Dr Catherine
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8-15 years

We have a 13 year old who wets the bed every night ..... has a alarm mat but she forgets to turn it on ..... Or just cant be bothered .....we don't know what to do

Bedwetting among teenagers can really impact on their self-esteem and can lead to isolation and alienation. Having a teenager who wets the bed can be just as isolating and challenging for parents. If you have not already done so I would strongly advise you make an appointment to speak with your GP. When it comes to treatment conditioning alarms tend to experience the best outcomes. They do require a great deal of commitment and can take between 3 and 6 months for an effective outcome, so lots of patience is required. If she is a particularly deep sleeper and unable to wake on her own you may need to initially help her to wake in response to the alarm. Motivation, on behalf of the child, is also critical to success. I understand this has probably become quite a sensitive issue but it would be helpful if you could sit down together and identify ways that you can help and support her during this process. Use this time to remind her that you understand that the bedwetting is in no way her fault and that you are just trying to help her to become dry. You could also make an appointment for her to speak with a continence advisor who can discuss different strategies that may help her to respond to the alarm.It is essential that you do not try and tackle this on your own – the more support you receive the greater the chance of a successful outcome. All the best! Regards, Dr Cathrine