Parenting 101: Kemberly and Kai, Ginger and Billy
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Kemberly and Kai

Kemberly says her daughter, Kai, was potty trained at 3, but now, five years later, she is still wetting the bed almost every night.

"Kai believes that she may not be as good as other kids because they don't wet the bed," explains Kemberly. "I know that she's ashamed. Sometimes she would hide the wet sheets and underwear in the corner." Kemberly says that it's breaking her heart to watch her daughter go through this.

Despite stopping her from drinking after 6 p.m. and taking her to the bathroom in the middle of the night, Kai continues to wet the bed. Kemberly says she's tried everything and wants to know what else she can do to help her daughter outgrow her bedwetting.

Dr. Phil explains that Kai suffers from what is known as Nocturnal Enuresis. For a long time, this was thought to be a psychological disorder, but what has been found over the years is that the psychological component is a reaction to rather than a cause of the bedwetting.

Almost 50 percent of those who suffer from Nocturnal Enuresis had a parent with the same problem. "The truth is there is a genetic component and it may have been passed on," Dr. Phil tells Kemberly, who wet her own bed until she was about 6.

Dr. Phil says that there are two things that can explain the bedwetting: The first is that there is a functional bladder disorder, and the second is that there is a developmental disorder of some sort. "And the only way you can really know that, is to take a really good family history to find out what the causes are."
While there are some medications available to help the problem, such as Desmopressin and Imipramine, Dr. Phil says that the most successful device has been the bedwetting alarm. It is a simple, inexpensive device that sounds a buzzer whenever a child begins to wet the bed. It is important for Kai not only to wake up and go to the bathroom when the alarm buzzes, but also to change the bed linens. Dr. Phil explains, "This will help to awaken her to the point where she is aware enough to know she has to do something as a result of her wetting the bed."

He stresses the genetic component and tells Kemberly, "All you can do is be patient because usually kids will grow out of it."

Ginger and Billy
Ginger and her husband Billy have a 7-year-old son, Jacob, and a 5-year-old daughter, Caitlin. Their kids still take baths together and change their clothes in the same room. Ginger wants to know "if they are reaching an age where this is inappropriate."

Dr. Phil asks if the children are showing any reactions to bathing together and changing clothes in the same room.

Ginger answers, "No ... they don't think twice about the naked thing."

Dr. Phil explains, "Kids tend to solve this on their own. There's a point at which they begin to notice secondary sexual characteristics and they start feeling a sense of privacy about it." As the kids get older, there will come a time when they will start getting embarrassed or covering up.

"My rule about it has always been if you have any doubt whatsoever if you are at that point or not, then just gently start to separate them and do something different."