Dsc's and my sister's wedding

(74 Posts)
babyhmummy01 Wed 17-Jul-13 22:16:10

My younger sister gets married later this year and asked me if I thought dsd and dss would like to.be flower girl/page boy. Dss is a typical 9 yo and not fussed, doesn't want to stand in front of ppl he dpesnt know etc which is fine. My sister suggested they hire him a suit and he could decide on the day which is fine. Dsd (7) was very excited and we managed to get her a dress that matched the existing bridesmaids.

However, we have been having issues with her wetting herself which I have posted about previously. We have literally tried everything. Dr confirms no physical issue, this is happening at mum's, grandma's, ours and school. When asked calmly she tells the same story to everyone, she was busy and forgot to go to the loo. Mum insists she is just being lazy and whilst I suspect there is part of it that is about attention seeking (dss is very much pfb of mum) there is a part of me that suspects there is some of it that is just laziness as sometimes she is brill and we have no issues and others we have it 4-5 times in a weekend.

We resorted to using the wedding as bribery to try and encourage her to think more. She has had several "last chances" due to dp and Disney issues but after doing it at a christening a few weeks ago dp told her it was last chance salon, once more and no wedding which means dss can't go either.

Today she has done it again. I have washed and changed her, told her she knew what it meant and she needed to explain to daddy. Dp wants to give her yet another last chance but she has had at least 3 already. I don't think its fair on my sister who has spent a lot on her much awaited wedding to have it spoilt by dsd...

DP doesn't like to see his daughter upset and neither do I, but this is my sister's big day and I don't want it ruined because we have to leave to deal with dsd.

Am I being the step mum from hell or am I right to make dp stand by his statement that this was her last chance?

ItStartedInRome Wed 17-Jul-13 22:36:56

Why don't you just put her in a nappy for big events such as the wedding so you can all relax and enjoy the day? I wouldn't punish her for wetting herself. I would give rewards each time she makes it to the loo and encourage her to be accident free that way. IMO not allowing a little girl who is excited about being a bridesmaid to go to the wedding because she wets herself is mean and I would bet leads to more accidents. I bet on her wedding day your sister won't care less if your dsd wets herself as she'll be too busy enjoying herself.

babyhmummy01 Wed 17-Jul-13 22:45:42

Tried the nappy option we get full blown paddy melt downs and she then just goes in the nappy rather than use the loo at all.

We have tried the rewards thing but makes no difference. Up to the last few weeks the bribery was working, but as dp has told her the consequences of carrying on wetting is no wedding I feel he needs to follow through sesp as he has extended "last chance" on several occassions

NatashaBee Wed 17-Jul-13 22:53:31

If the rewards work the rest of the time then I assume she is capable if she wants to be. Not sure I'd use something like a wedding as leverage though, i don't like the idea of excluding them from a family event. Maybe something like a star chart would be better with a reward/ pocket money at the end of each week. I can see that your DH's 'just one more chance' thing is a bit silly though, if he gives her an ultimatum he needs to stick to it.

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Wed 17-Jul-13 22:57:24

This is the problem with using a big thing, which impacts on other people, as the focus for an ultimatum like this. Why not reverse it from now, and say she can earn back going to the wedding if she stays dry for the next week? Though I do tend to agree with Rome above that it's a bit mean to hold the opportunity to be bridesmaid over her in this way.

babyhmummy01 Wed 17-Jul-13 22:58:31

natashabee I think this is why part of me thinks her mum.is right in that there is some element of laziness about it. And I agree the wedding as leverage in hindsight was dumb but its been done and I think he needs to stick to it.

Have had issues this weekend with him setting rules and then not wanting to enforce them cos it doesn't suit him. He is trying to not be a Disney dad but his ex never let him be involved so he is finding my boot up his arse to man up and parent his kids a big shock to the system.

purpleroses Wed 17-Jul-13 23:00:15

I don't think that threatening her with losing the right to be a bridesmaid on a big important day is the way to stop her wetting herself. Best thing would be to just remind her to go to the loo regularly during the day, and yes, use a nappy as well if she's OK about that. If she uses it so what as a one off?

My DD used to wet her self until about 7 or 8 quite regularly by just forgetting or not bothering to go to the toilet until she was absolutely desperate, and then not getting there in time. She got better in her own time, and with lots of praise of every time she had "nice dry pants" at the end of the day. I did used to wave them at her nose every day to remind her of her success (or lack of...) but in a lighthearted manner.

