Today’s Featured Question
Dear Little Stepmom,
My stepson is 5 years old and has been living with his biological mom for most of the past year (she refused to follow the court orders). His Dad has been fighting for custody or more time (enforcement of the orders) but, during the court battle his mom has kept him away from us. We finally have a set schedule and get to have him half the time. We are so happy to have him back in our life. It’s been painful to have him away.
The problem is since he moved back in with us he has started wetting the bed at night. He had not been wetting the bed before his mom took him from us. His mom says he wasn’t wetting the bed at her house and she says he isn’t wetting the bed at her house now either. I have a hard time believing her because my stepson says he’s been having accidents at her house too.
It’s been about 5 weeks now and he has accidents once or twice a week here. Do you have any suggestions on how we can help him or why he’s started having problems? I know it hasn’t been that long but we do not want to let the problem get out of hand by ignoring it.
Concerned & Running Out of Sheets
After digging a little deeper with Stepmom Sue, I found out that her stepson was almost 2 when his parents separated and it wasn’t very amicable. His father left when the biomom’s drinking got out of hand. He took his son with him and filed for a divorce.
Biomom has been a handful to say the least, filing false claims, alienating the child from his father & stepmom, and refusing to follow court ordered schedule. She’s also been fairly emotionally abusive to her son telling him his dad left them, doesn’t want him, doesn’t love him, etc. All the horrible lies jealous biomom’s tend to fill innocent children’s heads with.
When children go through a traumatic experience it can cause them to regress in different ways. Some children cry more, seek more attention, act out, resume thumb sucking, talk like a baby, or wet the bed.
I would recommend taking your stepson to his pediatrician first to rule out a urinary tract infection or other medical conditions that could be causing his bed wetting.
Secondary enuresis occurs after a patient goes through an extended period of dryness at night (roughly six months or more) and then reverts to nighttime wetting. Secondary enuresis can be caused by emotional stress or a medical condition, such as a bladder infection
If the pediatrician can’t find a medical reason behind the bed wetting you can try a few things to help your stepson.
*Stop drinking fluids about an hour before bedtime.
*Make a trip to the bathroom right before bed each night
*Avoid any caffeine intake- I know he’s a little young but this applies to everyone with bed wetting troubles.
*Utilize a moisture/ bed wetting alarm. You can find an affordable one here Wet-stop 2. This is an alarm that senses moisture and will sound to wake your child. This trains the brain to recognize the signal of a full bladder.
*Offer support to help resolve the emotional stress your child is feeling
The most important thing to remember is that your child isn’t at fault for his bed wetting. He’s not being lazy or doing it on purpous. You should avoid doing anything that makes him feel belittled or embarrassed for the accidents.
If the emotional stress of your husbands divorce and the change in his routine has caused his bed wetting then it should resolve on its own but you can help your child by reassuring him that he is in a safe place and loved by all his parents. It’s hard at 5 to know what the little guy is thinking but talk to him, be open & honest, as you try to figure out how he is feeling.
Emotional support, love, encouragement, and open dialogue will go a long way in helping him over come his bed wetting. Be patient with him and never let him see your upset over the sheets being wet.
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