How should we punish our son for peeing his pants because of laziness?

He is an adolescent. He has peed his pant multiple times over the last few years, all at times when he is too wrapped up in a video game or video. We have taken away games and videos for long periods of time as punishment, but after a few months of having then back, he pees his pants again.

Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

Sounds as though your son is "pissed off" about something.

Punishment will most likely result in more of the same, not less of the peeing you would like to stop from happening.

"Laziness" is more of a social judgement than it is a characteristic of its own merit.

Is this your description of your son or his description of himself?

First step always before addressing any of the family dynamics, emotions, and psychology of the people involved, is a medical rule out as to why your son pees at times he plays video games.

If he has medical clearance that there is no physiological  problem, then talk with your son on his opinions as to why he pees, if he is aware of the urge to pee and ignores it, or that his attention gets so absorbed he doesn't notice the urge to pee.

See what modifications you can create by cooperating with your son.

Maybe it is as simple as each two hours, he sets a timer and when it goes off, he takes a bathroom break.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Barika Grayson LMHC, NCC
Barika Grayson LMHC, NCC
Licensed Mental Health Counselor www.counselflorida.com
From a behavioral standpoint you should refrain from punishing your son.  Instead of utilizing punishment when he wets himself provide contingencies prior to any accidents.  Sit down with your son and discuss the importance of utilizing the bathroom and responsibilities and inform him that if he chooses to wet his pants that his video games will not be available for use for him the next day(or your designated realistic time frame). 

 This way if an accident occurs, no heated words have to be exchanged because you have already laid the ground work.  Also allow him to clean up himself.  Gather cleaning supplies and and oversee cleaning operations without ridicule or negative feedback.  

Since you have stated that you have an adolescent who is experiencing enuresis, you may want to check with your PCP and a licensed professional for underlying diagnosis that can be treated.   You can also call a local behavioral analyst.
The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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