The first step in handling bed wetting as a family is to realise that your child undoubtedly finds bed wetting to be a stressful event. Bed wetting is common among children up to the age of three and should not be an area for concern until around the age of six. Here are some tips on how to handle bed wetting in ways that improve rather than stress the relationship between family members.
Bed wetting can often be a common element in family history. If mum or dad suffered from childhood bed wetting, then that parent can perhaps offer encouragement and support to their child, showing him or her that the problem can be outgrown.
It’s perfectly normal.
Remember that your child sees bedwetting as an embarrassment and a loss of control. So, be supportive and reassuring, make sure that your child knows that you do not consider that he or she wet the bed on purpose. Instead explain that it is often a common and normal part of growing up.
Also, it’s important to avoid becoming worried or anxious, as your child can easily pick up on your emotions. Bedwetting isn’t usually a sign of physical or emotional problems and shouldn’t be reacted to as if it is, unless there is verifiable evidence otherwise.
On the other hand, if this is a new problem, and your child has been dry up to this point, then there may be some form of difficulty involved. This usually takes the form of stress or anxiety caused by some change in the child’s environment. Some stress factors that might be responsible for bedwetting are nervousness, teasing by siblings, sudden changes or big changes in environment, diet, excitement, shame or embarrassment. It could also be due to hormonal imbalance, but this is less likely. When in doubt, consult your healthcare provider.
Build your child’s confidence.
If your child is old enough, you can turn bedwetting into an opportunity to help him or her build confidence. Consult your child as to possible solutions such as avoiding sugary or caffeinated drinks, especially in the evening. You can even offer a waterproof mattress as a sound solution. As long as you stay positive, this can be an opportunity to help your child build confidence and problem solving skills.
You can even offer small rewards for staying dry and you should praise your child for having a dry night. Another useful tip is to make sure that your child uses the bathroom just before going to bed. Make it a part of the bedtime routine and encourage your child to relieve him or herself during the night if necessary.
Above all, be patient. Bed wetting does stop eventually. Making your home a safe and predictable place to be is an important part of coping with bedwetting. Your encouragement and love is often the best way to deal with this part of growing up.