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Concerned about My 4 1/2 Year Old

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Last August, shortly after turning 4, we had an issue with our daughter drinking her own urine. Her bedroom is in the attic and we have a gate on her door to stop her falling down the stairs at night, so she had a potty which has since been replaced with a camping toilet so she can use the bathroom. Since the last incident there has been a time where she had an accident and pooped all over her bed and spread it all over the bed and floor. The most recent thing she did was today, she got up early in the morning and put her hands in the urine and spread it all over her walls and then got paper and stuck it all over like wallpaper. I’m getting very concerned about this behavior and can’t understand why she does these things. She does very well at school but can be very naughty at home. She has a step dad and half brother who is almost one. She hasn’t seen her biological Dad since she was one as he was neglecting her. Her step dad and her also don’t always get along. All the incidents we have had have usually happened in the night or early hours of the morning. Could you please advise on whether she needs to see a therapist? (From the UK)

Concerned about My 4 1/2 Year Old

Answered by on -


Thank you for your question. I encourage you to follow your mother’s instinct. When something feels off about your child’s behavior I would honor that instinct and have her checked out. The first place to go is your pediatrician. If needed, he or she can examine your daughter and make recommendations for a qualified child therapist.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Concerned about My 4 1/2 Year Old

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Concerned about My 4 1/2 Year Old. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 22, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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