Q&A: My 8-year-old still have potty training issues. Should I be concerned?
I have an eight-year-old girl who wears 'Goodnights' every night because she still wets her bed. This does not really concern me since most of the people in my family were the same. However, I have noticed on several occasions that she urinates in her pull-up diaper before bed when she's wide awake. We do have her wait till she's just about ready for bed before she puts on her diaper in an attempt to avoid this issue, but it's not working. We've also started finding poop in her underpants, as if she isn't wiping properly despite knowing perfectly well how to clean herself. Do you think that these issues are cropping up because she's upset at home, or stressed out, or what?
There seem to be two separate issues: one about the bed-wetting and one about the stool.
Although there are situations in which stool in the underpants signals an emotional problem, this involves children who pass complete stools in their clothing after having been trained. Streaking in the underpants usually only involves a child who didn’t take the time needed to completely clean before dashing out of the bathroom to get on with the day. This isn’t done deliberately, and doesn’t mean anything more than that your daughter needs to be reminded to take the time to clean properly.
As far as the wetting, you are right in being fairly relaxed about it, and realizing this isn’t behavior to punish; but I wonder if it’s become just a little too easy for your daughter to avoid using the toilet. Consider taking her out of pull-ups some of the time, and using a plastic mattress cover to protect the bed. On wet mornings, she can assume the responsibilty for stripping the bed. This shouldn’t be given as a punishment, but as what should be expected of an eight-year-old. When she does use the pull-ups, she should put them on after urinating and just as she climbs into bed.