Helping Your Bedwetting Child Maintain Self-Esteem
3. Don’t get angry when your child wets the bed.
Chances are your child is already very upset and ashamed for having wet the bed again last night. And, believe it or not, he didn’t do it on purpose. No matter how tempted you are to get mad, it’s important for you to stay calm and positive. In fact, punishing your child for wetting the bed can actually make the problem worse, and damage your relationship with your child.
One of the best things you can do to help your bedwetting child’s self-esteem is to encourage him and give him hope that he’ll overcome the problem. Similarly, be sure to give your child accolades for waking up dry whenever it happens. If your child has siblings, be sure they know that teasing about bedwetting is not allowed.
4. Make it easy for your child to find the bathroom at nighttime.
Your goal is to have your child get up to use the bathroom in the night if she needs to, so make sure she feels comfortable doing so. It can be helpful to tell her it’s OK to go to the bathroom in the night. For children who are afraid of the dark, placing nightlights in the hallway and the bathroom can make it less scary to venture to the bathroom during the night.
To help your child get used to using the bathroom in the night, it might be helpful for you to wake her up at first to help instill the habit.
5. Encourage your child to take responsibility for wetting the bed.
Just as you don’t want to overemphasize bedwetting, it’s important that you don’t ignore it entirely, either. It can give you child a sense of empowerment and help with the embarrassment if you encourage him to help you clean up and assist with the laundry when bedwetting does occur, if he’s old enough.
Although it is important that your child bears some of the responsibility for wetting the bed, be sure that he doesn’t feel you are blaming him for the problem or implying that it is something he is doing on purpose.
6. Give your child a sense of control over bedwetting.
Many children who wet the bed despair of ever getting over their problem, which can send their self-esteem into a downward spiral. Interestingly, it’s not uncommon for children to stop wetting the bed shortly after they visit a specialist and realize there are things that can be done to stop bedwetting.
There are a number of different ways you can help your child take some ownership of his bedwetting recovery, which will instill confidence and a sense of hope. First, work with your child to create and keep a bedwetting calendar or journal. Your child can recognize dry nights with stars and even come up with different hypotheses to test. For instance, they might decide to test whether limiting soda in the evening helps minimize bedwetting occurrences and keep track of it in their bedwetting journal.