Bed wetting is a behavioural problem. It happens due to feeling of insecurity and want for love. A change in attitude on the part of parents helps in solving this problem. Let us learn about bed wetting in detail.
Ashima is a 7-year old girl who wakes up each morning only to cry in shame. As usual she seems to have wet her bed once again. It is the very same story each morning. Her father shouts, her mother screams while her Gangu bai grumbles and her little sister snickers. But what can little Ashima do as she does not even feel the urge or remember the sensation of passing urine. If only she could, she certainly would not do it and have to face this filth and embarrassment each and every day.
This has been going on for years and her parents are really worried. They feel that she might never stop. They have shown her to their family doctor who suggested that they take her for counseling to a child guidance clinic.
Bed-wetting is considered a habit disorder
Bed-wetting, also called Enuresis, is one habit disorder that causes trauma, pain and disturbance to all concerned. It is the parents who normally wake up each night to check on the child, maybe even to disturb her sleep to check on whether she wants to go to urinate. And then when she wets her bed, it is the parents and the maid who have to change and wash the sheets and air the room. And what about what the little girl has to go through herself? Can you even begin to imagine her pain and shame at having lost control once again? She feels inadequate and totally at a loss, especially when she is aware of the trouble that she is inadvertently causing to other members in her family.
Delayed Developmental Milestones
Sometimes, when the doctors are not able to pinpoint a physical cause for this problem, the mental capacity of the child must be looked into, as it is quite possible that the child could be mentally deficient. In such cases, as a rule, most of the developmental milestones are generally delayed and toilet training could start much later than usual.
The child guidance clinic is a good place to start investigations as the enuresis could be a case of serious maladjustment. Some children do not want to accept basic responsibilities like tying their own shoelaces or going to the toilet. They want to prolong their infancy and total dependency much longer than is normal. This could even be the result of sibling rivalry or jealousy. Because when a younger child is born, most of the attention gets diverted and the older one does everything possible to get it back, on a conscious or even subconscious level.
I remember reading about the case of six year old Nitin. An extremely well-adjusted child who had learnt to brush his teeth, change his clothes and tie his shoelaces by the age of five. He performed very well in school and was a well-behaved, intelligent young boy. He displayed absolutely no signs of any sort of behavioral disorder right until his mother was carrying her second child. One evening she sat and explained to him that he would soon have a little baby to play with. And that very night little Nitin wet his bed for the very first time.
All was well until his mother delivered a baby girl. Then the enuresis started once again until the time that she was discharged from the hospital. It seemed to have stopped for awhile as Nitin tried to play and grow fond of his little sister. Then on her first birthday it started once again and did not stop for about three to four months, at the end of which his parents sought professional help.
After studying his case, the counselor realised that Nitin was torn between hate as well as outward displays of love towards his sister. These dual feelings in one so young were what had manifested in the form of this habit disorder. The counselor helped him to feel secure, loved and wanted once again and the enuresis disappeared after about a year of therapy.
Weak Emotional Foundation
Bed-wetting is common in both timid and weak as well as in strong aggressive children. The child has a basically weak emotional foundation and could come from a broken home or any kind of disruptive, unstable atmosphere. Either one of the parents could be physically or psychologically missing and the child could be feeling insecure for some reason. In highly aggravated cases, sometimes the child cannot even control the urge during the day and could embarrass himself in public leading to a further complex. Then it would be difficult to ever send him anywhere, even to school.
In some cases placebo drugs are given to the child to make him feel that he is being physically treated for the problem. But much, much more important is his mental welfare and sense of belonging as most of the time; enuresis has a deep psychological foundation. Therefore it is important that both the parents accompany the child for counseling.
Change in parents' attitude is all that is required
In most cases, a simple change of attitude on the part of the parents is all that is required to solve the problem. If your child feels safe and secure in a home filled with love, most personality disorders get sorted out on there own, if at all they were to arise.