Taking Action with Bedwetting

By: Gail Metcalf

Bedwetting is such a stressful and emotional issue - in fact, some polls have suggested that besides divorce and family conflict, it is one of the most stressful issues for families. Learning to deal with the problem calmly, then, is a big priority. However, parents should not just allow themselves to be placated into taking no action at all. The fact is, bedwetting can still be a nuisance and a problem for your child, and there are many solutions out there.

Once your family has learned to deal with the problem in a level-headed way, do encourage your family to seek solutions rather than wait for the problem to go away on its own. There are many solutions out there that can help your child, so that your son or daughter do not suffer needlessly.

Don’t Let it Become a Big Deal

Of course, you want to help your child stop wetting the bed so that they can enjoy a comfortable sleep with no embarrassment in the morning, but be careful that your desire to help does not come across as a sign that there is something wrong. Don’t make bedwetting - an un-dangerous condition - become a big issue at your house.

Keep Things Low-Key

Make sure that the approach to bedwetting is a low-key one. Point out that it is not a child’s fault and that it usually means that a child simply needs to keep growing up - there is nothing abnormal about it. It often helps if the child knows that others in the family have experienced bedwetting and have grown out of it. Also, make sure that any treatments or remedies used are offered in a low-key, non-threatening way. There is no need to keep stressing the child’s bedwetting throughout the day. Offer some therapy during the day but allow the child to play and just enjoy being a kid.

Let the Child Tell You When He or She Has Wet the Bed

If your child wets the bed, make sure that siblings or other well-intentioned members of the household don’t announce “Johnny wet the bed -again.” This just leads to shaming. Instead, it is often helpful to have a quiet time in the morning when your child can tell you himself or herself. Having a system (such as a calendar where the child marks wet and dry nights) can make it easier for the child to approach you, as there is a routine for sharing this information.

Let the Child Help

If it will help your child feel less embarrassed, let him or her help clean up. He or she can tidy up the pillows or fold the sheets. In some cases, this can make the child feel less inept and babyish, if they can be entrusted with a grownup chore. Plus, if they can help clean the bed they may feel in control of a small part of their bedwetting.

Do not make cleaning up a punishment, but rather offer it as a way to make the child more comfortable. A comment such as “would you like to put the pillowcases on the pillows to make your bed more comfortable?” makes it clear that the child is not being punished for wetting the bed.

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Gail Metcalf provides additional parenting information on her Babies, Toddlers and Parenting blog. Shop for babies and toddlers at the Online Baby Store with over 20 merchants featuring over 2,250 products. www.ExceptionalBaby.com

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