Five Most Common Mistakes Parents Make when Dealing with Bedwetting

Five Most Common Mistakes Parents Make when Dealing with Bedwetting

When your child is experiencing bed-wetting, it is hard as a parent to know what to do.  You want to help your child, but take all the half-truths on the internet and add in a few urban myths that friends or even your own parents may have told you and you have a verified mess of misinformation that would confuse even the most well-meaning parents.  Because of this, even with the best of intentions, there may be things you are doing that are not very helpful.

The five most common mistakes parents make when attempting to help their child with bed-wetting are:

1. Waking your child in the middle of the night to use the toilet: This is a very common mistake and may even lessen the symptoms of the problem.  Unfortunately though, it is not helping solve the problem itself.  This makes staying dry your responsibility instead of your child’s.  In order to end the problem, rather than just reduce symptoms, your child needs to learn to wake up and go on his own.  Taking that responsibility from him also takes away the learning process.

2. Punishment: Many parents think that punishment will increase their child’s motivation to stop wetting the bed.  Unfortunately this can lead to shame and do much more harm than good.  Wetting the bed is unintentional.  Your child is not doing it out of laziness and most likely wants just as badly as you do for this problem to stop.  Punishing your child for wetting the bed may also cause psychological damage.

3. Using pull-ups regularly: When used on older children (older than around 5), using pull ups regularly can be a mistake.  Pull-ups decrease motivation to be dry and transfers responsibility back to you as a parent.  It also sends the message to your child that you expect this to be a continuing problem and that he won’t be able to solve the problem.  Just like waking up your child in the middle of the night, this prevents the child from engaging in a learning process.  Pull-ups can be great for sleepovers or camp, but using them on a regular basis isn’t going to solve the problem.

4. Embarrassing or teasing your child:  Just like punishment, teasing or making fun of your child will not increase his motivation to stop wetting the bed.  It will only perpetuate the problem and potentially cause emotional damage.  Your child needs your love and support to prevent him from developing low self-esteem or low confidence.

5. Not talking to your child: Not talking to your child about what is going on and how he feels can be easy and can feel like the right thing to do.  Talking about it would make him feel ashamed, right?  Not always.  Talking about what is happening and letting your child know that you are there to support him is incredibly important.  Ignoring the problem or taking steps without talking about it can make your child feel even more ashamed and confused.  

Not sure how to talk to your child about it?  Ask your doctor.  They have a ton of experience talking to children about things like this and are sure to have some tips for you.

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