what doi do?

Tarsha - posted on 01/03/2010 ( 14 moms have responded )




i have 4 boys 6 1/2, 5, 3 and 6moths and im going crazy..my older boys all wet there beds every night break everything (bunk beds, tall boys, toys, sony 2's, dvd, seems like they break everything they never listen mess the house all the time im embaressed to have people over because they make the house smell like wee.

i want them and they do get alot and i know every mother wants the best for their children, i cant handle this anymore and i cry so much i want good kids i really dont know what to do

any tips, ideas, suggestions i feel like ive tried everything


Callinda - posted on 01/03/2010




Hi Tarsha,

Sounds like you are really having a tough time. Your boys look so beautiful your profile pic - Im sure they are really lovely, they are just a real handful sometimes!

I think you have a few different problems that need to be addressed seperately.

Firstly, the bed wetting. It is common (esp for boys) to not become dry overnight until around past the age of six, even up to 8 years old. It is not a behavouiral or mental problem, and it doesnt happen because the child is too lazy. It is also genetic, which would explain whey both the boys do it. Most children outgrow it without treatment, but if you want to try something sooner, here are a few options

- Limit fluids before bedtime

- Have the boys go to bed just before they start getting ready for bed, and then straight before they climb in for the night

- You can get an alarm that rings when the bed is wet, so they wake up which may teach them to respond earlier

- Try a reward system for dry night - eg a star chart with a reward after 3 nights in a row, then 5 nights, etc

- Get them to change the sheets

Punishing the boys will not help and may in fact make them feel embarrassed or guilty, let them know it is not their fault, and get them to help clean up - praise them when they help you.

Finally it is probably a good idea to see a doctor as well to rule out any other problems (eg bladder infection).

With regard to the smell, try to air the mattresses out and get direct sunlight onto them as much as possible if you can, that will help with the smell and germs. My daughter wets her pants a bit, and I find that a drop of tea-tree oil or lavender oil in the washing machine digsuises the smell.

Next is the problem of them breaking everything and misbehaving. To an extent, boys will be boys, they play rough, things get broken, but there is a point where it goes to far. If your kids are like mine, they seem to get a bit crazy when there is no structure or they get bored.

Every night I try to think of about 5 things we can do the next day and how the day will run. For example, tomorrow we dont have anything on outside the house because of school holidays, but I still have to run the day with structure, so we will do the following:


Morning - colouring, riding the bikes outside, then leggo


Afternoon - a few puzzles, walk to the park, then a little TV while I get dinner ready


Evening - family board game, then bedtime routine (bath, teeth, toilet, story, bed)

It can be hard to keep thinking of fun things to do all day long, that is why I try to think of them the night before. When I dont the kids tend to be really naughty so I think that keeps me motivated to keep their little minds & bodies active!!

I also have a pretty strict daytime schedule for myself, so that I get everything done in terms of cleaning, etc. My Monday routine goes something like this (I have this printed and up in the pantry so I look at it 50 times a day and stay on track!)


Shower, dress, make up, do hair

Clean ensuite, replace towels, etc, make bed

Put on a load of washing

Empty dishwasher

Make breakfast, make kids beds

Get lunches, check bags

Drop Ethan at school


Activity for children (eg colouring, puzzle, barbies)

Clean family room & kitchen

Grocery shopping



Do 2nd load washing

1.00pm Ella - Kinder


Clean bathroom

Pay bills

Do 2nd load washing

3.15pm Ethan pickup

4.15pm Ella pickup



Kids Bath, PJs, story, bed

Quick tidy up of all rooms

Put away days washing

Lay out tomorrows clothes

Make lunches & put on dishwasher

As I said this is Monday, every day is different, with different rooms to clean etc, but I find that settting up the kids with something to do and then getting 1/2 hour cleaning done makes me feel so much better about the house and myself!!

Also I find it is really important to make time for me every morning to get ready before the other kids get up, it gets me motivated to start the day off right if oyu know what I mean!

If you feel better and happier, your kids will benefit. They will see your more cheerful attitude and you will all get along better.

Good luck!!

Finnitta - posted on 01/03/2010




Let me first start by saying that as mothers we all feel overwhelmed at times. As far as bed wetting goes, this for the most part is involunteery. My five year od son wets the bed, and I know if he could stop he would. I don't make him feel guilty about it, but I do have him strip the bed, and help me wash the sheets. It makes him feel like a big boy when he helps. Also try putting a matress pad or protector on their matresses. Try one that can be thrown in the washer or wiped clean. Also it is definitely wise to stop liquids at least and hour or two, if possible, before bedtime. I find that this reduces nightime accidents.

As for them breaking things, yes we as parents want the best for our children; however, that does not always equate to buying them whatever they want, and allowing them to treat it in a careless and recless manner. As parents we are called on to raise these children to be responsible human beings. You have to remember that you are the parent, and you are in control. It may not feel that way right now, but the good news is that it is not to late to begin taking that control back. Because we love our children, we have to tell them no sometimes. This may upset them in the short term, but we have to look towards the long term outcome. Giving a child everything they want and allowing them to destroy it is not productive. As a previous poster stated, throw away they things that they break, and explain to them, that they will not be replaced. Let them know that they will not receive anything else unless they can show that they can be responsible with what they already have. And even then don't just give them things because the "say" they want it.

