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Bedwetting because 7 year old is 'afraid' of babysitter

(27 Posts)
marykat2004 Thu 06-Oct-11 21:33:23

OK here goes, let's see everyone tell me off... but I'm still interested to see what the reaction is..

DD has never wet her bed. She potty trained fairly late, and had a little potty in her room for awhile when night training. But this isn't about bed wetting.

DD admitted that she deliberately wet her bed because she was afraid to come out of her room to use the toilet. She had a babysitter. This babysitter is a good friend who I have known for about 3 years. She also has childminding qualifications and an 11 year old son of her own. I would not leave my child with someone I do not trust myself.

I don't think the issue is even the babysitter. DD does not like adults. I can count on one hand the adults she will talk to. And 3 of them live in other countries; those 3 are friends that dote on her when they visit. DD has ONE babysitter she loves (because they are both Dr Who fans). The other babysitter, from last night, DD has been round her flat, but she doesn't know her as well. But still. I feel awful that DD was so upset she deliberately wet her bed. She even had dry pyjamas; she pulled them down and wet her mattress and then changed the sheets herself.

The babysitter (I phoned her today about how to dry the foam mattress) said that I need to work on DD overcoming her shyness. DD does not talk to teachers or TAs at school, but she has friends amongst the pupils her own age. She just has this massive shyness about adults. She won't even go into Sunday school class without me, because she doesn't want to have to tell the teacher her name (they have to do names each time, because most people only go about once a month.)

My feeling is not to get that babysitter again, that if DD's favourite babysitter is not available, then don't go out. But that is like giving in to her fussy eating, and letting her have only what she wants, to avoid DD having discomfort...?

madwomanintheattic Thu 06-Oct-11 21:41:43

i think the babysitter is right. grin

but if you want to not go out unless the one particular babysitter is available ever again (fingers crossed she doesn't get hit by a bus or move away) then that's your lookout.

it won't help dd, but she'll be happy-ish. until someone at school asks to get the ep involved. and she won't know them either. grin

she's still reasonably little, but at 7 i'd be farming her out to brownies and sunday school so that she gets used to meeting different people. it's ok to be shy, but she does need some help so that she isn't cripplingly so. and now's the time to do it.

but we all parent differently. i'm not a cotton wool type. wink

how are school helping her overcome the problems in that setting? are they arranging small group work? does she have a target to ask questions in class?

marykat2004 Thu 06-Oct-11 21:51:58

I'm going to meet some psychologist at school tomorrow. About the fussy eating but I think all this is part of it.

I think she does ok in class but is 'very quiet'.

I think you need to work with her to overcome it, and soon.

She cannot continue in this way, and I do think that she is manipulating you.

AnxiousElephant Thu 06-Oct-11 22:06:39

I don't even think it is about the babysitter tbh. It sounds like she expects you to be with her at all times and can't handle having shared adult attention or is she worried about the 11 yo boy? She might not like the idea of him seeing her in her night clothes?

marykat2004 Thu 06-Oct-11 22:10:58

No, the babysitter came round our flat to babysit, she left her son with her neighbour, they share their sons all the time.

It was about not wanting me not to be here.

marykat2004 Thu 06-Oct-11 22:11:50

AT least I have not let her in my bed tonight, DD has a bed on the floor while her mattress is drying out.

But how did she get this way? I guess that is more a question for myself.

CornishKK Thu 06-Oct-11 22:23:05

Your daughter sounds a lot like I was as a child, I wouldn't answer my name on the register at school until I was 7 or 8 years old and actually wet myself in class rather than ask my teacher for permission to go to the toilet. My Mum was a teacher and took me to a psychologist more than once, she took all the advice, giving me puppets to talk with etc but to be honest I think I just grew out of it. Small steps at increasing confidence & independance would be my advice. There was an element of me using my shyness to get attention though.

Now I'm a confident, happy, outgoing adult and people find it hard to believe I was ever shy.

marykat2004 Thu 06-Oct-11 22:30:52

I was also a shy child. Unfortunately it was getting in with the 'wrong' crowd that brought me out of it, though that phase only lasted a couple of years, and I didn't end up missing out on school or anything.

I would rather spare her all the pain but I don't know how...

MollyintheMoon Thu 06-Oct-11 22:43:11

I would use that babysitter again if only to widen your DD's circle of approachable adults. She needs to gain more confidence with adults and this babysitter sounds like someone you could trust to help your DD sensitively.

