Just when you thought your four-year-old child has mastered toileting and the days of potty training are well behind you, he/she starts wetting pants all over again.
These accidents can be frustrating and not to mention inconvenient for the parents. On the other end, your child will be too embarrassed to talk about it and will try to escape by saying “I forgot!” or “No, I didn’t do it.”
Punishing or shaming the child is not the right way to deal with it because chances are he/she didn’t want to do it either.
Before you start correcting the behavior, talk to your pediatrician to rule out any medical or psychological reasons that could have triggered it. In some cases, urinary infections and important life changes like the new baby or parents separating could be the reason.
Once you are assured that the reason is not medical, rather just laziness or too involved in a game to notice wetting, use the below tips to help reduce accidents and eventually get back to the dry old days.
If your child is trying to control the urge to urinate and you notice familiar signs like crossing legs or holding the groin, remind him/her to use the toilet. After a large drink and at regular intervals during the day, take them to the toilet.
A lot of patience and positive reinforcement is all that is needed to pull out the kid from the phase. Keep in mind that it might not be his/ her fault and need your understanding to regain the lost confidence.
After the accident
Even if he/ she had a wetting accident, take him/her to the bathroom and change the clothes right away. Bringing to the bathroom is a way of re-enforcing the rule that the toilet has to be used when needed. Ask them to put the soiled clothes in the washing machine and help sort out soiled clothes when you are ready to do the laundry later.
Praise and reward system
Appreciating your child is the best way to motivate them to do the right thing. A sticker for each dry day and reward for a dry week will help him/her set goals and aim for it better.
Talk to the school
If your child is frequently coming home with wet pants, the reason could be a bully, dirty bathrooms in school or long bus rides on the way back home. Asking the teacher to remind him/her to use the toilet at regular intervals and before boarding the bus will make thing a lot easier.
Sometimes the reason for the accident could be as simple as tricky clothes that the child cannot pull down in a hurry. Dress them in convenient pants that they can easily manage on their own especially when it is urgent.