There must be structure also, because children become bored easily. In addition to structured or scheduled activities, there must also be a consequence for their bad actions. Do not fall apart in front of your children, but stand firm in your actions. The key is whatever punishment you choose, stick to it! Do not falter. Make sure that you are consistent. Children need and crave structure and consistency. I will tell you that from my own experience, I have never known a child who was allowed to do what they wanted to, and indulged undeservedly by their parents, grow up to be appreciative of it. These same children that were handed everything they wanted, and were never given structure are usually the ones that grow up to be selfish adults who expect everything to be given to them, especially by their parents. The cycle doesn't end when childhood or adolescence does. It usually continues.

I do apologize for going on and on, but there is so much more that I would like to say. You didn't mention wheter or not their father was in their life, or if there is another parent figure in the household to help you. I will leave you by saying that you will be in my prayers.

[deleted account]

As far as the cleaning aspect goes... I do have a little suggestion...

The urine smell, Urine turns to ammonia, this is what you are smelling.

Ammonia is an acid, Vinegar is a base. Vinegar will neutralize the ammonia.

Spray whatever is a little smelly and you will soon see the urine smell is GONE...

Vinegar also removes paint fumes and cigarette smoke smell.

Maybe slipping a puppy training pad under the bedsheets? That will keep it in place and maybe contain the urine to the puppy pad instead of soaking into your mattresses?

Now as far as those boys breaking everything you buy for them... I suggest you DON"T replace it. Let it be broken. Make THEM throw it away broken. Tell them that IT IS GONE NOW. Tighten up on the spoiling and make them EARN the money to buy their little treasures.


View replies by

Nicole - posted on 01/04/2010




I think you've gotten some great suggestions above about disciple and schedules. Consistency in discipline is really important. I love the ideas on the SuperNanny TV show. Her name is Jo Frost and she has some books that you might be able to buy or get from the library. I also found a great book called Magic 1-2-3 at my local library- it also had two DVD's and the book was really a quick read with magical results - highly recommend it! Good luck! Remember that all Mom's go through rogh patches - just have confidence in yourself and your ability to get the situation under control. Take care of yourself too!

Heather - posted on 01/04/2010




I have four boys as well, and a little baby girl. I have created a regular routine that everyone follows. A couple of them still wet the bed occasionally. They have to take care of the mess themselves. They stop eating and drinking after a good dinner. And if they don't like the dinner, then they can go to bed hungry. If they break the bunk bed, they can sleep on the floor. Don't get them any new things until they have earned it. They don't have to watch tv, play video games, etc. Take it all away until they have earned it with displaying manners, good behaviors, helping with chores. Society has made it harder for parents to put the fear of "mom and dad" into our kids. And it gets so much harder as they get older. You have to take charge. These toys are not theirs, they are yours. You have bought these items, they are yours to give to the child who has earned them. I have told my older boys that if I see their smaller toys where the little kids can get to them, I will just throw them away. Always explain how their actions make you feel. We have our own issues, but I have shown my kids that I am the boss and I can take all the things they like away and make their days a lot harder then it has to be. Anyways, thats a little of my own advice. You got to take control now. When they are teenagers, there won't be much else you can do before they get into trouble with the law.

Michelle - posted on 01/03/2010




I have two 6 yr old twin boys, a 4 yr old boy, and a 2 yr old boy so I understand probably more than you realize. The other commenters have really great advise. So I would just stress one more time is Control. You have to be in control and follow thru. Repeat, Repeat, and Repeat. Also, another thing is structure.

People say boys will be boys and that is true to an extent, but you can't let that rule you. If they start getting to wild rein them in. Baby proof your house, lock things up, make rules, discipline, and follow thru. Make them responsible. The older three are old enough for simple chores. In the beginning my boys made a quarter a week (I know it doesn't sound like much). I would then take them to the Dollar Tree at the end of the month and they could get whatever they wanted. They really loved that. They get more now. They felt like they had some control in choosing what they wanted and felt like they were contributing to the family.

I can't say much about the bed wetting. Luckily mine are day and night trained. The only real issue I had with them is them peeing everywhere around the toilet, but in the toilet. The smell! I had to put rubber gloves on, bleach water, and scrub the floor, toilet, and wall. Then I went to Petco and got that stuff you use on pet urine and sprayed the floor, toilet, and wall. The smell is barely noticeable now. I had to really ride herd on the boys for making sure they pee in the toilet. Hopefully they continue with it.

I found a book that helped me called Children: The Challenge. I got a used copy and it was from like the 60s or something so it was kind of dated and funny in way, but the ideas behind it were good. It helped to make sense of my children and their needs and how the older, middle, and younger ones might feel in relation to our family.

Good luck and don't give up. Not to be depressing, but it never really ends, the riding herd.

Dawn - posted on 01/03/2010




You could also have the older ones decied what their punishment should be and make sure that its something to fit the crime.

