One of the best ways for kids to build confidence and self-esteem is through having successful experiences.
SELF-ESTEEM AND CONFIDENCE ARE KEY TO NIGHTTIME DRYNESS
Bedwetting and self-esteem
Bedwetting can be frustrating for both parent and child, and unfortunately it can sometimes go even deeper than that. It’s not unusual for a child’s self-esteem to take a dive if they’re feeling ashamed or embarrassed about wetting the bed. This is particularly true of older children who are being invited to sleepovers. On top of being worried about what level their friends are at, they can also feel like they’re letting you down. There’s plenty you can do to help your child if you sense that their self-esteem is suffering. Remember, it might seem trivial to you and other adults, but this is a big deal for your child, so always show that you’re taking them seriously. Brushing it off could make things worse. Let’s run through a quick checklist of what you can do to help boost your child’s self-esteem: 1. Talk openly and honestly with your child about bedwetting. Go through the statistics, tell them how common it is, and reassure them that they’re not alone. In fact, some of their classmates wet the bed too. 2. Never get angry or upset when your child wets the bed. Though it can be frustrating changing sheets every night, put on a happy face around your child and let them know everything is okay. 3. Foster a sense of independence within your child. Many children, particularly older children, actually prefer to change their own sheets after an accident, as it gives them more control. DryNites® Night Time Pants and BedMats are another great way to help your child feel confident about going to bed. 4. If there are older siblings in the house, lay down the law and ban any teasing relating to bedwetting. 5. Sleepovers are a big deal. If your child has one coming up, help them prepare and practice their DryNites® routine. DryNites® can’t be distinguished from real undies when worn under pyjama pants, so none of your child’s friends have to know about it. And if your child is a bit anxious, why not try the first sleepover at your house!Read transcript +
WHAT DOES CONFIDENCE MEAN?
Self-esteem refers to the attitudes or feelings children have toward themselves. Self-confidence is the belief children have in themselves, their capabilities and their capacity to achieve.
Children may feel good about one aspect of themselves, but not so good about another. Feelings about their performance at school, ability to make friends, physical appearance, behaviour, sporting ability, whether or not they wet the bed – all contribute toward their overall self-worth.
As your big kid develops, they learn more about themselves and form their self-image. From this, and from people close to them, they begin to make evaluations about what type of person they are.
A child’s self-esteem tends to decline during the primary school years. This can happen for several reasons, for example, they:
- Become more interested in the world around them and become more realistic
- Learn critical thinking skills which can be applied to themselves
- Absorb the behaviour of others and are influenced by social comparisons
Understanding this as a parent is important in helping your child build self-confidence.
If you have any particular questions, please ask Dr Cathrine using the blue “Ask Dr Cathrine” button at the top of the website and she will personally answer any concerns you have.
BUILDING RESILIENCE IN CHILDREN
Understandably, wetting the bed can really upset a child. Particularly if it happens more than once.
This perceived lack of success can result in low self-esteem and a lack of self-confidence. This can lead to:
- Shying away from social events – invitations like sleepovers or school camp can be particularly stressful, because of their fear of discovery.
- Feelings of failure – older kids may feel as though they have failed their parents, too.
Kids are acutely aware of other kid’s feelings about bedwetting. This makes them even more sensitive to negative attitudes and social biases. You are who they look to for reassurance. Every time you are positive and encouraging, you are helping them.
WHY IS SELF ESTEEM SO IMPORTANT?
Self-esteem influences all aspects of kids’ behaviour and development.
While children with high self-esteem think of themselves in a pretty positive light, kids with low-self-esteem are much more likely to focus on things they do “wrong” rather than on the many strengths that they may have.
The more positive your child’s self-esteem, the more self-confident and proud they will be of themselves – they will not let things like bedwetting impact on their positive sense of self-worth.
Children with high self-esteem and confidence are better able to cope with all manner of situations, like bedwetting, but also:
- Starting a new school
- School tests
- Forming close, high quality friendships
- Standing up for themselves and others
- Trying new things
- Being independent
- Setting goals
- Caring about themselves and others
A child with high self-esteem will therefore see their bedwetting as just a small ‘hiccup’ in their overall development.