If you really want to use threats with her, you need to make them small things that you'll readily enforce - eg she gets 10p a day, and loses 1p each time she wets herself. Not something big like a wedding which will just stress her out, and you'll be letting other people down too if you were actually to enforce it (eg your DSis)

ItStartedInRome Wed 17-Jul-13 23:03:42

No reason she can't just go to the loo in the nappy to cover the wedding ceremony. Then your concern about wedding being ruined is averted. Of course you should usually see through any threats made, but given it is a family event,your sister has been so kind, the dress is already purchased I think it's disproportionate to not allow her to go to the wedding. In a moment of irritation we can easily say something we don't mean such as no wedding, but after reflection surely you and DP can see that is too severe for a bit of wee?

parachutesarefab Wed 17-Jul-13 23:06:15

Your sister would like DSD to be her flower girl, and DSD would love to be one - yet you and DH are going to say she can't because of problems with wetting herself??

I wouldn't be impressed if I was your sister, and it seems harsh on DSD.

Extending the last chances won't work. She's learning that you don't carry things through, which will give you discipline problems, and she'll probably wet herself again before the big day, putting you in this position again.

Personally, I think she should get to go to the wedding. And be taken to the toilet every 20 minutes if necessary. And have a couple of backup outfits, just in case.

This is less harmful than many last chances, as long as you explain that you've thought about it, and have changed your minds, that you've decided she should go to the wedding, even if she has accidents. Grownups are allowed to decide they've made a mistake, and do something about it.

If you don't want to do that, then no, she's run out of chances, and doesn't get to go. But expect fallout, from DSD and your sister.

holidaysarenice Wed 17-Jul-13 23:06:17

If you can be certain there is no physical issue, then yes I would agreee about carrying throu.

Perhaps dp shudnt have suggested the wedding but now he has, I would carry thro. But I wudnt make other dc suffer.

ItStartedInRome Wed 17-Jul-13 23:06:41

What is a Disney Dad?

RinseAndRepeat Wed 17-Jul-13 23:13:35

Now that he's said it he needs to follow it through. Otherwise she'll just learn that all threats are empty and she can keep on doing it without consequences.

Whoever suggested reversing it has given you a good out. Tell her being a bridesmaid is definitely not going to happen. But she can earn it back if she stays dry for a week.

If it really is laziness and not physical, failing to enforce consequences is actually just going to enable her.

babyhmummy01 Wed 17-Jul-13 23:44:29

My sister is aware of the situation. She hadn't met themwhen she asked just thought it would be nice to include them. I paid for the dress so she isn't out of pocket.

It's not something either of us are happy about but it now needs following thru.

As for rewards etc we have tried and whilst it worked for a while it has stopped and as I posted above nappies is a nightmare, she throws the most almighty giddy fits about it and it does nothing except enable her to carry on.

Her mum has taken her to doc and nothing physically wrong.

I am not trying to be a bitch but we have run out of ideas. Dsd needs to learn that actions have consequences.

babyhmummy01 Wed 17-Jul-13 23:45:56

rome Disney dad is one who wants everything to be nice and fun all the time and ignores the bad behaviours because they don't want to be the bad guy

JumpingJackSprat Thu 18-Jul-13 00:50:16

I think you need to back off a little. maybe shes wetting hersf through anxiety and putting so much pressure on her isnt going to help. how much time do you and your dp spend with the dsc?

Redorwhitejusthaveboth Thu 18-Jul-13 00:59:21

Using the wedding as a punishment for her wetting herself is cruel and unnecessary and will have massive emotional fallout if you go ahead with stopping her going. Take the pressure off - nappy, frequent toilet visits, change of clothes in a bag, remove any sense that it is a punishment... Enjoy your sisters big day as a family.
Check out www.eric.co.uk and ask for a referral to a continence nurse specialist - you may find this easy to access via the school nurse. As the gp has said - no physical reason- which means her wetting is tied up in her emotions. Heavy handed punishments and a sense of blame from you will make the situation worse not better.

