Tips for toileting:
1. Communication with the child, parent and teachers (about the process)
2. Positive words and encouragement
3. Realistic goal in mind (small steps)
4. Incentive or reward system (visual, simple)
5. Outcome/end result!
When starting the process of toilet training for young children, it is commonly appropriate to wait until the child is ready and shows an interest in wanting to toilet train. If the processed is rushed it can make children feel scared, forced and may even send the child’s progress backwards. It is important to make sure the child is aware of the situation, understand in small steps what the process and aim is, and have some incentive to help them achieve this goal.
Encouraging and reassuring the child that it is ok if they have accidents, so they do not feel or become embarrassed. Design a toilet chart, keep it positive and simple. Sticker charts or some form of visual reward system can be an incentive to maintain toilet training or help kick start the process. When the child can visually see that they are making progress this can be encouraging and see progress more effectively. Ages and stages make them appropriate and relevant to the child’s age, this way the child can feel more comfortable and able to commit to the process. Transition the child in time through the different stages and capability, at any time the child does not feel comfortable you can take breaks or use different techniques to help them, some of these maybe through songs or visual ques. Allow the child to process each stage and understand why they go onto the next stage. From nappies, pull ups, potty/toilet, undies, as the child becomes more confident the stages will become easier.
Discussing with the team (teachers)
The team should have an open discussion around the child who is toileting so they are on the same page and can help the child. Teachers who are not aware of children toileting or the different stages the child is at, may find it confusing and set the child back. The child may become stressed or uncomfortable with certain teachers helping them when toileting or become wet. Have a discussion around how and who will take what roles when toileting children. Depending on the child, some teachers may have less or a stronger bond with the child, therefore it is important to communicate and know the children. Understanding that it is ok if the child does not want to be changed and may request another teacher. Being open minded and sensitive to children’s needs around toileting and changing will the make the process a lot easier and smoother.
Discussion with the child;
It is important to talk with the child about the steps or process as this will make them feel more inclined to want to take part in their next journey of toileting. It will make it more comfortable and help them to understand what will happen, also allowing them to make choices for their own body and mind and understanding the process. Invite or encourage the child to make a chart of some kind that is visual and rewarding so they feel happier to be part of their own journey. Talk with the child about accidents and how to handle them, for example; its ok to have an accident, just make sure you let us know so we can help to change you. Take the opportunity to help the child understand their body if they ask (inform the parents too) and give them privacy when they ask, build the trust!
Discussion with the parents;
It is important to inform the parent about the child’s interest in toileting if the parents are not the ones who have requested the toilet training process or are not aware of the child’s need to toilet. Have an open discussion and see where the parents are on this journey for their child. If the parent becomes unwilling to start the process for whatever reason then, typically you do not push it, unless the child is at an age and is showing interest. It is important to show/teach the parent the benefits of the child starting the toileting and allow them to understand that they can have trust in you when toileting their child. Some parents may become stressed or concerned around the child have accident and unknown how teachers will handle it. Culturally they may do things differently. Have the open discussion and having a plan in action that the parents are happy with will the make the process more effective for the child.
From my own experience;
The biggest factors I have found to work when transitioning children from nappies to toileting and into undies is, have a strong relationship where the child have the trust in you, and wants your help when required. Keep the rewards or incentives relevant to the child (get the child to make the sticker chart) encourage the child daily, and if need be buddy them up with a friend. Try and give regular feedback to the parents about the child’s progress and help the parents to understand the importance of home centre link (vice versa) Make it fun!