"Have you tried reward charts?"😡: My daughter starts... - ERIC


8,103 members2,787 posts

"Have you tried reward charts?"😡

Poppymum profile image
14 Replies

My daughter starts Reception next week.

Today she and I had a meeting with her new teacher. She was filling in a form she fills in with all parents.

She got to the section on toiletting.....

My daughter has been wet during the day ( and night) daily always. We have been trying to get help for two years.

The teacher asks "have you tried reward charts?"

hmmm let me think.....

She's had loads of GP appointments, paediatrician appointments, continence nurse appointments, four days of input/output charts involving weighing pants and measuring wee (where she had 15-17 wet accidents per day because we had to leave her and not intervene for four days), a wobl watch, measured amounts of water to drink, movicol for a while, loads of tests for UTIs that all came back negative. I've been on a full day ERIC course with her preschool key person, I've made her a book, I've tried every incentive ever, she drinks only water, Have we tried reward charts?! What does she think?!

We have purchased some incontinence knickers at £16 a pair and whilst she saw her teacher today she wet and even though she was sat down at the time thankfully her uniform which she wanted to wear to show her teacher, stayed dry, so the posh pants at least worked well. I think she will just take a few of them each day and the staff will have to take her hourly and check the pants each time.

I guess maybe before I had an almost 5 year old who wets all the time I might have judged people whose kids couldn't get dry by school age and wondered if they'd tried very hard. But I have tried everything to get this child dry. Really.

And you should see the creative reward charts I've made!

Yes. I've tried reward charts.

14 Replies
fuzzalert profile image


Is it wrong that I had a chuckle at your post?!!! What I mean is I can soooooo relate to what you are saying. My 8 year has been through all the things you mentioned and those not in the know make a suggestion like that and you have actually just got to laugh!

What I've learnt over the last 4 years is that all of these ideas are great, like charts and Wobl watches etc but more than likely with most kids the novelty wears off after a while!

My son has been through the psychology team who talked about charts and I just chuckled....however we came up with an alternative, mainly to take the pressure off my son from his accidents. He has extreme urgency and the message doesn't seem to get through that he needs to go and it comes flying out. The idea was a weekly chart with smiley faces that could be coloured in each time he got changed, as the accidents happen no matter what but now, to keep his dignity we want him to get changed. Draw up a huge spider chart with all the rewards uour daughter may like to work towards, big or small, activity or toy; trip to cinema, bouncy ball, pack of collectible cards, cereal of their choice....varied rewards that they enjoy doing or perhaps receiving. Each reward should be marked up so they have to get 1 smiley face for sat a bouncy ball or collect 5 for a trip to the cinema. They decide at the start of the week what they're working towards so rewards can be short term as I think a week is a long time in the world of a 5 year old!

I am sure you are sick of reward charts but I found this one really fun for my son to do as it was all his decision and doing!!



breckland profile image

I completely understand as I have also been asked many times have I tried reward charts. My daughter is also starting school and rarely has a dry day. We have been trialling a sparkle box which has been working for this week, probably won't next week but small victories. Anyway it is just a box filled with necklaces and bracelets some perfume and an old lipstick I never use. She gets to play with the box if she has kept her pants dry. I have even tried giving her a lip balm of her own to keep if she manages the whole day. I am sure you have already tried everything as we had, but thought I would suggest it as it has offered a mini break for us. Good luck with school.

Georgina1475 profile image

I too got so sick of that question. We ended up getting him to put money in a jar so he could see it building up but he still had issues.

Did you get them to complete an intimate care plan so your exact wishes for her care while in school are undertaken? It protects her but also that way you get what you want from them. It's the only way I could get our school to do what I wanted. Hope she has a great time starting school all the best.


Poppymum profile image
Poppymum in reply to Georgina1475


I met the senco last week who was lovely. She drew up an intimate care plan. They check Poppy hourly to see if her pants are wet. They change her in a toilet where other kids won't see. I provide wipes, nappy sacks and spare clothes. She's wearing padded pants which are meaning her uniform isn't wet just the pants. She's been changed 7/9 days so far and she's only in half days. I think she may be changed a couple of times a day at least for full days! We will see. At least it's just the pants though. Her pinafore dress is always ok. I like her new padded pants!!

