A small number of pre-teens and teens still wet the bed, and for these children, the problem can be quite upsetting. Since far few children in this age group wet the bed, Enuresis can be especially isolating for this age group.
Also, children at this age worry especially often about image and external appearance – what others think of them matters more, which can make a problem like bed wetting seem like a much greater concern. Pre-teens and teenagers are also more likely to be taking part in activities – such as dating and overnight trips – which are more affected by Enuresis. There are a few tips that apply specifically to pre-teens and teens who wet the bed:
Seek medical help aggressively
By this stage, you should look for medical treatment aggressively, as it is clear that the old adage of “wait until he or she grows out of it” may not work in this case. Have a doctor do a full physical, and seek help from an urologist to find any medical conditions. If all seems well, then ask for tests to be run for rarer diseases. Then, seek a second opinion.
Keep an eye out for symptoms of trouble
Teenagers and pre-teens may simply have a harder time dealing with bedwetting. The body or self image of children in this age group is still developing, and something like bed wetting can affect self-esteem and self-image considerably.
At the same time, children in this age group tend to have more mobility and tend to be away from parental controls. Parents may not notice signs of problems until too late.
Parents will want to keep an eye out for:
•Signs of “acting out” – Older children may have access to drugs, alcohol, and other self-destructive habits (sex, stealing, cheating) that can become dangerous very quickly. Don’t let a small problem become a big one.
•Signs of a poor body image – Older children who feel as though their bodies are acting against them may feel uncomfortable in their bodies. This can lead to serious conditions such as anorexia and bulimia. Do not let your older child’s bed wetting become a serious body problem
•Signs of depression or emotional upset – Signs such as loss of appetite, loss of interest in regular activities, and severe problems with sleep, school, and peers often indicates an emotional upset that needs to be handled.
•Drops in school marks – At the teen and pre-teen levels, school is very important as grades begin to count towards university acceptance and other life-altering events such as that. Any drops in grades could affect your child’s future.
Treat any signs of trouble
The problem is that many teenagers and pre-teens are working very hard to become independent of their parents. Not only does bed wetting threaten this – which may make an older child withdraw more – but this independence may make it harder for parents to help a child, even when a parent notices the above signs of danger. If your notice the above signs, take your older child to doctor or therapist for help.
Use the fact that your children are older when treating bed wetting
While treating pre-teens and teenagers with Enuresis is challenging in many ways, it also has its many advantages. Older children cam take more responsibility for themselves and take care of the accidents they create with such precision that a parent might not even know that a problem still exists. Plus, older children can participate more fully in treatment as well – an older child can actually read this blog and put some of the tips into work themselves!