Peeing on the Floor is an Attention-Getter

In this episode: An almost-3-year-old who seemed to have made the transition to using a toilet has started wetting his pants and peeing on the floor. His mom is confused (and annoyed) because she says he doesn’t have “accidents” when he’s out and about, even for an entire day. She’s wondering why this is happening all of a sudden and why only at home.


Please share your comments and questions. I read them all and respond to as many as time will allow.

  1. Hi Janet,
    Thanks for this! It makes sense, but I’m wondering about my twins peeing during nap time when I’m not in there with them. Is that still an attention seeking behavior? They are still in diapers, occasionally using toilet at their own pace/readiness. During nap time, they strip off their pants and diapers and pee all over the floor and blankets/ pillows

    1. When my 3 year old thought it was cute to piss on my floor I spanked his butt hard and I’m not a spanker put him in time out no TV and early bed time . Needless to say he didn’t think it was so funny after all He never did it again and does talk about don’t pee on the floor mom gets real mad only in the toilet to everyone who will listen. That was not happening in my house again.

      1. That sounds like child abuse and not respectful parenting.

        1. Old fashioned discipline is the best! All this namby pamby modern pc parenting is hard work and doesn’t achieve the same results. Children 30 40 years ago knew their place and how to behave and have made better adults and parents themselves. If my mother saw me parenting like this she’d know I’d been taught well and will behave. All this new age parenting is very recent, why fix something that isn’t broken and cause more damage to children in the future. We have more children with problems now than we ever do, I see it as a teacher. I remind parents that they’re in control and their children should also know it.

          1. Hey there, You’re a teacher? Well I’m a therapist and developmental trauma specialist. And I can tell you– something has been very broken for decades. Possibly, this is the reason why I have a job. Shaming, fear mongering, threats, anger and emotional and physical abuse all cause developmental trauma– a separation from your own emotions, wants and knowing yourself truly and having access to true happiness and fulfilment in life. The reason kids have more problems now is because this cycle of trauma is passed down from generation to generation and simply AMPLIFIES. Things like wars and financial recessions add to the stress and that also amplifies the harm passed down. Genes activate under the epigenetics of this trauma and mental illness is created on the genetic level. It’s that simple. Check the research of the last 10 years. As a teacher, you want to be aware of what you’re promoting here. You could come off as very ignorant and outdated.

            1. I just had the same incident happen 10 minutes ago my daughter is potty trained and I just found pee on the floor right next to the toilet. (Only child no animals) I didn’t let my emotions get the best of me and mopped it up I did put her in time out for a couple minutes and then I came in we had to talk about it we hugged it out and now she’s back to watching TV and playing. Real proud of myself for handling my emotions in that moment cuz it’s definitely hard.

  2. For Sara.. i can’t believe you are even bragging about your attitude… You can’t do that to an animal.. how on earth can you do it with your child, especially when he’s managing such a tough age…

  3. Thank you for this! How do you suggest handling the situation when there’s an older sibling involved that is roomsharing and vocal about annoyance with the urinating?

  4. Christine says:

    Thanks so much Janet! Like always you help me so much with your advice to understand my 3 year old better! Acknowledge is the magic word. Every day in every moment as good as we can. They just want to know: do you see me?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More From Janet

Books & Recommendations