My 13 year old cries if I don't give him a bath

I think he is way to old for me having to give him a bath, he also cries if I don't dress him or feed him or put him to bed in such a way. He also still wets the bed, so I have to clean him up. I am a single mum so it is very hard. I would think he would be embarrassed of me seeing him naked as he is a teenager, but he is not.

Any advice would be helpful many thanks.

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May 23, 2012
Mother Still Giving Teen Boy a Bath
by: Laura Ramirez

I agree with you ... I would also think your 13-year old son would be embarrassed about his mother still giving him a bath. Add to the mix the rise of adolescent hormones and you are treading on dangerous ground because what feels comforting to him right now could quickly become associated with his burgeoning sexuality.

For some reason, your son is holding on to childhood. This could point to some kind of trauma ... perhaps you have an idea of what it is.

Regardless, it is up to you to help him take small steps toward adulthood. He needs to learn to self-nurture and comfort himself. He needs to learn self-control so he does not wet the bed.

These issues will take time to work out. In the meantime, gently disentangle yourself from tending to things that he should be tending to himself. Let him cry and mourn his childhood, so he can move on. Crying is not going to hurt him, especially if you're gently reassuring. Tell him that you love him, but that it's time that he learns to do these things for himself. Understand that if you enable him and continue to appease his age-inappropriate requests, you are ultimately hurting him. Can you imagine him at 18, still wanting you to bathe him? If he wets the bed, request that he change and launder the sheets.

Your relationship is enmeshed and it sounds like developmentally, he is stunted. If you want to work with me privately, please have a look at my parenting coach page to get the details.

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