Parents I know that through the adult eye toilet training does not seem hard but sometimes it really can be a challenge.

Using the toilet is so much more that recognising an urge and responding.  It requires discipline to respond when the body tells you, physical skill to pull down clothing, climb on to toilet, wipe own bottom and wash hands, the ability to disengage in something you are enjoying, move away and then return (idea of missing out) and importantly being the boss of something that no one can do for you.

 

Every time I consult with a parent we always end up at the same spot and that is how to break the task of toilet training down so the child and parent do not feel overwhelmed and progress can be made.  Think of it this way – you walk into the playroom and the lego basket has been tipped all over the floor.  You ask the child to pack away and most likely two things will happen “no I can’t do that” or parent walks away and returns 15 minutes later to find child playing in another room because the mess still exists and no packing away has been done.  Now if you sit on the floor with the child and give verbal direction ‘you pick up the red lego and I will do the blue.  Now you do the green and I do the yellow” before you know it the lego is packed away, the child feels a sense of accomplishment and next time they have to pack away they may be more likely to give it a go and require less direction from you.

Learning to toilet train is no different.  You need to break it down.  If your child is refusing to sit on the toilet work on building confidence just sitting fully clothed, then in jocks and then bare bottomed on the toilet.  If your child won’t go near the toilet start changing them near the toilet so they learn this is where the poo and wee goes and every time you need a new nappy we are going to eyeball the toilet.  Have short periods of nappy free time each day so they can start to associate urge and response and get use to having nothing on their bottoms.  Describe how you know when a wee and poo is coming and talk positively about the toilet.

Remember break it down into manageable steps and allow them time to build confidence.

Tell me I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. –  Benjamin Franklin

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