7-year-old step-daughter peeing her pants and lying about it

7-year-old step-daughter peeing her pants and lying about it

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This is a discussion on 7-year-old step-daughter peeing her pants and lying about it within the Advice Center forums, part of the The Cafe Lounge category; My wife and I have been having an issue with her daughter, my step-daughter. She was potty-trained at 2 and ...

  1. #1

    7-year-old step-daughter peeing her pants and lying about it

    My wife and I have been having an issue with her daughter, my step-daughter. She was potty-trained at 2 and since then her parents got a divorce and she moved in with me. She stays with us most of the time and stays with her dad every other weekend.

    Lately she's been peeing her pants every day. At school, at home, at her dads. It's one thing for her to do it while we're in the car and she can't hold it. But she does it at home, 15 feet away from the bathroom. We'll just see this big wet spot on her butt or see her walking by us in such a way as to hide it. When we ask her, she either denies it or feels her pants to see if they're wet, then will admit it if they are.

    We've asked her why she has wet her pants and the only answer I've ever gotten from her is that sometimes she can't feel it when she has to go or when it comes out. We've taken her to the doctor and he said there's nothing wrong, she just needs to try to stretch her bladder so she can hold it longer. I don't think being unable to hold it is the core issue. I think she gets too busy playing and distracted and tries to hold it and is unable to hold it for as long as she wanted to. I think it's easier to just go in her pants and she doesn't want to use the bathroom all the time. She sometimes has to go 20 minutes after just going. I know that I'd hate to run into the bathroom that often, and maybe if I was used to going in my pants, it might be an attractive option.

    It's hard to know whether to believe her or not. I've noticed that she's really good at finding excuses that are both plausible and hard to prove either way. She got in trouble last night for telling her 3-year-old brother to throw their toy microwave. He got in trouble when he did, but she denied telling him to. When my wife said that she was right in the other room and distinctly heard her say it, she said, "Well, I think I said slide it over here." When my wife didn't accept that, she went further into deniability and claimed that maybe she did say throw or slide, but doesn't remember saying that. Of course I was at work so I can't know either way, so I default to the side of my wife. I have to take it with a grain of salt, though, since I've witnessed her many times be overly quick to jump to conclusions based on assumptions. She's an ISFJ and can be pretty overbearing when she's trying to get an answer out of her. I'm more inclined to believe that she's not lying unless there's undeniable proof, which puts me in a bad light to my wife and she thinks I'm against her as well. My wife thinks she's peeing to get attention.

    Aside from her peeing and lying, she loves going to her father's place. He lives with his new girlfriend and she has daughters who are a little older than my daughter. She gets to play with them, go outside in the apartment complex and across the parking lot without supervision. She gets to stay up as late as she wants to. She often doesn't bathe. She often comes home with flea bites. He buys her stuff all the time and takes her to Chuck E. Cheese's a lot with the money he makes under the table and refuses to give my wife for child support. And then she comes here and only has a 3-year-old brother who pushes her around, a home with schedules, rules and bedtimes, she has to do her homework, and she can't go out unless we watch her.

    My wife is at her wit's end. I just consoled her from crying at lunch time because she doesn't know what to do. She's supposed to go to her father's for half of winter break, but my wife is wanting her to go the whole break because she can't deal with her right now. She's tired of her lying, peeing her pants, and having no respect for her. She said it's the same as when her and her mom would fight and she ended up hating her mom. She's afraid that our daughter's going to end up hating her and loving her father more. She's about to just have her live there and she wishes she let him have full custody in the beginning.

    I feel caught in the middle and helpless. I don't really have authority over her to make these types of decisions. I've tried telling my wife all the reasons for keeping her with us, but she is beginning to think that those aren't good enough.
    Stephen and Fyrespiral thanked this post.



  2. #2

    Ever consider that it's her way of saying, "I'm not happy with you." Do you and your wife actually talk to this child other than when she's done something "wrong"? She may just be desperate for your love and attention. A child who's heard is a happy child indeed. Has anybody asked her how she feels about her parents being separated? These things have a great influence on children, and it's not fair that they can't speak their thoughts on such important situations especially when they're given no say. Also, she may have bladder/kidney problems, and I would suggest perhaps getting it checked out.
    Iqbal, LotusBlossom and Elaminopy thanked this post.

  3. #3

    I'm kind of reading between the lines, but it sounds like your wife gets really worked up about the peeing her pants and lying thing, and she goes into each confrontation with her daughter already prepared for a fight and a lie. Your daughter will react to this and start responding with lying and fighting. Kids respond how they think they're expected to.

