Tired of my stepdaughters Sh**.... Bathroom issues

fatherfigureSeptember 13, 2010

Alright so I have been with my fiancee for a year plus and well we have overcome many obstacles but this 1 in particular is getting into something bigger and as it seems unstoppable. I have 3 step daughters, 2 that live with us and one with the paternal grandmother....(long story). So now before we got together she told me that her youngest..Jennifer has a bathroom problem, she doesnt use the toilet all the time and sometimes goes to the bathroom in her pants and when she sleeps. So here I am thinking we are dealing with a bed wetter and a weak bladder. Oh boy was I wrong. I started to closely observe Jennifer's bathroom habits when she had an "accident" as she calls them and what she was doing and all of that.... I started to sense a pattern, she gets in trouble and she sneaks away and squats and next thing u know shes dirty. She doesnt get her way and boom... So I talk to her mother my fiancee and I ask her whats going on. She tells me Jenny up until 3 yrs ago would drop her pants and go on her bedroom rug, her going in her pants wasnt acceptable but better then that. Doctors all told her that shed stop when she was ready and even Jennifers grandmother said its OK because she too had this problem as a child. (Jenny is grandmas girl)

Now heres the best part she is 9 years old 4th grade and DOESNT do it at school. She has a tiny wiping problem when she does take the initiative to use the toilet THATS the least of my worries at the moment. I havent known her without a Urinary Tract infection, she always has an odor of urine around her and she doesnt seem to care. she poops and pees herself while awake and asleep. Her claim to fame is that she cannot feel it, but the doctors all said shes all good nothings wrong she does feel it. Besides the fact that she does this to herself she doesnt take off the underwear and pants clean herself up and bring the dirty stuff to the laundry,she will either sit in it or take it off and hide it under her pillows, toys, stuffed animals etc weve done more cleaning and steaming of her room then I have ever imagined. We live in a new home and we spoke with her on how she cant bring this problem here from the old home.....she said she understood and now here we are, she always has dirty underwear and they are always hidden or still on her. I do the laundry so when she doesnt hide it I am lucky enough to get it and its not really fair in my opinion. We have tried talking to her about it, telling her its not good or healthy, nothing seems to impact her. We have even put her in diapers (childrens obviously)....its all in one ear and out the other or doesnt even make a difference. I am in fear for the health of my other SD, my fiancee and myself and of course Jennifer and our pets.

How do I get her to STOP!!!!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This sounds like an emotional issue and this girl needs to get into counseling asap. This is NOT normal behavior and the fact that she does not do this at school shows that she has control over it in some way.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2010 at 11:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Many times she has explained to me that she is lazy. She will say how she doesnt wanna get out of bed because she is in her comfortable spot, or shes outside playing, or coloring, something else has her attention and she doesnt want to go away from that. She doesnt want to miss anything.

Shes been to 7 different counselors in the last year and they all say shes a fine little girl nothing wrong she will stop when she is ready.

Shes an all around happy girly girl never angry sad or upset, shes always playing with her dolls or watching disney movies. She has though admitted that she doesnt want to grow up. She does a baby voice (more high pitched squeaky voice) which is cute but gets old QUICK because we miss our 9 year old Jenny.

We are afraid shes in some type of regression for reasons in her own mind based on control of some sort. I just dont know anymore!!!

My mother is a cps worker and she sees all of the "work and effort" weve put into finding the cause of this but it doesnt work. Even SHE is baffled and she sees some of the craziest things around.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2010 at 7:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What have you done to reward or punish this behavior?

Personally, I would tell her that babies go to the bathroom in their pants, not big girls. If she goes to the bathroom in her pants, she is acting like a baby, and she will be treated like a baby. That means no (whatever she does that she likes to do) because babies can't do that. No ice cream, because babies can't eat ice cream. Babies get blended spinach and peas and have to watch Baby Einstein rather than Hannah Montana.

My dd had the same issue with peeing in her pants. She didn't want to stop what she was doing. A couple of times of having to miss whatever because no, mommy doesn't have a spare change of clothes and you can't stay here with pee-pee pants nipped that behavior in the bud.

Also, UTI-prone people should not eat sugar or take baths. I'd have a doctor who is sympathetic tell her that. No candy, no cake, no soda.

Right now she is in control. That's fine, and that's an important part of growing up, is gaining control. But you hold the cards, you make the rules.

