My son keeps disconnecting the Malem Ultimate alarm when it goes off. He's used it for the past 3 months but has gotten very good at quickly disconnecting the cord at the phone jack. He rolls over and goes back to sleep without getting up to go to the bathroom. He doesn't remember this and I don't even hear it. What suggestion do you have for me?
As you've experienced, your son cannot make progress getting to dryness when he is doing the wrong behavior in response to the alarm. He's not alone; tech savvy kids can pick up on quickly unplugging the cord to turn off the sound (sometimes in their sleep).
I do have some tips to correct this:
1) Review with him that the purpose of the alarm sounding is to remind him to get out of bed and walk to the bathroom. He won't be successful in staying dry if he doesn't learn to do this.
2) Make it more difficult to turn the alarm off. Use electrical or masking tape to secure the sensor cord into the alarm box.
3) Have him wear two pair of underwear to bed. The alarm sensor should be attached to the underwear closest to his body. Then put on a second pair of briefs over the top. This makes it more difficult to remove the sensor and causes the alarm to sound a little longer.
4) With the alarm sounding longer, you will have more of an opportunity to hear the alarm and go to his room to remind him of the right response. Use a baby monitor so that you can help him with his response.
5) Know that for the next couple weeks, your job will be important. Enforce the response of your son getting out of bed and walking to the bathroom when the alarm sounds. Be persistent, remind him, "That is your alarm. You have to get up and walk to the bathroom.
6) Review the proper way to turn the alarm off. First lift the sensor tab that attaches to the underwear, and then push the reset button on the side of the alarm. The phone jack should not be touched.
7) If these tips don't give you results, you may consider getting a wireless alarm. With the Malem wireless or Rodger wireless alarms, the sound comes from across the room. Your son has to get out of bed to turn of the alarm.
By insuring the right response to his alarm, your son should resume making progress toward having dry nights.
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