Goodnites Guide: Talking to siblings about nighttime wettingBy: Dr. Heather Wittenberg
Siblings often realize that their brother or sister is wetting the bed, so talk about it early and often to help them learn how to be kind, compassionate and understanding.
As a mom of four, I can attest to the fact that raising a family with multiple children is not for the faint of heart! I love my big family and each of my children’s unique personalities. Helping the kids get along is really important and is one of our biggest parenting priorities.
And as a child development expert, I can tell you that when you throw bedwetting into the sibling scenario, things can get really complicated. But having open communication with the kids about how to be supportive of each other can prevent a lot of sibling rivalry.
Siblings often realize that their brother or sister is wetting the bed, even before you start the conversation. So, talk about it early and often to help them learn how important it is to be kind and compassionate with their sibling about bedwetting. Bring them into the conversation by asking them how they feel, and encourage them to come to you if they have any ideas on how they can help or if they have any questions.
Every family dynamic is different and I always encourage parents to do what works best for them and their children. Here are my talking tips for ways to foster open and honest communication with siblings.
Main Conversation Points:
- You may or may not have noticed, but (child’s name) is sometimes wet at night and wears Goodnites to bed, which are nighttime pants to keep them dry and comfortable while they’re sleeping.
- That means that they can use the potty and stay dry during the day, but they still sometimes wake up wet.
- Nighttime wetting isn’t their fault, our fault or anyone’s fault. It’s just how their body is changing and developing as they grow and mature, and something they’ll grow out of it when their body is ready.
- There’s no need to make this a big deal to (child’s name), but I want to make sure you know so we can help them feel comfortable and patient about it.
- (Add personal example such as): You know you’re going to stay overnight with grandma in a few days, and (child’s name) is going to bring their Goodnites to wear under their pajamas. You may not even notice, but I want you to help them feel good by not teasing them in case you see.
- I know you and (child’s name) may joke around and tease each other and I know how much you care for each other, so I’d love if you could help me make this as easy as possible for them by being kind and helpful.
- Do you have any questions?