Who knew that peeing and pooping would be a MAJOR issue for parents of young ODD children. If your child is refusing to use the toilet or relieving himself/herself in places other than the toilet this could be related to the fact that they have ODD.
First of all make sure there is no medical concerns you need to address with your doctor. Once you know there's not problems there, remember using the bathroom or not using the bathroom is something only your child can control. Yep, it's a control thing! They may be wanting your attention and wanting to assert control where they know they can. With ODD children it might be best to totally ignore the behavior. If they aren't getting attention for it, they might just stop. You might want to just clean it up yourself without a word or reaction of any kind. If your child is older, you might establish a contract with your child that if they make a mess they will have to clean it up. Knowing the consequence ahead of time is essential for success with an ODD child. If your child is trying to claim control, it's a good time to evaluate your parenting. How much control over their life do they have...really? It can be a great exercise to take note for an entire day all the choices you make for your child. List the demands, reminders, requests... you make of them. How often do they get to make choices for themselves? Try to look at the day from your child's perspective. What other things in their life might be making them feel out of control? Have there been big changes in your family, new changes in their daily routine? OR It could be that they have too much power. You've given too much freedom, too many choice and at certain stages of development children are testing boundaries to feel the security and safety that's provided by the structure that only parents can provide. The only way to know which is true, is to try out your best guess and see if it works. If it doesn't, try something else. Just keep trying until something gives you the result you want! This takes a lot of emotional maturity on the part of the parent, something life coaching can definitely help you out with!
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Another option might be that they are just too busy to pee. If they are simply distracted and it happens without them realizing it (yep that's really possible), it might be helpful to establish a routine that will help them out. Structure can be very important to children with ODD. Remember lots of praise and patience as you strive to unlearn old habits and establish new ones.
Peeing could be a result of stress. When under stress kids throw tantrums, they act out, they yell, they scream and they pee. If you think the problem could be stress related you might try to reduce/eliminate stress triggers. Try to ease into changes more gradually as you establish new routines. When you know your child is experiencing high levels of stress, try to balance that out with extra love and positive attention. 10:1 Good for Bad is a great goal!
This can be a real struggle for parents and for their kids. Remember that each child and family is different and there's no one right way to respond. If at first you don't succeed, try...try again! Kids are smart. They know that they have TOTAL control over everything that comes in and out of their body...anything they put into their mouth or resist being put in, words they say, sounds they make, and bodily fluids of all kinds they can produce. You can't make them do it or not do it. Brushing their teeth, eating their food, biting their nails, sucking their thumb, using the toilet, saying nice words...you can't make them. As the parent you might want to control that, but the truth is you can't and they know it. So what do you do? You just try something new. Make an adjustment. Give more freedom, or create more structure, it's a never ending game of balance between the two of you. What works this month might not work next. You've got to be able to adapt and think outside the box. Stop trying to control them in ways you can't. That's not your job.
If you're struggling with your child's challenging behavior, I'm here to help!
Please Sign-up for your FREE "Stop the Fight!" Mini-Session and we'll discuss your biggest problem with ODD and develop a strategy to help you "Stop the Fight!" TODAY!