Complication Raising an Incontinent Child

INCONTINENT CHILDREN           ARE HIGH MAINTENANCE Sometimes it feels it nevers ends!
Stress taking care of bedwetting children
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Raising an incontinent child versus a Non-incontinent child can either be a minor or significant endeavor depending on how well adjusted the child is in, the child coming to terms of their incontinence issues and their maturity level to handle it responsibly.

The following is from our Stay Dry Bedwetting Group on the trials and tribulation of a mother with her 14yr old son dealing with Nocturnal Enuresis (Bedwetting)

She tried almost everything to get her son to comply independently, without much luck, and finally resorted to waiting until he fell asleep and then diapers him. However, if he woke up in the middle of the night, he would take it off and have a wet bed in the morning.

You might remember me talking about my bedwetting teenage son a while ago,
refusing to keep his diaper on at night. His bedwetting started to get out of
hand and he would refuse to wear a diaper because he thought it made him a baby
which ended up with a very wet bed nearly every day. I tried grounding,
spanking, everything and nothing seemed to work. Recently hes been coming down
from his room before dinner asking if i will put his diaper on for him and he
keeps it on until the morning. Not sure if he suddenly got tired of waking up in
a wet bed or is tired of me being angry at him all the time or what. Im just
glad hes being grown up about the whole thing after months of fighting. I have a
16 year old nephew who has always been really cooperative about getting his
protection on every night.

Carol S.

Now Carol is a good mother that was facing a complicated and difficult situation.

Life would be a lot simpler for parents/Caregivers if kids came with operating manuals. However, there have been many books written about raising kids; NOT one stands out with the book you could go to get definitive answers on how one should handle every situation that would come up in raising a child.

Raising kids is much as an art as well a science. Kids are unique, and what method works for one child may not work for another child. Even twins have unique personalities, although biologically the same.

Here is a post from our Star Dray Bedwetting Group from Charity W, which I believe has the proper perspective on raising kids.

Just my 2 cents:
"Get My Child Out of That Box!"

Have you ever heard that phrase? "Think outside the box." It suggests that a person's thinking has been confined, limited. Often people pride themselves on thinking "outside the box." They brag about not being influenced by the crowd, and being their own person. These same people, however, are often the ones that try to put other people in the box.

What do I mean? These are the people who know exactly how everyone else should live their life. When they find out you don't do what they would do, they are often judgmental. I'm not talking about right and wrong things... just different things.

Dealing with incontinence is no different. I have a child who dealt with fecal and urinary incontinence since the potty training years. When he was 2, I began potty training because that was "the age" I was told I should start it. The child was not emotionally ready, but I was thinking inside the box. Then when I noticed things were not going right, many people (some who didn't even have children) told me exactly how I should handle the situation. "If it were my child..." they would say. Then they would dogmatically tell me what was the right way to handle the situation.
The first couple of years of dealing with my son's incontinence were torture. I was spending all my time doing what everyone thought I should do. Then a wonderful thing happened. We started homeschooling.

We had decided to homeschool before we ever had children, and way before we realized our son had these issues. Through homeschooling my children, I have learned so much. One of the biggest things I have learned is that children are unique. They learn differently. They mature differently. They have different interests. They have different fears. They respond differently to things.

Learning this fact has helped me help my son. You see, there is no "cookie-cutter" method in raising children. What works for one family may not work for another family. The same is true in dealing with bedwetters and day wetters. Each child is different, unique. And the beauty of it is that I know my child better than anyone else. I am the most qualified person to help my child through this.

When I began to grasp this concept, I began to take charge in dealing with him. I began to communicate more openly with his doctors. I began researching and making better decisions.

Originally, the pediatrician would not make the recommendation to see a urologist. My daughter needed to see a urologist for urinary reflux. While I was there, I asked the urologist about my son. Immediately he was scheduled for an appointment.

My son had severe constipation that caused his bladder to look moon-shaped. All that pressure caused him to lose control. It had gone on so long, that his bladder wall was very thick, and he could never empty all the way. The muscles were weak, and he used his abdominal muscles improperly. The worst part was that I had been disciplining my son for something he couldn't control. That did more emotional damage than the incontinence did. But I had listened to what people had told me, including the pediatrician, who said there was nothing wrong with him... "he just isn't going to the bathroom when he should."

Instead of just doing the first thing the doctors told us to do, I began asking for all our options. I asked about pros and cons. I asked their opinions. Then I made decisions that I thought were best. Turns out those decisions were the right ones.
The best advice I could give to any parent dealing with an incontinent child is to realize that the child is unique. When people try to force you to limit your thinking on how to deal with the incontinence, thank them for their advice. Consider it an option, not a rule. Respect the opinions of those who have walked down this road before, but remember that they are different, too. Don't eliminate options, just prioritize them.

