Trusting Students, Saving Bladders: One Teacher’s Radically Humane School Bathroom Policy

At we get a lot of email from parents distressed about school bathroom policies — how these policies are damaging their children’s bladders and self-esteem. As we’ve noted, some schools reward students — with student-store “money,” even pizza parties — for not using the bathroom during class. Countless schools restrict bathroom passes or punish children who use them. Heck, until I intervened, my own son’s 3rd-grade math teacher required students to pay 5 “town bucks” for the privilege of leaving class to use the toilet. So when I read an article by Shanna Peeples, the 2015 National Teacher of the Year, about her liberal bathroom policy and the administrators who ha

Teenage Bedwetting: Everything You’ve Been Told Is Wrong

About 15 percent of my bedwetting patients are teenagers, and lately I’ve received a flurry of email from teens who wet the bed. The common theme: Nothing works. Nobody will help me. How can I go college like this? From a 17-year-old girl: “I cannot feel any urine going out, but I wake up wet every day. My mom thinks I'm stubborn and I don't want to wake up at night. I’m a very bright student, I might add. This is the only thing that pulls down my self-esteem. I can’t go to camps, and it’s so embarrassing not even my best friend knows.” And this, from another 17-year-old: “I’ve done special diets, alarms, being woken up at all hours by my parents, limiting drinks after dinner, and de

Is Bedwetting a Sign of Bullying?

For centuries bedwetting and accidents have been attributed to stress, anxiety, and psychological problems. Even today, you read about this alleged link in the popular media and in the scientific literature. I have countless patients who have been referred to psychologists by their pediatricians or schools. So, I was not surprised when a mom in our Facebook support group posted this question: My 10-year-old started wetting the bed after 5 years of dryness, other than about 5 accidents per year. Could this be a sign of being bullied? He denies this cause. Nothing has changed in his or our lives except we are planning to get a puppy. My son doesn't like to poop away from home. In medical jargo

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