Older Children,Bed-Wetting,Diapers,and Discretion: How to Handle Babysitters and Other Issues-part 2
At this point I would like to talk about nannies. Many parents use nannies and au pairs to take care of their children. Since the nannies live with the family and are responsible for doing chores around the house such as laundry it is impossible for them not to be aware of the child having a bed-wetting problem and being involved with taking care of the wet items. Since there are a large number of children that wet the bed Im sure this is not a big deal. However if the child has to wear pin-on diapers and plastic pants and since older children are more self-conscious about wearing these styles of diapers, this might need to be addressed with the agency beforehand.
I would talk to them and say that you have an older child that needs to wear pin-on cloth diapers and plastic pants because they wet the bed. I would mention that they might feel self-conscious about the nanny dealing with these garments and ask them if they have suggestions on how to broach this subject with the caretaker or if the agency can talk to them beforehand about it. Since taking care of children requires a person who is highly responsible and mature I would think that the individual would be able to handle this in a gracious manner. In addition its in the nannys best interest nanny to have a reputation of being judicious and responsible so they get good references in order to get hired again. Again the child might feel somewhat anxious about this and the parent should let them know that youre taking their feelings into consideration and that youll make sure that the person responsible for taking care of them will handle this in a caring manner.
If the child is staying with relatives the parents need to make a judgement call as far as how they think the relatives will respond to the child or teens problem. If they feel they will be understanding about the bed-wetting and diaper use the parents can disclose this to them. If however they think they will not respond in a positive manner the parents need to come up with a plan to help the bed-wetter keep the problem private.
Perhaps the child can wear disposable diapers and dispose of them in a garbage bag. The youngster can double bag to make sure that theres no telltale odor. The child can put them in a a garbage bag,spray some Lysol or other disinfectant in the bag,tie the bag up,then put that bag in another garbage bag. You should find out if the child will be sharing a room before hand so you can devise a plan to keep the issue private. Hopefully the parents will have a close enough relationship where they can discuss this issue beforehand.
Unfortunately not all people are understanding about this problem and if the parents of the child feel they might not be supportive then it might be best to follow the suggestions mentioned earlier. Incontinence and parenting forums are a good place to get suggestions about these types of issues. Incontinence Resource Center has a forum where you can ask questions about incontinence and incontinence products. Many people suffering from bed-wetting and other forms of incontinence have dealt with these types of concerns and should be able to provide suggestions about how to be discreet about the bed-wetting and diaper use. It might be a good idea to post a question on the forum of the Incontinence Resource Center and see if they have additional ideas about this matter. Their web address is www.incontinencesupport.info
Right now Id like to talk about boarding school. If the child or teen is going away to a boarding school and is dealing with bed-wetting the parents need to talk about this with the school beforehand. I would tell them that you have a child who needs special accommodations due to a medical problem and ask them who you would talk to about that. I suspect they have a specific individual(perhaps the school nurse) that handles these matters.
When you talk to the person responsible for dealing with this subject you should ask them if the school is set up to wash diapers and plastic pants(if the child or teen uses these types of diapers) or should the youngster wear disposable diapers instead. Another thing to ask is if the school can make arrangements for the youth to either share a room with a student with similar issues. If not what sort of steps can be taken to enable the youngster to be discreet about the problem. Given the fact that many children,teenagers,and adolescents wet the bed Im sure theyre used to dealing with this. Again I would check out various parenting and incontinence forums to see what advice they might have regarding this.
The last thing Id like to talk about is camp. For many youngsters summer camp can be a real fun experience,however it can be nerve wracking for a child or teen that wets the bed. Again the same advice applies. This is a fairly common situation and most camps should be well versed in how to handle it. There are camps that deal specifically with youths with bed-wetting and other incontinence issues. One of these camps is called Camp Brandon for Boys. Here is their contact information: 14 Jerry Drive, Plattsburgh NY 12901. Their phone number is (518) 570-5184. I couldnt find a web address for them. Another camp for children with bed-wetting issues is Camp Kirk in Canada. Their web address iswww.campkirk.com
There is a resource that lists camps for youth with special needs called CampResource.com. which is an online summer camp directory. Both Camp Kirk and Camp Brandon were listed on their website. Their web address iswww.campresource.com
If you do a Google search you might be able to come up with other camps of a similar nature or if you contact CampResource.com they might have suggestions about resources to contact that may have camps not listed on their site.
Bed-Wetting and the use of diapers to manage it doesnt have to be a stressful experience. With appropriate preparation it can be dealt with in a way that allows the child to maintain their dignity. Its important for the youngster have a strong support system. This will go a long way in helping him or her feel less self-conscious about this problem.