The start of summer is an exciting time, but if your child is stressed about new routines, a new baby, divorce, or experiences like sleepover camp, bedwetting can become a problem.
I recently spoke to renowned clinical therapist and mental health specialist, Michele Kambolis, author of Generation Stressed: Play-Based Tools to Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety. I was surprised to learn that bedwetting is genetic. If both parents wet their bed as a child, there is an 80 percent chance their child will, too. Added stressors can trigger bedwetting in those with a genetic predisposition, creating further stress and embarrassment.
The condition is surprisingly common. Fifteen percent of five-year-olds and eight percent of eight-year-olds experience nighttime wedding, “but it can happen into puberty,” Kambolis explains. “Even kids who don’t usually wet their beds can regress or suddenly face nighttime wetting in stressful situations.”
There are many strategies that can help promote confidence and independence in these situations. “Support them with the facts and why it happens,” says Kambolis. Often it’s an issue of time and development. “Be supportive emotionally and reassure them. You can also empower them by allowing them to choose products like GoodNites Tru-Fit underwear, a washable cotton blend product that looks just like underwear but has absorbent inserts to keep pyjamas and beds dry.”
Other strategies include encouraging your kids to hydrate during the day and drink only to quench their thirst at night, cutting off most liquids 1.5 to two hours before bed. Parents can also encourage their child to use the washroom every two hours to support bladder elasticity.
“Talking about it is also important,” says Kambolis. “When you don’t speak openly about these issue, kids interpret it as a secret and that’s where shame comes in.”
She says kids are growing up in an age of anxiety, and it’s important to teach our kids the tools they need to be resilient. Play-based activities, externalizing worries, and mindfulness strategies can help kids learn to manage their worries.
For more information, visit michelekambolis.com.