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Impulse Control Disorders and ADHD

Urinating in inappropriate places?

First off, ew, I know! But my almost 8 year old, who I thought just had classic ADHD but now thinking it’s even worse, has been peeing in random places in our house for the past 6 months or so - that I know of. At first we thought he was doing it in his room while sleepwalking, because we believed him that he wasn’t purposefully doing it when we’d find wet spots (all on carpet, mind you). But then he finally fessed up one day when it was obvious and then I knew he’d been lying about all the other times. I ask him why he would do this and he just says he doesn’t know, he won’t do it again, or that he was just being “lazy” (his word). I mean, he’s going through the effort to pull his pants down, and peeing in corners of his room, or behind a dresser, his closet, the middle of the living room. It’s disgusting. And VERY hard to get rid of the smell. I’m so completely distressed by this, and feel like it’s just one more reason why I can never trust him.

He takes Ritalin twice a day becuase without it he can’t function in school, but this was happening before we started medicating him.

Has anyone else had an experience with this? What does it mean?? He’ll start seeing a psychologist next week. So I’m hoping that helps. I don’t know if he’s doing it because of the impulsivity, or to be defiant (it’s not at a specific time of day or anything that I can determine - very random), or because he’s upset about something? I don’t know. But this on top of everything else we deal with re his behavior is just too much. It breaks my heart because I’m constantly upset with him and I have a hard time enjoying his company. Plus I can’t trust him.

Any advice or insight is very welcome!!


Be sure to let his primary doc know to rule out medical reasons too.

Posted by E's Mom  on Oct 12, 2011 at 11:55am

I wish i had something to say to help you.  I know I’m a stranger but I’m thinking about you now and sending prayers and good thoughts your way:)  Hopefully this will just be a passing struggle for you both.

Posted by ADDMAMA on Oct 15, 2011 at 1:08pm

All I can say is “WOW, I’m not the only one dealing with this issue!” My ADHD 7 year old was doing the same actions at least 6 months ago. The behavior started when he was 4 years old, fully potty-trained, but at night he would urinate next to his bed, behing the tv stand, in a corner, or in his closet instead of going to the bathroom! Every morning I would wake up and his room smelled horrid. Then I would have to search for the wet spot and scrub or shampoo the whole carpet. My husband and I were frustrated, confused and concerned. I told his doctor about this and other behavioral problems he was showing at 4 yrs old. Finally he was evaluated and diagnosised with ADHD. Over the next 2 years until present, he still has relapses. Sometimes he tells me he is afraid to walk into the dark bathroom at night so he relieves himself in our hallway (carpet). I agree with you, the smell is almost impossible to get rid of! I have shampooed my carpet at least 15 times in the last year! It can be very frustrating, but we just have long talks with him (even if he seems to not be listening) and we have even taken away video games for that type of behavior. That worked, problem solved for a good while. We put a night light in his room, the hallway and the bathroom. So far, its been approx. 6 months since his last incident. I hope your situation clears up soon. Don’t feel too bad, you are not alone in your struggles.

Posted by Kiki808 on Dec 18, 2011 at 8:43am

@Kiki808 - have your son relapsed recently? Our psychologist never did get to the bottom of why our son was doing this, but suspected it was a way of acting out, but my son was constantly begging for a nintendo ds or similar, so I made a deal with him that after 6 months, if he didn’t do it anymore, I would buy him one. Apparently he stopped - or at least I couldn’t find any evidence, so I want to believe him but it’s hard because he does lie a lot and sneak things - so last week was the 6 month mark & I held up to my end of the bargain. We will be moving this fall and I worry stress of whatever he’s feeling will cause him to start it up again, especially since I don’t know why he was doing it in the first place, but I’m just hoping we’re past that point.

Posted by Mom of 10 yr old Boy on Jun 11, 2012 at 10:47pm

As I Read This, We Are Having Our 9 Year Old Shampoo Our Couch Because He HasPeed In It.  Im Not Talking About An Accident.  I Am Talking About Him Pulling Out His Penis And Peeing On The Couch Like It Was A Urinal.  Asked Him Why And He Has No Idea Why.  Now I Am Dealing With The Kid And The Angry father. (Sorry About Caps.  Phone Has A Mind Of Its Own)

Posted by BCMom on Jun 24, 2014 at 9:22am

As odd as this may sound, I was so happy to read this post….....finally I am not alone!!!!  I have been going absolutely insane.  I have a 13 year old boy who is peeing in inappropriate place throughout my house.  At first it was on the floor behind the bar, then on my dryer, then in the fireplace and most recently on the floor in his room, but really the fireplace is his go to.  It drives me absolutely insane and infuriates me!!  I am continually asking him why?  Are you mad at me?  Are you trying to get back at me for something…...any kind of answer would be better than ‘I don’t know’.  Seriously, what does one think about when they whip their penis out of their pants and start peeing?  Then on top of that, lying about doing it.  I have his annual checkup with the doctor and I was debating talking to the doctor about it because I thought I was crazy, but after reading this…...I know I’m not and I’m definitely going to be talking to the doctor about it.  Punishment and rewards haven’t worked, I’m at the end of my rope and need help with this!

