Thursday, August 14, 2008

Toilet training

The ongoing saga of toilet training... The problems that we had with Ruby now seem to be repeating with Robert.

Robert has been in jocks since late February. He has self-toileted sporadically in the past. However, at the moment we are at a complete standoff. He won't take himself to the toilet. Any suggestion that he may need to go is met with a very defiant "I don't need to", even if he really does. Every day when he has his 'rest time' he does a poo in his jocks. We've tried coaxing him. We've tried growling. We've tried sticker rewards etc etc etc

When we were going through this with Ruby (who would wet her knickers 6 times a day), I sought advice from a Child Health Nurse who specialises in continence issues. Her suggestion worked with Ruby, so we are taking that approach with Robert. The approach involves:
- increasing fluid intake (the bladder needs to get 'full' to strengthen the message from the bladder to the brain).
- ignoring accidents. No comments. No flinching/sighing etc. Just cleanup and get on with other things.
- sticker chart and praise for any move in the right direction, however small.
- reinforce the sticker chart by providing another reward after x number of stickers have been earned. Our extra reward involves a lucky dip.

We've been doing this for a week now. Progress is slow and it is hard not to be impatient. I think there was a slight glimmer of hope at 'rest time' today. He wet his jocks, but on my suggestion managed to get the poo in the toilet.


mermaids said...

hi fiona, i think this is one of the biggest struggles for parental patience. one thing that worked for us was having the children help clean up their mess. if they spilled milk, they were expected to grab a paper towel and help clean up. well, underpants are the same thing. obviously, they can't do this solo and their "help" will be more symbolic than functional.

the key is not make it "punishment." be very matter of fact. "oops, you had an accident. time to clean it up." stay calm and neutral. when the child says, "eww, this is yucky," respond with, "yes, that's why it is easier if we just go in the toilet." when they complain about wanting to get back to play, respond with, "i know this takes a long time. its much faster to just go in the toilet." soon they figure out that the toilet is definitely a good idea. besides, it teaches responsibility: you make a mess, you clean it up.

just stay calm and neutral. praise when they get it right. keep reinforcing the idea of "i know you will get it the potty next time."


Fiona said...

Hi Teri,

Thanks for your comment. Always nice to hear it from another Mum's perspective. You put it really well. Thanks

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