Why does the seven-year-old in the pants?

    Education question: To our readers call to have us a lot of questions to ask the family therapist Jesper Juul sent. From this we have selected in the editors of some, and the teacher sent. Here he responds in a loose series.

A grandmother asks: My seven year old Grandson is still in the pants and “small” and “large”. This happens mostly when he is busy, for example, when you Build from Lego. He is a cheerful, bright and sociable child. All Attempts on the part of the pediatrician and the physiotherapist to help him have failed so far. And it seems as if he himself is not motivated, that something is changing.

Meanwhile, the Problem has become a self-runner: The relationship between his mother (my daughter) and he is charged and he is increasingly isolated from his friends (they laugh at him). I would be very grateful if you could give in spite of this limited information, a hint, in which direction a change in this Situation would be possible.

Jesper Juul’s response: I hope you get my response to your daughter to show, therefore, I write to you both. The facts are as follows: your son/grandson in the pants, and you are as a mother and grandmother I’m sorry to have to him and his clothes always clean. He loses his friends, and the older he gets, the more negative Feedback he will get from his surroundings.

My suggestion is that you explain to him all calm and friendly. Then you say: “You’re old enough to go to the bathroom, if you’ve made the pants, your dirty clothes off, to wash you clean clothes to wear. So are you going to do it from now on. I can imagine that the terrible for you to listen to this and I also think it’s not nice to say that to you. But I have tried to ensure that you’re doing in the pants. This is not me, but you will. Now you’re responsible for your own body. Please let me know if I can help you.”

To The Person

  • Anja KringDer Danish family therapist Jesper Juul is the author of more than 25 books on parenting, family life and puberty. One of its standard works is “The competent child”. The teacher says: “children must not be raised, they need empathic leadership, as you become older.”

Many families have also used this approach in the course of the years, and for most of them it worked. The key to success, however, is that the adults are serious (and not just half-heartedly try out a new strategy). You must trust in the abilities of your child and on the other, even so be responsible, admit that you failed with your efforts.

Again and again I hear that it is regarded as a “bad habit” or “lack of attention”, when older children make in the pants. That could be true. Your Boy could also be one of the many children who behave so, because they feel in the family.

The attitude of his mother, raises in me the question of whether it is in dealing with children (or people?) always especially is and everything must be correct? May be the behavior of the son is his way to put up your order?

I am always amazed when children are sent on the basis of a Symptom to a single therapy. In my experience, it is much better to advise the entire family. Not to blame the parents, but to find a new and better way, as you can with your child in contact.

If a mother, grandmother, two therapists, and many others focus on the “habit” of the child, why should it then take the responsibility for it? Children as well as adults, the tendency to cling so long to the symptoms until the true causes be discovered. And this is useful. But all the adults in the lives of the young, to deal with his Problem, have the same theories and the same approach. Thus, they were not successful. This could indicate that you are wrong, think of something else to can and should be more flexible.