Prevention of Enuresis
Prevention of enuresis is to avoid all those procedures with a child that try to “teach” him to control his bladder in his sleep. The child should be left alone, nothing should be done to “get rid” of urinating in bed. It is necessary to wait patiently for nature to do its thing, i.e., for the control of the sphincter in sleep to develop by itself, the natural process of maturation of the organism.
But at the same time, the most correct upbringing should be applied. One should be especially patient with a child who has a predisposition to enuresis: if, for example, someone in the family is an enuretic, if the child is intellectually underdeveloped, if he was premature, if he is physically stunted or sickly, and the like.
Rules to Follow in the Treatment of Enuresis
The following rules should be followed in the treatment of enuresis:
- Educators should abandon everything that has forced the child to stay dry in his sleep; therefore, he should no longer be awakened, he should not be warned, he should not be deprived of fluid before going to bed, he should not be punished.
- All care regarding sleep should be left to the child himself: from the age of six, the child can only prepare his bed, bring a night dish, wash the wet sheet, and put it to dry. It is the task of the educator to calmly and benevolently encourage the child to these tasks, convincing him that only by his efforts can he get rid of his “bad habits”.
- The child must not experience this worry about his bed as a punishment, but as an acknowledgment that he is mature enough for this independent activity and as an opportunity to take matters into his own hands and to get out of trouble. It is definitely necessary for the child to have his own bed, and it is also useful to sleep in a separate room.
- Educators should ignore children’s enuresis, should not attach any importance to it, should not talk about it in the presence of a child as a matter of concern; let them not show that his enuresis angers or grieves them. When a child manages to stay dry at night, it should be pointed out as solely his success and encouraged to continue to even more persistently just care about his purity in his sleep.
If he urinates again, the child should be comforted, invoked for his successes, and informed that no useful habit is acquired at once, but only after prolonged exercise and after a series of failures. It is necessary to convince the child that he is not sick or defective, that he is neither naughty nor lazy because he urinates on the floor, but that he only lacks one habit that he should acquire now.
- Educators should not interfere in children’s affairs around the bed, and in their attitude towards enuresis, they should remain consistent and patient.
All these procedures will succeed only if educators remove from their general procedure with the child all educational mistakes.
Psychotherapy and Relapse
In most cases, the child needs to undergo psychotherapy, in parallel with the counseling of parents and other educators about the procedure, which will be carried out in a professional psycho-hygienic institution.
Sometimes longer-term enuresis stops even after a short treatment. In most cases, it gradually subsides, only to disappear completely after 2 to 3 months. Sometimes relapses occur that should be greeted without excitement and continue with the stated attitude towards the child.
It happens that a child suddenly stops urinating in bed when he changes the environment.
8-year-old Emma started urinating in bed when her parents turned her into the nanny of her younger twin brothers. Father and mother often went to the cinema in the evening, to the company, and Emma stayed at home to look after the twins. She felt overwhelmed, neglected, deprived of the ability to play in her own way. She began to protest against these parental demands – in the waking state by becoming disobedient, messy, by neglecting schoolwork, in her sleep by enuresis.
The parents reacted with a beating, but Emma’s defiance intensified. Then the mother turned to the counseling center. We persuaded her to send her daughter for a while to her older sister, that Emma loved very much. The mother agreed, and we taught Emma s aunt how to treat the girl in the right way.
Less than a week passed, and Emma came to inform us with an expression of great satisfaction on her face that she was no longer urinating in bed. She stayed with her aunt for another two months. By then, her parents had come to counseling and changed many of their attitudes. When she returned to them, they welcomed her with more warmth than before, gave her an equal position in the family, and no longer burdened her with the role of nanny.
At that time, her enuresis no longer appeared.