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For most of the teachers and the ayahs in a playschool or the prep classes handling the daily business of the little kids is a nightmare. Most of the kids who attend the play school are already toilet trained. But then there will always be exceptions. Some kids are unable to express when they want to relieve. I remember my son, when he was just six months old would stop doing whatever he is doing and would make direct eye contact with me. I would understand and rush him to the washroom. But one might not be able to read the signs all the time.
As a teacher I remember a nice bubbly child in my class would suddenly start crying. My first doubt was if he had stomach pain. All my questions were answered in negative. The child just wanted to go home. I would wonder if the child is missing his parents. But that also happened only when the child enters the school. Finally, I led him to the washroom and asked the Ayah to help him use the toilet. After some time, he came back with a smiling face. I understood his problem. He had never gone to a washroom outside his home and hence the hesitation to use the one in school.
The Late Riser
A child used to get up from bed just before the school time. The mother would drop him at the school making him wear a diaper. Invariably, there will be accidents at school, and the child would need to be changed. Goes without saying, the teachers and helpers were not too happy about it. Just a bit of time management, and waking the child up in time so that he can relieve himself might be a lot useful in such instances.
When to start toilet training
A child can be toilet trained from six months to three years depending upon the child’s behavioral pattern. He should be taught to express himself whenever there is need to relieve. The parents should start looking for the signs of readiness for the child to begin toilet training, so that by the time the child starts going to preschool, he knows how to communicate about his need to use the bathroom.
Some thumb rules of toilet training
1. A child should be made to sleep early and get up early. This will give her enough time to sit on the potty seat in a relaxed manner.
2. The child should be encouraged to express when he/she wants to relieve. Never ever punish a child when he/she fails.
3. Sometimes the child refuses to relieve in places other than their own home. The parents should make them accustomed to relieve whenever or wherever the need arises. This will help them especially if they are travelling.
4. The child should wear comfortable and easy to pull out pants or panties during the toilet training.
5. The child should be taught to flush, clean his bottom and wash hands with soap. All the family members should do the same during the phase of training. The children are keen observers.
6. Make sure as a parent, that the child goes to washroom first thing in the morning and the last thing in the night before going to bed.
7. When a child makes mistake, do not make fun or chide him. The parent should never ever lose her patience if the child is not following the instructions. For some children it takes time to focus on this task of toilet training.
8. As a parent do not go by how other parents are toilet training their child. Just experiment and select the best method that suits your child. Some kids can be trained without the use of potty seat, diapers etc. where as others may need them.
What’s your toilet training story?