Psychosocial Issues NO
CHILD WANTS TO WAKE UP IN A WET BED!
Physicians and parents should not "ignore" children with
nocturnal enuresis after they have reached 6 years of age(27).
DO NOT accept "He'll grow out of it" as an acceptable
solution. There can be significant psychosocial consequences when
physicians and parents do not treat older children with enuresis.
Parents do have treatment solutions that can eliminate years of
wetting for the majority of children with nocturnal enuresis.
Do Not Punish Your Child. Unfortunately, findings suggest
that 20-36% of parents have punished their children for bedwetting.
(28,29) Punishment can take the form of withdrawal
of privileges, increased expectation of household chores (cleaning
and laundry) and can even escalate to verbal and physical abuse.
Since these children have no control over their wetting, punishment
The way in which parents approach the child with enuresis can be
a source of conflict between parents especially since there
is no one cause and treatment. The parent who was enuretic themselves
may share some experiences but may choose not to relive the humiliation
they felt. Often this wasn't previously discussed with their spouse.
The extra workload of changing bedding and getting the child up
during the night may cause even the best parents to become frustrated
with their child.
Children with Enuresis Often Have Lower Self-esteem (30)
and a Less Positive Self-concept (31,32).
Children with enuresis often go to great lengths to hide their wetting
from other family members and their friends. Parents report finding
wet sheets and clothing while their child denies that they wet.
Avoiding sleepovers or making excuses to be picked up early are
common. As the child reaches middle and high school, overnight school
trips and camps are avoided. Since developing independence is a
normal developmental task at this age, enuresis can impact this.
Shame, inferiority, and feelings of isolation are common. Often
the child feels they are the only one with this problem.
Treatment is Beneficial. Research does indicate that these
feelings dissipate once the enuresis in cured. Children who have
received treatment for nocturnal enuresis have improved scores in
social behavior and self-concept(31,33). Frequent follow-up
with emotional support and encouragement are important components
of successful treatment for children with enuresis. (34)