Shocked and inspired by a pupil

I'm a teacher with a daughter who has issues with wetting. Today I was teaching year 5 and a girl was clearly distracted so I sent her to the loo. She's never had issues but was so ingrossed in the lesson she ignored her body. Not uncommon. A few minutes later she poked her head in the door and asked if she could call her mum. I said yes and then realised she'd wet herself and felt sad for her but the kids were none the wiser. She later comeback In and joined rejoined the lesson and apart from me and her no one else knew what she'd done. I was just dismissing the class and she announced "careful in the hallway I did a wee and it's slippery" I asked her if she was embarrassed she said "no because I didn't mean to do it" such a star

10 Replies

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  • That's such a positive story. Thank you for sharing it. Can I ask what age the girl was and the reaction of the other children? I suspect I'm not alone, constantly worrying at what age my daughters accidents will single her out for negative responses from other children. So far she has a great group of friends and teacher who are all really supportive but there will always be children not so tolerant......

  • The little girl was 9. When she announced it we had a few giggles but she wasn't at all bothered. I really think any mention of it isn't going to bother her. Also we made lunchtime staff aware to make sure they weren't laughing at her. They said there was lots of whispers about a girl in year 5 wetting her pants but that was scandal enough they didn't care who. I've taught year 5 for over 10 years and this is the first accident I've had.

    When my daughter wets herself she's always mortified and cries and she does get bullied over it.

    In the staff room we've all been laughing as no one would have been any the wiser unless she'd told them. Bless her heart.

    How olds your daughter?

  • My daughter is just coming up to 8 ( a very young yr 3) and she's finally had formal diagnosis of overactive bladder. She's quite a confident child (as youngest often are) and my instinct has been to tell her to be open about the problem (especially with friends as they'll then support you) which is why I was interested to know what age group you were referring to and how they reacted. Since the diagnosis, I think she's been happier with being open as she now knows it's not her fault, she met others at the clinic so knows she's not alone, it is medical, we're working on improving it but accidents will happen and she just has to handle it. Her close group of friends are great and she's better at school anyway as she has a rigorous routine of going every single break. If she's desperate she's also got special permission to go during class and always has spare sets of uniform etc just in case. That said, I worry about how kids will react as she moves up the school, and widens networks and starts doing overnight trips etc. I have to say, school have been brilliantly supportive though which is, for now, what stops me worrying as much!

    I feel for your daughter, it's not easy for them to handle at a young age. I know for us it's been such a weight lifted to finally know why it's happening but we've had 3 years previously of uncertainty and doctors just telling me not to worry "she'll grow out of it"! I wish you both the best of luck.

  • I think you are wise in telling her to be open. I think children give a reaction get teased more. If she's 8 she's at an age where she could be teased so it's good she isn't being. My daughter doesn't get a urge so is doing something and starts uncontrollably urinating. The worst was in a whole school assembly as she felt the warmth and go up and tried to run to the toilet weeing all the way and they all saw it happen. I wish she had the attitude of "I'm not embarrassed because I didn't mean to do it"

  • Ah bless her, it's not easy and so misunderstood. I don't know how old your daughter is but that must have been so traumatic. We're "lucky" that the accidents tend to be small and so easier to hide at least for a short time. When she was younger that did mean she hid them for too long and then it was the smell that was the problem but thankfully at she got older she grasped that that wasn't helping and so now changes if it happens.

    Have you been able to get any support or suggestions on why she's not getting that urge?

  • She's 12. It's very traumatic for her. They say there's no reason but she's not doing it on purpose that's for sure. Last week we were on a car journey and she came in the loo tried to go and said she couldn't. By the time we got back to the car she'd wet herself. She sobs and hides her face in her lap. It's heart breaking to see how much it's affecting her happiness

  • My heart goes out to you both. As a mum it is so difficult to not be able to "fix it" for them, so I know just how much your happiness must also be impacted. It just doesn't seem right that there is no explanation. I truly hope that you get some answers soon.

  • The only answer I've been given is "maybe she doing it because she likes the attention" makes me furious as no 12 year old would do that in front of peers

  • That's crazy!! Is that specialists or just GP? Frankly, I didn't get any real understanding or acknowledgement until we got right up to a specialist clinic having been through numerous GP's and pediatricians!

  • Thank you for sharing this story. As an administrator of two Facebook groups for parents of children with wetting and soiling problems, I hear so many stories of teachers who refuse to allow children to leave the classroom to go to the toilet during lessons, it's great to hear that you were alert to your pupil's need to use the toilet and tried to help her cover up her accident.

    It is also great that this girl was so unembarrassed about what had happened and announced to the whole class that she had wet her pants so that they didn't slip in the hallway, and also that no-one teased her about it. Reminds me of one of the nicest school stories I read where a girl wet herself in her seat in class and the boy sitting next to her deliberately spilt his drinking water in her lap to cover it up.

    Best of luck in helping your own daughter with her wetting problem.

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