Posted by K&N's Mom on Sep 25, 2014 at 6:38pm

I am so relieved to see that there are others dealing with this problem.  I have an 11 year old son who has been doing this for years on and off.  It stopped for about 2 years, but has recently started back up again over the last 4-5 months or so.  I have the carpet cleaners coming almost regularly.  He only pees on his bedroom carpet, usually behind a dresser.  I don’t know how many times he has done it before the smell builds up to the point I realize it.  My husband and I then fight him relentlessly to fess up which goes on for hours.  Tonight, the only way I could get him to admit it was to hold a bible in front of him and ask him to swear on it.  Thankfully he wouldn’t and we knew he would finally confess, which he did after an hour of adamant denial.  This has been a vicious cycle.  Lord knows this isn’t his only problem, but definitely an unacceptable one.  Don’t even let me get started on his lying about homework.  I don’t know why he does this, the only answer I ever get is “I don’t know”.  Well then who does?  Who can help? He’s on Concerta. It’s hard to even tell what’s a medication issue anymore.  Feeling hopeless.

Posted by lakelandmom on Oct 07, 2014 at 1:58am

I have an 11 year old who does the same. Currently making me crazy!!! I feel hopeless too. What am I doing wrong what is wrong with my child. I need suggestions!

Posted by mommygoncraze on Nov 19, 2014 at 9:12pm


Seek the advice of a therapist on this. That is your best chance of discovering the root of this issue.

ADDconnect Moderator, Author on ADHD, and Mom to Pre-Teen Boy w/ ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Nov 20, 2014 at 3:34pm

I feel like I’m reading about my son! I truly thought I was alone in dealing with this. My son has been doing this on and off since 1st grade (he’s in 5th now). The frustrating part besides the pee is that he’s done it in 4 different places that we’ve lived in. I plan on asking his doctor about this the next time he goes in for a med check. If anyone has any tips or advise, I’m all ears! It’s nice to know I’m not alone and the only parent dealing with this.

Posted by tranly99 on Jan 05, 2015 at 1:13am

Thank you so much for posting this question!  I was almost in tears from finding yet another urine soaked spot in my sons bedroom.  He is 9 and has been doing this on and off for years.  We hadn’t had an incident in about a year and now this.  Mostly in his bedroom closet.  Always covered up with a rug or some dirty clothes.  We get the same answer of “I don’t know” when he is confronted.  One time we got a im afraid of the dark.  He is generally a good kid.  Just the usual adhd issues with being impulsive and inattentive.  So sad if this is behavioral.  I wish we knew what is bothering him.  Thankful we are not alone.

Posted by mcastillero on Mar 02, 2015 at 9:53pm

Hi. I was an ADD child, on Ritalin for a time, and switched to dexadrine. I was urinating in my bedroom closet around age 7. I was also stealing my friends’ toys. ADD was not the only possible contributing factor. My parents were going through a crazy divorce (dad was cheating, both parents were constantly arguing…). After my parents got separated, mom started dating again. It was around this time the bedroom urinations started. When I was confronted, I blamed it on the burgler alarm that I had a fear of. It had went off twice at night during the same time period: our house was broken in to, and the other time I had set it off by mistake.

Please look at ALL environmental factors when dealing with ADD/ADHD kids because this condition has been the scapegoat for numerous childhood problems that could be resolved without medication. Love your child(ren). Listen to them. Do not be afraid to look within yourself when attempting to deal with your child’s problems (you are their biggest influencer). Also, if going through something as stressful as a divorce, your children must come first. I am only speaking from my own experience.
I will say I wish I was NEVER prescribed Ritalin OR Dexadrine.
I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist.

Posted by ADHDkid on Mar 14, 2015 at 4:54pm

At my wits end… I’m a single grandfather caring for my soon to be 14 year old grandson with ADD/ODD .He’s been urinating in his floor, on the carpet for at least 3 years off and on, maybe longer than I suspected. For the longest time the dog got the blame, however after replacing the carpet and the dog, I realized that the dog was not to blame , but my grandson, with full conviction,would deny that it was him or that there was even urine in the floor ,even when confronted with physical evidence , denial and confrontation is the order of the day. I’ve tried allowing him to leave multiple lights and /or the TV on at night as he has indicated at different times being afraid of the dark and or what might be behind a door…. but he still continues to urinate , my nerxt move as far as my home is to take up the carpet and leave bare concrete, but how do I help my grandson?

