Saturday, January 26, 2008

I REALLY Hope This Works!

Those of you who have heard me speak or read my book know the trouble Matthew has had with wetting his pants. For the rest of you, here's a synopsis.
Matthew was "potty trained" when he was about 3 1/2 years old.
At four he started wetting himself. Daily. Sometimes up to four times a day.
When he was in kindergarten it was not uncommon for him to wet himself at school a couple times a week.
In first grade I don't think he ever wet himself at school, but he started soiling his pants at home. (And sometimes hid them in his room. Eeeewww!) Suddenly, I found myself preferring wet pants!
Now in second grade, things seemed to be improving. There was the occasional soiled pair of pants, but at least it was less frequent. Until the past few weeks. He is wetting himself almost daily again.
Over the past three-plus years I feel as though we have tried everything. We have done charts with stickers, our neighbor said she would take Matthew out for ice cream if he met a certain "dry goal," (That never happened!) and we have taken away privileges. Matthew has seen a urologist and I took him to a chiropractor for awhile, too. No one can seem to find anything "wrong" which needs fixing.
The thing is, since Matthew can keep from having accidents in school I think he really can control himself. The truth is, he just doesn't seem to care.

HOWEVER, I think yesterday I might have found something to get him to care.
The kids were with Brian at work and I went to pick them up. They wanted to go to the mall on the way home to buy a Webkinz. (Have you seen these toys? Very cute. You get a stuffed animal and it comes with a code which you use to create an account online at Webkinz. You can make a room for your pet, "buy" things for it with Kinz cash, and play games. My kids love it!)
My mom gave one of these toys to Joshua for Christmas, and Elizabeth and Matthew have used some of their Christmas money to buy one for themselves. Yesterday they both wanted to get another.
Except, when we were ready to walk out the door I saw that Matthew had wet his pants. I was not about to drive all the way home for him to change and then come back to the mall (Brian's studio is right by the mall.) and suggested perhaps we shouldn't go to the mall after all. Elizabeth retorted, "That isn't fair to me!" and Matthew said he would just pull his coat down low so no one would see his wet pants.
I agreed that not going to get the toy because Matthew wet his pants was not fair to Elizabeth, but I wanted to use the opportunity for Matthew, so I said we would go but Matthew could not buy a Webkinz this time. Then I had my great idea. I told him he needed to be dry all day (I don't know if we'll EVER get night-time figured out!) for a month, and then he can get his new Webkinz.
Believe me when I tell you, this stroke of genius did not go over well with him. I kept thinking, If he would just care as much about keeping his pants dry as he does about getting this toy, I would never see him wet again!
That is what I think needs to happen. Matthew needs to care. Really, he is such a laid back, care-free kid, it doesn't seem to even phase him when he has wet himself.
I ended up letting him buy the Webkinz, but it is sitting in the top of my closet until Matthew reaches his dry goal. No toy and no online code until he's been dry for a month. Today I'll be making that chart, and we'll mark it with a sticker at the end of every day he stays dry. I REALLY hope this works!

In the mean time, he has an annual check-up soon and we will definitely be talking about this some more with the good doctor!

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Elizabeth...mommy...etc said...

Wow! You truly are patient! I really hope that this works for Matthew...sounds like he's such a sweet kid. Keep us updated! Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier this week. *elizabeth

momteacherfriend said...

Our family LOVES Webkinz. They have been used a time or two for discipline. Don't obey, no Webkinz; works wonders.

Hope this works for you.

Awhile ago I was having a conversation with a friend who wet throughout her elementary years. She said orange juice was a trigger for her. Just thought I would pass that on.

freetofly said...

Michael Landon had this problem too! I remember being a young girl and reading his story about this. Truly, our heart aches for these struggles our children go through, they do not want to go through these things, but the overcoming of the struggles is what makes them great. Matthew has certainly shown many signs of greatness (at least through what I have read of him!)

Hey, Karen, I tagged you for something that I think you will have fun with!

annie said...

I sure hope it works too Karen!

I got emelia several webkinz for Christmas. I haven't seen them since oddly enough... makes me wonder. She probably took them to all her friends and gave them away, she does that a lot!

realworldmartha said...

I have two boys. My oldest has the night issue. He stopped for about a 2 years and then it started back up again. His laundry always stinks to high heaven not to mention his bedding. It's been fun. My little one, the one adopted, uses it as a control thing.
Dr kevin Leman (spelling?) says a child can only control two things bathroom and eating. I believe that!
I would say a word of caution on the month thing. It's a long time to wait at that age. Even if it's something they really want. Maybe he could go a week and then set it up on the computer but nothing else. Just a little taste of it to keep him motivated.
It's hard I know.
All the Best,

Debbie aka The Real World Martha(S)

kreed said...

Good is all about finding the right motivator. I have a child that is pretty laid back and it can be a real challenge to figure out how to change behaviors with her.

We are Webkinz addicts here...we all play and have fun with everything form the games to the decorating!