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My 10 Year Old

Question:

My son is very sensitive to all kinds of situations. He has had a problem wetting the bed since he was potty trained and still does. He’s kind of mean to his little brother and talks back a lot. Sometimes, when he is punished, he over-reacts by crying or getting angry but never gets physical. His father was incarcerated when he was 3 and will be in for a very long time. He also has sleeping problems, he says he can not stay asleep. We just moved to this state last September and nothing seems to be getting better. Do you think this is something serious or normal?

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Answer:

It appears to me that there are two problems your son is having. One is that, at age 10 he continues to wet the bed. This is called enuresis. Second, he cannot stay asleep during the night. There should be concern about both issues.

While bed wetting is common, by age ten it should have been resolved. Having said that, roughly 5% of most kids that age continue to have enuresis. The reason for concern is that it can impact on his self esteem. Ther reason is that it can interfere with his socialization. For example, he will not want to sleep over any friend’s houses for fear of wetting the bed. Second, it’s a major hassle for you because of all the bed sheets that have to be washed. Third, it can be indicative of some type of physical problem. For these reasons, you should bring him to see the medical doctor. By the way, stress can contribute to enuresis and, with his father in prison, there is plenty of stress.

Sleep is vitally important to healthy growth and development, including the ability to learn both in school and out. This is another reason for him to be seen by his doctor. Perhaps the two problems are related?

I urge you to have him seen by his doctor.

Best of Luck

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