I'd also strip her room of everything. It might be worth it to put in laminate floors. No fancy comforter, only one pillow, no toybox, etc. nowhere to stash wet undies.

In my house, babies take naps. They don't eat candy. They go to bed very early. They don't get stuffed animals. Let her make the decision that pooping in her pants is not worth losing her freedom.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2010 at 11:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We dont punish her for having the problem really, just because we dont want to scar her more if there is an extreme underlying reason. We punish when we find the dirty underwear or whatever has poop or pee on it. We havent done the blended spinach and peas route but we have given her a bottle with milk in it, we have had her in diapers, bed time @ 630-7 like babies get. We also have stripped her room bare and kept it that way for a week then we allowed her the 2nd chance she pleaded for and she got her room back.

Her underwear are numbered and they are kept in our posession but she doesnt have a problem wearing no underwear to school (not a punishment from us). She showers at night around 7 and I feel that she should wear those underwear to school the next day *how i was raised*. She will soil herself "in her sleep" and throw the clothes to the floor or under her bed and not wear underwear that day.

Her mother checks her everyday when she gets home and every night before she goes to bed.

I have honestly gave thought to not allowing her to sit.... No bowel movement if youre standing straight, and to pee while standing leaves a stream down your leg. I just wasnt sure if that was cruel.

We are lost.... Thanks so far for the help a lot of stuff will go into the works tonight just wondering what else.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2010 at 12:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have no experience with this, but that's really tough. I can see why you don't want to punish her because what if it's an undiagnosed medical condition, as you said. Maybe you should focus more on the hiding of soiled undies problem? Explain that she cannot have a filthy room, and if she hides dirty undies under toys or pillows the toys or pillows will be removed and/or thrown away - and then do that. I also think nine is old enough to start doing some basic cleaning up; if the carpet needs scrubbed because soiled underwear sat on it, there's no reason a supervised nine year old couldn't do that.

Even if it ends up somehow being a medical issue, she's going to have to, at some point, start taking responsibility for herself and there's no time like the present. I had a friend growing up who had fairly serious gastro-intestinal problems and at a younger age than that would clean up after himself.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2010 at 1:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Are you and your wife completely on the same page in this? And/or are you two able to get there? Because it sounds to me like a united front will absolutely be necessary...

I like the idea of having to clean up after herself -- not in an obvious harsh, angry and punitive way, but rather, in a matter-of-fact "You're old enough to take care of these things by yourself now" way. Patient and kind teaching, but absolutely positively she has to do it herself from start to end, every time, no exceptions as soon as it happens, past a three to four day learning period. Make it much more trouble for her to have to clean up than to stop what she'd doing and go the the bathroom.

And I'd definitely mention the 'pattern' you perceive to your wife and ask her to keep an eye out for it.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2010 at 5:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

was she ever evaluated by a psychiatrist? how is she doing at school? does she have other emotional issues? what does her pediatrician say? this is clearly abnormal.

i do have experience with such behavior, but in my experience (not personal, work)it is always due to emotional impairment (or some disturbance).

i would address her mental health very seriously before i consider consequences. i have been working with children my entire adult life and I have never met a child would wet or soiled his/her pants or bed (older than age 3, OK maybe 4, and even then only at night)unless we are talking about some form of emotional issue or disturbance.

I am surprised to hear how many people's children do this on a regular basis. i find it very alarming. i am sorry, but this is not normal. I understand some children are less mature than others, but at some age it stops being maturity issue and becomes something more serious.

please talk to her doctor ASAP.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2010 at 6:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree PO1, but my dd still has accidents on occasion. She has never once wet the bed, which I find really unusual, but she will get distracted and not want to take the time to go pee, so she'll have a small accident... she never "fully" wets her pants, but dampens them, so to speak. I don't think it's an issue of emotional impairment or disturbance, simply a kid who is having too much fun to stop and use the bathroom.

What works for us is having her go on a regular basis, whether she thinks she needs to go or not, we 'try' to go. Perhaps going into the bathroom every hour on the hour and sitting there will help her get attuned to going on the potty more frequently - while you're there, you might as well go... if you know what I mean.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 8:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

She showers at night around 7 and I feel that she should wear those underwear to school the next day *how i was raised*.

