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12 year old wetting the bed

post #1 of 66
Thread Starter 
I need some advice please......
My dss is 12 and has wet the bed since he was out of diapers. Up until he was probably 10 yrs he wore pull ups to bed but dp thought it was going to damage his self esteem so he said enough of those. I think he figured if he had to wake up in wet sheets he'd get tired of it and stop wetting. His mom took him to the dr. about 3 years ago and there's nothing physically wrong, dr. wanted to put him on some kind of med to stop the wetting, mom was all for it, dp said no way. I guess it runs in the family because the mom wet the bed through her teen years.
My dp has custody so he lives with us full time although he stays with his mom eow. So guess who's laundry room is constantly full of sopping wet blankets, sheets and bed time clothes. I'm frustrated. Dp says he'll grow out of it, yeah I'm sure he will but meantime I'm tired of washing all this bedding! And the smell is terrible!
I've spoke gently with dss and tried to brainstorm ways with him to help it stop. Stop drinking a couple hours before bedtime, make sure you go to the bathroom right before bed, have dad wake him up during the night to go. Nothing is working because he doesn't care enough to keep up with it. He use to be embarassed by it and now he just doesn't care. He gets lazy about it and stops trying. I've even offered rewards...if you stay dry for a week I'll take you out to dinner at a place of your choice, etc.
I can't tell you how many times I've been sorting laundry and I stick my hand in wet smelly clothes and I about go through the roof. I spoke with him numerous times in private and told him that it wasn't pleasant for me to stick my hands in clothes that are full of urine and could he please try and keep them separate (but not obvious to everyone else) I put a small basket down with the rest of the baskets that I sort clothes into in the laundry room and asked him to put his wet clothes in there and then I would know and wouldn't get a nasty surprise and I can also wash them quicker so they don't sit and smell. He did it for a few days and then got lazy about it and I'm back to finding them as I sort.
I want to start buying pull ups for him again but dp said no. So I guess I'm supposed to just deal with this? Ugh.
post #2 of 66
Maybe have him start washing his own sheets, blankets and bedtime clothes. He is old enough to do that and it might give him some incentive to work with some of the ideas you are considering as well as keep you from having to deal with it.

Good Luck!
post #3 of 66
I think he must still be embarrassed about it, even if he's acting like he isn't now. Honestly, I think the real problem is between you and your husband - your stepson can't stop himself from wetting at night, but your husband is the one refusing to allow any actions that would help the situation.

To allow a 12 year old boy to wet himself every night and end up with a drenched bed is not good parenting - it's cruel. Tell your husband that either he starts buying some sort of bladder control briefs (depending on your stepson's size pullups might not work, but there are similar items made for adults) or allows a trial of the medication, but things can't go on as they are. Your stepson may not admit that this is bothering him, but I can't imagine that it isn't... and I'll bet he'd be grateful to have a solution.

Dar
post #4 of 66
first of all i agree with Dar completely.

secondly it sounds like it could be anxiety related. Even if it didn't start that way it could be now esp. b/c of the way it is being handled. the current situation seems akin to rubbing a puppies nose in it when he has an accident in the house. cruel and not remotely productive.
post #5 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamatoni View Post
Maybe have him start washing his own sheets, blankets and bedtime clothes. He is old enough to do that and it might give him some incentive to work with some of the ideas you are considering as well as keep you from having to deal with it.

Good Luck!
i disagree with this btw. it is not like he is waking up and pees in the bed b/c he is to lazy to talk to the bathroom. Punishing him for this behavior ... which is essentially what this would be... is probably going to exacerbate the problem ... not to mention adding a whole new level of shame to the whole thing.

*if you're going to keep wetting the bed you can wash the sheets* i am fairly certain if he could stop wetting the bed he would.
post #6 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
I think he must still be embarrassed about it, even if he's acting like he isn't now. Honestly, I think the real problem is between you and your husband - your stepson can't stop himself from wetting at night, but your husband is the one refusing to allow any actions that would help the situation.

To allow a 12 year old boy to wet himself every night and end up with a drenched bed is not good parenting - it's cruel. Tell your husband that either he starts buying some sort of bladder control briefs (depending on your stepson's size pullups might not work, but there are similar items made for adults) or allows a trial of the medication, but things can't go on as they are. Your stepson may not admit that this is bothering him, but I can't imagine that it isn't... and I'll bet he'd be grateful to have a solution.

