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Accidents in a Five year old - will this work?

DD is five and still has accidents on a daily basis - urine and BM. We have tried every tactic we can think of to solve this problem, and nothing has worked. We are now on a system that I'm not too certain if it will work or not, and I would like some opinions.

She loves computer - her favorite places to go are and Well, we have decided to take her computer time away completely until she can go for three days with no accidents. I have a chart that I designed just for this. Every time she has an accident, she starts again at day one (this does not include night time accidents). So far, the longest she has gone is a day and a half. (in a week and a half). Is it possible that this technique won't work? If not, we are now at our wit's end and don't know what else to do . . .


Asked by jennijune_21 at 8:52 AM on Mar. 30, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (10)
  • Went through the same thing. We noticed she was having accidents when she was playing (more relaxed). We encouraged her to take the leap pad into the bathroom with her to distract her. After about 6 months she was able to "go" on her own. We also add Benefiber to the morning cereal to aid in passing so she doesn't have large movements.

    Answer by motherofhope98 at 1:40 PM on Mar. 30, 2009

  • I think before you punisher her I would take her to her doctor and make sure there isn't a medical condition thats causing it.

    Answer by pagirl71 at 9:00 AM on Mar. 30, 2009

  • I agree with pagirl71. At age 5, she understands consequences pretty well, and I assume she is in school or daycare and would be embarassed to be doing this, and to me, she wouldn't be doing this if she could help it. Unless this is a new thing, and she used to have complete control over it, it sounds like there could be a medical reason why she is still having accidents.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 9:11 AM on Mar. 30, 2009

  • I do agree with pagirl71. Taking her to the doctor I think should be the first step. If she gets a good report from the doctor maybe you should try making her clean herself up if you are not already doing that. My DD thinks that poop is disgusting and once she had to clean herself the first time she did not do it again. Some people may think this is harsh but it worked and I knew at the time it was because she was rebelling because of a new baby, not because she could not do it.

    Answer by maddiemygirl at 9:14 AM on Mar. 30, 2009

  • If you're sure there is no medical condition, you have a 50/50 shot it will work. You won't know until you try.

    What worked for my kids isn't necessarily going to work for yours. What works for your 5 year old might not work for another one of your kids. Each kid is so different there isn't really any way to reliably predict what works and what doesn't.

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 9:19 AM on Mar. 30, 2009

  • In response to the responses (LOL):

    We have been to the doctor. She was diagnosed with chronic constipation and encompresis, which is now under control with dietary changes. Otherwise, there are no other physical reasons for this that we (including the doctor) can figure out.

    Answer by jennijune_21 at 9:33 AM on Mar. 30, 2009

  • I really empathize with you. I friend of mine talked about her son who used to do this until he was around 5, and he had a slight (I emphasize slight because it wasn't very obvious) form of autism. What I gathered is that his mind was just too busy and he would just 'go'. Something to consider is what we did with my daughter. She couldn't stand anything on her body and breakdowns several times a day about how things felt on her skin. She couldn't wear underwear or socks, three quarter length anything, most shoes, etc. Her skin would light up red with just lotion. Her pediatrician had no answers. My friend (I mentioned above) suggested we take her to a place called 'A Step Ahead' where they treat speach, learning, autism, and tactile disorders, etc. It was AWESOME. With basic touch therapy, she was 'fixed' in about 6 months. Sometimes there are things that go on with our kids psyche that aren't physicaly obvious.

    Answer by mycoolmats at 9:57 AM on Mar. 30, 2009

  • Just another note. I think your solution is a great start. You should know within a few months if consequences work. We did this kind of thing with my daughter and it worked a little. When it didn't really fix the problem we went to the 'A Step Ahead'. Go with your instints! You sound like a great Mom.

    Answer by mycoolmats at 9:59 AM on Mar. 30, 2009

  • Well, then give your idea a shot. You didn't mention that you had already been to the dr, that's why we suggested it. It might work; it might not. All kids are different and two kids can respond in completely different ways to the same situation. Good luck!

    Answer by tropicalmama at 10:02 AM on Mar. 30, 2009

  • How long ago was she at the Drs.? Has she had time to get used to they changes in her body from the different diet? How often during the day does she go in her clothes? Does she ever show signs that she has to go (like crossing her legs, putting her hand down there to help hold it in? Have your tried putting her on a schedule? If you notice it happens about the same time of day or so much time after meals, maybe help her remember by telling her to sit on the potty.

    Webmd "In most children with encopresis, the problem begins with passing very large stools or having pain while passing stools....* Over time, the child becomes reluctant to pass bowel movements and holds it in to avoid the pain. * This “holding in” becomes a habit that often remains long after the constipation or pain with passing bowel movements has resolved"

    Answer by marbear98 at 1:22 PM on Mar. 30, 2009