I would also be looking at clubs or learning an instrument in a group where your DD could come across more adults indirectly. I was a shy child but I loved being in the school band and I think this definitely helped me.

madwomanintheattic Thu 06-Oct-11 22:50:55

do you think you are helping dd by avoiding discomfort and giving into everything she wants, marykat? we all want the best for our kids, but it does sound as though she might be pretty expert at getting you organised to cater to her every whim? grin (not saying she isn't shy at all, but maybe stuff in your own past has skewed what you see as your parental responsibilities a bit? i love my kids to bits, but i do have other hats to wear apart from the one that says 'mummy' in my own blood...)

i'm sure that's not going to come across the way i mean it - you just seem very anxious to make sure life is always rosy and precious for her. and real life just isn't like that. even 7yos need to feel that it isn't all about them in order to develop some sort of empathy?

marykat2004 Thu 06-Oct-11 22:58:51

I want everything to be perfect for her. I want her to have a nice life, don't we all want that for our children? We don't have much money and sometimes I feel guilty about that, too. Her dad probably won't live 10 more years and I just have to make these years as nice as possible for both of them.

MollyintheMoon Thu 06-Oct-11 23:05:01

I'm sorry to hear about her Dad marykat but it seems even more important that she gains some confidence now. I know you can't force anything but you can gently encourage her to meet and interact with friendly adults.

I hope it goes well with the psychologist tomorrow.

startail Thu 06-Oct-11 23:07:23

DD2 has a friend like your DD, OK with the children at school but very nervous with many adults and unfamiliar children. They don't even have to be strange adults. She's know me for 8 years and I still have to walk on eggshells.
My DD is terribly protective of her and gets reallyangry when I say it's time she stopped being so shy. At the moment most people she meets know her and we are all conditioned to be a certain way with her, which I thing perpetuates the problem.
However, of course she will soon be off to high school and I'm not sure what happens then.

cottonreels Thu 06-Oct-11 23:11:08

Just wanted to echo Molly at 23.05.
Sorry youre having a tough time.

madwomanintheattic Thu 06-Oct-11 23:22:30

we do all want that for our children. but sometimes that comes into conflict which what they actually need from us.

sorry about her dad, but that does make it even more important that you equip her to deal with the things in life that she can't control.

i'm sure the psychologist will have some great ideas.

mumeeee Fri 07-Oct-11 10:48:10

My 19 year old was very like your DD OP. She found it very difficult to speak to adults she didn't know well. Partly because she was very shy and partly because she has Dyspraxia and another mild learning difficulty ( which makes it difficult to get her words out properly).
Anyway when I picked her up from school I would get her to sat goodbye to the teacher. She went to Brownies at 7 she already knew the leaders as her sisters went so she met them when I took them. She joined a Drama club at 11 which really helped and she is now in the higher youth section. She still finds it difficult to speak to new people but makes an effort to speak to them ad she knows she had to. We actually found she was better going somewhere with out us as she then made an effort to speak to people. Id we were there she would expect us to speak for her.

marykat2004 Fri 07-Oct-11 22:25:29

"If we were there she would expect us to speak for her." Yes that's how it is. But she is anxious about going anywhere without us, and certainly refuses to answer adults if I can answer for her. sad

Harecare Fri 07-Oct-11 22:36:15

I know this isn't a long solution to her shyness problem, but for future nights out I'd dig out her pot so she can at least use that if she needs to. That way you are allowing her to feel shy if she wants to, but not allowing her to wet the bed on purpose.

Harecare Fri 07-Oct-11 22:37:06

meant to delete the word long. oops

rookiemater Fri 07-Oct-11 22:46:20

DS did this once when we had a babysitter, he was only 4 at the time, but it was heart rending at the time I felt so guilty. Even now when we have a babysitter and this includes someone that who has babysat for us a number of times, he will hide upstairs and go to bed early rather than having to speak to her.

He isn't keen on new people for example this christmas our SIL and family are coming and nephew is bringing his GF whom we haven't met, DS seems dispraportionately put out about this.

However he is comfortable with close friends parents particularly those that he has had a lot of contact with.

OP I would persevere, I'm sure she isn't doing this deliberately but likewise you are entitled to have some social life. I like harecares solutionre the potty. I'd also try to engineer some social situations if she has some good friends maybe do coffee with the Mum then try to get your DD to the point where she might at least be comfortable with one or two other adults.

marykat2004 Fri 07-Oct-11 23:09:50

Yes I could have put her potty in her room, and can do that if the situation arises again.

DH and I have been invited to a wedding in November and a Dutch friend will be visiting, who is also a qualified nurse. She said she would babysit. DD has met her several times but we will see how this goes...

