Q: My son is 10-years-old and thanks to COVID has never had an overnight or a sleepover. We haven’t even visited family in over 3 years! But we’re all vaccinated now and excited to visit my parents in Wisconsin over spring break. Problem is that our son is still wetting the bed. He’s self-conscious about it and wants to keep it private, hoping I can help him keep it on the down low during this trip. I’m torn between wanting to destigmatize it by encouraging him not to keep it a secret and thinking I should respect his request. What should I do?
A: Bedwetting is very common with young kids; twice as common in boys as it is in girls. After age 5, about 15% of children continue to wet the bed, and by age 10, 95% of
children are dry at night. So hopefully he’s almost there. Sounds like you’re already clear that he is doing his best and it’s not a matter of “trying.” Some kids are just very heavy sleepers, or are genetically prone, have smaller bladders, are stressed, or have hormonal or other medical causes. You can send a normalizing message to him while at the same time honoring his desire for privacy. Strategize with him some logistics you two can employ to support his privacy during the trip. Most kids outgrow bedwetting, but about 1-2% of the adults even have this issue. It’s more common than most people realize. So if you have not yet talked to his pediatrician it may be worth a chat. Protect your son by not letting him be judged, punished, or made to feel bad from others in the family. Have a great trip!