Also, my 6yr old still wets the bed when he is not in pullups. He just this moment asked me if he could try underwear again. So here we go again. His ped.says its just some thing that he will adventally do. He is a deep sleeper and when he is in undies and I wake him up to go pee before I go to bed. Its like trying to wake the dead. So get for about $15 a piece at Walmart some water proof mattress covers and good luck.

Kelly - posted on 01/03/2010




You have gotten wonderful advise and so much wisdom in these responses! I just wanted to add that they do grow out of a lot of this behavior (my boys are 18 and almost 16, and now we have little girls-8 and 4). By the time they are teenagers, hopefully you will have helpful and caring young men around the house, and you will know it was all worth it! Good luck to you, and don't forget that this too will pass, so try to enjoy the good times.

Callinda - posted on 01/03/2010




Just to let you know you are not alone in struggling with your boys (and for a bit of a laugh!).....

"The following came from an anonymous Mother ... Things I've learned from my Boys (honest and not kidding):

1. A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2000 sq. ft. House 4 inches deep.

2. If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.

3. A 3-year old Boy's voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.

4. If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound Boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape. It is strong enough, however, if tied to a paint can, to spread paint on all four walls of a 20x20 ft. room.

5. You should not throw baseballs up when the ceiling fan is on When using a ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.

6. The glass in windows (even double-pane) doesn't stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.

7. When you hear the toilet flush and the words "uh oh", it's already too late

8. Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.

9. A six-year old Boy can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36-year old man says they can only do it in the movies.

10. Certain Lego pieces will pass through the digestive tract of a 4-year old Boy.

11. Play dough and microwave should not be used in the same sentence.

12. Super glue is forever.

13. No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool you still can't walk on water.

14. Pool filters do not like Jell-O.

15. VCR's do not eject "PB &J" sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do.

16. Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.

17. Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise when driving.

18. You probably DO NOT want to know what that odor is.

19. Always look in the oven before you turn it on; plastic toys do not like ovens.

20. The fire department in Austin,TX has a 5-minute response time.

21. The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.

22. It will, however, make cats dizzy.

23. Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.

24. 80% of Men who read this will try mixing the Clorox and brake fluid. "

On a more serious note, try to find a copy of the book "Raising boys" by Steve Biddulph. It is excellent, will really help you understand a lot of their behaviour, which of course helps you deal with them more effectively and best of all, enjoy your time with them more!!

Tarsha - posted on 01/03/2010




thankyou ladies for allthe help i will try lots of things especially the vinegar, Finnitta yes they have there father (my husband) living with us, if u have more suggestions please help me!!! they do wear nappies at nigt time and usually wet through still, we have been through about 3 matressess but i guess thats my fault because i didnt put covers on the matresses my boys help me strip the beds and wash their sheets, quilts etc..i think it is sometimes about being bored (we are on holidays at the moment) but thanx for ur help and if u have anything to add would be great, they also get into food in the mornings and sneak food, (we do feed them..lol) ive tried time outs (in their bedrooms with no toys) and smacking them but i dont do that anymore because it doesnt help at all all this has happened within the last 6 months (not the bed wetting) just the mis behaving, so i thought maybe it was because of baby? been to doctors about bedwetting and they said cant do anything until 8yrs old..thankyou any suggestions ideas are worth a try..trying to stay positive and not yell as much!!

Ashley - posted on 01/03/2010




I watch Super Nanny and I know it sounds funny but if you are consistent and strong willed and STICK WITH IT her techniques really do work. If they disobey you say, ' this is your last warning if you do not do 'whatever' you will sit in time out' If they continue the behavior, you put them in time out and explain to them why they are there, then you walk away and set the timer. ( 1 minute per age yr.) then you ignore any outburts or verbal attacks because they are only doing it for reaction. After their time, you go to them, explain again why they were put into time out to refresh their memories, make them apologize and give hugs and kisses. They may get up a hundred times at first, but if you stay consistent and keep putting them back till they stay for their time, it will get better. Consistency is the key for anything. If you do it only sometimes and let their behavior slide sometimes, they will never listen. Having a schedule helps a lot too. Kids do much better with a schedule. Also, if they are bored a lot, that can cause them to act up. Do different fun activities with them everyday to keep them happy and busy. Speech can cause them to act out as well, if they are not being listened to or having speech problems and feel like no one is listening, that can make ANYONE angry. So take the time to get on their level and really listen to them when they are trying to tell you something. Make sure with the time out, when you are talking to them, sound very firm, not aggresive or intimidating, just firm. I hope things get better for you, it cant' be easy living like that. Hang in there and BE CONSISTANT!!

Hdlb123 - posted on 01/03/2010




Don't punish them for wetting the bed. Unless they are awake and purposefully doing it, its not their fault. They dont mean to do it. You can buy mattress protectors for under the sheets that will save your mattresses for now.

And I agree with the last post, do not replace what they break if it is theirs. If they break it, too bad for them. Do they do chores? They are old enough to make their own beds and pick up after theselves. And keep them busy. It sounds like they are bored, maybe try having some structured activities and see if that helps at all. Lots of exercise is always good, get some of that energy out.

Krystal - posted on 01/03/2010





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