AJ writes that her 15 year old son just “seems too lazy” to get up to go to the bathroom. He isn’t compliant with helping with changing his sheets or keeping his room clean and odor-free. Mom often finds dirty underwear or sheets hidden in the closet. This is becoming a huge battle. What should she do?
In my experience, kids with bedwetting aren’t wetting because of laziness. They truly are not interpreting signals from the bladder that indicate it is time to wake up and get to the bathroom. Many kids feel a real loss of control when dealing with bedwetting. They may start each night with the best intentions and wake up each morning soaked. “I will try to get up and go to the bathroom” changes to “Oh, no, I wet again”. After experiencing this night after night, many just give up or act like they don’t care. Parents interpret this as laziness or not willing to make a change. Hiding dirty laundry can be less humiliating than facing parents with yet another wet bed.
Bedwetting alarms are the best tools for helping the kids develop some control over bedwetting. The alarm provides the alert that they aren’t getting from their own bladder. If the kids don’t hear the alarm, parents can temporarily help because now they know when the wetting is occurring.
Developing a plan of action for child and parents together helps with compliance. Wearing the alarm, double voiding before bed, using an overlay on top of the sheet to decrease laundry burden and removing dirty sheets from room should be part of the plan. Once kids begin to see that you are working together with a concrete plan, they become more compliant. Over time, an increase in dry nights is the result of their hard work.