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Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Toilet training rant!

Today I had a conversation with a mother who's child is to advance to the next class for 3 and 4 year olds in September - but in that class the children must be toilet trained. She told me she is encouraging her child with stickers and leaving her for 15 minutes on the potty! She is also refering to her bodily functions as 'Woopsies'! What?!?! LOL
We had to get to brass tacks and tell Mom that she needs to refer to pee as 'pee and poo as 'poo - so her daughter will be aware of what she is experiencing. Then put her on at transition times and hourly if possible, but only for about 2 minutes at a time. Anymore than that and her child will forget what the heck she is there for. Sure give her a sticker if she poos or pees, but for heavens sake don't make toileting all about a sticker - it's about recognizing the bodily function and getting into underwear. Which by the way - underwear shopping and allowing your child to pick out their own  is quite reinforcing.
It makes me laugh but when you suggest to the parent to leave the child out of the pull up or diaper while training. The first worry is about thier floors getting soiled - not their child succeeding. I actually had another Mother say she just had her carpets shampooed and that would not be happening! HUH?!
The topper to all of this is when a parent looks us straight in the eye and says, "I thought you were doing the toilet training here!" LOL Um NO! I always go above and beyond to assist families who are in the process of toilet training their child, but I am NOT the childs' parent. Toilet training is a family affair - NOT the job of the school teacher. I have a greater concern with the brain - not the butt!
Take a weekend off and make everything about toilet training - yes drop the 'schedule' and focus on that toddler using the toilet!
Oh and by the way it's 'penis' and 'vulva' not weewee and hoohoo!


  1. I have also heard the female parts referred to as the 'daisy' and the 'pippie'... WHY oh WHY to parents confuse their children like this? It's actually a child protection issue, as a grasp of the proper names for body parts becomes terribly important if the child ever experiences abuse.

    Totally agree that a child will forget what they're on the potty for if you leave them there too long! And it's all about knowing your child- kids who are ready to train will start to get a certain expression on their face when they're wetting or soiling their nappy, and that's the moment for parents to 'catch' and talk about the toilet.

  2. If parents only knew how well allowing children to run around naked for a day or two with a potty chair nearby works! I did this with both my boys (simply waited until I knew they were ready to understand the concept...2 1/2 for my first and 3 for my youngest.) We never used any outside reinforcement (stickers etc.) They were just so proud of the fact that they could then wear those cool spiderman underwear! :) When they're ready you really only need a day or two of staying at home with a naked child sitting on a towel and running to the toilet every once in a while! :) I've been suggesting this method to many parents- and several have tried with great success! Wish more would attampt this, it really does work!

  3. Pam, sooo true. You have to bypass the difficulty of getting pants down in time, and nude is the way to go!

  4. Pam that's it! I wish parents would listen!
    LOL those tell tale faces eh Annie!
    Parents have to be aware of their childrens' signals and treat them like they can understand and achieve without playing games.

  5. Just wanted to say that I'm not in education, but still can't believe the number of parents who can't grasp the basics of potty training.

    In particular, I know of people who undermine the good work in potty training that their child care centre does. I've seen parents say 'well done!' to their children in public when receiving reports of how they stayed clean and dry, using the toilet and washing their hands at day care, only to put a nappy on that child as soon as they got them home.

    These are the same parents who can't understand why their child hides behind the sofa or curtains to poo, yet never provide them with a potty at home because they think it will smell!

    My girls have always spent time nappyless or pretty much naked since they first showed inclination to use the potty. We've had potties sitting around since they were able to sit up unaided and they enjoyed putting teddy on them and wiping his bottom.

    They have always been allowed into the bathroom with both mummy and daddy, and have a very thorough understanding of both toileting and digestion - simply because we're not afraid to answer their questions and be truthful and honest with them.

    My eldest is now 4 and effectively potty trained herself, including night training, around the age of 2 1/2. We did create a picture that she could put stars on when she was successful, but frankly the praise she received (mummy, daddy and any others present at the time cheering, clapping and congratulating her!) at each success was enough.

    She also loved having her own specially decorated box with a supply of toilet paper in it and helping to empty the potty in the toilet and rinse it.

    Our youngest is now 2 1/2 and going through the process, without any stars or other 'reward'. Must remember to make her a toilet paper box though!

    The final most important thing I think is that we never make our children feel like they've been bad, naughty or that accidents are disgusting. Sure, it's hard when you're cleaning up a toddler poo from a cream coloured carpet not to be annoyed, but we just put the child on the toilet saying 'oops, this is where the poo goes' and clean the floor and child.

    People simply have a fear of bodily functions because society has taught us to see them as something that should be hidden and shameful. It's hard not to pass that on to our children, but toilet training is not the time to let that happen.

    Teaching children that it's natural and getting it right is something to be proud of, does the trick far better than punishment or shaming.