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Older Children, Bed-Wetting, and Self-Diapering
I covered this issue briefly in an earlier post on the Central Health Network. This issue concerns me and that’s why I felt it needed to be covered in more depth. On this website and others I have read about parents and babysitters diapering older children with bedwetting problems. Some of these children are 9 years old or older. As we all know bed-wetting can be very stressful and in my opinion this stress can be exacerbated by parents not letting their children put on their own protection. By no means am I an expert in childcare, but my intuition tells me that above the age of 3 or 4 years a child should be taught how to wear their own diapers.
As mentioned in a previous post I had a friend who had to babysit a 6 year old. He told me that he had to diaper the child before going to sleep. Because of her age, I assumed she was potty trained and that the reason she was wearing diapers was because of a bed-wetting problem. He told me that he ran to the house naked and screaming and refused to let him put the diapers on him, which I can not say as I blame him.
I believe that an older child, teenager, or adolescent should wear diapers to bed if all attempts to treat her have failed and if other clothing such as pull-ups and “Goodnites” do not offer adequate protection but I feel also that young people should be responsible for wearing their own protection unless they have some mental and/or physical disability that makes it either difficult for them to do so or prevent them from doing so. Giving birth to an older child has the potential to have a drastic effect on a child’s psychological health for years to come.
Some tasks can be performed by young people without cognitive or physical problems such as tying shoes, putting on clothes, etc. Self-deception in my opinion would fit into this category as well.
If the parents are concerned that the child might not fasten the diapers correctly thus causing the diapers to leak the parents can show the child how to fasten the diapers correctly. One way to do this is to put the diaper on the bed, have the child sit in the diaper, and tell them how to fold and fasten the diaper properly. I would do this when the child is young because the older the child gets, the more embarrassed the child will be. This is a very sensitive area for children. Many bed-wetting children feel self-conscious and embarrassed about wearing diapers to bed (although as I have pointed out many times they should not) and having parents diapering them will make them feel even more self-conscious and embarrassed . Also bed-wetting makes many children feel helpless and by parents diapering the child it reinforces the feeling of helplessness. That is why children should be taught to be independent in this as soon as possible.
As far as pin-on diapers are concerned some parents are afraid that the young one might stick their head with the pins. This is certainly a valid concern but if proper precautions are taken this should not be a problem. I was talking to a customer service person for a company that sells pin-on cloth diapers and plastic pants for older children and adults who have bedwetting problems to get her take on the situation and she told me this at age 7 or younger. parents might need to attach the diapers, above the age of 7 it would depend on the child’s development. I believe that the same steps taken with disposable diapers can also be taken with pin-on diapers. Again parents should put the diapers on the bed, have the child sit in them, and teach them the correct way to fasten the diapers. I can’t stress this enough-kids need to learn at a young age how to be independent in this area.
Another idea I have for teaching young people how to be self-reliant in this area is the following. I do not know how this idea is possible and I admit it is a bit strange but as the saying goes in many situations it is good to think outside the box. At many community colleges, dummies are used to demonstrate certain medical techniques to nursing students. Parents could talk to the head of the nursing department at their local community college and see if they could borrow a dummy and then use the dummy to teach children the correct way to fix diapers. If the head of the nursing department asks you why you want to borrow the dummy, you can explain that you have a child who wears diapers for a bedwetting problem and you want to use the dummy to teach them how to properly fasten their diapers. If you can’t borrow the dummy you can ask them if they have any suggestions on what to do in this situation. I suspect that buying something like this at a medical supply store would be expensive so the nurse at the community college might have ideas on alternative approaches to the situation. Additionally, you might want to call your local medical/hospital supply store to see if they have any ideas. on how to deal with this problem. As I mentioned earlier this is a very delicate situation that has the potential to do irreparable psychological harm to a child.
I wonder if some parents diaper their older children because on some level they might miss the closeness of the parent/baby relationship and this is a way to recreate that. Some parents either consciously or unconsciously want to keep their children at a certain level of development because they don’t want to let go emotionally. It must be emphasized that this is just speculation, and I do not say that this is necessarily the case with all parents who wear diapers for older children, but the fact that this could be a factor and some people should consider and if this . case it should be addressed with a mental health professional in order to prevent causing emotional damage to the child.
I hope people understand that this article is not meant as a criticism of anyone’s parenting skills. It is meant to help people realize that children are very sensitive about these kinds of issues. Children need their privacy and independence in these areas and when this is not respected, it makes them feel unworthy. I hope this helps people look at this issue in a new light. As always I feel dialogue on these matters is very important and I welcome any constructive thoughts on this matter…
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#Older #Children #BedWetting #SelfDiapering