#1: Respond appropriately and positively
Do something. Don’t leave the child to himself. Don’t just fold your arms–it will make it worse or prolong the period of bedwetting. But, also, you must do the right and positive things, because doing the wrong things will, as well, prolong the period of bedwetting. Physical and verbal abuse are negative. Being angry, yelling at the child, teasing and shaming the child is not positive. So I should say: do something– do the right things. Have the right attitude towards your child. Read on!
#2: Resist the urge to punish the child
Never, never, never punish the child. Knock this into your parental skull: punishment doesn’t work–it only makes bedwetting worse! It will only prolong the number of years the child will bedwet, and affect the child’s self-esteem. You see, one of the underlying causes of bedwetting is “the fear of bedwetting again” and “fear of punishments”; so you are only reinforcing the bedwetting! Stop beating, scolding, mocking, name-calling, and revealing the bedwetting to his friends. Punishing the child is like beating a dead horse–it’s a big waste of time. Remember, the child cannot help himself.
#3: Reassure and support the child
Care about the feelings and the future of your child. Be sensitive to his deep needs and fears. Ask him questions. Is he (or she) being sexually abused? Is he being bullied in school? What are his fears and desires? Talk to him. Tell him it is normal and that it would stop with time. Let him know and feel supported, and not feel alone. Work with him. Get him involved in changing the wet bedsheets, doing the laundry, and dressing the bed afterwards. Do it with the child. Let it be that you are helping the child through a trying moment. Be patient and understanding. Be his friend, not just his parent.
#4: Reduce the amount of fluids consumed before sleep
Let the child learn to take little amount of water after evening meals and before going to bed. Evening meals should be light; heavy meals encourage very deep sleeping. Evening meals should be eaten earlier than usual. Let the child avoid drinking alcohol, coffee, and coke. Some doctors, sometimes, prescribe drugs [hormonal replacement] that reduce the amount of urine produced at night. Don’t give the child any drugs for bedwetting; let the doctors prescribe them at their own discretion.
#5: Regular intervals of urination should be established
This is a form of bladder training. Let the child urinate at specific times during the day. And just before going to bed. Wake the child up to urinate at least two times every night. Choose the same times for every night. Instruct the child to wake you up to accompany him to the toilets if he is too scared to go alone. One “miracle cure” for bedwetting is using special alarms called “bedwetting alarms” or “moisture alarms”! They wake the child up as soon as the bladder is full and the child starts urinating. After about 2 weeks, hopefully, the child would be able to wake up, spontaneously, anytime the bladder is full!
#6: Reward the child for every “dry night”
The importance of this is immense. Many bedwetting children have been “miraculously healed” by the simple, but powerful, act of rewarding the child for dry nights. Praise the child. Celebrate this victory. Get the child his favorite food or gift item. Buy the child a “bobo” milk drink. Make a promise, and keep it. [Please, if the child is going to sleep over in a friend’s house or camping, buy and teach the child how to use absorbent underwears and diapers. Infact, there are “adult pampas” of different sizes. Save the child unnecessary embarrassments.] Ensure he maintains a positive attitude as much as possible.
#7: Remember to involve a medical doctor
In all these, don’t forget to work with a doctor. See a doctor especially if the bedwetting child: is more than 7 years of age; suddenly starts bedwetting again after achieving control and had months of dry nights; urinates frequently; experiences pain when urinating; wets underwear even during the day while awake; drinks water excessively and eats more than usual; snores at night; or has swollen feet. Some doctors have recorded successes with antidepressants and other prescription-only drugs. Some bedwetting only stop after specialised surgeries.
Are you a teenager or adult still bedwetting? Or do you know someone who does? Break the silence. You need support. Contact me.