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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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My 5 yr old daughter has always had a problem with bowel movements.

Resolved Question:

My 5 yr old daughter has always had a problem with bowel movements. She would refuse to go, and would sometimes go as long as 2wks without having one. She would have poopy accidents often as a result Over the last couple of months she has started having wet accidents as well. Now she has at least one accident everyday. She had never wet the bed until the last 2 weeks, and now it has happened 3 times. Please help! We have tried everything!
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Bonnie replied 5 years ago.
Hello and thank you for consulting JA.

Sorry to hear your daughter is so uncomfortable. It is possible that she is impacted with stool due to bowel retention. Then, the bowel may push on her full bladder causing the involuntary wetting. The only way to know for sure is to see the primary doctor or a pediatric gastroenterologist and get an abdominal x ray. If stool impaction is the problem, the doctor will recommend aggressive use of laxatives for a while. Once everything is back to normal, the methods you have been using with daily sitting on toilet after meals will work.

I hope his helps......good luck.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
We have been to the doctor. She is not impacted.
Expert:  Bonnie replied 5 years ago.
I am sorry to emphasize the medical but has she also been checked for urinary tract infection?

If no infection and no constipation or impaction, then, it may be better to use a "low-key" approach to managing this behavior. When she wets, just say "Oh well, maybe it will be better tomorrow night and have her help you change the bed and her clothes." She is not wetting the bed purposefully. The daytime accidents (if any) may be because she is waiting too long. Again, just say "too bad, change your clothes with no emotion". There may be stress involved as the cause of this better to not stress her about it. Don't talk much about it, don't reward or punish...just be low-key. In a few months, the problems should be resolved.

If not, (and you do think stress is involved) consider some short term child play therapy. The goal of therapy is to help her express her feelings in a play setting.

I hope this helps....good luck,
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
She was checked for UTI, it was negative. She seems upset lately when she has accidents, though for a long time she didn't seem to care at all. Which drove us crazy. She has as many as three accidents a day now. She definitely waits to long. She doesn't say she doesn't have to go, she says she doesn't WANT to go. She will throw an all out tantrum sometimes trying to avoid using the bathroom when its obvious she has to go. I have list my temper more than once on these situations, but I am always careful to give positive attention when she succeeds. I have tried the "natural" consequence method, making her clean herself up and change clothes etc. This was quite unsuccessful.
Expert:  Bonnie replied 5 years ago.
Just one last thought....this is common behavior in children ultimately diagnosed with ADHD. But even with the additional imformation....I would still go with the low-key approach in case it is an attention getting ploy.
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