Thorns77 profile image

You have my sympathy. We still struggle with this, my daughter has just gone into Y1. So far so good but I wonder how long before the accidents start again. She is still having them in the evening but luckily not a school. We were referred to the school nurse in the end but turned down by the Continence Team. I have decided to back off for now & not put pressure on.

Helen36 profile image

Hello… my daughter is about to start school too and sounds very similar to your little one. Our teacher reassured me that plenty of children still have accidents and that other children don't bat an eyelid so I mustn't worry that she will be socially impacted, which was really kind as that is actually the nub of what I am worried about. She went on to describe it as 'still potty training' so I am not sure she really understood, but hey, I am sure I will have her up to speed by the end of the year! ;)

And yes, I have tried reward charts too and had plenty of people helpfully suggest it. My view on this is that this is a medical condition so it is actually quite mean to say she can have a reward for something that (most of the time) she has little control over. The most effective ones in our house are ones that reward her for dealing with the accident and getting changed rather than not having an accident.

Good luck with school. Go and give yourself a nice sparkly sticker for not punching the teacher before term has even started ;)

Poppymum profile image
Poppymum in reply to Helen36

Thank you!!

I've since found school are lovely. Senco is lovely and they've drawn up an intimate care plan and they're discreetly changing her. I said to communicate via phone or email not in front of My daughter cos shes had enough of people talking about her wees at the end of preschool days! It's better to talk in front of her about how well she's been doing at school and save the wee chats for when she's not there!

AliStan profile image

I have to admit that I also had a wry chuckle reading this......if people on this forum had just a penny for every time we've heard "try a reward chart" or (my other personal favourite!) "she'll just grow out of it" .....we would all be very rich by now! The issues we deal with are so misunderstood but yet so common.

Best of luck to everyone with children starting school this week, it's a daunting time even without working through toileting challenges but hopefully a fun new chapter in all the kids lives.....here's hoping that all (young and "not so young") can focus on that and enjoy this special time.

Poppymum profile image
Poppymum in reply to AliStan

"She'll grow out of it" is another one, yes!! Doctors have said that before now and she hasn't yet!

She's made some progress though. She is taking herself when the first bit has come out quite often. That is progress. She does have urgency issues. She can't seem to hold it if we aren't next to a toilet but if she's near a toilet she's now getting there when only a tiny drop has come out ( not always).

AliStan profile image
AliStan in reply to Poppymum

That does sound like progress, it may only be small steps but to all of us who share your pain, those small steps can feel like you've climbed a mountain.

I got so excited the other day when we did a wee diary before her follow up appointment and she managed a wee that was 250ml .....we were dancing round the room it felt like such a huge achievement and fantastic to have something positive to celebrate. Still a long way to go but, hey, to us it was sooooo exciting!

Fingers crossed for continued steady progress....

daisie000 profile image

Poppymum, your post did make me laugh! In solidarity with you, of course. My daughter is now in year 1 and, like yours, has never been dry. We too have tried everything - and I do sometimes feel that I could cheerfully punch anyone who suggests reward charts!!!

Yes. Yes. Yes...... Somehow its not as bad when other parents say it (obviously i still want to punch them, but I know they mean well and generally i think they just want to say something to reply or help)... It's when I've been to the GP or HV, quite clearly tearing my hair out, and they look at me sympathetically and ask "have you tried reward charts"......... urm.... Y.E.S.

Piper2017 profile image

We really are all in the same boat, aren't we!.reading your post + then the replies I could have written them all.what I think is that sometimes people don't engage their brains before they open their mouths....I had a relative tell me that if they had my daughter to stay in their house for a week she would be cured of having accidents

Babycheeks26_ profile image

I can totally relate to this post! It’s so hard for people to understand when they haven’t been through it themselves. We are really struggling to get help with this and have tried every avenue. It’s so frustrating.

You may also like...