Posted by popzzz on Apr 02, 2015 at 3:18pm

Hi popzzz!

The best thing you can do is schedule an appointment with a behavioral therapist. There could be a myriad of reasons for this behavior, and your son my not be able to pinpoint the reason on his own. The right therapist can help immensely—make sure it’s someone with experience with adolescents though.

ADDconnect Moderator, Author on Parenting ADHD, and Mom to Pre-Teen Boy w/ ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Apr 03, 2015 at 4:54pm

My 8 year old grandson has been doing this also, urinated in different places.  I have two dogs, so I thought they were doing it.  The first time I am aware of, is around christmas time.  He urintated right on the carpet in front of his sisters bed.  I thought it was the dog, but also it was a very large area, so I was thinking there is something wrong with one of my dogs.  My grandaughter who is 7 told me her brother did it.  I did not believe her.
Next couple of times were in the living room, and two times right smack in the middle of the bathroom.  This last time was right in the middle of the kitchen floor.  I got up in the morning and there was a huge puddle.  Again I thought my dogs were doing this, which would be strange, and it is always a huge amount.  My grandaughter once again told me that her brother was doing it.  I confronted him last week and at first he denied it.  But finally he confessed.  He says he doesn’t know why he has been doing it.  I made him mop the kitchen and put him in time out.
This is the most bizarre behavior I ever seen and when I googled it, I was so glad (relieved) to see that there were others who have experienced this with their ADHD child!
He sees a therapist and I sent her an email about this. 
My questions are:  Why??  And should there be consequences?  Are kids doing this to be defiant?  Or is it something that is considered impulsive behavior?

Posted by Grandma Star on Apr 07, 2015 at 2:41pm

I would love to know if anyone has found a therapist or therapy to help with this.  My 11-year-old has been stealing diapers (from visitors with toddlers) and sanitary napkins, then urinating in them and hiding them.  I know life is stressful for him right now as he gets ready to transition to middle school and our family gets ready to move to a new house (in the same town).  He says he doesn’t know why he’s doing it, so I don’t know how to help him. Tonight I caught him googling “how to unpotty train yourself.”

Posted by D'smom on Apr 11, 2015 at 12:52am

Omg thank you, I thought I was doing something really wrong to have caused this behaviour and yes I blamed the cat!

Posted by allyT on Apr 20, 2015 at 12:44am

So I just found out that my GF who is 26yrs old has videos of her urinating her self while driving her truck, in the parking lot of a gas station, in her driveway. in some videos she is naked some she is fully dressed. what the hell is wrong with her??

I found her videos after she left her google acc open on my pc. I am like wth??? i know she has ADD or ADHD

Posted by needofanswers on Aug 03, 2015 at 3:12am

My oldest child is 11 and has been diagnosed with adhd and learning disabilities since she was a little girl. Recently within the last 2 years she has been urinating on the floor in her bedroom. I found out, and she has been going to therapist and psychologist once a month and we have been discussing this, but we have not pin pointed what is going on.. It is really driving me crazy.It puts so much stress in the house hold along with all the other characteristic from being a adhd child. Lord have mercy the older they get the hardier it gets. More things are coming out. I am going to therapy myself, but I am at the end of my rope.

Posted by poohbear on Mar 23, 2016 at 2:08am

Grateful to find this post. My 8 year old son has been exibiting this behavior since he was 4 yrs old off and on. I am relieved to see its not me.

Posted by JDcrazymom on Apr 03, 2016 at 1:58am

Hi, first time every on this. My son is 13yrs old, been probably using his rm for a bathroom per say for mayb about a month or so from what I can tell that’s when I finally caught on. I suffer from migraines and strong smells can trigger them, he has had issues all his life with nite time bathroom but here lately, I guess since his sleeping has gotten worst, he refuses to leave his rm at nite, which I was unaware of. My son was diagnosed with PDD-NOS, which is considered a very small form of autism. In very often cases you hear the phrase “I don’t know why” more times then I wish to admit. It is also a diagnosis that was given to my son after they realized he was not really ADD or just ADHD. Just something some people my want to look into when they are looking for answers for what’s going on with their kids, this may be another thing to look at and is often over looked. Good luck guys, on a side note. I am am also still actively working with a therapist and psychologist to make sure we are keeping this from happening, from my understanding, it’s not okay for them to do it but it can be treated

Posted by IrulanMunkie on Apr 13, 2016 at 12:58am

I wanted to add one more extremely and very important thing that I constantly remind myself daily in my life with my son. You must always try to remind youself, this is not your fault nor is this always just about you but more about you as a family. What you feel you may be struggling with, your child is probably struggling with 10 times more, as they say “your child feels what you feel”.  I also agree with ADHDmomma, the right therapist who knows how to hand these issues can make all the difference. Great advice. My son has been with his since 2009 & if it wasn’t for him, we would be so lost lol

