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Praise and Rewards Won’t Help Resolve Bedwetting

December 9, 2014

The following question was posed during a free webinar on bedwetting and accidents that Dr. Hodges presented with Amy McCready of Positive Parenting Solutions.


Q: My 7-year-old wets the bed four or five nights a week. We track it on a chart. We try rewarding and praising her for being dry, but she just can’t do it every night. What should we do?


A: Praise and rewards aren’t appropriate for bedwetting. They send the message that staying dry is within the child’s control when, in fact, it’s not. Her overactive bladder has a “mind” of its own.


Be up front with your daughter: Explain that you’ve been mistaken and have recently learned she isn’t responsible for wetting her bed. (Our children’s book, Bedwetting and Accidents Aren’t Your Fault, will help on that front.) It’s just that her insides have gone awry, and luckily the problem can be fixed.


Her bedwetting is very likely caused by constipation. If you’re unsure, have your daughter X-rayed. (Yes, X-rays for constipation are safe and warranted!) Then focus on breaking up the mass of poop that’s clogging her rectum and squishing and irritating her bladder. You can accomplish this with a MiraLAX clean-out or, better yet, enemas. Then, start her on a maintenance regimen.


It’s impossible to know how long it will take for your daughter’s bedwetting to resolve. It could happen within a week, or it could take several months. The more aggressively you treat constipation, the faster bedwetting tends to resolve, but some stubborn cases do take longer.


The details of these regimens are spelled out in The M.O.P. Book: A Guide to the Only Proven Way to STOP Bedwetting and Accidents.

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Get Dr. Hodges' updated recommendations for treating bedwetting and accidents!

The M.O.P. Book: Anthology Edition teaches you to implement the Modified O'Regan Protocol with confidence. Get your child on the path to dryness!

Must-read books for kids by Steve Hodges, M.D.

• Bedwetting and Accidents Aren't Your Fault

• Jane and the Giant Poop

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