How Thumb-Sucking and Bedwetting Made Me a Better Parent

Posted October 24, 2013 by jimhigley


That’s a four-year-old me in the arms of my dad, looking at a big ole bear at the San Diego Zoo.

I thought he was Yogi Bear. And, according to my father, I was promising Yogi that I’d never suck my thumb again. Ever. A promise I broke time and time again for the next couple of years.

Thumb sucking. And bed wetting. Parts of my childhood memories that are etched in stone.

In all honesty, the thumb-sucking wasn’t necessarily a good or bad memory. I’d classify it a comforting one. Hey, I liked my blanket and I liked my thumb! No excuses.

But the bedwetting? Well, that wasn’t fun. And I’m sure it was even less fun for Mom and Dad. You’ll be glad to know, however, it finally ended.

Childhood memories. They all hold a lesson. And for me, the lessons from being a thumb-sucker and a bedwetter had nothing to do with the specific issues at hand. They had everything to do, however, with how my parents worked though it.

They didn’t make them a big deal.

Which made them, for me, not a big deal.

And that – at least for me – is one of the most valuable parenting take-aways my parents ever gave me. They did a pretty great job of knowing what was worth getting a little nutty over. The rest of it, they let bounce off. And roll away.

It impacted my confidence.

It helped me to listen to them – when they needed me to.

And it was part of a lifelong relationship based on trust.


All that good stuff from a little thumb-sucking and some nighttime accidents.


This memory is brought to you through my partnership with Kimberly-Clark during the months of September and October. It’s part of their Pick Up the Values Program– providing tips and ideas for parents to stretch their budgets.

Today’s memory is compliments of Huggies Pull-Ups If only they were around when I was a little guy!

Stop by the Huggies Facebook Page to join in more conversations. Be sure to learn more about the Cottonelle Care Routine while you’re there! And be sure to visit the Pick up the Values website for over $40 of money-saving coupons.

And for daily tips and ideas, be sure to “like” the Pick Up the Values Facebook Page!

While I’ve been compensated by Kimberly-Clark for this story, the memory, and belief in their product is as real as it comes.