Is it normal for an 11 year old to like diapers? Yes, it is. Sometimes your child may like the feel of the diapers and wear them because he enjoys wearing them. He may be inspired seeing any of his grandparents or just wanted to get a kick out of wearing them. Termed ‘idiopathic causes’ or unexplained causes, we cannot attach any rationale or reasons for whims of 11 year olds. If they like wearing it and are being decent children instead of dressing like ‘superman’, the best course of action would be to let it pass.
Let’s face it. Dealing with an 11 year old is not exactly an easy task. Scientifically regarded as the pre-teen period ‘ this age is accompanied by body changes, vocal changes and social adaptation tendencies. The decision making skills and urge to question authority among other traits lead to some unusual behavioral changes during this period . Wearing a diaper during this age is one of those accompanying tendencies.
Reasons why your eleven year old kid still like diapers
Diaper wearing is something that is worn off by the age of 2-3 years. But if an 11 year old is preferring diaper use, we have to consider a number of factors behind this behaviour. The most important of these factors are
Medical science defines infantilism as an umbrella term encompassing a group of disorders that may or may not be related to each other. Infantilism consists of retaining some childhood tendencies or behavioral patterns beyond toddler age up to pre teen and sometimes teen age. Diaper wearing can be considered a form of infantilism. Infantilism is usually associated with older people but truth be told it can be associated in 11 year olds.
It leads to the child holding on to a childhood memory, object or a tendency as a source of comfort. The source of comfort can be in the form of a childhood toy, a tendency of thumb sucking and in some cases, wearing a diaper.
Transitional phenomenon and transitional object
The term ‘transitional object’ was coined by a pediatrician and psychoanalyst Dr Donald Woods in 1953. Transitional objects can be physical possessions like blankets, teddy bears or dolls acting as soothing agents during emotional stress. Transitional phenomenon in simple words is the transition phase between the child’s inner reality and that of outside world.
It is important to remember that transitional phenomena can be regarded in different ways by parents and givers. But for the child it is a form of ego development that eventually develops their sense of self. This fact needs to be understood and remembered before proceeding to deal with it.
Bedwetting or nocturnal enuresis is the term used describe the act of urination while asleep with controlled urinating tendencies when awake. Regarded as an uncomfortable phase in their kids life it is actually not that uncommon and occurs in people of all age groups. Statistics has proved that the incidence of bedwetting in children between 5-6 years is the highest i.e almost 15-20%. This gradually decreases in intensity and reduces to a 4-5% by the age group of 11-13 years. Till the age of 19 nocturnal enuresis can continue. There are a number of factors responsible for this condition.
The most important cause for bedwetting is heavy sleep. This does not make them realise when their realise their bladders are full. It takes time for the bladder to mature and stay relaxed while the child sleeps. That with underdevelopment of the vasopressin hormone and even hereditary tendencies can result in bedwetting, making the child wear a diaper while going to bed. That said about nocturnal enuresis, incontinence is another important factor behind diaper preferable.
Incontinence or failure to control the bladder at all times is not limited to this age group. If occurs in people of all ages. But the hormonal changes and newly changing size of body parts make 11 year olds a bit more sensitive in handling the situation. Incontinence has a number of subcategories depending on the reason of its occurrence. It can be the result of stress, faulty bladder causing a leak or drop or a neurological problem that impairs the senses associated with bladder function.
It can be primary and last for a short time period. If a result of congenial defect or a problem that has severely affected the sphincter muscles, it can be permanent. Treatment options in these cases are limited and the need to find an immediate solution becomes important while searching for better options.
How to get your eleven year old kid to stop using diapers?
Coping mechanisms depend on the root cause of the problem. Here are some dealing methods or coping mechanisms
Dealing with infantilism
Infantilism is often a result of overprotective parents. Only the child cannot be blamed for it. The problem is handled through behavioral therapy, counselling or instilling in the child a sense of responsibility to enable him get over the phase. But parents, especially overprotective ones need counseling as well to guide their child in a better manner.
Dealing with transitional phenomenon
In a bid to deal with the outside world, children resort to objects or behaviors as a developmental step towards growing up. Wearing a diaper can be considered a transitional phenomena and act as an anxiety reliever. During house change, change of cities or while adapting to new school or surroundings, it should be encouraged especially if it helps your child adapt better to his new surroundings
Medical issues call for a preventive measure, treatment option and coping mechanism all of which need to be given equal importance. While preventive measures can include dealing with stress and other factors, treatment options include addressing the actual method through medications, therapy or by surgical means. But diaper wearing will actually enable your child cope through his problems and help him live a normal life. All the more better if he has been educated about his situation and has gracefully accepted wearing them.
Can an 11 year old without any of the above issues still like wearing diapers?
Yes, he can. Sometimes your child may like the feel of the diapers and wear them because he enjoys wearing them. He may be inspired seeing any of his grandparents or just wanted to get a kick out of wearing them. Termed ‘idiopathic causes’ or unexplained causes, we cannot attach any rationale or reasons for whims of 11 year olds. If they like wearing it and are being decent children instead of dressing like ‘superman’, the best course of action would be to let it pass.
How should I react?
Some children go through the phase of doing the exact opposite of what they are old. Reacting to their behaviour either make them do it more to get more attention. Worse still it can scare them or further scar them leading to other issues. Additionally it is important to understand the reason of their insecurity. Constrained relationship between parents, neglected childhood and sometimes abuse can be the leading factor. Treating it with utmost care and giving them the required support works best during these times especially if there is no established reason behind their actions.
Take home factor
Child psychology is a diverse topic that is still under research. Every child has his/her phases which make them behave accordingly and exhibit their characteristic traits that eventually shapes their lives. As responsible guardians and parents it is our duty to be logical about it and help them out while at the same time respecting their boundaries. Curious parents give rise to curious kids and sensitive parent to a sensitive child. Only by respecting their decisions and being practical about our expectations from them can we teach them to be better humans and behave likewise.