After her 10-year-old son wet the bed, Christle Prado and her roommate, Keith Driscoll, allegedly forced the child to wear a dress and makeup, and then run around outside for others to see. Law enforcement officials were alerted when a photo of the distressed boy was posted on Facebook. The boy and Prado's two other children were placed in their grandmother’s custody; Prado and her roommate were released after being arrested, as there was not sufficient evidence to charge them with a crime. Watch the story in the video above.
While this incident may seem extreme, "potty shaming" is actually a technique that parents need to be aware of, because they could be inappropriately punishing their child for bathroom accidents.
"Fifteen percent of kids after age 5 still wet the bed, and 5 percent of kids after age 10 still wet the bed," points out The Doctors' Dr. Travis Stork. "When you're asleep, the body does things you can't always control, and there should be no shame in it."
When adults who were bed wetters as children were asked how their behavior rated compared to other problems in their lives, they said the issue was as dramatic as going through divorce, according to Dr. Gail Gross, a child psychologist and development expert. "Parents have to reassure their children rather than reinforce their shame, and their guilt and humiliation, which they feel already because they have this secret that they hope nobody finds out about," she says. "You don't want to reinforce shame, you want to reassure your child and be a partner with your child. Let your child know that he is not doing anything wrong, time is his partner, he will outgrow this."
She also explains that children who are bedwetters may need an extra boost of confidence, particularly if their toilet issues have isolated them from other children. For example, perhaps they are outcast because they won't have sleepovers. "Teaching your children to have confidence is critical, how to bond and how to not be isolated and be part of a group is a big piece of this problem, because children feel outcast," Dr. Gross adds. "It's very important to teach children self-compassion."
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