During the last summer holidays my niece Sharon came over to my place to visit, she met my neighbours kids and they played all day. When it was time for her to go, she cried and begged her mother to let her stay. Sharon eventually came to spend her holidays with us and we sleep together on my bed. When we woke up one morning i found out that i was un-usually cold. I discovered that the bed was wet and my night gown was already drying up but still feels cold. Sharon had ‘peed’ on the bed. I became very upset, she is 15years old for Christ sake, and how could she still be bedwetting? I asked myself. I realised she was so sober and shy and I told her to clean herself up, wash the bed sheet, clean the mattress and take it out for the sun to dry it.
This continued everyday despite waking her once or twice at night to go and use the toilet. At the end of her stay in my house, her mother who is my elder sister came to pick her and I drew her attention to the fact that Sharon bedwets. My sister sighed and said she was tired of Sharon’s bedwetting issues. She explained how it has become a nightmare and how she stopped Sharon from going for a summer trip to Ghana with her school mates. She added that she didn’t want a situation whereby after the trip, she becomes an object of ridicule among her peers when they get back to school. However, the issue bothers her a lot. She feels like she can’t spend the night with friends, even cousins. She really wants to stop, but just can’t and this made us put no pressure on her at all
Drawing from my niece’s experience, I wondered how parents coped with their bedwetting teens. It could be challenging and embarrassing for teens who still bedwets because once their peers get to know, they will be mocked and this will make them hide in their shells.
For parents who have teens who still bed-wet, the following tips could be very useful.
Once it is evening, teens should avoid foods and liquids that irritates the bladder. Such foods are carbonated beverages that contain caffeine, chocolates, tea and many more.
To avoid a bladder that will be overly full, reduce the quantity of water the child takes before bedtime.
Purchase a bedwetting alarm that is placed on the teen’s bed when sleeping or better still put in the pocket of the teen’s pyjamas. This bedwetting alarm is a device that senses moisture and responds by sounding and vibrating to alert the teen to wake up when bedwetting has just started or about to occur and it makes them go to the toilet and finish up with urinating and get back to sleep. There are some teens that are deep sleepers and would not hear the sound of the alarm, in other to help such teens parents should sleep around them and alert them to go to the toilet when the alarm rings. Also there are others who will hear the sound of the alarm and put it off and continue with their sleep without getting up to go and use the toilet. For such teens keep the bedwetting alarm a distance from their bed so once it rings, they will have to stand to put it off. At this point, they become quite conscious to go and use the toilet.
Don’t get discouraged if the bed wetting alarm isn’t helping your teen at the initial stage of its usage. It could take a while for the teen’s body to adjust to a new development. The essence of the alarm is to help the teen wake and go to use the toilet. Once your teen is able to stay up to fourteen or more consecutive nights without bedwetting then consider it as a measure that is working for your child and perhaps you could gradually stop using it.