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Dr. G.
Dr. G., Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1492
Experience:  Licensed Psychologist in the state of Minnesota
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My daughter will be turning 4 in June and she has recenlty

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My daughter will be turning 4 in June and she has recenlty started having potty accidents both at home and at preschool. She seems to ignore her cues that its time to go or doesn't want to stop what she is doing or afraid another child will take the toy she is playing with. She will just stand there and pee (or sit down) and sometimes other accidents too. We are working hard to spend 1 on 1 time with her and not react negatively. She is now in charge of cleaning up as well. It is happening 3-4 times daily. We are going to get a urine sample and test her too. We moved 3 weeks ago, but we are in the same neighborhood and nothing else has changed. Ever since she was potty trained at 2 1/2 she has continued to have accidents but never like this. It might have been 1-2 a week. I am so worried and I want to do everything I can to help her. Help!
I wonder why you think she is not getting enough attention? I would try to do a reward system for every time she goes to the bathroom on her own. Make the rewards very tantalizing for her. see if that does not improve. If no improvement after a few weeks, then take her to the doctor and ask about a nerve that can be pinched which would not allow her to feel the sensation of needing to go to the bathroom.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


I just wonder if she is trying to get my attention by having accidents because then that pulls me away from her sister to be with her. I try very hard to divide my time between my two girls. They are both very mommy focused, wanting me to do everything with them, not Daddy. But when I am not around (working or traveling) then they are just fine with Daddy. Why do children typically regress or have accidents at this age?

When a younger sibling is introduced then the behavior is typical. However, the sibling is 2, and this should not be the reason. so now you are saying she can control it with her father? If this is true then: 1) have her father deal with it, and 2) this is pure manipulation. Still try the reward but also she can definitely clean it up and maybe sit in it for awhile until it is uncomfortable.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Sorry, She still has accidents with her Dad, I meant that she doesn't whine for me when Im not there. She will have accidents at friends homes too when she is playing and just doesn't want to stop what she is doing. I am trying to figure out if its that she doesn't realize she has to go or if she doesn't care or is just so focused on her toys. Is that manipulation? And why would they increase now? Do you think a move to a new house in the same neighborhood would be enough to do that. She used to be at home w/ a nanny for 3 days a week and then in January we moved her to preschool full time. I also work from home. Thanks for your help!


I don't see the move as causing it. If she is not exhibiting signs of anxiety about going to school then that would not be the reason either. I think the best way to tell if it is really about attention is to really make it uncomfortable for her to get the attention by wetting herself. In other words, praise and reward her when she goes to the potty and ignore/punish her when she goes on herself. Within a couple of weeks you should see less wetting. If not, then you have your answer as to whether it is about attention or not. Then, take her to the doctor and talk about the nerve that blocks a person from feeling when they have to go to the bathroom.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Ok last question. I have heard not to punish her for accidents. I am concerned about thatl.
Well, how do we know they are accidents??? that is what we will be testing out for the next few weeks. If they continue in spite of being rewarded and punished then we know it is something more than just manipulation and attention.