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Punishing Children for Bedwetting Can Make It Worse

December 29, 2014 2 min read

Here's yet another study that proves that punishment is not effective in ending bedwetting.

In fact, the children who were punished actually wet the bed more frequently than those who were not punished. They were also more likely to be depressed or have a lower health-related quality of life score.

This Saudi Arabian study included 65 children, age 7-13, who wet their beds and 40 children who did not wet. The bedwetting children were divided into 2 groups: those who were punished and those who were not punished.

The children who were punished wet significantly more often than the children who were not punished. The more often punishment occurred; the more likely the children were to be depressed.

We would like to think that parents would never punish their child for something they have no control over. Punishment can come in different forms, physical, emotional or verbal.

Do not use any form of punishment for your bedwetting child.


Belittle or name call, such as "you're just lazy, "you're a baby

Single him out to do sheets and laundry, teach all your children to do their own sheets

Place wet laundry, disposables or charts where friends may see them

Feel that you are a bad parent because your child wets the bed, often there is a genetic component, and a delay in the development of the brain/bladder connection


Handle wetting discreetly in front of siblings or family members

Keep room clean and odor free, changing sheets as often as needed

Protect mattress with a waterproof cover

Be supportive when travelling, using back up disposables and waterproof bedding or pads

Remind your child that you know he's not wetting on purpose

Use a bedwetting alarm to help him/her learn how to wake up when wetting is occurring

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