Barbarashop Thu 18-Jul-13 01:09:33

As frustrating as the situation may be, I find it cruel at worst and misguided at best to use this wedding as a reason for her to stop wetting. I think your sister made a lovely gesture in including two children she had never met in her big day as a way of welcoming them into the family and by stopping dsd from taking part you are sending out an unpleasant message.
I think we have probably all at some point threatened a punishment which, in hindsight, wasn't wise. Sometimes we carry it out regardless but other times I don't think it is losing face to admit we made a bad call and to choose another path.
I would weigh up the potential implications of both:
1. You stick to it and have a very upset little girl who may well have physical/emotional issues which are causing her to wet and this may exacerbate them, your sister's lovely inclusive gesture is wasted, you feel guilty on the day and dsd is upset, spoiling the wedding for both of you.
2. You give in and dsd thinks she can 'get away' with 'bad' behaviour (if you consider it bad) so you have to set very clear boundaries going forward and stick to realistic,positive reinforcement for 'good' behaviour, your dsd wets herself at the wedding, you have a spare set of party clothes and you take 10 minutes out of your day to help her change then you all go on to enjoy the wedding.
I know which I prefer...
Ps. Not sure if my tone is sharp, I don't intend it to be. I speak as both a step-mother and a step-daughter. I'm sure you mean well but i personally think that sometimes admitting you were wrong is the best sort of parenting.

NoComet Thu 18-Jul-13 01:28:15

Personally I think you have baked yourselves into a corner and now you have to be the grown ups, back down and admit that using the wedding as a carrot was a step too far.

You need to say that you would like DSD to do her best to stay dry, but you understand it's difficult for her.

Then you just ignore it, clean her up if necessary and say absolutely nothing.

She will grow out of it, the less fuss you make the quicker that will be.

I suspect it's a mixture of stress and miss placed attention seeking and far from wholly conscious.

I used to do brownies and the difference in maturity and understanding of adult reactions between the 7y and the older 8-10y was massive.

What a tough situation. I have an ex who is a Disney dad and it does send quite the wrong message to the DC. But in this case your sister has been so lovely to include your DSC in her big day that I think it would be quite rotten to exclude them now. There have been some great suggestions above so I wont add any more.

But no-one has talked about school. You said there had been wetting issues there too. My DS has access to a school counsellor where he can talk in confidence about what is bothering him. As physical issues have been discounted by GP, it may be emotional. Age 7 - year 2/3? That's been a tough year for the girls in my DS class - in and out of friendships all year, some bullying.

babyhmummy01 Thu 18-Jul-13 02:01:15

Mum has ruled out emotional issues (don't know how) but from my understanding she has been doing this on and off for a couple of years. As I have said above I am inclined to think there is more to it but am bring over ruled so not much more I can do.

Having talked to dp we are going to tell her that the wedding is off, but privately we will monitor things over the next few weeks and decide nearer the time.

FWIW her mum agreed with the methods we have used and is far harder on her than we are about it.

Could you try setting an hourly alarm. Ehen she hears it she goes to the toilet. Kind of getting her in a routine of thinking about it.

For the wedding I'd just take her to the toilet every hour, you'll have to be vigilant to help her through the day without wetting.

babyhmummy01 Thu 18-Jul-13 05:40:59

Tried reminding her regularly and she refuses to go. Take her to the loo and we get melt downs.

We really have tried all the suggestions here and nothing works

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Thu 18-Jul-13 06:18:03

I wouldn't tell her the wedding is off...as doubtless you will go anyway; and it's very cruel to take away the excitement for her.

I think you need to back down over the wedding threat and concentrate on other ways of dealing with it.

A wedding is a lovely occasion, and being over shadowed by this - it's crazy, sorry.

Inertia Thu 18-Jul-13 06:31:32

Sounds to me as though the tantrums and meltdowns are likely to prove more disruptive to the wedding than the wetting. I think I would consider focusing on treating the tantrums as the big problem, rather than the wetting , and make it clear to dsd that you will not punish her for wetting, and you will allow her to go to the wedding as long as she wears a nappy ( or whatever is most suitable). However , if she has a strop about it then she will not go, and you will take dss only.

Jaynebxl Thu 18-Jul-13 06:37:33

Mum has ruled out emotional issues? Sorry but that's rubbish. Evidently they are from a split family which can have a huge emotional impact so I would suspect mum is saying that to make herself feel better. You can never rule out emotional issues because you never know what is going on under the surface with a child.

I would get DP to explain to her that he was a bit OTT to say she couldn't go to the wedding but that he would be finding other consequences.

I would take her and just take spare clothes and not make a big deal out of it if she does wet herself. It isn't the end of the world and it wouldn't spoil the big day.

Finally I think rather than punishing her for wetting you need to do as suggested further up thread and keep reminding her to go to the loo.

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