Anxiety is a part of people’s feelings, especially in children. Little kids are easily feeling anxious about things in their life including the accident happens at night, bedwetting.
No matter how hard you try to explain to your child that bedwetting is something normal and will go away as he grows up, still most of the time he takes it as a big deal because for him and other children, nocturnal enuresis is just for a baby; and they know they are no longer so.
With this point of view, unfortunately, your child also starts to imagine the reactions from people in his surroundings, whether they can take the matter lightly just like his parents or the other way round. I think the high level of anxiety like this worsen the psychological effects of bedwetting on your child, thus you have to make a move.
Children often worry most about other people’s reactions rather than about actual bedwetting. Put another way, if there was no one else around, bedwetting would be far less stressful for a child as there would be no one else to know about the problem. Many children imagine what others would say, and the imagination is always worse than the reality.
Or, your child may have had one or two experiences of being teased for the problem and now is fearful that others will react in a like way.
When your child thinks, “What will others think?”
Either way, worrying what others will think makes a much bigger problem out of bedwetting. Such anxiety also puts lots of stress on a child, often unnecessarily. You can help your child overcome this problem by discussing with your child possible reactions people might have to the bedwetting and discussing what could be said in response.
If someone accuses him or her of being a baby, for example, you child can point out that lots of older kids wet the bed or tell the teaser that bedwetting is not about being a baby, but rather a condition. Be sure to discuss possible nice or sensitive things people could say, too, so that your child is not just imagining the worst.
If your child is hesitant about other people’s reaction because he or she has already had a negative experience, you will have to work a bit harder. Talk to your child about the incident, and consider why someone would have a bad reaction:
- Could they have been ignorant about bedwetting?
- Could they have been having a bad day and just taken it out in that way?
- Could they just be mean-spirited, saying something unpleasant about anyone, whether they wet the bed or not?
With your child, discuss what the child would do or say in the same situation. Then, talk about any positive experiences the child has had with people learning about his or her bedwetting and discuss possibly kind things that people could say once they find out.
This sort of role-playing is very effective in having your child feel in control of situations where people learn about the bedwetting. Often, the most frightening thing about someone’s reaction to us is that we cannot control the reaction. Imagining what to say gives your child some of that control.
Also, imagining or remembering positive reactions will take your child out of the mind frame that all reactions will be bad.
This should help convince your child that the myth is not true.
Overcoming Bedwetting Anxiety
You know although your child thinks he can handle everything like an adult, still he needs his parent in order to feel secure and less anxious about things that bother him. This means you always have the key to his life and chances to help him coping with anxiety over what others may think about his bedwetting.
His imagination on people’s reactions toward the fact that he wets the bed at night usually worse than the reality; that is the first thing parents should be aware of. When you know what is in your child’s mind, you can understand his anxiety and be sure of what to do, like:
Even though you have to key to his heart, but if you cannot find the way to open it then it is hard to help your child. Psst, this is the secret to use the key, give your empathy. Empathizing to his anxiety does not mean at all that you agree with his imagination of what other people think of him.
Instead, this is a strategy to make you child trust you and is willing to share everything in his mind. At this point, you can understand his problem from his point of view and the suggestion you give will be taken as a perfect solution.
Discussing the fact and fiction
As I said before, what your child thinks about people reactions towards his bedwetting is usually far from the reality. You need to get your child back into the real by discussing his imagination and what really happens.
Ask him to look back when his relatives knew he wet the bed, did they tease him badly or tell him it is OK? Did his friend know about the accident and say something bad? Did his imagination turn to be reality?
Finding possible responses
Instead of worrying about what others may think, ask your child to spend time with you and think of what he can say as the response. For example there is a friend who says wetting the bed is babyish, he can give counter argument that older people sometimes do that too. Problem-solution like this may help him to be more realistic in looking at something.