Parenting Q & A- Body vocabulary, dating after divorce, wetting the bed

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By Gregory Ramey, PhD, child psychologist at Dayton Children's and Dayton Daily News columnist

Edition: February 17, 2008 | Topic: Questions from readers

Question:

My husband and I believe that teaching our daughter the names of her body parts should not be done by giving her nicknames. Our daughter is two-years old and she is comfortable naming all of her body parts so we thought we’d accomplished a good thing. However, our families think that she is being rude and we are in the wrong for having her use these names.

Answer:

You did the right thing. Many parents feel that using the correct names for body parts contributes to an atmosphere of openness and gives an accurate vocabulary to appropriately educate children about issues of privacy and touching.

This has nothing to do with rudeness, and everything to do with properly educating our children about their body and sexuality.

Question:

I have been separated from my ex-husband about three months, and we plan to divorce sometime in the next year. I recently started dating a wonderful man, and I expect to spend the rest of my life with him!

I want to introduce my boyfriend to my 6- and 9-year-old daughters, but my ex thinks this is wrong. I don’t think it is any of his business. I can’t see how introducing my girls to their soon-to-be stepfather can do anything but help them.

Answer:

It’s way too soon for your girls to meet your dating partner. Divorce can be an extremely confusing and traumatic event for many children, and they need some time to adjust to this new situation. There are many changes in their lives right now, and they need to work out issues regarding visitation, changes in family routine, discipline, and the relationship they’ll have with both you and their dad.

Give them time to manage those situations before you introduce a potential future stepdad into their lives. This would also give you an opportunity to get to know your new boyfriend. Can you really be certain that you want to marry this man after dating him for only a few months?

Question:

My son is six-years old and wets the bed almost every night. My pediatrician reassured us that my son has no medical problems, and will likely outgrow this in the next few years. This problem really upsets my son. My doctor said he could prescribe some medicine, but ordinarily doesn’t like to do this until children are about 10 years old. Would psychological therapy help with this problem?

Answer:

Your physician is correct in that most children do outgrow bedwetting on their own. However, if this situation is upsetting to your son, I wouldn’t want wait four more years to intervene. If you don’t want to try medication, there is another very effective treatment method for bedwetters.

The “bell and pad” conditioning method for managing bedwetting has been used for over thirty years with some success. You can read about this technique at www.bedwettingstore.com.

There are also some behaviorally-based treatment approaches that are effective. These typically involve various reward systems and self-monitoring. I’d suggest you first try the “bell and bad” method, as it is relatively easy to use. If the problem persists, speak with your doctor about a referral to a behavioral child psychologist.


Dr. Ramey Gregory Ramey, PhD, is a child psychologist and vice president for outpatient services at The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. For more of his columns, visit www.childrensdayton.org/ramey and join Dr. Ramey on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/drgregramey

©2010 The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. Columns may be reproduced with the permission of Dayton Children's.


 

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