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Child Purposely Urinating On Floor – Peeing In Inappropriate Places

Sometimes, children really do the darndest things. Peeing in seemingly random places is one of them. Some children even refuse to be potty trained and pee on the floor out of pure defiance.

Then, we have the parents that are astonished when they open a drawer to discover it’s full of urine instead of the books that were in there. Sometimes, the books are still in the drawer too.

Child Purposely Urinating On Floor - Peeing In Inappropriate Places

It can be an instant reaction to punish your kid, but not so fast.

There are quite a few underlying things that can cause this type of behavior. Once you solve the underlying issue, you solve the urinating in inappropriate places issue as well. 

Child Purposely Peeing On Floor For Attention

If your kid is going for the shock factor and wants attention, peeing on the floor right in front of you is definitely going to get it. Children all have attention needs, and some of them have higher attention needs than others.

If you’ve noticed your child peeing all over the house where they know you will see it in combination with other attention-seeking behaviors, this could be the culprit.

Attention seeking behaviors in children might include: 

  • Temper tantrums
  • Outbursts, including angry outbursts
  • Talking out of turn in class
  • Misbehavior in school
  • Sympathy seeking (saying negative things about themselves)
  • Pointing out their good deeds or behaviors to you

How To Stop Attention Seeking Behavior

Attention seeking behavior stems from a child not receiving the attention that they need. Every child needs attention, but some need it significantly more than others.

female toddler throwing a tantrum

When you combine this with the fact that most parents are only spending seven minutes of one on one time with their child a day, it can be a recipe for disaster. 

Giving attention is the way to stop attention-seeking behavior, but it’s essential to do it the right way. Remember, attention is the reward that the child is seeking, so don’t give it to them for inappropriate behaviors.

If your child pees on the floor for attention, simply clean it up and go about your day. Don’t reward it as this will actually reinforce the behavior. While this helps discourage the behavior, it doesn’t solve the attention-seeking part. 

If your child needs more attention, find little ways to give it to them throughout the day. We don’t all have hours to spend cuddling every day. If you have multiple children, it can be even harder.

Instead, randomly praise your little one when you see them doing something good. Stop in their room real quick to tell them you love them, or to point out that they’re doing a good job.

If your child has social media, add them, and send them cute pictures throughout the day. The longer you do this, the more their attention-seeking behavior will fade away. 

It’s important to note that if peeing on the floor doesn’t work, kids might try something else instead. Expect things to escalate a little bit at first. Instead of losing your cool, keep calm, and continue positive attention when possible. 

Kids Peeing On The Floor Due To Mental Health Problems

Some mental health disorders, such as Oppositional Defiant Disorder, go hand in hand with behaviors like a child peeing on the floor. It’s the ultimate power trip for them, and kids with ODD are known for wanting to be the one in control.

In this particular situation, do you know how you solve a child misbehaving because they want to be in control? You take away it’s power.

Do not react. Tell them if that’s what they want to do, it’s fine. Blow it off as much as you possibly can, and they’ll move on to something else. 

Oppositional Defiant Disorder is not the only mental health diagnosis that can result in a child peeing all over the house. Other common mental health diagnoses that result in this include, but are not limited to: 

  • ADD
  • ADHD
  • PTSD
  • Anxiety

If your child is peeing on the floor, and it’s obvious that something more is going on, consider seeking help from a psychiatrist. They can perform a proper evaluation, and help you solve other behavior problems that may be present. 

Toddlers Peeing All Over The House 

A toddler might be doing this as an attention-seeking behavior or due to mental illness, but these little guys and girls have a few other reasons that can easily result in that dreaded toy box with a few inches of urine in the bottom. 

They’re Busy

If you have a toddler that’s already potty trained peeing all over the house, it could be because they are busy. Toddlers are known for putting off going to the bathroom.

toddler happily playing

They might be sucked into playing with their favorite toy and try to hold it. Then, little ones can’t hold it for much longer and go wherever they are at. 

