavioural issue.

But my answer would be, he doesn't have a choice. I'd dress in my gardening clothes, drag him to the shower, shove him in and turn it on. In my house, you may NOT smell bad, much less, smell like shit. I totally imagine it may be a battle, my 8 yr old is quite sturdy but ultimately I can over power her if I need to.

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