WellSpan Home

Motivational Therapy for Bed-Wetting

Topic Overview

Motivational therapy for bed-wetting uses praise, encouragement, and rewards to help a child gain bladder control. It's about telling children that they have control of their bodies and encouraging them to take steps that bring about more and more dry nights. For best results, keep a record of your child's progress.

And work with your child to design a reward system (such as a star chart). You know your child. If you think a reward system will help your child, then try it. If you think it may make your child feel worse, then do not use a reward system.

You can reward your child for reaching both big and small goals and tasks. For example, you could reward your child when he or she:

  • Uses the toilet before going to bed.
  • Helps to change wet sheets.
  • Has a dry night.

As part of this therapy, it's important to not punish, blame, or embarrass your child for wetting the bed.

Motivational therapy can help children gain some degree of control over their bed-wetting. But if it doesn't help your child in 3 to 6 months, think about trying other methods.

This therapy may involve a series of counseling sessions with a trained professional. During the sessions, the counselor encourages the child to take responsibility for the bed-wetting and to be very involved in the treatment. The counselor, parents, and child decide what reward (praise, stickers, or trinkets) the child will be given for dry days and/or nights.

  • It is unclear exactly how many children gain complete bladder control through motivational therapy alone.
  • Children who do gain complete bladder control with motivational therapy are less likely to return to accidental wetting after treatment than children who are treated with other therapies.
  • This treatment works best for children who want to take part in it. It may be used in combination with other treatments.

Health Tools

Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.

Decision Points focus on key medical care decisions that are important to many health problems.

References

Other Works Consulted

  • National Clinical Guideline Centre (2010). Nocturnal enuresis: The management of bedwetting in children and young people. London, UK: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). http://www.guidelines.gov/content.aspx?id=25680.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerSusan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
John Pope, MD, MPH - Pediatrics
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine

Current as ofMarch 28, 2018


Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

×

Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.

×