In light of the UK Sky News this week surrounding hundreds of children being sent to school still in nappies, I thought we must talk about this life skill we take for granted every day — and for some kids, under the dining table in their nappies every evening!!
Do your toddlers know when they need to go? Are they able to tell you and express a need then go off to the bathroom and assist themselves in showing the life skills needed like pulling up their little vests and tucking it under their chin, or pulling down their bottoms and getting up on the toilet with only a little help from yourself and the step that’s normally tucked away under the sink? Or sitting them on a potty without having to read them a story? Whilst calling out “I’ve done it”
If you’re nodding and smiling, then chances are you’re reading this piece feeling rather proud and relieved it’s over. Let’s face it, potty training is not a life skill everybody jumps to teach with glee, it’s like having to do that Friday shopping knowing you are going to have to be stuck in that dreaded line…….for how long?? But we do it because we need to, so you might as well smile J. Trust me, I’ve lost count the amount of times I’ve taught a child how to scrunch or fold!!
Your child will probably still need help with wiping after # 2s until age 4 or 5 or need help in unfamiliar bathrooms, such as public toilets until about age 5 or 6, as these places tend to be awkward with hand dryers and soap dispensers that are too high. And remember, we always want to be with our children assisting them into public areas for their safety.
However, doing kaka, doo-doo, poopy, and wee-wee “training” has almost become a nationwide past time! So where are we going wrong? Of course it goes without saying those with children who have medical conditions — and I’m not talking about the “My child has ADHD”, but hasn’t been diagnosed group — and those with developmental issues will take this process in their child’s stride.
I believe the answer is truly understanding that it is our job, responsibility, and duty as the parent to have our children equipped and ready for stages in their life so that their next outside home/adventure/school is one they confidently thrive at without the setbacks of this issue, which can disrupt a lot of learning time if not addressed, and then become the teachers problem, which shouldn’t be as they are there to educate our children. As parents will not need to give up on our children’s training follow through, as they need our encouragement.
Look for the cues and signs of development that they are ready.
Teach those development signs if not present: like talking more, speech, life skills, and general rule of thumb in following simple instructions, listening to what you’re talking, and answering.
Don’t send mixed messages, it’s so confusing one minute in big boy pants the next minute in nappies whilst taking a long car journey.
Do be realistic with when you will start the PT if your child is ready, but you are about to have a baby and you feel you won’t be able to give attention to the task, wait until you are home a month, or do 6 weeks before. Let’s face it, the oldest your child could be is 18 months before another child is born and toddlers start to show more bladder control around then, so you see it’s possible to fit in after.
Remember before and after your child has to be prompted that training week, plus the time after they show easiness they will still need to be helped. They will also need assistance before and after playdates and outings, as kids normally hold on thinking they are going to miss out if they “go quickly to potty!”
Additionally, remember there are times you need to “tell” rather than “ask,“ being polite of course, as for most children, it becomes the last thing before an event/play date ending, so they might think, “I guess if I don’t want to leave, I just say no if you ask, right?”
When we are present and focused on the task at hand, we are prepared for the mishaps, praise the good efforts, and feel motivated to stick with it……now imagine how your child feels!!
So the question is are YOU ready???
For further information on PT successfully please read in detail the information also provided in my Jo Frost Confident Toddler Care book. Now let’s go, Potty Parents!!!
Copywritten by Jo Frost