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Finding What's Right

Posted by on Jul. 20, 2010 at 12:10 PM
  • 5 Replies

Lighten the Night® with the GoodNites® NiteLite™ Panel
Finding What's Right
By Wolffe Nadoolman, MD
Every child knows the parenting style that works best for them. Unfortunately, they don't usually spell it out for us. And every parent knows that whatever worked for the first child doesn't necessarily work for the second. It's obvious to us that we're very different from our adult siblings, and have been from childhood. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that each of our children is an individual, too.
Sure, we need to live and parent by the principles that keep us grounded. We certainly need to be caring and honest and kind to our kids. We need to give them the attention they need. But good parenting isn't a set of rules that we can apply to every child. How do we know what's right?
Children know what they need, even if they don't spell it out. So, part of our job as parents is to put clues together as if we we’re detectives.
When “Alex’s” parents came to my office, they were worried about him. He had never been consistently dry at night. His parents never made a big deal of it. Because they didn't, he didn't feel bad about it either. Now in first grade, though, he had started to become a little self-conscious. He was worried about it and told them, so they were worried.
How about waking him up to go to the bathroom when they went to bed? What about medication? They asked about every intervention they had ever heard of. The key question for me, however, wasn't which intervention; it was whether to intervene at all. Bedwetting, after all, isn't a choice the child was making. Alex was a bright, articulate boy and I could ask him directly. He told me that he felt bad about wetting the bed because another child at school told a classmate that this sometimes happened. Soon, some of the boys teased the kid about it. Alex's classmates didn't know about him, but he was worried that somehow maybe they could tell just by looking at him.
What did he need? He needed us to listen to him. He wasn't feeling bad about the bedwetting, he was very worried about the potential teasing.
Sometimes a question contains a hint about the answer. In this way, listening to him provided the guidance we needed to find what was right for him. He and his parents discussed the interventions I described and decided to try one, in a low-stress way. Most importantly, we assured him that none of his classmates needed to know, or would find out from us. We told him from our hearts that teasing for any reason was unacceptable and we would do everything we could to prevent it or stop it from happening.
Parenting isn't a collection of rules. It's usually a willingness to find what fits best. The most reliable way to figure this out is to listen to your child and treat them with the respect you expect from them.
Alex felt a lot better with our support and the plan we made with his input. There wasn't any pressure on him. We would try one thing at a time to help him stay dry. In the meantime, we would have a lot of patience and GoodNites® available while Alex overcame bedwetting.
by on Jul. 20, 2010 at 12:10 PM
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Replies (1-5):
by on Jul. 20, 2010 at 4:42 PM

I agree that we must find what fits best as parents. Children certainly must have a say in this. Without their input, we wouldn't have any way to know exactly what is going on with them and how to help them.

by Bronze Member on Jul. 20, 2010 at 9:39 PM

I agree that it's a willingness to find what fits best for that child.  It's patience and pull ups for us until they are ready!

by on Jul. 23, 2010 at 3:40 PM

 I also agree! And thanks for sharing this.

by Bronze Member on Jul. 23, 2010 at 10:47 PM

I agree also!

by New Member on Oct. 2, 2011 at 3:17 PM

I tried using paper tissue inside the diaper so that the wee could be felt - it failed to have the desired effect.  Does anyone know of a sensible way of having the child feel the wee inside a diposable that has a selling point of 'drawing the wee away from the skin'?

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