They Can’t Hold It

Toddlers are notorious for having small bladders. They have to use the restroom more than the rest of us, and they can’t hold it for very long when they do have to go.

If your little one has to go and tries to hold it, there’s a good chance that it’ll lead to an accident. Some kids don’t want to go in their clothes but know that they can’t make it to the bathroom, so they get undressed and pee wherever they already are.

If they have already gotten in trouble for this behavior, toddlers will try to hide it. 

What To Do If Your Toddler Pees On The Floor

For many young children, this isn’t an act of defiance, although there are exceptions. If you notice that this happens when they’re playing, it’s more than likely because they didn’t want to stop to go to the restroom.

In this situation, simply give them restroom breaks. If your toddler insists that they don’t have to go, tell them to go sit on the potty and try to go. This should help reduce accidents. 


Children often misbehave when they’re feeling stressed. This could be seen in them throwing temper tantrums, refusing to sleep in their own room, or in them peeing on the floor. Common causes of stress in children might be: 

  • A new sibling
  • Moving
  • New school
  • New pet
  • Changes in routine
  • Changes at school
  • Bullying
  • Difficulty at school
  • A new teacher

Solution To Kids Peeing On The Floor Due To Stress

Even the slightest change, such as a new student arriving in the classroom, can stress smaller children. Changes that children say they want, such as changing bedrooms, can also trigger slight misbehavior.

stressed toddler

If your child is acting out due to stress, the solution is to eliminate as much stress in their environment as possible. Changes should be made slowly, if possible.

Always warn children of changes before they happen to reduce the amount of stress that they cause. 

Medical Conditions That Can Cause A Child To Pee On The Floor

Some medical conditions can make it harder for your child to make it to the bathroom. Older children might not be able to hold it and will wind up having an accident just like a younger child that can’t hold it.

Common medical conditions that can make your child feel the urgent need to pee include: 

  • Urinary tract infection
  • Bladder infection
  • Underdeveloped bladder
  • Overactive bladder

If you’re concerned that your little one has an underlying medical condition, consult your pediatrician. It’s a good idea to give them a call when your child starts peeing on the floor just to make sure. 

Expressing Their Feelings/ To Feel Power

Your tiny child may have developed some passive-aggressive ways to express their emotions, which could include peeing on the floor.

This is commonly seen in children that are full of resentment, anger, or simply feel they are not being treated fairly. It’s partially to be defiant, but also to feel in control again.

toddler crying

Children often can’t control things that they’re angry about, such as when it’s dinner time. This leads to them seeking other things to control, such as where they pee. 

Teach Children Healthy Coping Skills

Teaching children healthy coping skills can go a long way in teaching them to express their feelings without peeing on the floor. Angry children can hit a pillow or rip up paper to let out their anger.

Children that are filled with resentment can state why they feel the way that they do and learn healthy communication skills as well as problem-solving skills. 

Give Children Control

Children that are often engaged in a power struggle need to feel in control. Children have two things that they need, and that they often do not get: attention and power. This does not mean to let your little one call the shots.

Instead, give them control over specific things. For example, we have a bowl of healthy snacks in the kitchen. When the littlest wants a snack, she can get whatever she wants out of the bowl.

She gets to pick, but she still eats a healthy snack. Another example is that I lay out several outfits of clothing on her dresser, but she picks which one to wear every day.

She always looks presentable and wears weather appropriate clothing, yet still gets to pick out her outfit. Letting children pick things helps them feel more in control of their own life, and can help prevent peeing on the floor. 

Children pee on the floor for a variety of reasons. This could be because they feel very strong emotions, miss you, are stressed, or are suffering from a medical condition.

Some children as old as nine can still try to hold it because they don’t want to take a bathroom break. Take a very close look at your home life and your child to determine why you have a child peeing on the floor.

Once you know the cause, you can find the perfect solution to this problem.