View Full Version : A Bit of Advice

2007-09-11, 02:32 AM
Hi Guys,

Last night I babysat my twelve-year-old cousin. Now it's common knowledge in our family that she wets the bed, so when my Aunt left a note saying "double check she's wearing her nappy [diaper] before she goes to bed", I presumed they meant Drynites (British Goodnites) or some other pull-up. What they actually have her wear is basically a scaled-up version of a baby's nappy, with plastic cover, taped sides and all! Now I had a chat with her, and it's obvious that she hates wearing these things.

So my problem is, should I question my Aunt and Uncle about it? One one hand, she's twelve and it's quite humiliating for her, but on the other hand her parents both work almost 12 hour days as paramedics- they simply don't have the time to be washing sheets everyday, meds and alarms haven't worked, and these things obviously make things easy. Am I just sticking my nose in, or do I have a point?

2007-09-11, 04:16 AM
I might be a good idea to just get a pack of the drynights for her to try out. It might make it a little less embarrassing for her and when they need to get some new ones she can request that type.

Hope it works out.

2007-09-11, 04:56 AM
You could try beating her each morning with a stick and then locking her in a closet until she says 500 Hail Marys. That's what my mummy did to me to break me of my bed-wetting habit, and look how I turned out!

*Falls to ground, curls in fetal position, starts crying loudly and moaning "No, mummy, not the clown costume, mummy, not the clown costume again" over and over*

Seriously, intervene if you have an idea for a less embarassing alternative, so that poor girl can look back on her childhood with slightly less shame and humiliation.

2007-09-11, 05:20 AM
It sounds quite a bit like this girl is being punished by wearing these nappy things. I know sod all about their situation, but kids don't wet the bed on purpose, it is either a medical issue, or much more likely a psycological one. Given that, I would have thought educated parents would try to cut down on her stress levels not increase them.
I would be inclined to get involved, it seems that they are not caring for their child first and foremost, not a nice thing for you to have to say but still something someone ought to put to them.
Also I am further pushed in this direction by the fact you say it is 'common knowledge' in your family, that hardly seems nessisary, for what is clearly an embarressing issue for a preteen. Seriously, have a word, this all seems a bit cruel.

2007-09-11, 01:12 PM
it's common knowledge in our family that she wets the bed

Urgh, having to wear diapers seems bad enough, but is it really necessary to tell all her relatives? :smallannoyed:

Not knowing the whole situation, and in any case not being a professional of any sort, I'm still inclined to say that the parents should just tough it up and deal with the sheets. No, scratch that. The kid's 12 years old, she can do her own laundry. Making her wash her own dirty sheets would be a more appropriate punishment (even if her parents don't think making their kid wear diapers at that age is a punishment, that's the effect it's going to have) and in any case would be far less humiliating.

If her parents can't deal with taking some criticism over this, tell them that strangers from the Internet are backing you up on this :smallamused:

2007-09-11, 01:21 PM
She shouldn't be punished for something she can't help. At that age, it's not that uncommon for kids to have that problem as their bodies grow. Usually after 13 or so it tapers off, which she may be happy to hear.

Doing the sheets every night would be a pain and a waste. The goodnights are made, and popular, for a good reason.

2007-09-11, 02:42 PM
Well they are her parents.... parents are supposed to parent her... if they both work such long hours, how do they have time to look after a child at all? I simply don't understand why people have children and then refuse to make the time to make the life of the child what it should be.

How long does it take to put some sheets in the washer... OR get HER to wash her stuff. a 12 year old has the intelligence to work a washing machine.

Em says that (and I do have permission for this) she wet the bed, and wore nappies at night, (but she was skinny enough to wear large baby's ones), until she was nearly 9. She grew out of it normally. The reason she grew out of it was that she wasn't made to feel embarrassed about it. I can see how wearing a huge cloth nappy could make someone who is going through puberty embarrassed... especially if she's looking at prospective boyfriends any time soon. Her parents should get her to sort it out in her own way and provide any materials or services required and NEVER MENTION IT AGAIN.

my 2 cp

Jack Squat
2007-09-11, 02:52 PM
Well what was done to get me to stop was not drinking past dinner, and going before I headed off for bed. Then during the day, drink two large (16 oz.) cups of water and then see how long I could hold it.

As a plus, this also helped speed up our travel time to places, as we'd only have to take two or three bathroom breaks on an 18 hour drive.

2007-09-12, 04:56 AM
Make sure this information reaches the kids at her school and then cackle maniacally.:belkar:

2007-09-12, 04:57 AM
Thanks for the advice! I've managed to speak to them, and the upshot of the conversation was this:

Firstly, the long shifts are a temporary thing, ending this week (for my Aunt) and two-weeks Friday (for my Uncle). Secondly, the intention never was to punish her in any way, they chose nappies over Drynites because of cost, and the only reason they were using wearable protection at all was because of time constraints (the normal routine involves a waterproof sheet and anywhere between one and four bed-strippings per night).

That said, they were mortified at quite how much my cousin dislikes them (they knew they weren't an ideal solution), so they're now going to speak to my cousin about either using Drynites or disposable under-sheets and see how that pans out. They were also really interested by Jack's advice, as that's something she can try and monitor herself. I'm babysitting again in a couple of weeks, so I'll be able to see how she's coping.

Zeb The Troll
2007-09-12, 06:08 AM
Egads, you people are mean.

2007-09-12, 09:42 AM
Well what was done to get me to stop was not drinking past dinner, and going before I headed off for bed.

This is very solid advice.

I'd also recommend that she be taken to the doctor for a check-up, just to be sure. If there's an actual medical condition, the sooner it's caught the better. The bed wetting probably isn't the problem; it's more likely a symptom of something else.

My further advice on the doctor thing is that she be permitted to speak to the doctor alone. She's old enough, and the privacy will likely be appreciated and may help the doctor get answers to questions she might be embarrassed to answer in front of one (or both) of her parents.

Finally, I also agree that she's old enough to operate a washing machine. While she shouldn't be punished, she does have to deal with the consequences of her actions. That means cleaning up.