Busting Bedwetting Myths
Myth 3 - Rewards are the best way to stop bedwetting
How many times have you rewarded (or bribed!) your kids in the hope of them being good? Rewarding kids is a common tactic used by parents as a way of helping their kids develop positive associations with good behaviour. So it’s easy to understand why many parents – around half in fact – attempt to solve their child's bedwetting problems with rewards.
But unfortunately when it comes to bedwetting, it’s not that simple. Using rewards to encourage dry nights suggests that kids have the ability to choose or control their bedwetting, or that bedwetting is a behavioural issue rather than a physical one, when this is simply not the case. In fact, we know bedwetting is often involuntary, and therefore can’t be controlled by the desire for a reward.
Despite this, it’s common to be tempted to try rewarding your child, but this could send the wrong message. For example, withholding a promised reward e.g. a new toy or a favourite food, when your child wets the bed may suggest that he or she has behaved badly. This could cause your child to feel guilty, stressed or disappointed if they’ve wet the bed.
Instead, empowering your child to be involved in their own treatment progress and educating them about bedwetting is important to create a comfortable environment to speak openly about bedwetting, without feelings of guilt.
It's important to stay positive and patient when teaching your child about bedwetting. The best first step is to consult a healthcare professional on the right guidance for your family.
We’ve also created a checklist to help you discuss bedwetting with your doctor, please complete the checklist and take it with you to your next appointment.
- Butler R J et al. Child Care Health Dev 2005;31;6:659-67.
- Bedwetting.co.uk. 2009. Available online: http://www.bedwetting.co.uk/ (Last accessed 21 Sept 2016)
- Bedwetting Institute. 2016. Available online: http://bedwettinginstitute.com.au/fact-sheet/ (Last accessed 20 Sept 2016)
- Continence Foundation of Australia. Available online: http://www.continence.org.au/pages/bedwetting.html (Last accessed 26 Oct 2016)
- Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne. Available online: http://www.rch.org.au/kidsinfo/fact_sheets/bedwetting/ (Last accessed 26 Oct 2016)
My Dryness Tracker App
- Introduction - Welcome to our busting bedwetting myths series!
- Myth 1 – Kids can choose when they stop wetting the bed
- Myth 2 – Kids simply outgrow bedwetting
- Myth 3 - Rewards are the best way to stop bedwetting
- Myth 4 - Bedwetting doesn’t run in the family
- Myth 5 - There is nothing you can do to treat bedwetting
1. Myint M et al. J Pediatr Urol 2016;12:112e1-112e6