I don't know what you should do about this... There's obviously more than just frequent UTIs going on here...
But I wanted to pipe up with that I was born with subtle bladder, ureter, urethra, labia and kidney malformations. I was very prone to UTIs, though none of the other problems you have spoken of your SD having.

If there is a chance that ANY of this is UTI related, here's the deal on girls who are prone to UTIs:

- No tub baths. If she does have a tub bath, no soap or bath products in it and she needs to pee immediately before she gets in and immediately after she gets out. Bacteria housed in the urethra can be flushed in by the bathwater.

- She needs a fresh washcloth and towel for every time she showers.

- Underwear need to be changed at LEAST every twelve hours. Sweat, bacteria, dead skin, etc accumulating in underwear cause all kinds of problems.

- Underwear need to be 100% cotton, with a smooth even fit. Poly blends don't breath properly. Undies that are too big bunch up and create havens for bacteria to grow. Undies that are too small cause sweating, chafing, etc, which also leads to bacterial growth.

- Underwear must be worn at all times.

- She should be peeing at least every two hours. An infected urinary tract (or one that is prone to infection) needs CONSTANT flushing.

- She needs to keep her hands off her crotch. Handling increases the likelihood of active infection. Any self-handling needs to be done with freshly washed hands and she needs to pee immediately after.

- She needs to learn PERFECT wiping technique. Never wipe the urethral area - pat it gently. She's pretty young for worrying about vaginal hygiene, but she should be patting that too. Poop should always be wiped from front to back - never forwards.

- She needs to be drinking a lot of water - way more than most kids her age - not juice or pop or Crystal Light... Water!

- If you can get her to drink it, she should be drinking homemade cranberry juice every day. Buy a bag of frozen cranberries; boil them in 2.5 L of water for 5-7 minutes; put it in a jug in the fridge. She should drink 2c a day. If she isn't into the taste (it's pretty potent), then you can get cranberry capsules in most vitamin sections.

- She shouldn't be having much sugar, particularly refined sugar. Not that any kid should be having lots of sugar, but sugar can feed the bacteria in the body.

- She should be taking a probiotic of some kind. Either pill or yogurt. This encourages the growth of HEALTHY bacteria, while discouraging the growth of unhealthy bacteria.

Also, when she says she can't feel it, is there any chance she means that she can't feel the urge until it's too late? UTIs can really mess with the signals you receive from the area. I remember how I wouldn't have to go, and then it would be "AHHH! I have to go NOW!" and I would sprint to the bathroom while ripping my pants down on the way down the hall.

I'm sorry I don't have any ideas for the emotional side of it... But I'm an old pro at UTIs in little girls!!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 12:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow, thanks for all the help everyone.

Mattie and Sweeby thank you for your words first of all.

PO1 we have brought her to psychiatrists, counselors, therapy all of the above in the mental health side they say she is fine and will be done when shes ready and as far as pediatrician same thing its just something she does for now.

Silver- we get her in the bathroom hourly but it seems it happens when shes either sleeping and wakes up or outside playing, rarely is it during homework and NEVER at school, its just when she "doesnt want to get out of the comfy spot" in bed or when shes "too distracted with the things around her". We cant exactly shut down our lives or make her sister suffer and say NO FUN because your sister cant handle it. So ughk. haha

Its tough because we have tried every angle, chosen our words wisely and it hasnt changed a thing.

Her biggest excuses are, "she doesnt feel it" doctors have proven she does, "she doesnt want to grow up" MY FAVORITE UGHK

Or lastly the most amazing one is....

I didnt do that!


    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 9:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"I have never met a child would wet or soiled his/her pants or bed (older than age 3, OK maybe 4, and even then only at night)unless we are talking about some form of emotional issue or disturbance. "

PO1, my DD is 8 and wets the bed. Every single night. Without fail.

She has never stayed dry. EVER.

SS potty-trained when he was 2 and was night-trained at the same time.

DD was a late potty trainer---she turned 3 in May, and was potty trained (day) by July. I had tried to do it earlier, when she was about 2.5 but she was pretty resistant, so I dropped the issue and let her do it on her own clock.

Now---she struggled with constipation and encopresis since she was 3 years old. She was on an adult daily dose of Miralax for three years and even then, she would strain and scream when having a BM. It sucked. The only thing that would somewhat help was putting her in a warm bath, relaxing and then the urge to poop would come.

