How to Help Maintain Your Child's Self-Esteem

How to Help Maintain Your Child's Self-Esteem

It may be hard to remember this while you are up in the middle of the night cleaning sheets, but you aren’t the only one who is affected by your child’s bedwetting.  Although bedwetting itself may be solved easily and quickly, the effects it has on your child’s self-esteem can last much longer.  Fortunately there are ways that you can help your child to remain confident even when dealing with bedwetting.

  1. Don’t get mad.  It is hard when you’re tired and frustrated and it is the middle of night, but it is important that you don’t show your child your frustration. Children don’t want to feel that they are disappointing you and will become ashamed if they feel you are angry with them.  It is not their fault, so let them know that you know that.

  2. Explain to them that a lot of kids have this problem.  If you wet the bed as a child, share that.  Many children feel like they are the only one with their problem and knowing that it is completely normal will help.

  3. Encourage them to take ownership of the problem.  As much as you don’t want to focus too much on the problem, not addressing it at all or taking the entire burden on yourself will make your child feel helpless.  Give them small tasks both in their bedtime routines to help prevent accidents and in the cleaning process when accidents do occur.  This will give them a sense of agency and power in a situation which can feel very overwhelming.

  4. Make it easy to get to the toilet at night.  Tell your child that it is okay to use the bathroom at night and make it easy for them.  If your child is afraid of the dark, get a nightlight or even a few to light the way.  You want your child able to easily access the bathroom at night and to be comfortable doing so if needed.

Helping your child to maintain healthy levels of self-esteem is not as simple as following a few tips.  Remember that your child is a person with feelings as complicated as your own and pay attention to how they are acting.  If you aren’t sure how your child is feeling, ask.  They may be more open about it than you think.

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