I was also a shy child. But I remember my mum hiring nursing students as babysitters. We had never even met them, I can't believe she did that, but that was the 1970s...I guess people were less paranoid now. I wouldn't even have a babysitter recommended from school mums, not because I'd worry about anything but I wouldn't like a stranger having a nose round my flat. Hmmm...

FlipFantasia Fri 07-Oct-11 23:31:27

I just wanted to say that I was a v v shy child - I would avoid speaking to pretty much all adults bar my parents unless I absolutely had to (and this includes a vast array of uncles & aunts as I have a large extended family). I would avoid being near the telephone (was afraid of answering it), or the front door (would never have answered it). Didn't knock for friends as didn't like speaking to their parents. Couldn't speak to waiters/waitresses/doctors/nurses/priests/any one who visited the house etc. I'm one of 6 kids, and my shyness annoyed and worried my parents (my father thought I was shy and indulged me to an extent, my mother saw it more as laziness and took a tough love approach). My younger sister is a year younger than me and I used her throughout our childhood - she would speak in shops/answer phone/handle the social situations I couldn't. She often felt older, still does sometimes, despite us both now being in our 30s and mums!

I grew out of it and by my teenage years was confident and outgoing. This was in spite of my father dying suddenly when I was 8. Friends, even family, cannot believe how shy I was as a child.

I think that shyness is so often looked down. I guess it's hard to accept that it can be normal for some children and that they mostly grow out of it. Preferring home, and the comfort of your parents, seems extremely normal to me!

7 is so young - I agree that the deliberate soiling is extreme, but is something I can relate to from my childhood and sounds like a one-off. The suggestion of leaving a potty in her room the next time is a good one. I would also suggest you just use whatever babysitter you trust - she trusts your judgement, even if she can't express it, so it's good to show her that you trust a range of people to care for her when you occasionally go out.

I think she'll grow out of this eventually and no need to necessarily rush her into activities/sports etc. How about trying a pet instead? Something small like a guinea pig or hamster? Cuddly but don't need lots of space or walks and a lovely way to introduce responsibility, affection, a new hobby and even the ups and downs of life (you have to keep caring for your pet even when you don't feel like it or are bored, they may even get sick and will eventually die - all valuable lessons about coping with the bad times along with the good times that life brings us all).

Or regular trips to the library, eg keeping a record of all the books she reads or setting goals about what books to read and meeting them, or encouraging her to read out loud at home (taking turns reading out loud with you - Roald Dahl is great for reading out loud). Or knitting/crochet? So easy to learn and great to practice together. Anything that builds her confidence, without stressing her out and making you all upset...

Sorry for the absolute ramble! But I really feel for shy kids.

marykat2004 Sun 09-Oct-11 15:27:40

Thank you, Flip, that is a nice post. My niece also didn't like socialising with very many people, was particular even about other children, and is perfectly fine now at age 31. I'm not shy any more either, but when I was at school my mum once baked 24 tea cakes from scratch, and I brought them all home the same day because I was too shy to tell the teacher I had the cakes.

We have a kitten for DD. We lost our old cat 18 months ago. DD was very much part of the memorial we had for him. And she is pretty involved with the kitten, though a bit of love-hate as the kitten bites and scratches a bit.

Today we did a car boot sale, which was great for DD to interact with other people, selling them her toys.

There are always lots of ways of looking at situations. Thank you.

Bucharest Sun 09-Oct-11 15:37:45

I was also an extremely shy child.

I think you have lots of things going on here. She is manipulating you, and as she herself has admitted, she wet the bed on purpose. I imagine, to try and persuade you not to go out and leave her (with anyone. Not because she's scared of anyone, but because she is jealous of you doing something without her) Do you go out often and leave her with a sitter? (not that I'm criticising you btw, just wondered if she somehow resents this in some way)

Does she have any friends you can invite round to the house? Because it sounds to me as though you are very much the centre of her universe, and whilst that's kind of as it should be,by 7 she should really be wanting to play with toys and other kids, rather than wanting to go to a car boot with you IYSWIM?

I wouldn't be overly concerned about the being reticent in front of other adults, to be honest. I think that's more of a hardwiring self-protection thing back from when we all lived in caves. I think that will pass, or at least should. (dd cried at the MIL for yeeeeeeears grin which went down well, as you can imagine. She can still be a bit "off" with adults she doesn't know very well) I'd be more concerned with getting her involved, as much as you can with other children, because by doing that, she will automatically come into contact with other (hopefully non-threatening) adults.

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