Stubborn or unaware?

Hello I'm new here and feeling defeated by our toileting problems.

My nearly 6yo is fully wetting herself everyday. When I pick her up from school she is soaked through. She says she doesn't need the toilet yet I can see her jiggling about and if I carry her to the toilet and put her on it she will often wee immediately.

She won't tell the teachers at school if she has wet herself, she is allowed to go to the toilet whenever she wants but doesn't go.

It's now also happening at home and when we're out and about.

I prompt her a lot. Her default response is that she doesn't need the toilet. I've asked her to stop and think about her bladder before answering me and that doesn't help. I ask her to escort me to the toilet and offer her to go before me and after me. But she's adamant she doesn't need to go.

I praise her for trying, and I have explained that it makes me so happy to know that the wee has gone in the toilet! I try not to act negatively when she wets herself, we change her clothes as quickly as we can and I explain that this is to prevent infection and rash and soreness.

I don't know what to do from here. Do I speak to her teacher again? We don't seem to be getting anywhere with this. Do I speak to the school nurse? Our GP?

She's such a wonderful and clever kid, I wish I knew how to help her with this

13 Replies

  • Has she previously been dry? Maybe starting school has caused her stress?

    My son is nearly 7. He has never been dry, the consultant told me that a child of this age wouldn't be wetting them self out of choice. My son doesn't wet himself as such (big wee) but becomes wet throughout the day from constant leaking.

    Have you thought about trying a woble watch? My sons is set to every two hours. The school are happy to help with this. It might help your daughter to get into a habit of going to the toilet regularly.


  • Have you considered whether she might be constipated? I know that for us that is a big issue that definitely leads to loss of sensation, urgency and accidents.

  • Also mine witholds and won't use the toilet when she is fearful of a 'naughty poo', so will wet herself eventually.

    New school toilets can create this fear for poo, not wee, and result in accidents as they don't want to sit and push if there is one waiting to come out the rectum.

  • She was initially nervous of going poo at school, and had had a couple of soiling accidents, but after we renamed the toilet the poo house she seemed to be ok again!

  • I did consider a wobl watch, I'll see how we get in before investing in one.

  • Familiar story, "I DON'T NEED A WEE" but I am the parent of a 9yo girl for who this is no longer an issue. :) We have dry pants all day and night.

    Keep the faith - try the drugs if need be, ensure constipation isn't behind it. Try the book Words That Work (it's really helpful if even not a cure)

  • I will definitely look up that book thank you!

  • It sounds as though you haven't yet been referred for medical assessment? My 6 year old son wets daily and I went through a phase of thinking it was just laziness, which I now feel very guilty for. It is now clearly not his fault and I wish I had known that all along. We have seen a general paediatrician who suspects an overactive bladder, and are now on waiting list for a paediatric urologist, which I am hoping will lead to us trying some medication.

    I totally sympathise with your situation, it is exhausting! But I would push for referral to a urologist or a continence nurse at this stage, and see what they say.

  • I think I was waiting to hear this, thank you 😊

  • You know your daughter best, my advice would be to trust your instincts and if you think there may be something wrong, push for that referral. With hindsight, I didn't push soon enough, trusting GP's etc that told me she'd grow out of it, assuming they knew best. Turns out they didn't she has overactive bladder and finally we're making progress but I feel so guilty that I wasted probably 2 years when I could have been getting help for her.

    Good luck though, it's not an easy journey but know that most people on this site can be there when (unfortunately not if) you need to let off steam along the way!

  • Yes, I was told that most children grow out of it by age 7 and that health professionals would not be interested until that age, but actually, it was clear that there was a real medical issue from the age of 4 and I wish I had pushed for referral then.

  • I've just joined the community to seek answers for a similar problem with my 5yo son.

    It's so frustrating and I swing from worrying he has a health concern to worrying he has an emotional issue to worrying how stubborn he is.

    I can't offer any wise words but I empathise. Hope things improve.


  • Welcome! You're in good company on this site....

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