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How can I help stop my 5 yr old from using the bathroom on herself?

She's been potty trained from the age of 2.5. Within the last month and a half she's been wetting herself everyday during the daytime. At night she's fine, meaning that she doesn't wet the bed. She even developed a rash at one point because she kept peeing on herself. Not only that, there are times when she'll have some BM in her panties as well. I've spanked her, scolded and even tried talking, but nothing is working. I've asked her several times if anyone has touched her private parts and she says, no. She's now resulted to lying, saying that she spilled something or that she got wet from a sink, which I know is a lie. I'm taking her to the doctor on Monday to see of she has an UTI or to see if there's something psychological going on. Yes, there has been some changes in the house and I'm looking into that as well. In the meantime, I just need some type of answer because I'm at my wits end.

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Asked by Anonymous at 2:06 PM on Apr. 17, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (6)
  • If she's lying about it, it's so she won't get in trouble. Obviously the changes in the house are enough to cause this reversion. It's probably stress-related and yelling about it won't make it any better. Just try to stay calm and reassure her that accidents do happen but she really needs to try to make it to the potty. Basically, start over again. Any changes in a child's life can cause them to revert to old behavior, over time, hopefully she'll come out of it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:11 PM on Apr. 17, 2009

  • Why would you assume someone touched her? Has there been cause for that questioning?

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:11 PM on Apr. 17, 2009

  • First, make sure there is no medical problem If there is, make sure she knows that this problem is in no way her fault and apologize for getting upset with her. Show her that even adults can own up to mistakes and help her move forward.

    If it's not a medical problem, I'd still sit down and talk to her about how stressful things have been lately. I'd still apolgize for getting upset with her and tell her that you know she wouldn't do it if she could help it - because that is VERY true and getting in trouble for something she can't control simply adds to her stress and makes accidents more likely. Then tell her that you will help her get through this time by reminding her occasionally during the day to go to the bathroom and give it a try. After that, start reminding her once an hour to go. If you prefer, set a timer or teach her to set it. Once the stress starts to ease, she can start going when she needs to.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 6:01 PM on Apr. 17, 2009

  • She is probably lying now because she feels bad enough about doing it and getting yelled at and spanked probably isn't helping. I just tell my daughter to go in and sit for a couple of seconds if it has been awhile, but you need to rule out medical issues first.

    Answer by monkeyberry at 8:01 PM on Apr. 17, 2009

  • Stress does play a big part in accidents of this nature. My two oldest have had problems in the past. Yelling and disciplining only make it worse (personal experience). Try not to make too big of a deal about it, at least to your daughter. You didn't tell us if she is in school. My oldest son would have accidents at school because no one told him that he should use the bathroom during recess. I hope this helps.

    Answer by dustbunny at 2:32 AM on Apr. 19, 2009

  • Thank you for all of your help. I took her to the doctor on Monday and she was diagnosed with an UTI as well as constipation. Both contributed to her using the bathroom on herself. She's on antibiotitics for the UTI and a fiber drink for the constipation.

    What I've also started is taking some one on one time with her and it has helped tremendously. I apologized to her for the spanking and yelling. She hasn't had an "accident" for almost a week and hasn't lied about it. She even wanted me to check her to let me know that she was telling me the truth. I told her that I trusted her and she was happy. Guess she needed some TLC physically and psychologically. We tend to forget that they are people too and need just as much love and attention as we do. Thanks again.

    Answer by mrslourob at 10:53 AM on Apr. 22, 2009

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