    I have a pretty difficult kid and the biggest way to make headway with him is to talk to him, never raise your voice, and always understand his point of view before coming down with a punishment. He always has a reason for doing something. He has to be heard and listened to before he stop any behavior.

    Kids usually act out in an attempt to communicate something. They are rarely ever just misbehaving or disobeying for the hell of it. It will take time and some damage control on your wife's part. I would say your wife should sit down with her daughter over and over again over the next few months and give her some one-on-one attention and talk to her daughter about why she lies and pees her pants. Your wife will need to create a safe place for your daughter to talk. Again, I know I'm reading between the lines with this, but this is my best analysis of your situation.

    Also, your daughter probably likes going to her father's because she "never gets in trouble." Children KNOW when they're parents "can't handle them right now". Working on the bond between mother and daughter will help everything else fall into place.
    Stephen, Elaminopy and Ace Face thanked this post.

  4. #4

    Quote Originally Posted by Ace Face View Post
    Ever consider that it's her way of saying, "I'm not happy with you." Do you and your wife actually talk to this child other than when she's done something "wrong"? She may just be desperate for your love and attention. A child who's heard is a happy child indeed. Has anybody asked her how she feels about her parents being separated? These things have a great influence on children, and it's not fair that they can't speak their thoughts on such important situations especially when they're given no say. Also, she may have bladder/kidney problems, and I would suggest perhaps getting it checked out.
    Yes we talk to her. We probably should spend more time with her. But from what she says, she spends most of her time at her dad's with the other girls, so it's not like she gets more attention there. I've noticed that she's pretty hesitant. My son will run over to me with a huge smile on his face and climb on me. I'll tickle him and try to push him away because I'm watching something. He'll laugh and keep coming back and I'll keep doing it back, enjoying it as well. She'll stand nearby and watch and say "Can you do that to me, too?" Uh, how do I do the same to her when she's not doing what he's doing? I'm responding to what he's doing. As soon as he stops, I'll go back to what I was doing. I will try to do the same with her, but I try to explain that's it's cause and effect. He does something and I respond. If she does the same, she'll get the same response. It's difficult to get enthusiastic with her approach. Sometimes she will and I'll do the same and she'll enjoy it, but it still seems awkward on her part. That's not her normal way of playing. She doesn't play that way unless she sees her brother play that way with me first. She's more about making stories and roles up and less physical. She seems to want his type of play but with her type of approach.

    We haven't asked her how she feels about the divorce situation. I'll do that tonight. The only thing my wife seems to hear is how much she likes going to her dad's and how she likes it over there better. She's tired of hearing about it and wants to just give in.

    But anyway, what about the letting her stay at her dad's? I don't think it's the right thing, but I could always be wrong.

  5. #5

    Its possible she feels like her brother has more connection to you than she does. Divorce is confusing for children. They don't understand the adult relationship dynamics and their whole world revolves around themselves, so they naturally assume that divorce took place because of something THEY did. With her father not living in her house anymore, and her brother connecting to you easier, she may feel like an outsider and peeing is to get attention.

    Your second post makes me think even more that she needs one-on-one time. Can you and your wife take her out on "Special dates" a couple times a month without her brother? Take her to get ice cream or french fries or something and talk to her about herself. It will make her feel like she's important and connected to you.
    Fyrespiral thanked this post.

  6. #6

    Quote Originally Posted by Elaminopy View Post
    Yes we talk to her. We probably should spend more time with her. But from what she says, she spends most of her time at her dad's with the other girls, so it's not like she gets more attention there. I've noticed that she's pretty hesitant. My son will run over to me with a huge smile on his face and climb on me. I'll tickle him and try to push him away because I'm watching something. He'll laugh and keep coming back and I'll keep doing it back, enjoying it as well. She'll stand nearby and watch and say "Can you do that to me, too?" Uh, how do I do the same to her when she's not doing what he's doing? I'm responding to what he's doing. As soon as he stops, I'll go back to what I was doing. I will try to do the same with her, but I try to explain that's it's cause and effect. He does something and I respond. If she does the same, she'll get the same response. It's difficult to get enthusiastic with her approach. Sometimes she will and I'll do the same and she'll enjoy it, but it still seems awkward on her part. That's not her normal way of playing. She doesn't play that way unless she sees her brother play that way with me first. She's more about making stories and roles up and less physical. She seems to want his type of play but with her type of approach.