Dar
Dar is quite right. As a former bedwetter myself, I can ASSURE you that the bedwetting is NOT because your DSS is lazy or does not care. Really, think about it. Do you REALLY think he likes waking up in a wet bed every night because he "doesn't care"? Do you think having to avoid sleepovers and camping with friends is because he's "lazy"? Most of all, do you REALLY REALLY think that this bothers you more than it bothers your DSS? If you do think that, you have no understanding how this type of bedwetting affects the self esteem.

Things like avoiding drinking before bed, peeing before etc, simply don't work. Not because your DSS does not keep up with them. They just don't work. I am sure your DSS would be willing to do pretty much anything to stop this problem. Sure, teach him to do his own laundry, he'd probably prefer it to having to discuss this problem with you on a daily basis.

As Dar said, it is about time your DH got "off the pot" so to speak, and helps your son with this serious self esteem destroying problem.
post #7 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1littlebit View Post
i disagree with this btw. it is not like he is waking up and pees in the bed b/c he is to lazy to talk to the bathroom. Punishing him for this behavior ... which is essentially what this would be... is probably going to exacerbate the problem ... not to mention adding a whole new level of shame to the whole thing.

*if you're going to keep wetting the bed you can wash the sheets* i am fairly certain if he could stop wetting the bed he would.
I was thinking about this too... but wondering if there was a way to do this without making it a punishment? I think there must be a way for the OP to stop having to wash the pee sheets. I don't know, I hate laundry and my kids have been doing their own since they could reach the dials. I am not sure there is a way to make this kind of change without making it seem like a punishment though.

Maybe DH ought to start doing the laundry?
post #8 of 66
I totally agree with Dar and choli. I would probably also start looking into other resons than physical ones for why he is still doing this. It could be anxiety related or another psychological reason. Also, I would again look into at least trying the medication. It's not like he's doing it on purpose or that he enjoys waking up to a wet bed. Why deny your son a possible way out of the situation, when medication does exist to help it? Even if there's a placebo effect from the meds, it's worth a shot so that he can stop feeling embarrassed and upset by this. I'm sure he's not talking about it simply because it is embarrassing, and the way it's been dealt with in the past by his dad certainly doesn't sound very supportive to me.

As far as the washing the sheets goes, I would only make him do that if he's already doing his own laundry. Why punish him for something that he's already punishing himself for? Just seems cruel and completely unhelpful to me.
post #9 of 66
Thanks for speaking up about my laundy suggestion, I didn't intend it as a punishment, but more as a way to have him help out and be involved in the process. I thought it might be less embarassing to him to clean it up himself, then nobody would have to know. If it were me, I would MUCH rather do a quick load of laundry and get the sheets back on my bed. It isn't a solution to the problem itself, but might help with the OP's frustration with the laundry aspect.
post #10 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
I think he must still be embarrassed about it, even if he's acting like he isn't now. Honestly, I think the real problem is between you and your husband - your stepson can't stop himself from wetting at night, but your husband is the one refusing to allow any actions that would help the situation.

To allow a 12 year old boy to wet himself every night and end up with a drenched bed is not good parenting - it's cruel. Tell your husband that either he starts buying some sort of bladder control briefs (depending on your stepson's size pullups might not work, but there are similar items made for adults) or allows a trial of the medication, but things can't go on as they are. Your stepson may not admit that this is bothering him, but I can't imagine that it isn't... and I'll bet he'd be grateful to have a solution.

Dar
I completely agree!

I wet the bed until i was about 13, it wasn't because i was lazy, or undisciplined, it just happened. Part of it was that i was a super duper heavy sleeper, and part was stress, and part was just genetics.

I think letting your ss sleep in wet sheets and in a wet bed is just awful, this is obviously something he can't help. If you knew that your 2 year old lo was going to we the bed would you leave them in wet sheets and pj's all night?

There are new studies showing that wetting the bed is a genetic disorder, and that it has to do with the production and development of certain hormones and brain development, and until those hormones develop there is nothing disciplinary that you can do about it.

If you are really all that concerned about it, maybe you could set an alarm and wake you SS throughout the night?
post #11 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyblackdot View Post
There are new studies showing that wetting the bed is a genetic disorder, and that it has to do with the production and development of certain hormones and brain development, and until those hormones develop there is nothing disciplinary that you can do about it.
Exactly.

