My husband and I have been married for 10 years and have 5 children including his son from a previous marriage whom we see though out the year depending where we are living and if my husband is not overseas (military family)
The issue is that he is going to be 13 in October and still wetting the bed. He is now living with us, I took away his nightpants that his been using for the past 10 years and got a good response, 12 days with no wetting, with the help of the alarm clock that wakes him up every night at 1:30. Than 3 days wetting, he kept on pressing snooze on the alarm clock and would go back to sleep I am at wits end. I can only talk to him and encourage him so much; he needs to want it too. He has been checked out from a doctor when he was with his mother and she said everything is fine. But she also said that he was seen by a psychologist because that dr suspected that he might have been sexually abused by her husbands step son who was the same age as him. He is a video game freak, so we took away his ps2, ps2 portable and Xbox and gave him goals, if he goes 7 days he will get one of them back and so on He has a calendar and a goal reminder chart. He has a list of things he needs to do every morning example 1) brush your teeth 2) make your bed 3)get dressed for the day 4) if you wet the bed, wash all linen. and I have to ask him or tell him to get dressed or did you brush your teeth, I get frustrated because he has been with us for 3 months and I would of though he would of gotten the hang of our schedule, all he has to do is watch the other kids, 8 year old daughter and 6 year old son who do the same things every morning or read his chart Am I being too hard on him? What should I expect from a 12 year old he says that we should treat him differently because he is almost a teenager?
You should definitely alter your approach re: his nighttime enuresis. This is not the result of any possible sexual mistreatment. It is simply a condition that affects approx. 4% of children this age. Waking up with an alarm clock in the middle of the night is not a reasonable strategy; you can't expect he will be able to accommodate to it. Arrange an appointment with his pediatrician and ask for a trial on desmopressin (either tabs or nasal spray). This synthetic version of antidiuretic hormone is effective in decreasing the frequency of urination and really helps some children to conquer enuresis during the night.
Relative to the other issues, it's a good idea to utilize a list of tasks, though he will require reminders to utilize the list. It's not helpful to compare him with the other children; how they do has no bearing on his skills or needs, and such comparison only serves to frustrate you and cause him to feel inadequate. It sounds like the combination of his upbringing and his native endowment pose some challenges for him re: organization, planning and other executive function skills. He'll need support and guidance in these areas. So a laissez faire approach is not going to be useful, but neither is a punitive approach. The issue is not how close he is to being a teen, and it's not how he does in comparison to his siblings or other twelve-year-olds. The focus should be on his needs and abilities and on efforts to help him learn skills in which he is deficient.
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