‘Self Esteem’ is a phrase that we’re all familiar with, but how does it relate to your child and bedwetting?
Kids who wet the bed will often look upon themselves as different, odd, abnormal. They are not aware that there are plenty of other children (maybe even their best friends) who wet the bed. This feeling of isolation can lead to a child developing low self esteem. The good thing is that as a parent you can help to prevent that from happening and take positive action.
A child’s self perception
Here’s an insight into how some kids who wet the bed describe themselves.
- Not good enough
- A disappointment
- A failure
- A baby
Kids also report that one of their biggest concerns is that they are letting their parents down and are a disappointment to their mum and dad.
For many kids their bed wetting episodes can begin to define who they are. So how can you help and stop your child from developing a low opinion of themselves and minimise the impact of this on other areas of their lives?
Building self esteem
Here are a few ideas for ways that we can help to boost a child’s self esteem:
- Writing down all of your child’s great qualities and some of their achievements and sharing this with them, gives a child a tangible reinforcement that you think they are special.
- Ask your child to tell you, or if they are old enough, to write down their own positive characteristics and why they think they are a good person.
- Provide lots of positive reinforcement about other aspects of their lives
- Once you have quickly dealt with the morning (ie clearing up) leave it behind and focus on the rest of the day.
- Get other family members, like a grandparent or aunty to also provide support and encouragement about other areas in the child’s life.
- Try not to set unrealistic expectations around stopping bed wetting. Remember that wetting the bed is out of your child’s control and they wouldn’t do it if they could stop.
- If your child dwells on the negative, offer positive alternatives and provide solutions for some of their problems. In the case of bedwetting this could be reassuring them that it is probably just time that is required and providing them DryNites as a discreet solution or taking action on their behalf and seeking treatment.
- Let them know they can come to you with a problem and that you will not judge them.
- Encourage your child to have open discussion with another trusted adult about bedwetting or any other concerns they have.
- Try not to get frustrated.
Your GP will be able to point you in the right direction if you feel that you need some extra support for your child’s self esteem.
See our feature article about the signs of depression in children.