Does bed wetting run in families?

I’m often asked if bedwetting runs in families. Many of the parents who come to see me tell me that they were bedwetters until quite late and grandparents can confirm that other members of the family were too.

There’s often a desire to trace back through generations and pinpoint the bedwetting and bedwetters in the family and I can understand this as part of your quest to find a reason for your child’s problem.

However, I can tell you that I come across far many more bedwetting children without a family history than I do children with. Perhaps there is a link but for many, there simply isn’t.

My best advice on bedwetting and family history has to be: beware the self-fulfilling prophecy. If your child repeatedly overhears conversations in the family of all the generations before them who had this problem, it’s going to be very much harder for them to change. Their self-image (the way that they view themselves) is going be distorted by the evidence that is presented to them of all these bedwetting relatives.

There have been occasions when parents have opened a session in my Clinic by saying “I was bedwetting until I was ten, so I guess it’s going to be the same for my son”. And if the child that is over-hearing this is only eight years old, it’s very likely that he’s not going to fix his problem any time soon.

So, my advice to you is that it doesn’t really matter if Auntie Clara, Cousin Jim, Uncle Tom Cobley and all, wet their beds until quite late. It’s irrelevant. The only person who is important right now is your child. He or she is a wonderful, unique human being and has the resources and capability to be the master of their own destiny.

Alicia Eaton is a Children’s Behavioural Specialist – a fully qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Licensed NLP Coach based in London’s Harley Street since 2004.  She is the author of the best-selling “Stop Bedwetting in 7 days” book and video programme.  You can read more about changing children’s habits and behaviours in her latest book: “Words that Work: How to Get Kids to Do Almost Anything”.

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