Should Parents Involve Older Siblings in Taking Care of the Bedwetter’s Diapers and Plastic Pants?


Many parents have their older children be responsible for helping their younger siblings in various aspects of their lives and they might want to involve their older children in taking care of the bed-wetter’s wet garments. This is a delicate issue because it has the potential to embarrass the bed wetter. Each situation is different. As mentioned previously if a parent uses diapers and plastic pants to deal with the youngster’s bed-wetting it’s inevitable that the other children of the house are going to discover this. They’re going to notice plastic pants hanging to dry on the clothesline, see their mother washing wet diapers and plastic pants, and folding up the diapers and pants after they’re laundered. With that in mind it might be a good idea to talk to the older child and ask them if they would be comfortable helping out with these chores.

I think it’s good for the older child because it helps them be more supportive about these kinds of problems. Hopefully it will also make them more sympathetic about bed-wetting and the use of diapers to manage it. They in turn can carry these attitudes with them in later years. For example if they decide to have children themselves and if their children wet the bed, their experience helping their younger sibling deal with it will help them handle their own child’s bed-wetting in a gracious, gentle manner. That being said if the parents feel that the older child won’t have the maturity to deal with the situation in a tactful way or if the bed wetter will feel embarrassed about their siblings taking care of the diapers and plastic pants then the parents should not let them help with this particular chore.

The first step is to talk to the youngster and tell them that you’re considering involving their brother or sister in taking care of the diapers and plastic pants. How they feel about this is depends to a large extent on how close they are to their siblings. Another thing that needs to be considered is the following. Girls might be more receptive to doing this type of chore due to the fact that they tend to be more mature than boys and because of their innate maternal instinct. If you have a son that wets the bed and he has both boy and girl siblings he might feel more comfortable with his sister or sisters handling this. On the other hand it could go the other way. The same thing applies if you have a girl bed-wetter. Girls tend to be sensitive regarding this and there’s always the possibility that they could feel self-conscious about a boy taking care of their laundry (whether regular laundry or diapers and plastic pants). In a situation such as this the parent has to ask them who they would prefer to deal with this. Once this is known, the parents can then make a decision based on what they know about the character and maturity level of the sibling or siblings in addition to how responsible they are. At this point the parents can talk to the sibling or siblings and tell them what their particular task will be-one sister will be responsible for washing the diapers and plastic pants, one will be responsible for folding them up and putting them in the laundry basket, etc. A second option would be to have the siblings alternate-one weekend one sister will take care of the wet garments, the next weekend the other sister will, etc. As parents know there are many different ways to assign responsibilities and this situation is no exception. If the bed-wetter has only one sibling this obviously changes the equation somewhat but the same reasoning applies-the parent has to get the bed-wetter’s opinion about this and then make a judgment call about whether to involve them.

Bed-Wetting can be very stressful for a child particularly if the bed-wetter has siblings. As we all know brothers and sisters can be very cruel particularly where this is concerned. Whatever decision you make in this matter the most important thing to impress upon them is this-any teasing about the bed-wetting and diapers and plastic pants will not be tolerated. It’s important for the bed-wetter to have a nurturing and supportive environment. This more than anything else will help them through this difficult time.

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