Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Why Won’t My Granddaughter Use the Bathroom?


My 7-year-old granddaughter refuses to use the bathroom. If my son or I ask her to go use the bathroom, she refuses and regularly messes herself. What can we do to help her?



When an older child suddenly ​struggles with potty issues, the first thing you should do is take the child to the pediatrician. A physical issue may be the reason for a change in bathroom habits. If the child continues to refuse to use the bathroom and continues to have accidents once any physiological issues have been addressed and treated, it’s possible that an emotional cause may be driving the physical behavior. 

A professional counselor can help uncover the emotional root of the issue and help the child overcome any fears or anxieties that may be driving the behavior. A counselor can also help parents and children establish healthy bathroom routines. For your granddaughter’s health and emotional well-being, it’s best to get her to the doctor and a counselor, if necessary, as soon as possible.