This is a mommy to mommy blog (mostly), right? So can I just be honest? Parenting just is NOT for the faint of heart.
The end of last year brought on a rash of bed wetting from the oldest two kiddo’s. And by rash I mean… each kid, each night… for no apparent reason. We made sure they went potty before bed, they did NOT have too much to drink close to bed time, there just was no reason for this on-set. When it seemed like it was going to continue, I tried pull ups for at night- and this seemed to enable the behavior, not produce a change. Then I came across those little plastic things that go over the child’s underware at night. This seemed to ‘cure’ one child, but became a crutch for the other child. And after a week… even the second child slipped back into bed wetting.
Now, after dealing with this for quite a space of time, I reached out to some mom’s around me for advice and ideas. I was overwhelmed and disappointed that 98% of the ‘advice and ideas’ that were given were… ‘Take them to the doctor and see what’s going on’ or ‘Not to disappoint you, but my child did this regularly until they were 8… or ….til they were 12’. I’m not sure about you, but that was NOT what I was expecting from a group of moms. (One friend did come back and say they used the Malem Bedwetting alarm, and it worked for them. ) To be sure, I’m not afraid to take my kids to the doctor’s- but I firmly felt this was not a health issue. It was a behavior or lazy issue.
So, in the midst of all the ‘take them to the doctors to be checked out’, I have been reading Dr. James Dobson’s book Dare To Discipline. I remembered that one thing Dr. Dobson says time and time again, is the idea of rewarding good behavior, which in return, extinguishes bad behavior. He also states in his book, that as parents, we are hesitant to give our children ‘rewards’ because it feels like bribery… but aren’t we all kinda ‘bribed’ into doing things? You work a job to get paid, for instance. (Dr. Dobson says it SO MUCH BETTER- get the book!) I decided to try this with our bed wetters.
My kids love to have their own money and be able to go shop, even though they are very young. So here’s what we did… we started out a week with $6.00 per child. Starting with Sunday night, each night they wet the bed- they gave me a dollar. But every night they stayed ‘dry’, they kept the dollar. We did this for two weeks. Saturday was their ‘shopping’ day. And you know what? IT WORKED. It worked so well that I was astounded! In a two week period, I think the oldest (who had the biggest problem) only lost $1. And in a two week period, the youngest only lost $2. They were so excited to go shopping! Lego’s were calling their names!!!
My main point in sharing this experience is to encourage other moms, like me, who knew it wasn’t a medical issue… who simply wanted decent, sound advice. I highly recommend Dr. Dobson’s book- I HIGHLY recommend rewarding your children for wonderful behavior! Do we simply expect some things as parents? Absolutely. But don’t we all like to be told ‘Good Job!’ and get something for that good job? Hope this helps someone out there who is at their wit’s end… just like me!