But she'd turn beet red, cry and scream. So painful that she would hold it for days and then....explode. Baseball sized balls sometimes. OUCH.

It has to be something *genetic* because her bio-dad's older daughter (who was 2/3 when I knew her) had the SAME issue.

Anyway, she outgrew this around age six, but the bedwetting has never stopped. I do believe that it may be the result of some kind of stretching---due to her years of constipation issues. I'm not sure, though. Her ped. says it's normal---that 10-15% of kids in her age group still wet the bed. That percentage drops a little each year.

I actually have an appt. with a specialist for her in two weeks--to rule out any physical abnormalities. My gut says there's nothing, though, just something she will have to outgrow.

It is frustrating but she is a smart, social, happy little girl---no emotional disturbances, probs in school, anger issues, or anything. Just bedwetting. Apparently, it's MORE concerning if a child IS DRY for a period of at least six and then resumes wetting the bed.

She wears pullups half the time, and goes without the other half. I limit her fluids in the evening---none after 7 pm---and wake her up around 10-11 pm to take her potty.Anytime I wake up in the middle of the night, I will take her to the bathroom, as well, but often, by this time, she's already wet. We tried a bedwetting alarm for 8 weeks, too. So far, nothing has worked.

I don't know if it's a sleep issue--like she is a deep sleeper? Or if it's a matter of physical control/physical maturity.

Ceph, that is interesting about the UTIs and the sudden urge to go. THAT is the only thing about DD that I've noticed that seems *unusual.* We will be out or in the car or whatever--and all of a sudden, she says "I have to go right now!" and we have to find a bathroom immediately! She cannot hold it, it;s like there is NO warning and she just has to pee ASAP.

But she's never had a UTI or anything so...

OP, I do agree with PO1 that urinating during the day---so blatantly and intentionally--is probably more of an emotional issue. I would be more inclined to think it's THAT rather than a physical issue.

Rather than focusing on consequences, I think I would just be calm and matter of fact and hold her responsible. make her clean up, put clothes in laundry room, change sheets on bed, etc. I wouldn't be angry or punish, but just really make sure the brunt of the cleanup is on her.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 10:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Love, my dd has the URGEncy as well. It's NOW!! We've combatted that by going ALL THE TIME... just to try. I think she just didn't consider it a priority until it was an emergency. Have you considered adding psyllium to your daughter's food? It's tasteless, and it does the trick with my dd.

Father, if you're cleaning up poopy stuffed animals it seems like your life is already shut down. She needs a wristwatch with a timer. And she needs to try every 1/2-1 hour. I agree with taking this to a physician, but I really feel from your words that this is a manipulation on her part.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 11:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ceph, that is interesting about the UTIs and the sudden urge to go. THAT is the only thing about DD that I've noticed that seems *unusual.*

Love, I think it becomes a structural and sensory issue when there's been some sort of chronic problem.

For me, when I was little and had all the problems, all the finicky little sphincters and stretch receptors associated with the "urge to go" were damaged. My urethra was cone-shaped from constant pressure and my ureters and kidneys had bulging spots. My PC muscles were a mess from all the stress they were constantly under (kind of like during pregnancy, LOL).
Basically, my body was so structurally damaged from all the UTIs (that were caused by minor structural problems) that it lost the ability to give me the fine-tuning messages. I had a lot of surgeries to repair the problem and the damage it caused. I had to do a lot of work to train my body back again - my specialist had me doing Kegals at age 8!!

Since your DD had poop troubles, she might have some pelvic floor damage that's making it hard for her bladder control to mature normally. If the poop trouble is gone now, it will likely correct on its own though.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 12:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"we get her in the bathroom hourly but it seems it happens when shes either sleeping and wakes up ... its just when she "doesnt want to get out of the comfy spot" in bed... "

That part I can totally relate to! I always had a difficult time falling asleep, and a difficult time truly waking up. More than once when I was young I had accidents in the morning; it wasn't true bed-wetting because I'd wake up and know I had to go, but decide I could wait a bit longer, and drowse back off again, until - too late! I also would have dreams that I was in the bathroom so it was OK; unfortunately I'd really be in my own bed. Apparently others in my family had the same thing when they were younger as well, and one family member still has this happen if they are feverish (dreaming that they are in the bathroom).

Ceph, Love, and Silver - how tough this must be sometimes for you. I admire your patience! Great info on UTI's, ceph.

