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Psychiatry & Psychology--General/child deliberately peeing on floor near toilet

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Question
My son is a control freak.  It doesn't manifest enough to disrupt our household daily but when it does, it's so awful. He will punish you so harshly for trying to get him to do even a simple thing he doesn't want to do. I can let it slide on some occasions but if it's something important, I cannot. The problem is things like homework or peeing, he can control this.  He recently refused to pee at a friend's house. Ultimately he peed in her bath and laughed. She is a nice person and she was happy he started peeing again. The problem is she opened a door. That week he started to pee on the floor next to the toilet, not entirely, but he'd squirt and smirk. I'd make him clean it, which he did, and he didn't care. He actually likes cleaning it. I tried withholding things he likes, no effect. His response is NOT to pee. My mother said let him not pee but the problem is when his bladder is full, he can't concentrate on work or do much of anything. Also I don't like him getting used to this. He did alot of wittholding in the past to control us and it was very stressful.  If you had a child withholding because you told them they simply cannot pee on the floor, would you let them witthold and wait it out or do you have another idea? Thanks.

Answer
Sharon,

Thank you for your question about, children and control.

I am a psychologist and not a urologist, but I am pretty sure that holding urine can lead to bladder infections, which are not always serious but can be.

If your son is fixed on holding urine as a method of expressing his feelings, I think that you should speak to his pediatrician about this and explore the possibility of getting professional help to change this habit and to help your son find other ways of feeling in control.

It is important for children to feel in control because so much of their existence is out of their control and yet as they get older they feel the pressure from parents and school that they should exert a lot of control over things that seem more important to their parents and teachers than they seem to them, while they still feel they have no control over the things that may be more important to them personally.

Best,

Dr. Andrew Elmore

Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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Andrew M. Elmore, Ph.D.

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I can answer questions about: Stress. Headaches. Stress-related Disorders. Anxiety/Panic Disorder. Depression. Psychopathology. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Personal Problem Solving. Life in General. Relationships: Love, Friendship, Business Partner, Coworker, Family,Child/Parent. What makes us tick. The use of psycho-pharmacological agents in combination with psychological treatment. How to deal with evil people in your life. How to improve your outlook under duress. How to control stress. How to control mood. How to control headaches. I cannot answer: Questions about Eating Disorders. Questions about computers.

Experience

30 years in private practice as a psychologist in Manhattan. Dealing with people from almost every conceivable ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, and as many character types as exist in this country. Dealing with patients from 8 years old to 90 years old. Pioneer in biofeedback and the treatment of stress-related disorders. Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine since 1982. Treatment of stress-related, anxiety and depressive disorders with biofeedback and cognitive behavioral therapy. Developed personal problem solving, an extremely precise form of psychotherapy. Relationship therapy for couples, families, parent/child issues, business partners, coworkers, employers, and dealing with psychopathic individuals in your life.

Organizations
American Psychological Association. Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. Biofeedback Certification Institute of America. New York Academy of Sciences.

Publications
The journal, Psychophysiology. The book, Expanding Dimensions of Consciousness. The journal, Headache. The journal, Biofeedback and Self-Regulation. The journal Psychiatry Digest. The book, The TMJ Book. The book, Dental Phobia. The network, CNN. Parade Magazine. The newspaper, Newsday. The Manhattan TV station, WCBS. The national news program, The CBS Evening News. The newspaper, The New York Post. The national TV program, The Phil Donohue Show. The magazine, The New Yorker. The magazine, Glamor. The magazine, Redbook. The magazine, Health. The magazine, Bottom Line Personal. Web MD. The website, Healthology. The magazine, Newsweek.

Education/Credentials
Ph.D. SUNY at Stony Brook, 1979. B.A., magna cum laude with Honors in Psychology, Illinois Wesleyan University, 1974.

Awards and Honors
Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare, First, Second and Third Editions, 1997-2000. Appointed to the Training Faculty of the Biofeedback Certification Institute of America (BCIA), 1993. Senior Fellow BCIA. New York Academy of Sciences, 1987. Who’s Who in the East, 1983-present. Who’s Who in Frontier Science and Technology, First Edition. Citation Paper Author. Eleventh Annual Meeting of the Biofeedback Society of America, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 1980. Biofeedback Society of America Scholar, 1979. Co-author, USVA Grant, “Variables Affecting the Experience of Pain in Migraine,” USVA Medical Center, Northport, New York, 1977-1979. Biomedical Research Fellow, Department of Biomedical Engineering, SUNY at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York, 1978. NIMH Predoctoral Fellowship, 1976. BA, Magna cum laude, with Honors in Psychology, 1974. Danforth Fellowship Nominee, Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, Illinois, 1973.

Past/Present Clients
Most of my clients are my private patients. However I have provided many seminars, lectures and workshops for: Columbia University. The Mount Sinai School of Medicine. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Museum of Natural History. The UJA Federation. The university, CW Post. The College of New Rochelle. Equinox Fitness. Travelers Insurance. AutoOne Insurance. Chubb Insurance. Metropolitan Life. Allstate Insurance. State Farm Insurance. Encompass Insurance. The public relations firm, Porter Novelli. The investment firm, Capital Re:. The Estee Lauder corporation. The law firm of Irwin Abrams. The National Insurance Crime Bureau. GEICO Insruance. Beth Israel Hospital.

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