I have the same problem w/ DS (he'll be 8 on Wednesday) and I refuse to give him the hormones (my ped. is amzing and has never offerec the drugs, her own son wet the bed until he was 13). I cut fluids from 6pm on. He goes potty right before bedtime. I take him at 12/1am and he is, usually, dry in the morning. He is still in Pull-ups (he' a tiny guy) and we don't make it a big deal (he has developmental delays and I don't want to add anything else that may hurt his self-esteem).

It's not easy, it is very tedious, but it is much better than constantly washing sheets and blankets. DH and I are hoping and praying for the day when he's completely dry. I know it's just a matter of time.

Talk to your DH
post #12 of 66
our 11yo daughter still wets the bed...

her first ped wanted us to just let her pee the bed and sleep in it...they said that it would teach her to wake up because she wouldnt want to be in the wet spot...the problem with that is that a) she moved to a different side of the bed and b) the ped didnt want to purchase a new mattress every time she would need one...we got a different ped...

we tried waking her up in the middle of the night...she sleeps very hard so not only was it almost impossible to get her awake enough to talk to the bathroom, but she would never remember that she did it and still would wake up in the morning with a wet bed...

so she is in pull-ups at night...she is responsible for making sure it gets to the trash...she is also responsible for washing her own bedding/clothing, but all of the older kids are responsible for their own stuff (each child has 2 days a week to do laundry)...

~~~~~

as for your dp not wanting the child to be in pull-ups, maybe your dp should be responsible for the washing of the bedding every day...maybe it will impact him more...i hated washing the same sheets every morning, taking the mattress outside in the sun, spraying it with febreeze, etc...it was one more thing on the list that i had to do, in my already busy day...maybe that will change his mind about it...

peace...
post #13 of 66
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for responding, this is exactly what I'm looking for...different opinions from people and I appreciate all of the posts.

I want to start by clarifying that I do everything I can not to further embarass him, I know it's mortifying enough. Keep in mind that this has been an occurance since he stopped wearing pull ups at 10 so it's been 2-1/2 years of dealing with it. We don't talk about it all the time, in those 2 years I bet I've spoke with him about it half a dozen times...I'm totally not nit picking at him about it. The last time I said anything to him directly was probably 2months ago.

My frustration level reaches a max when I go out of my way to help him, and myself I might add, and I get no cooperation. Like the laundry basket for him so I don't have to randomly find urine drenched clothes as I'm sorting. It kills me that he simply won't do it. Or his wet blankets get thrown across the laundry and everything gets wet. It's just really inconsiderate and I think he's so use to it that it really doesn't bother him anymore. I know, I'm sure he is shamed about it but his actions sure don't speak it to me! Aside from the fact that he can be a real butt-head about things (he's a 12 yr old, it goes with the territory) but when he wets his favorite sheets and I don't wash them that very day (I have 3 sets of sheets for him in case I can't get to his sheets, clothes come first) I get the attitude.
I would like his dad to step up and help the situation and I feel as though my hands are tied because he is like talking to a wall when it comes to this.

Btw, he has sleep overs and he doesn't wet. Figure that one out.

I am cutting this response short because I have to pick up my dd but I'll respond more tomorrow. I may not have responded to everything but I will tomorrow.

Thanks again everyone!
post #14 of 66
i doubt its that he in inconsiderate. I bet that he is completely avoiding the issue. Putting his wet sheets in their own little basket just makes it glaringly obvious that he wet the bed. I am not saying it is unreasonable to ask... just that he may not be being inconsiderate when he doesn't do it.

o and by the way. everything in the above post makes me think he has some non physical issues. the avoidance of the issue and the attitude etc. the attitude alone may be normal but paired with the bed wetting and the shame etc.. i would say it may not be normal.

him wetting at home but not at sleep overs concerns me. does he wet when he is at his moms house?
post #15 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaysMama View Post

Btw, he has sleep overs and he doesn't wet. Figure that one out.
I bet he doesn't go to sleep. My stbx wet his bed until his teen years and he's told me this is what he used to do at sleepovers.

And his family made a big issue out of the wetting. He still has big resentment and shame about the whole thing. I hope you continue to reexamine your handling of the situation.
post #16 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyblackdot View Post