FatherFigure, best of luck.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 9:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm sure if she's seen counselors, they've evaluated for this...but are you sure she hasn't been sexually abused?

For awhile I worked with kids who had been sexually abused and several of them had bowel issues and also the whole "baby talk" thing. Even a lot of adults who were sexually abused as children still do the baby talking and act very child like.

Hope it works out for you, I can't imagine how frustrating (and disgusting!) that would be.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 6:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

so very true jennmonkey, I would look into that too, if not sexual abuse then some form of emotional abuse

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 6:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

so if she doesn't soil her pants at school, I agree this is controlable on her part. UTI might explain peeing in her pants, but not pooping in her pants..
She states she still wants to be a baby....I think this is an attention thing on her part for whatever reason, you guys have taken her too tons of counselors (attention), number her underwear (attention), scrub everything down (attention), talked to her about it (attention), put her in diapers (attention) the list could go on and on....and through all that, even stripping her room (things that she wouldn't be thrilled about) she still got your attention...
If I were you, you have spent so much time trying to fix this and have no results, I would give yourself two weeks of NO RESPONSE to her soiling. No talking no pleading no begging no discipline NOTHING for two weeks....when she soils, veryt calmly tell her/walk her to bathroom and tell her she needs to go get a shower and clean up ***thats it..if u find hidden underwear, calmly tell her to to wash it in the sink and then put it in the laundry...that should be the extent of you and DW discussing her toileting issues with her for the two weeks.... my guess is, that if she doesn't get any type of reaction (positve or negative) that she will stop. She has already proved that she can be continent in school and that shows that she does have control......
During that two weeks work on positive attention from both of you relataed to something else.....do puzzles etc..frame her artwork and put it on the wall oooh and awww over it kwim?
She already smells like pee, and already has soiled the new house so really what do you have to lose by offering no reaction for two weeks???
..hope things work out for you!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 9:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree Five...

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 3:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I wonder if wearing pull ups or diapers is preventing these children from learning to use the bathroom, they just don't feel when they are wet. When they wake up in wet bed in the middle of the night or get their pants soaking wet when they are playing, they will feel it right away, not a pleasant feeling. they would start learning how to avoid it.

Love, i would stop using pull ups/diapers. I would see if the situation improves, usually it does. It would more work for you to wash wet sheets but she will learn faster.

In old times when there were no disposable diapers everyone was potty trained at 12/18 months. No one wanted to walk around or sleep wet or embarrass themselves with walking around visibly wet.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 3:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"Love, i would stop using pull ups/diapers. I would see if the situation improves, usually it does. It would more work for you to wash wet sheets but she will learn faster."

Parent, she didn't use pullups for a good three years. We just started using them this past year some of the time---because she goes to friend's houses, slept over at camp, sleeps at my mom's sometimes, etc.

She wears one every 3 nights or so, but then goes in long phases without, depending on if we have any available. They give her a horrid rash, and she honestly prefers not to use them. Like right now---I don't think she's worn one for at least a couple weeks.

Even when she goes without, it doesn't matter. She does not wake up feeling wet---it is the strangest thing.

She's NEVER had an accident during the day since potty-training at 3, it's strictly a nocturnal issue. I think it really is an issue of deep sleep/immature bladder control from her years of constipation.

The bottom line is---bedwetting IS a problem that plagues even 3-5% of pre-teen kids and often there IS no root cause. I hope that's not the case for my DD, but it may be. I don't know---her ped. says at her age, it's around 10% that wet the bed.

It's not a matter of *laziness* or willpower or whatever.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 10:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I see, I hoped that no pull ups at night would help, looks like it won't matter. DD wet her bed until age 3 and she slept through the night in wet sheets never waking up, she also had (still has) very deep sleep. then one morning she just woke up dry and that's the end of it.

I think you said you tried waking her up at night? well hopefully she will grow out of it soon.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 6:34PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
grown adult stepchildren
I married my husband 2 years ago, his wife had died...
To visit or not to visit
About three years ago, after many instances of being...
husband has new found 21 year old daughter
I am having a lot of trouble coping. Please dont beat...
How to Prevent Adult Children Living with You
If you and your spouse are of retirement age, move...
adult step son and his girlfriend lives with us
i just want my privacy. we have never had any. met...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™