Posted by IrulanMunkie on Apr 13, 2016 at 2:04am

I have a 19 yr old daughter with ADHD. I actu have no sense of smell, but my husband always says her room smells bad when her door is open. We also have a dog, whose cage is in her room, and two cats each almost a year old. The cats used to pee in the house as young kittens, but that has become rare, and they’re not allowed in her room anyway. But every once in awhile I find a yellowed pee spot in her room and clean it up. I always thought it was the pets, but one night, I opened up the family iPad and saw a porn website in all about peeing in public, in the pants, indoors in inappropriate places, etc. my son doesn’t use the iPad because he has his own iPhone and laptop, so I know it was her. I’m just saying this is a perspective to consider, especially being that many of you say your child says “I don’t know,” possibly because they are embarrassed. Even young children start experimenting with their bodies at as young as three years old, according to the Internet.!

Posted by MomMania2 on Jun 04, 2016 at 7:50pm

Hi I see same of these posts was posted in 2011 Any advise from these parents As I’m struggling with the same problems with my 10 year old boy

Posted by Shashabb on Aug 22, 2016 at 7:15pm

@Shashabb, I just discovered today my 8 yr old son peed in the mixing bowls under the cabinet!  I imagine it happened yesterday as we were not home the rest of the weekend.  He has never done this, and we have a 1 bathroom apartment.  I’m going to gently ask him about it after school. 

Not sure what meds your son takes, but my son is on Intuniv, Concerta, and started Prozac about 7 weeks ago.  He has ADHD with Impulse Control issues; Sensory Processing; Anxiety.

Posted by xxdemosthenes on Sep 19, 2016 at 7:45pm

I have an 8 year old son with ADHD and we are going through the same thing he started peeing in his bedroom about a year and a half ago and slowly it started happening all over our house. We tried going to counseling for awhile but that didn’t seem to help and now he not only pees on his bedroom floor but he poops as well. I’m at my wits end and do not know what to do

Posted by Jenkia on Sep 26, 2016 at 9:18pm

I take care of my 8 yr old grandson, he has not been diagnosed with any ADHD or any conditions.  I’ve spoken to his doctors n said a lot of kids do this until ages 13-14 yrs old.  My jaw dropped, but with my children from what I remember my son was like 6 yrs old I didn’t remove pull up from him until he stop changing on his own.  I had to stop n think if I had this issue with my kids but my mother reminded me, your kids use to change their own diapersπŸ˜πŸ˜•πŸ˜, until they realized themselves this wasn’t normal.  But because my grandkids is not my own, I feel he should know better.  So I’m going to try the pulls again , if he doesn’t like wearing them then he needs to get u at night n pee on his own. 

I understand the frustration regarding the smell n cleaning ups.  Keep praying!

Grandma WTx….just sharing

Posted by Grandma W TX on Jan 11, 2017 at 7:42am

Hello, I’ve appreciated reading everyone’s posts - but don’t see any follow-up.  What was the outcome after seeking therapy for your child?  My daughter is 13 years old, developmentally, however, she’s about 10.  Over the past 4 years or so I have caught her urinating in inappropriate places - unlike many of you here, my daughter is not urinating on the floor.  The first time, she urinated in the register in the floor, the second time, she urinated in the bathtub (and no, not while she was in there to shower or bathe), the third time, she took an old diaper I had in the bathroom, put it on - laid in bed and urinated in it (this incident happened last year) and finally, just last night, after everyone was in bed, I heard lots of movement coming from her room - when I opened the door, I found her bottomless and hiding something behind her back - after demanding that she show me what she had, she produced a Ziploc sandwich bag full of her pee.  She had just peed in the sandwich bag!  I lost it - just like I had the year before.  Her bathroom is right outside her door - when I pressed her for why she is doing this she just gives me a blank stare and says she doesn’t know and that she’s sorry.  I couldn’t deal with it, I was too upset, so her stepdad spoke to her more about it - at that point she expressed that someone told her to do it, like she’s two different people and doesn’t want to be that person.  The thing is, I don’t know if I believe that - maybe I don’t want to… First thing Monday I am reaching out to her doctor for an appointment with her phycologist or her physiatrist.  But was hoping to find some peace of mind today.  I’m so bothered by this that I can’t even really speak to her today (and I know, that’s my own problem - which I’m trying to work through as well). *no change to medication in the last 10 years (except maybe a couple of dose increases)

Posted by Looking4Answers on Apr 30, 2017 at 4:50pm

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