I think letting your ss sleep in wet sheets and in a wet bed is just awful, this is obviously something he can't help. If you knew that your 2 year old lo was going to we the bed would you leave them in wet sheets and pj's all night?
Jaysmama never said anything about doing this!?!?


Quote:
Originally Posted by mimim View Post
I bet he doesn't go to sleep. My stbx wet his bed until his teen years and he's told me this is what he used to do at sleepovers.

And his family made a big issue out of the wetting. He still has big resentment and shame about the whole thing. I hope you continue to reexamine your handling of the situation.
I'm confused. It seems like she is handling it quite well. She's only spoken to him about it 6 times in 2 1/2 years? That's not very often for a daily occurrence.

The root problem, the bed wetting, is something that will get better over time or with meds. The current problem has two parts:

1. Husband refuses to seek treatment for son and is relying on a method "hoping he'll get tired of waking up wet and stop" that clearly failed more than 2 years ago. Husband does not have to deal with ramifications of the bedwetting - the bedclothes and the son's attitude about them.

2. The son refuses to do what would make the laundry situation much easier for the mom. At 12 I washed the clothes very often. It may be embarrassing but given that his bedclothes are wet EVERY morning it's not like putting them in with the other clothes hides the fact. Furthermore, he is being rude to her when SHE hasn't washed his bedclothes right away even though there are other sheets and she had other things to wash.

Sounds like the husband needs a swift kick in the butt to get him dealing with the issue ( he needs to read about the issue with bedwetting in older children), and the son needs to know that if he wants his favorite sheets the night after wetting them, he'll need to wash them himself. There are other clean sheets so there's no need for them to be washed immediately.
post #17 of 66
i think the biggest issue here is that they are not actively doing anything to help. at 12 yrs old its not about drinking late at night or w/e. there is something else going on either physical or emotional and acting like the kid could stop wetting the bed if he wanted to is completely unproductive.

i also don't think only talking about it a few times in the last 2 yrs is a good thing! obviously something is not right why is not discussing it a good thing? why is not seeking some kind of solution a good thing? i also think the father no longer allowing the child to sleep in pull ups is pretty cruel too. they know he is wetting the bed every night it was his father who 'stopped' the pull ups he should be the one to wash the sheets.

OP- not to be harsh but your DP is being a huge jerk to his son and to you in regards to this situation. he needs to get over himself and do what is best for his son.
post #18 of 66
As a former bed wetter I agree with Dar

Your dh is wrong about his views and not allowing overnight protection or medicine. Niether one of you are putting yourself in your step-sons shoes.

As much extra work it is for you how do would you feel if you keep trying to not wet and you can't stop. It is very hard place. And you feel like ahuge failure when you can't meet expecations of the adults in your life.

I would also go talk to another doctor. 3 years has past time to revisit the situation. Also refraining for drinks at night doesn't work. Eliminating caffine does, especially at night. Watching food coloring does. Dr. Sears has a page on bed wetting. It is really good.

I would also gently show your step son, with no embarrassment how to wash his own sheets/bedding. "I know your embarrassed but so you have more control this is how you clean up after it."
post #19 of 66
I did not read through all the responses but I wanted to say that at 12 he can wash all his own laundry. It is not a punishment.

He may or may not outgrow bedwetting.
There may or may not be a physical problem.
It may or may not go away when puberty hits hard.
Medication may or may not help.

The sheets have to be washed and he is old enough. It even gives him some privacy and control over the issue to handle the results himself. He can even do it politely, ie when nobody is in the shower needing the water pressure. He can learn this in about 2 minutes.
post #20 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommajb View Post
I did not read through all the responses but I wanted to say that at 12 he can wash all his own laundry. It is not a punishment.

He may or may not outgrow bedwetting.
There may or may not be a physical problem.
It may or may not go away when puberty hits hard.
Medication may or may not help.

The sheets have to be washed and he is old enough. It even gives him some privacy and control over the issue to handle the results himself. He can even do it politely, ie when nobody is in the shower needing the water pressure. He can learn this in about 2 minutes.
why is him doing the laundry the main concern. he may or may not grow out grow bed wetting? yeah he may not if his care givers are more concerned with who does the laundry then getting their kid the help he obviously needs.
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