How to talk to your child about bedwetting
The way that you talk to your child about wetting the bed will naturally differ slightly depending on their age and background, but these universal tips will support you and your child to have an open and supportive conversation that can completely diffuse an otherwise challenging situation.
Firstly, let them know that they are not alone and it is not their fault. Lots of children wet the bed and it is a common phase that almost all kids will naturally grow out of.
In fact, up to 20% of five year olds and up to 10% of seven year olds experience bedwetting, with many kids older than this continuing to wet the bed too.
It is important that bedwetting isn’t approached as a negative thing, but just as a normal part of their development that they will soon grow out of.
You can let them know that the reason that they wet the bed is because their bladder and brain haven’t learned to talk to each other yet, but it is only a matter of time before they do.
Just like all kids learn to ride a bike, kick a ball or tie their shoelaces at different times, their body is still developing the ability to stay dry at night. Some children are shorter when they are young, and then shoot up to be very tall when they are adults. There is no right or wrong way to develop, every child develops at different rates in different areas of life.
The next step is to ask your child how they would like to manage their bedwetting phase. They may just want to stay dry at night while their body naturally develops with bedwetting management products as DryNites® Night Time pants and DryNites® Bed Mats, or try bladder training exercises or treatment options like bedwetting alarms. By deciding on an action plan together, you can empower your child to make choices that feel right for them.
Let them know that there may be some changes to their routine, such as drinking water regularly throughout the day and no more chocolate or sugary or caffeinated drinks in the evening. You can explain that these changes will help them stay dry at night.
It is important to let them know that they can talk to you about how they are feeling at any time. Bedwetting can be a very sensitive issue for a child, and having someone that they know that they can talk to about their feelings and worries can make a world of difference in their life.
This is especially important when it comes to cases of secondary enuresis, which means that a child starts wetting the bed again after having previously been dry at night for 6 months or more. Secondary enuresis is usually caused by either a physical condition or a psychological or emotional stress in a child’s life. Talking to your child about how they are feeling can be crucial in identifying the root cause of secondary bedwetting and taking this information to your GP.
Once you have talked to your child and have established an action plan, it can be a good idea to include the whole family in the conversation. Communicate that it is a normal part of life but shouldn’t be shared outside the family, and that there is to be no teasing related to bedwetting under any circumstances.
This applies to parents as well, it is important that you never get angry or punish your child for wetting the bed and never make fun of them no matter how light hearted you think it may be.
With this open, patient and loving approach you can support your child to remain happy, calm and confident while this normal yet sensitive phase passes by.