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My 13 year old son, who is a very heavy sleeper still wets the bed at night. He has also started to lie to us about homework, and no longer cares anything including his sports. What should we do?


Brenda Nixon, M.A. Replied: Enuresis or involuntary bladder voiding is common in boys of this age who are deep sleepers. Almost all children have wetting accidents from time to time. According to the article, "Physiological and Clinical Considerations Regarding Toilet Training: An Update Review" which appeared in the journal Pediatrics, "Boys are twice as likely as girls to have nocturnal enuresis." It added that at least 20% of children with normal bladders still have wetting problems at night. The fact that your son is a deep sleeper may be part of the problem and it's embarrassing for him. Have you discussed this with your son's pediatrician? There are some ways you can help him learn to wake and go to the bathroom. Treat the situation with patience, understanding, and discreetness. It's probable that the homework sutation and apathy about sports could be due to his inability to stay dry at night. But again, your pediatrician may be able to help. If not, seek the advice of a pediatric psychiatrist to help your son master this part of his body and feel in control. Best wishes.
Posted On 2007-01-06 18:28:00
Annie Fox, M. Ed. Replied: I've got to assume that you've already had your son evaluated by a physician for his bedwetting. Even if there's nothing physiological wrong with him, it's not unlikely that this persistent problem has impacted his self-esteem on some level. I have no idea whether the recent lying and the apathy you describe is connected in some way, but I'd strongly recommend that you seek out a licensed family therapist who specializes in working with teens and their families. Your son needs help and you need support in helping him. A trained professional can provide both of you (individually and together) with a safe place to talk about feelings and work on solutions. Please don't hesitate in getting your son into counseling. If you need a referral I'm sure your health care provider can give you a recommendation. I hope this helps. In friendship, Annie Fox
Posted On 2006-10-29 20:09:08
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