Question of the Day is where Breezy Mama‘s Go-To parenting whiz, Dr. Fran Walfish, who is an Expert in Parents Magazine’s “Ask Our Experts” column, is here to answer your daily parenting questions. Make sure to send us what’s on your mind to firstname.lastname@example.org and Dr. Walfish will tackle it in a future Breezy post.
Now on to today’s question. . .
Help! My five and a half year old is peeing his bed every night and peeing in his clothes two-three times per day. This is relatively new. I try and just be calm and chill about it, I’m attributing to some sort of stress, but I’m at my wit’s end.
The first important piece of information you shared is that the peeing “accidents” are relatively new. This indicates one of a few possibilities. The first possibility is medical. Make sure you take him to his pediatrician, who may refer you to a pediatrician urologist, to rule out a bladder or kidney infection. The second is trauma. Something scary and anxiety raising may have occurred. Molestation, force by a peer or adult, and someone raging at your 5 1/2 little boy are possibilities. The third possible cause may be anger in him. If he is involved in or witnesses too much conflict during the daytime he may not have other ways to express his deep upset but to pee in his pants (you know, the expression, ‘pissed off’). Had you told me that he was peeing in his bed every night and two to three times each day I would have suggested the possibility of an immaturity in the development of his physical muscles that cue a person they need to urinate. Often, this slow to develop mechanism is a symptom that goes along with ADHD. Many kids with ADHD do not want to stop the fun and focus of what they are doing to momentarily walk to the bathroom and urinate. Thus, many daytime accidents. However, the fact that your son’s issue is relatively new rules out the ADHD component. Get him evaluated by his pediatrician and ask for a referral to a good child therapist who can help you create a plan for how to help your child.
About Dr. Frances Walfish:
Frances Walfish, Psy.D. is the foremost Beverly Hills child and family psychotherapist. Her caring approach, exuberant style, humor, and astute insights have earned her a sterling reputation among colleagues and national media alike. A frequent guest on top-tier TV programs, including NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams and KABC-TV in Los Angeles, The Doctors, CBS and often appearing in major publications such as Parents Magazine, Family Circle and Woman’s Day, Dr. Fran continues to lead the field with her expert insights and innovative strategies for parents, children and couples.
Her current book, The Self-Aware Parent: Resolving Conflict and Building a Better Bond with Your Child from Palgrave Macmillan’s/St. Martin’s Press, December 7, 2010, is receiving acclaimed reviews. William Morris Endeavor and Lake Paradise Entertainment are presently collaborating with Dr. Fran to produce a television series offering therapeutic guidance and help to families in America. More information on Dr. Fran can be found online at DrFranWalfish.com.
To order Dr. Walfish’s book ($11.56 on Amazon), click here.