Realizing your child has a problem with bed wetting can be a frustration as a parent, but it is very difficult for your child and emotionally upsetting. Bed wetting in children is very common and affects 5 to 7 million children yearly in the United States alone. What many parents and children don’t realize is that night time bladder control is considered the last stage of potty training. It is natural for children to experience bed wetting while learning to control their bladder.
Talking to your child about bed wetting is the first step to alleviating the behavior. Here are some tips to make that process successful and a bit easier. Even though it has been a long time since you have been your child’s age, try and put yourself in their position. Think of how embarrassing this must be for them. Understand that punishing a child for bed wetting typically makes the problem worse and more frequent. The following are some things to keep in mind when talking to your child about bedwetting:
- Try and be prepared for the discussion. Role play first and have some clear thoughts on how the conversation will go, and even have some answers to potential questions your child will have.
- Always engage in a conversation about bed wetting with your child when you are alone. Trying to have this sensitive conversation around siblings or even other relatives will just make your child more anxious and resistant to talking.
- Start the conversation with the facts about bed wetting. This will put your child at ease, knowing that they are not alone.
- It is so important that you convey to your child that you are in no way disappointed with them and are here to help and that you love them.
- Ask your child if they would feel more comfortable talking to someone else about their bed wetting, like your family pediatrician. Don’t let your feelings be hurt if they say yes.
- Try to discuss some possible reasons why this may be happening, like drinking too many liquids before bedtime.
- Ask your child if they are having other feelings of possibly stress, new emotions or nervousness that might be contributing to the bed wetting behavior. Give them ample time to think and respond.
- It is very important to let your child know that they are not at fault for this bed wetting behavior. Blame is something that kids are very sensitive to at this point in their development and should be completely removed from their thought process.
- If you as a child wet the bed, or know of a story of someone who has, feel free to share the story now with your child, it will just help them know that they are not alone or isolated with the bed wetting.