May 13, 2019 at 11:32 am #116550
My daughter has the inattentive form of ADD. She’s bright, so she’s keeping up in school even with the lack of focus.
However her toileting issues have me losing my mind. We’ve been to the urologist and taken brain scans. We’ve also done OT. Everything checked out OK, so the culprit is clearly her ADD.
She’ll go 6 months staying dry, then 4 months soaking herself. I’ve tried the potty watch, reward charts, punishments, taking her at set times. She fights me on everything. If I introduce something new she’ll enjoy the novelty for about 2 days and then we’re back where we started from.
I’ve explained to her the consequences of being wet: She smells and others don’t want to be around her. She still wets.
I can’t be in charge of her bladder any more. It’s just too much.
Is it time to start medication or is there something else to try first?
May 13, 2019 at 11:43 am #116552
I have this same struggle with my almost six-year old, newly ADHD+anxiety diagnosed son. Some days he does great, and then he’ll go through a streak where he has pee accidents once or twice a day. He throws a fit if we remind him to potty, or if we can see that he has to go but isn’t going (he tends to get wild and act out if he has to pee badly). It’s exhausting. I’ve even had to buy him more pants because most of his nicer ones are elsewhere (school or after care) in the laundry! Looking forward to seeing what others suggest.
May 13, 2019 at 12:16 pm #116563
Thanks for sharing. It’s rough, isn’t it? But it helps to know that I’m not alone. 🙂
May 13, 2019 at 12:08 pm #116561
She should never be punished for this. There could be several reasons that are not medical. Emotional problems, I have seen kids do this with a dysfunctional home life. She should see a therapist to talk to there could be things that she can’t discuss with you.
May 13, 2019 at 12:18 pm #116564
She is MY daughter. She lives in a stable, two-parent household. She is wanted and loved and I remind her of that every day, sometimes every hour. She also has a therapist and is welcome to confide in her if the need arises. As for the punishments, they have their place. In this case they aren’t working so I’m not going to provide a consequence that has no effect.
May 13, 2019 at 12:45 pm #116569
A couple of things to consider that may already have been mentioned or implied. Your daughter’s accidents could be anxiety related. Or there could be some control issues going on. If she senses that this is an issue that makes you crazy, she may be having “accidents” as a way of acting out. That’s not to say that this isn’t ADD related. My adhd daughter, who is 10 now, went through an extremely challenging period of time when she was your daughter’s age. There were no potty issues, but she was very defiant, and, sometimes out of control. It was extremely worrisome. So I wonder if your daughter might be going through something similar, even though it may look different with your daughter.
The thing that worked best to turn things around in our house was following the Kazdin Method (the book can be purchased on amazon) and working with a therapist who specialized in the Kazdin Method. Basically the “method” is about ignoring the bad behavior (within reason), and giving praise and rewards for good behavior. It sounds basic enough but I’d encourage you to get the book for details. Sometimes the details can make all the difference. The other huge thing with my daughter has been to remain calm and steady, even when her behavior is really bad. And this is the recipe that we still use today. She is still a challenging child, but so much better now than she used to be.
May 13, 2019 at 1:51 pm #116582
Thanks so much for your input. I’ve heard of the Kazdin method but didn’t pursue it because my daughter doesn’t present as a challenging kid. She has the inattentive form of ADHD and is not hyperactive at all. She’s also a slow processor. She isn’t doing this on purpose. The trouble is what she isn’t doing – she isn’t toileting at the appropriate times.
In general I find that there are loads of resources centering around kiddos with hyperactivity. There seems to be a lot less for the slow processing/inattentive types. Having said that, I’ll try rereading the Kazdin book and see if I can tweak it to fit my needs.
May 15, 2019 at 8:44 am #116702
The inattention and slow processing could be to blame. Both could cause her to wait too long to go to the bathroom.
Also, struggling with transitions can do the same. If she’s doing something, she has to stop, transition to going to the bathroom, finish that, then transition again back to what she was doing. While this is natural to most of us, it’s quite a process for a brain that struggles with executive functioning.
If it’s due to inattention or executive functioning deficits, ADHD medication could help.
You’ve probably done this already, but, if not, read about enuresis.
As you stated, punishments aren’t working so there’s no sense in continuing to try that. It’s also a signal that the wetting isn’t intentional or a lack of caring about it happening. If it was, punishments would likely correct the behavior.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
May 24, 2019 at 5:04 pm #117195
My daughter (just turned 7, diagnosed with Inattentive ADHD) does this from time to time. She doesn’t necessarily wet herself completely, she goes a little in her panties. Basically, she gets so involved with what she’s doing, she doesn’t realize she really has to go to the bathroom until it’s too late. I tell her it’s no biggie and to maybe try she remember to go potty when she first feels the urge. I know that ADHD kids are hypersensitive and any shame or disappointment they feel is multiplied times 100. Staying calm, kind, and letting her know I’m not mad, angry, or upset has helped.
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