    We haven't asked her how she feels about the divorce situation. I'll do that tonight. The only thing my wife seems to hear is how much she likes going to her dad's and how she likes it over there better. She's tired of hearing about it and wants to just give in.
    You're the adult, engage her. She shouldn't have to come crawling to your for attention and love. Just give it to her. Let her know that she matters and that she can talk to you when she's hurt, upset, or bothered by anything. Being the step-parent, it's crucial that you make sure she's treated just like your child. Ever consider that she may not feel that you love her since you don't show her the same affection you do your own son? Approach her, take her out for an ice cream and talk... just the two of you. She's a child... she wants love, affection, and good attention from you. That's what any child wants more than anything... to feel loved and adored by family... to have laughter, love, and joy. It is your responsibility to make sure she's getting that by giving her love, support, and someone to talk to so she doesn't have to lash out. She understands feelings. Just talk to her. Don't make her feel like she's a bad kid. Make sense?
    Stephen and Elaminopy thanked this post.

  7. #7

    @Khys, exactly. This is how I feel as well. I can tell my wife that and she may even agree whole-heartedly, but her putting it into practice is another thing altogether. I've noticed that most of our arguments start with her getting upset at me for some reason, me responding to her upset and trying to figure out what's wrong, just to learn that she was in a bad mood. Seriously, this is an exact exchange we had lately:

    Her: (to her daughter) We use the big forks. You and your brother use the little ones. Other than that, you did a good job setting the table.
    Daughter: Sorry.
    Her: No, it's okay. You did good. We just use the big forks.
    Me: Well, we use the small forks sometimes depending on the food.
    Her: But most of the time we use the big ones.
    Me: Yeah. You just sound like you're getting on her.
    Her: Well I have a headache! I already told you that!

    I don't know how to respond to that without starting a fight in front of the kids.
    reletative thanked this post.

  8. #8

    Quote Originally Posted by Ace Face View Post
    You're the adult, engage her. She shouldn't have to come crawling to your for attention and love. Just give it to her. Let her know that she matters and that she can talk to you when she's hurt, upset, or bothered by anything. Being the step-parent, it's crucial that you make sure she's treated just like your child. Ever consider that she may not feel that you love her since you don't show her the same affection you do your own son? Approach her, take her out for an ice cream and talk... just the two of you. She's a child... she wants love, affection, and good attention from you. That's what any child wants more than anything... to feel loved and adored by family... to have laughter, love, and joy. It is your responsibility to make sure she's getting that by giving her love, support, and someone to talk to so she doesn't have to lash out. She understands feelings. Just talk to her. Don't make her feel like she's a bad kid. Make sense?
    Yeah, I do need to do that more. The problem is that it's not natural for me to. I wouldn't do it with him except he throws it on me and I can't help but get in a playful mood back. He knows exactly how to get me out of my isolation. I'm not giving a reason why I shouldn't try. Just explaining why it only happens how it does currently. I'll try to give her more attention and do more things one-on-one with her. Maybe that's all she needs.
    Fyrespiral thanked this post.

  9. #9

    Quote Originally Posted by Elaminopy View Post
    Yeah, I do need to do that more. The problem is that it's not natural for me to. I wouldn't do it with him except he throws it on me and I can't help but get in a playful mood back. He knows exactly how to get me out of my isolation. I'm not giving a reason why I shouldn't try. Just explaining why it only happens how it does currently. I'll try to give her more attention and do more things one-on-one with her. Maybe that's all she needs.
    you don't have to play with her the exact same way, it's more about making sure she has equal attention. she may be wanting something as simple as sitting on the couch with your arm around her, or inviting her to read her book while sitting next to you. it sounds like she's a little quieter than her brother, so she may enjoy just being invited to be physically close to you or participating in something with you.
    Elaminopy and Ace Face thanked this post.

  10. #10

    Quote Originally Posted by Khys View Post
    you don't have to play with her the exact same way, it's more about making sure she has equal attention. she may be wanting something as simple as sitting on the couch with your arm around her, or inviting her to read her book while sitting next to you. it sounds like she's a little quieter than her brother, so she may enjoy just being invited to be physically close to you or participating in something with you.
    Yeah. I help her with her homework often. Mainly because her mom gets too frustrated with her not "getting" it. It's because she can't pick up on what her daughter isn't understanding and therefore doesn't know how to explain it right. Whenever I'm sitting and she comes up to me to sit on my lap or whatever, I'm more than happy to let her. So I do spend some time with her, but doing special things for her would certainly go a long way, I'm sure. Those are some excellent ideas.

    Even though my wife doesn't like MBTI, once when she was willing to talk about it with me, we sat down and determined that she was most likely an ENxP.


 
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