Sunday, March 29, 2015

Extremely Normal

My six year old is constantly peeing.  Constantly.  I'm talking five times an hour.  I started to worry that something was really wrong.  I asked him about it and he got very squirmy.  "I don't know, Mommy! I just have to go.  I have to go all the time!"  I decided to look up some information online and here's what I found:

"Frequent urination sometimes reflects emotional tension. It means your child is under pressure. The symptom is involuntary, not deliberate. The urinary frequency may begin within 1 or 2 days of a stressful event or change in the child's routine. You can make the problem worse by worrying about disease. Punishment, criticism, or teasing also worsens the symptom."

I took a mental inventory.  What has changed?  We had to put the dog down and that has affected him.  He also started on the swim team and that has changed our routine.  I have definitely pointed out the frequency and asked about it, openly worrying that something was wrong.  But when did it start?  I remember it happening when we took an aptitude test a few weeks ago.  He went to the bathroom every ten minutes or so while he took the test.  

I decided to tell him a quick overview as we drove home from the store.  "Hey bud, I looked up the some stuff about going to the bathroom all the time and it said it is very normal for kids your age.  It also said it might be happening because you're worried about some things.  Anything on your mind?"

He told me he felt like things had just been too busy and that he hadn't had enough time to play.  He also said he was worried about how mean he has been to his brother.  We said he has been praying that God would make him a nicer person.  My heart broke a bit on that one.

"You were so smart to talk to God about what was on your mind.  I want you to know that you ARE a good person.  God knows that, too.  Even the best people do bad things sometimes.  If you say you are sorry and mean it, it's as if it never happened.  Always remember that you are a wonderfully kind person," I told him.

"I don't always feel like that when you or daddy get mad at me for being mean to Drew," he said.

"We only correct you because we love you and know all that you are capable of.  And we always forgive you.  Always," I said, trying to reassure him.

"Oh...That's good."

When we got home, he saw my mom and said, "Granny!  Guess what?!  I am peeing all the time because I've been worried but it turns out I am a good boy and we shouldn't worry because, guess what?!  It's extremely normal!" 

I guess he was listening.

Our kids are talking to us all the time.  Sometimes it is verbal, sometimes it is non-verbal.  It's not always easy to pick up the cues but when we do, it never hurts to ask them.  Maybe they aren't old enough to articulate what is going on.  Maybe they are ashamed or embarrassed.  But if we keep reaching out in different ways to say, "I'm here.  I believe in you.  I want to know what is in your heart," they will eventually believe us and let us in.  

Do your children share their stressors with you? What non-verbal cues do your kids use to tell you they are overwhelmed or stressed?

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