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Bonnie, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 2189
Experience:  and pediatric nurse practitioner with 30 years of experience counseling parents.
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I have a 5.5 year old who wets her pants every single day.

Resolved Question:

I have a 5.5 year old who wets her pants every single day. We've tried positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, ignoring it, reasoning with her, bribing her, etc. Nothing seems to work. She started Kindergarten this year and I'm afraid if this continues, they won't let her stay at school. She is too old to be doing this. My friends who have children all tell me things like "oh, my kid just started using the potty, never any accidents" No one I know has had this problem so I have nowhere else to turn. Please help, I'm desperate.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Bonnie replied 5 years ago.
Does your daughter have normal development otherwise? Normal speech and learning skills. Has she every been dry all day?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes, other than the toilet issue, she has completely normal, if not advanced, development. She's very smart, has a large vocabulary, reading some, has good early math skills, she's physically strong, learns quickly, loves to help with household chores, plays games, tries new things, very social and friendly, etc.

She has been dry all day before. In fact, there were a couple times in the past when she went so long without wetting (a few weeks) that we thought she was finally past the problem, but then she started again. At this point, I can't actually remember the last time she had a dry day though, it was so long ago.
Expert:  Bonnie replied 5 years ago.
The first thing to do is to have her checked out physically to rule out urinary tract infection or other physical reason.

If this has already been done, then, I would try changing to a "matter-of-fact" approach. Send a change of clothes to school, make her change her bed at home and just say "Oh well, you'll have to change" and leave it at that. She may be enjoying the attention (albeit negative) that she is getting and this is reinforcing the behavior.

The only other cause would be getting so involved with her play that she ignores the physical signals that she has to go until it is too late. In that case, use the "matter-of-fact" approach but also put her on a toileting schedule of every 2-3 hours. There is also medication that the MD can prescribe, DDAVP which is an anti-diuretic.

I hope this helps and thanks for trusting JA with your concern.
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