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Bathroom issues

Jessica1217's picture

First time posting so please forgive me if I posted in the wrong place. my 9 year old step son has bathroom issues that are driving me absolutely insane. Not only does he wet the bed every single night, he also waits until the last minute to go to the bathroom and often poops himself or at least leaves stains in his underwear. This happens every week sometimes multiple times a week.  To make matters worse, the poop in his underwear and pee on the bed don't seem to bother him. He will poop and not change clothes or pee in the bed and lie about it and then sit on the wet pee covered blankets. When we ask if the smell and feeling it dirty underwear bothers him he says yes but still wont change clothes until we realize he's soiled himself. He literally tells me he poops himself because he'd rather play video games and watch tv then get up to go to the bathroom. we've tried everything. He washes the dirty underwear by hand and does his own laundry. He's been grounded for weeks with no tv or games and it seems as soon as he gets his things back he reverts back to the same behavior. Sorry for the long rant. It's hard to talk about these issues with people in our lives. 

tog redux's picture

Take the electronics away and reintroduce them slowly - a bit at a time.  He can increase his time with them by staying dry/clean.  Take away liquids at night after dinner and DH should wake him up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.

Has he seen a doctor and/or therapist about this?

simifan's picture

I am assuming his pediatrician has ruled out medical issues. DH needs to set a Bathroom schedule. If SS can't make the time himself - he goes to the bathroom and sits on the toilet for 10 minutes every hour. Wake SS every 2. It is a difficult schedule but it is effective. Any stained underwear SS hand washes. Any wet sheets SS has to wash himself. DH is doing his son a serious disservice but not stopping this. 

Dogmom1321's picture

Needs to see a doctor or therapist ASAP to make sure other issues aren't going on. Medically and also mentally. Being that age and not having control over bowels can sometimes indicate sexual abuse. 

Obviously SS doesn't care if he has to clean up or wash everything bc it doesn't gross him out. Electronics need to be taken away in the meantime. 

Thumper's picture

This story sounds like one from a few weeks ago.

Find a good Child Psychologist in your area. DONT ask bm's permission to go either.

Does he do this at school too? OR Just your place.

OP where are this a hit and run?


Jessica1217's picture

These are all good suggestions. I called the pediatrician today and I am waiting for a call back for further instructions, hopefully with a referral to a therapist. His dad is on the same page with me but unfortunately his BM is very uninvolved as she lives out of state. I'm sure he has some unresolved issues from that. Thanks for the advice everyone. 

Rags's picture

My SS had a period where he started wetting the bed at about that age (9yo-ish).  We took him to the Doc, no medical issues.  There was not any traumatic issues that had occurred.  Even he said he just didn't want to get up to go to the bathroom.

I suspect that it had to do with the addition of either also out of wedlock SpermIdiot spawned half sib #3 or #4 and a then recent SpermLand visitation.  They pretty much never engaged with SS in a positive manner, when he was a toddler he would leave for SpermLand visitation ~80% toilet trained, fully conversant, happy, healthy, clean little boy and come home  in a loaded diaper, unwashed for days, a grunting, tantrum throwing, sludge covered angry and unhappy little boy with sludge behind his knees, sludge on the inside of his elbows, around his neck, and under his waist band, with diaper rash so red and raw that his anus would bleed when we cleaned him up and with butt cheeks covered with puss filled welts. 

During the bed wetting relapse period I think he interpreted the attention his newest half sibs were getting as positive so he decided to start wetting himself.  This was ignored in SpermLand.  It was not ignored at home.

So, we ended all liquid after 7PM whether he was dying of thirst or not and .... when he failed to get up before wetting the bed, we put him in a diaper.  It took only one weekend of wearing a diaper to end the problem.  We just told him that if he was going to act like an infant he could be treated like one and dress like one.  We put him in a diaper on a Friday evening and he wore a diaper all weekend with the clear message that he would be wearing it to school the next week as well. He refused to leave the house all weekend.  We made sure to prepare to go out in public repeatedly during the weekend to tune him to his future of wearing a diaper in public if he did not get his head in the game.  We kept the tension at a high level all weekend.

Sunday evening he came to us in regular underwear and told us that he understood and that he would not wet the bed again.  And he never did wet the bed again.

At some point an issue often must be addressed head on rather than through circuitous excuse based sensitive continued facilitation of the problem.

The immenent tension of facing their peers in a diaper may be just the ticket for solving this type of issue when there are no medical or traumatic psychological issues in play.

It worked when we addressed this type of thing almost two decades ago.

EveryoneLies's picture

I've always enjoyed your reply. I think it's really wonderful you and your wife are always in it together. A lot of the issues we see here are partly (if not all) caused by parents+stepparents not on the same page. It's beyond frustrating.

Rags's picture


Right or wrong, we have always tried to deal with challenges together. We have not always agreed, but ultimately we have always worked together to address problems as well as to celebrate and enjoy successes.

shamds's picture

Pants and still sit there or pee in bottles as they can’t be bothered to stop playing to go to the toilet. Its disgusting

but your tactics of taking it away and reintroducing it is having no effect so in the bin they go or sold online/donated to charity. 

Your skid is addicted!!! It should be embarrassing to hubby to have a kid like this... to make his wife/partner deal with it