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Question
Posted by: minki | 2010/10/26

my 7 yr old

pls help.

We are currently in the middle of mediation for a divorce, we have 2 kids the eldest is 7 yr old girl. I have only briefed her that there will be a divorce in future what it means i.e. living apart we dont love each other but still love them and its not their fault and that we, meaning me as mother and the 2 kids, might have to move to a nice new lovely home.

She is excited re the move somehow which is great but she is definetely affected by her father curent absence. He is on his own mission and hardly ever sees them, maybe 3 hrs in a week and even then its not quality time but rather him taking them to his friends place.

He wont hear of how this is making them feel but my main cocern is:

My 7 yr ols has wet the bed 2x in the past month, i have checked with a gp and there is no bladder infection, what could this be. She says she does not know how it happens or why wakes up wet.

Could this have anything to do with current situation and if so why or how and what is the solution for me to help her. she sees the school counsellor nobody else. She was an early started ito potty trainin at 16 months and was out of all nappies by age 3 and never had a slip since age 3...?

Thanks

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Its quite common for kids to respond to stress such as major changes in their life style, by reverting to an earlier developmental stage, such as bedwetting or even soiling themselves. Usually, fortunately, this doesn't last long. But it needs to be taken seriously.

If she is seeing a school counsellor, have you spoken to the counsellor, mentioning this problem, to check in maybe in those sessions she might reveal a bit more concern than she has so far shown to you ?

Don't be alarmed about it, and don't let her be alarmed by it, explaining it that sometimes this sort of thing may happen shen we're stressed or worried about something, and that you're confident she will soon be able to stop the bed-wetting.

Purple's points are important - its excellent to explain things well, as you have done - but it's always valuable to ask the child to explain the sitation back to you, to understand how she has understood it. This is one point where I would disagree with Soul - whatever is happening in their lives, and at whatever age, kids ALWAYS have a viewpoint about it, which is often not what their parents assume.

You have no choice but that they will have their own theories and ideas about the situation - your only choice is whether you try to hear about it and understand it, or whether you choose to try to ignore it and get mystified by it !

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Unique | 2010/10/28

When dd started wetting herself after being potty trained it turned out to be constipation. She was not wet once in a while thought it was all the time as the bladder was getting smaller.

Reply to Unique
Posted by: Ruby | 2010/10/27

Re asking the child for her understanding: I htink that''s important, because then you will know how she sees it. The whole point is that she may not truly understand. Once you know her perspective (maybe she feels abandoned or scared because of the changes, even though you explained to her the situation), you will be able to help her.
Yes, it isn''t her job to really understand it, but nonethelss, she does see what''s going on - and she does have an idea of what SHE thinks is going on, whether this is accurate or not.

Totally agree with ''Been there'' - don''t make a big deal out of it, just help her where you can. This too shall pass.

Reply to Ruby
Posted by: Soul | 2010/10/27

Asking a child to explain the situation back to you to understand how she understood it, yes I agree with that and yes they certainly do have their theories and ideas about the situation, but to understand it hell most couples don''t even understand it but a 7 yr old is supposed to. No wonder kids these days need all the help they can get.

Reply to Soul
Posted by: Soul | 2010/10/27

Give her time this is expected to happen and all children will deal with it in their own way, always make her feel like she can come to you with anything. As hard as this is on you children are in most cases not taken in to account of what they are feeling and going through, I''m not saying you are one of them but be aware of her actions and ways.

I disagree with the statent made by Purple " ask her for her understanding in what is happeneing"  she is 7 years old it''s not her job to have understanding of what is going on, her world is being turned upside down. This situation is not her responsibility and certainly not the pressure that it will put on her, you will cause more harm than good if you do this. This situation is between the parents and they need to focus on telling her she is not at fault and that no matter where each of them live they will always love her and tell her how important she is to them.

Reply to Soul
Posted by: Been there | 2010/10/27

I''d be surprised if her bedwetting was NOT connected to the pending divorce. She may only be 7 but has worries of her own about what the future holds. Please remember to never blame her, get angry with her or punish her for wetting the bed. You don''t want to worsen the stress of the divorce by scolding her for this uncontrollable reaction. I would not even ask her " what happened"  or even ask her to tell you why! Just turn a blind eye to the wet bed but give her all the encouragement that it will stop and that it''s not her fault it''s happening. Encourage her to talk about her feelings so that she knows you are her safe place and she can tell you all about her worries.

You can also try walking her to the toilet just before you go to bed, and then even maybe set the alarm to wake once through the night to walk her to the loo.

Good luck and I hope all goes well for you and your children

Reply to Been there
Posted by: Purple | 2010/10/27

It probably is caused by the stress. Just reassure her that its OK and will stop happening. Remind her that if anything is upsetting her or if she has questions that she can ask you. Also ask her for her understanding of what is happneing - it might differ a lot from what you have explained. It might be a good idea to take her to a psychologist, particularly as she is probably feeling quite rejected by her dad.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/10/27

Its quite common for kids to respond to stress such as major changes in their life style, by reverting to an earlier developmental stage, such as bedwetting or even soiling themselves. Usually, fortunately, this doesn't last long. But it needs to be taken seriously.

If she is seeing a school counsellor, have you spoken to the counsellor, mentioning this problem, to check in maybe in those sessions she might reveal a bit more concern than she has so far shown to you ?

Don't be alarmed about it, and don't let her be alarmed by it, explaining it that sometimes this sort of thing may happen shen we're stressed or worried about something, and that you're confident she will soon be able to stop the bed-wetting.

Purple's points are important - its excellent to explain things well, as you have done - but it's always valuable to ask the child to explain the sitation back to you, to understand how she has understood it. This is one point where I would disagree with Soul - whatever is happening in their lives, and at whatever age, kids ALWAYS have a viewpoint about it, which is often not what their parents assume.

You have no choice but that they will have their own theories and ideas about the situation - your only choice is whether you try to hear about it and understand it, or whether you choose to try to ignore it and get mystified by it !

Reply to cybershrink
Posted by: Maria | 2010/10/26

It is very probably the stress of the situation which is causing your daughter to wet her bed.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: just a thought | 2010/10/26

your gp really needs all the info to help - if she did not ask if there were any issues/changes at home i think she was remiss - at the same time an open relationship with your dr is important, when seeing different gps at your centre you must be completely transparent for them to assist, all disclosures are confidential and should be documented to assist with continuity.
remember doctors have heard and seen most things.

Reply to just a thought
Posted by: minki | 2010/10/26

no i did not explain my situation to GP did not feel the need too. Its a medical centre where you see diff gp''s depending on whose avail so we dont really have such a open relationship.

Reply to minki
Posted by: just a thought | 2010/10/26

if you explained your current domestic situation to your gp and she says she has no idea why this is happening having eliminated phsical causes i would seriosly consider changing gps - i would have thought that there is a good chance that this bed wetting is connected to the divorce proceedings

Reply to just a thought

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