A bed wetting child does not deserve to be punished because he or she has not done anything to warrant it. When a child does something that is wrong such as hitting his or her sibling or hurting an animal or speaking inappropriately to a parent then the parent feels the need to teach the child a valuable lesson and send the message that what you did is wrong and this behavior will not be tolerated. The goal of punishment is to make sure the child never does the behavior again. Sometimes this works, other times it doesn’t.
By punishing a child for bed wetting you send the wrong message. As well he associates a problem he is having with a misdeed. He then tries to control the behavior and prevent it from happening but since bed wetting is out of a child’s control, he becomes more and more agitated and anxious about the situation. He also becomes confused as to why you keep punishing him every time he wakes in the morning to a wet bed when he knows he is doing everything to stop the behavior. Bed wetting followed by punishment often becomes a vicious cycle that just keeps on going round and round in an exhausting repetitive manner and has no end in sight.
As a parent it is important to realize that punishment will not work if it is handed out on a regular basis nor will it work if the child has done nothing wrong. What often happens in this case is that a child will come to the conclusion that you will get angry with him no matter what he does so he begins acting out in other areas such as throwing temper tantrums, screaming right back at you and being mean to others.
This negative cesspool becomes one where a bed wetting child feels more helpless all of the time so he strikes out as a measure of stress and confusion every time his mother punishes him for bed wetting. She in turn is punishing him in part because she does not understand the problem and believes it casts a bad light on her parenting skills. The more often a mother punishes her child the more she resents both herself and her child because she ends up feeling guilty and a lot like the “bad guy” in the larger scheme of things. This results in injured feelings and heaps of anger on the side of both the child and the mother.
Instead of punishment, take the time as a parent to educate yourself about bed wetting and refuse to be hemmed in by misinformation and myths. Once you have learned what you need to about the subject of bed wetting, act accordingly. In other words don’t make a mountain out of a molehill when it comes to your child’s condition. Love him as much as ever and be as sensitive to his feelings as you can be. Keep in mind that he is suffering plenty in his own way. Lots of TLC (tender loving care) is necessary for both of you to get through a difficult period when bed wetting is the rule as opposed to the exception.