Getting Out of the Box with incontinence:

1. Research the possible causes of your child's incontinence. It could be that the child is immature, stressed, emotionally traumatized, distracted, physically impaired, injured, genetically influenced, etc. Narrowing down the possible causes can help you decide how to deal with the situation. RARELY EVER is the child merely lazy.

2. Have open, honest dialog with your child's doctor. A urologist will understand the situation better than a pediatrician, but a good pediatrician can be your best ally. If your pediatrician will not make the recommendation for a urologist, talk with your pediatrician about setting some goals and deadlines to consult a urologist. Depending on the situation, sometimes you shouldn't take "no" for an answer.
3. Find a support group (like this one) where you can find encouragement.

4. Let friends and family know that you are handling the situation and that you need their support in your decisions.

5. Collect a good list of options and tools for dealing with incontinence. Keep that list handy. Situations change, and you never know when you might need to head in a new direction.

6. Listen to your child and have compassion. Sometimes as parents we get wrapped up in the frustration of dealing with the situation that we forget the person who has the biggest battle: the child. Learn to have open dialog with your child about his or her incontinence. Help them understand that this is a team effort. As the parent, you make the decisions, but they need to know that you understand how they feel. They need to know you accept them as they are (wet sheets, pull-ups and all) and love them no matter what.

7. Don't allow incontinence to stop them from the things they enjoy, or would enjoy. Teach them how to deal with the situation without becoming a victim to it.

8. Don't feel you HAVE to diaper them, and don't eliminate it as an option either. Make the decision based on the needs of your family as a whole. Your situation may move you to require diapering, but don't feel pressured to. Your situation may allow you to not diaper, but don't feel like someone who doesn't diaper is doing better than you. Consider your own situation and make your best judgment. Try both ways and see what works out best for you and the child emotionally, physically, financially, etc.

I hope this helps someone.

Charity W

Well, Charity had made some good advice.

All parents work good intentions. However, at times makes some poor choices due to having been receiving bad advice from some well-meaning individuals that really have a fundamental misunderstanding and misconceptions on an issue, because they really not fully informed and make wrong assumptions on an issue and therefore come up with wrong conclusions and wrong solutions to a problem.

Parents/Caregivers need to be flexible in the way they raise their kids and don’t be so steadfast in the way do things. Just because you were raised one way may not work for your child. Try to be open, and if something is not working on modifying bad behavior, be either rewards or through discipline, don’t be stuck in the MUD and not change your ways. If the rewards you offer to modify bad behavior are not working, no point in continueing to provide the same reward if it does not get the results you want. The same goes for discipline. When a kid had a choice of punishment, my daughter would prefer to get over with and get spanked rather than grounded from her friends and going out for a week. So spankings were not effective discipline. However, my granddaughters are the opposite; knowing they get spanked for unappropriated behavior changed that behavior. Getting grounded is not a good deterrent since they are homebodies and like being home.

I don’t want to turn this conversation regarding discipline because that is not what this group is about, and I know their parents on both sides of the fence to spank or not to spank, and the thing I want to point out again don’t be so steadfast how you do things. If something is not working for your child, change it; otherwise, your beliefs are getting the way to help your child.

Now getting back to Carol S. and her 14yr old son in regard to get him to comply with wearing diapers to bed. She said she tried everything “I tried grounding, spanking, everything and nothing seemed to work.” So why were all her different methods not working here? Well, I believe the issue was not one of defiance but her son coming to terms with his self-image of wearing diapers. I think from his perspective he felt by allowing him to be diapered for bed was like saying to everyone yes, he agrees he is a baby that still needs diapers for bed.

The issue here is one of emotion and not logic, and when you try to reason with a child and say well, whether you put on a diaper on or not, you are still using a diaper, it just your whole bed is your diaper that catching your accidents. You can continue to say if you were not incontinent at night, would it make sense to you instead of going to the bathroom before you go to bed. Just skip the bathroom break and pee on the bed and climb under the wet blanket and go to sleep.

You see, you can make a very logical case why the reasonable and mature thing to do is wear a diaper to bed. However, you deal with the wrong issue, which is an emotional issue, and once you can get them to terms, older kids wear diapers and are not more a baby than an adult who wears diapers to bed. So Sara was not getting the results she wanted because she was addressing the wrong issue.

Well, I am not here to undermine anyone in how they raise their kids. All the parents in this group are loving and compassionate parents, and we all make mistakes because kids don't come with operating manuals to tell us what to do for every given situation. After all, once again, raising kids is an art as well as science. We need to be adaptive and not stuck in the MUD to meet our kids' needs best. We cannot be steadfast in the way we do things; if something is not working, try to determine the real problem because identifying the real problem is the first step to resolving it and changing your methods if not working.

I have said this before there is too much unnecessary suffering that goes on with incontinence! This is not just kids' unnecessary suffering from this issue, but their parents also suffer along with their kids in trying to meet their needs.

Steven F. Trimarco
Real Corporation

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