Celebrating Bedwetting Progress For Kids with ADHD & Autism

Oct 30, 2023 | 5 Minutes Read

Mother and Son Making Breakfast

Bedwetting can last on average three to four years, and even longer for kids with ADHD and/or Autism. Just like any other developmental and educational milestone, celebrating progress and the little wins along the way is essential for your child’s emotional wellbeing, self-esteem, and confidence. Acknowledging and honoring your child’s daily effort promotes a sense of accomplishment and motivation to continue trying, which helps to maintain a positive and encouraging atmosphere, build resilience, and improve their overall wellbeing.

We spoke to Allie Tasche, VP of National Programs at the Autism Society of America and former educator to share advice for celebrating progress with kids with ADHD and Autism, especially when it comes to bedwetting.

Find Your Joy Together

In a Goodnites® Study, 57% of parents said they were struggling to enjoy the joys of parenting because of bedwetting, so you are not alone in experiencing ups and downs. According to Ms. Tasche, here are some ways caregivers can find ways to see past the bedwetting struggles and celebrate the small wins and awesome days in between:

  • Know Progress Will Come: Recognize the multiple, complex challenges that can contribute to bedwetting. Whether your child experiences sensory, communication, or other processing differences, it’s important to acknowledge that what works for some, may not work for all, and that what works one day, may not work the next. But know that no matter what, progress can and will eventually come.

  • Celebrate incremental progress - no matter how small it may seem. Recognize your child’s efforts—even something as small as putting on their bedwetting underwear before bed. Acknowledge their resilience and all of the steps they take along the way toward the big wins like waking up dry.

  • Let Your Kid Tell You What They Need. While independence is often the end goal when managing bedwetting, for some kids, it isn’t. It can be easy to forget that saying “no” and asking for help are also important communication and advocacy skills, and shouldn’t be deemed as a setback or that your child is non-compliant.

  • Adopt a Growth Mindset: In schools, teachers frequently focus on the importance of adopting a “growth mindset,” an adaptive approach to learning and development that views talents and abilities as learnable and capable of improvement through effort, instead of a fixed mindset that views natural abilities as unchangeable over time. Studies show that adopting a growth mindset builds confidence, emotional resilience, and problem solving ability. And with a growth mindset, it’s not about never giving up. Sometimes, it looks like giving up and getting back up and trying again, learning how to make tomorrow a better day.

  • Celebrate Unrelated Achievements: Bedwetting is just one small part of your child’s day, and likely not the only skill they are developing or challenge they are experiencing. Recognize all of their accomplishments to bolster their confidence and reinforce their self-worth so it doesn’t feel as though bedwetting defines the whole day.

How To Find Small Wins to Celebrate

  • A Consistent Bedtime Routine: Establishing a consistent bedtime routine is helpful, especially for kids with ADHD and Autism who are experiencing bedwetting. Building in your kid’s preferred activities following the completion of their bedtime routine is a great way to promote new habits.

  • Use a Visual Schedule: A visual schedule is a set of pictures or symbols that represent daily activities and routines, and can be used to help your child understand what will happen during the day or to map out each step of their bedtime routine. As a parent or caregiver, you can use it to look for the small wins, for example: Did they independently grab their visual schedule? Voluntarily put on their bedwetting underwear? Did they check off completion of a step independently?

  • Awesome Days Start With Goodnites®: Goodnites® is the #1 Bedwetting Underwear* that can help your kid wake up dry with up to 100% leak-free nights. And of course, waking up dry and confident is a cause for celebration!

    *Youth Pant Category Share Data
Any moment of increased autonomy, responsibility, confidence, and dedication is worth celebrating along the way!

Celebrate Progress Together

What and how you celebrate will be different for every family, but your child should always be centered in planning for celebrations.

For example, some kids enjoy verbal praise, while others don’t. Some want to display a progress chart for the whole family to participate in together, while others may want their privacy. Consider how your child likes to be recognized, and include them in planning for special celebrations and rewards.

Tying in personal passions and special interests are generally great ways to personalize activities and rewards like watching a favorite movie, reading a favorite book at bedtime, or doing a favorite family activity to share in their success together.

An awesome day looks different for every family. It might look like waking up dry, but it also might look like waking up in Goodnites® bedwetting underwear, and feeling confident and proud to try again tomorrow.