Frequently Asked Questions: 6 Years
My child still wets the bed. Is this normal?
Yes, wetting the bed at night (nocturnal enuresis), accidentally passing urine while asleep, is normal for infants and young children who are not yet completely toilet-trained. Many children who are going through toilet training stay dry during the day, but continue to wet the bed at night for several more months or even a few more years. This also is considered a normal part of development.
Bed-wetting in a child who uses the toilet during the day, but has never been dry at night (primary nocturnal enuresis) is also very common, particularly in boys, and tends to run in families. At age 5, approximately one of every five children still wets the bed at night. Most children who wet the bed overcome the problem between 6 and 10 years of age and all children eventually get over it, even without special treatment.
Although primary nocturnal enuresis is "normal," it still can be upsetting for older children (and their parents) and often is considered a "problem" once a child reaches school age, around 5 or 6 years old. For more information, including suggestions for handling this "problem," see Enuresis.
Note that bed-wetting that suddenly occurs again after a child has been fully dry for several months (or even years) is called secondary nocturnal enuresis and should be discussed with your child’s pediatrician. This type of bed-wetting may suggest something different rather than just being a normal part of development.
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My child had a hard time paying attention to his teacher during kindergarten. Does that mean he has ADHD?
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a problem related to brain development, which causes inattention (not able to pay attention), hyperactivity (always on the move) and impulsive behavior (does things on own without any self-control). Nearly every child seems to show these signs or symptoms at some time or another. Most children occasionally daydream, fail to finish tasks, and have times when they play recklessly, whirl about in constant activity, make a lot of noise or are messy. Many children have a hard time paying attention to their teacher during kindergarten. This is especially true of children who did not go to preschool because they have not spent a great deal of time working on this skill. On the other hand, these behaviors seem to happen more often, are noticed by others more, and are usually more severe in children with ADHD, which makes it harder for the child to get along with classmates at school and to learn. These behaviors may also put the child at higher risk of injury. To learn more about this problem, see ADHD.
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When should I start giving my child an allowance?
This is a fine age for children to begin to learn more about money (most experts recommend starting around age 6 or 7). Over their relatively short lives, they have already learned a few things, probably having gone into a bank with you, seen you get money from an ATM, or watched you pay for things at the store with money. At one time or another, they also may have received some money as a gift for a birthday or holiday, but not thought very much about whether they should save it or spend it.
Children need to know what money is, what it’s used for, and how someone gets money and manages it. Giving children an allowance to manage can be a good experience for them. They can learn firsthand what it is like to be in control of some money.
A child needs to know that an allowance is not a gift or handout. Some parents may even want kids to do something for (earn) it, for example, chores around the house. This is fine, but be sure that the children know there are also other activities or chores around the house that everyone does, just because they are part of the family and need to help make the family successful. If your child is "earning" money doing chores, help him keep track of what chores he did for the money and praise him for doing them.
Be sure to let your child personally discover how quickly money can disappear. He may spend it in one place and then wish he had more to spend in the very next store. Some children may naturally choose to save, while others will need more encouragement. It may be helpful to set a savings goal, where a child spends some of his allowance, but also puts away some each week to save enough money over time to buy something that costs more.
How much money to give as an allowance each week is a personal decision, depending on your family’s financial means and values. Larger allowances aren’t necessarily better though. Children this age can learn a lot when managing even small amounts of money. Once your child has saved some money or gotten some as a gift, you might also open a bank account with him. This gives you a perfect opportunity to explain how banks work.