Mum’s Toilet training?


“What can I do with him? He just isn’t getting the idea! urghhhhh dunno what to do-;( Ferhan won’t do poo or wee in the potty, he sits happily on the potty, but just doesn't do it, he will hold it till we put pampers on him, and he does it right after we put it on again! Even in nursery he is doing in that way.....

It's soooo upsetting me , i dunno what to do anymore.... really exhausted training him...

The nursery staff asked us to bring little pants for him, and they will start to train him without pampers. They are starting it for me, because Ferhan will go to school from September and school won’t accept kids with pampers. I am really worried about why he will not do it in the potty….”

These were several pleas for advice about the fraught subject of getting Ferhan potty trained. It reminded me of the times I had with my children, each of whom was different – and the emotions it raised in me!

As with feeding our children, these very personal encounters with our children touch deep, unrecognised responses inside us and sometimes shock us – it is a very personal challenge.

Toilet training is also so linked with cultural expectations and ways of dealing with the issue. As Ferhan’s Mum said: “ …..I need advice cos my parents and parents in law raised us in a totally different way, so they don't get it!”

Here is some of the advice I gave Ferhan’s Mum:

  1. Let him take his own time to be ready for using the potty - your anxiety about it will make him anxious and he will resist and get fearful!

Just keep the potty ready and let him sit on it at a time when he often does a poo, with a book or something he enjoys playing with, for a few minutes - but only if he is happy to do so.

But it’s better to leave the whole idea till he himself shows an interest. He really will get to that point soon.

The feeling of being wet or having poo in his nappy is more familiar to him whereas sitting on a potty is strange.

Children can become trained in just a few days once they are ready, so, relax!

  1. Try showing him: when he does a poo in his nappy, take him to the potty and put the poo from the nappy in the potty, saying 'Look, that's so good! it's in the potty!" That may help him to associate this positively with the potty.

And here is a tip from Ferhan’s Mum:

“Yesterday he didn't do it in potty, and I secretly poured some water in it, and next time when he sat on it, after a few minutes, I said ow look! You did it! Well done! And he was soooooooo happy! He hugged me and kissed me and did it what I exactly taught him, like, took the potty to the toilet and rinsed it, also said goodbye to the "wee" haha soooo cute! He shouted for 10-15 mins, I did it! Ferhan bravo! Haha!”

  1. Tell him, only once a day at most, very happily, that he is a big boy now, and big boys use potties. Show him the potty while you talk about it.

Tell him he can throw away his pampers, or give them to his baby brother. He doesn't need them any more.

Then talk to him about how he feels when he needs to use the potty. And how good it feels to do peepee or poopoo in the potty!

  1. Be watchful for when he shows signs of wanting to poo or pee, and very cheerfully get him to sit on potty.

Reward him lots even if he only does a little!

  1. Don't get cross if he has an accident in his pants. Do not be anxious. Trust that he will soon learn. Take the near- misses and accidents lightly: 'Oh never mind, it's ok. Next time, you can do it in the potty!’

Of course at night you should still use pampers but tell him it’s just for a few more days, till he gets used to the potty.

  1. Celebrate each time he succeeds!

‘Big’ him up next to his baby brother – or younger children he knows. Praise him a lot when he helps you or treats his brother nicely, say to him 'Wow! What a lovely big brother you are! I love how you are so helpful to your baby brother!' So he can feel good about being a big boy.

  1. It will be really helpful to work with his nursery staff on toilet training your child. Talk with them about your concerns, and ask how they approach toileting issues.

You can get rubber backed trainer pants that will help if he has an accident, and he also will feel a lot more uncomfortable than pampers – which will help his awareness.

  1. Toileting is only one small part of your child’s day – keep it in perspective! Though you need to be aware all the time, and helping him with it, make sure he can enjoy his activities, play with him lots, give him lots of praise. Keep the anxiety to yourself about training him, so it can become a very natural small part of his life.

And a final word from Ferhan’s Mum:

“You were sooo right about the toilet training~ from last week Ferhan starts to finally do wee on potty!! We have to remind him to do it last couple of days, and from yesterday he went himself and did it! I was sooooooo happy! I hugged him and gave him his favourite chocolate hahah ! But during the night he is still using diapers, guess he still needs some time

I’m glad that at least he is willing to do it on potty now~ this day finally came! We definitely pushed too hard before, he couldn't take it easy apparently~ now he is so much better.

I didn't praise him enough and give him enough confidence

Thank you ever so much for your advice!! “

Do share your ideas – your experience may be just what another reader would find helpful.

A website that looks quite good on potty training: http://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/potty-training/problems/potty-training-common-problems/

Margi Kulsoom


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