Friday, October 21, 2011

The Tribulation of Toilet Training

The beginning of toilet training is a bewildering time for your child. He has no idea what you have in mind when you first place him on a potty chair and indicate that you want him to do something. When the youngster does somehow produce, it makes even less sense that you express great interest and delight in his achievement- and then consign it to the large white machine in the bathroom that roars and gurgles and sweeps thing away.
However you choose to handle the practical aspects of toilet training. You should be aware of the emotional impact the process is likely to have on your toddler. You can expect him to feel some hesitation and anxiety, which may be expressed as all out rebellion. He cannot know that your real aim in this adventure is to help him to achieve his first measure of control over his own body, which will lift him to a new level of proud self sufficiency. Nor does he realize that his success in toileting will shape his eventual attitudes toward cleanliness, responsibility and orderly ways of doing things for the rest of his life. For the moment, all the child knows is that his otherwise reasonable mother is behaving very peculiarly.
The whole business is even more mystifying if you start the process too soon. The nervous system of a child under 18 months of age is not yet developed enough to give her control over the muscles that regulate bowel movements, and bladder control comes even later. What is more, a child that young cannot be expected to understand what you want her to do.
Around the age of two years, your youngster will begin to show indirect signs that she is ready to take on this complicated challenge. She becomes interested in the idea that certain things belong in certain places, and she likes to put objects in containers.  She enjoys giving presents and watching your pleased reaction. She becomes interested in the idea that certain places, and she likes to put objects in containers. She enjoys giving presents and watching your pleased reaction. She shows pride in her accomplishments and revels in grownups praise and of course she begins to talk so she is now able to tell you what concerns her.
Not all of a two year old youngster’s development is positive, whoever. The child needs to assert her growing independence, and at times may do so by rejecting any suggestion of yours, perhaps resorting to tantrums at even your mildest efforts to control her behavior. If your child is in the grip of such a phase, it is best to delay toilet training for a while. Keep her in diapers and try again in a few months. Whenever you do begin the training effort, select a time that is ad free of other stresses as possible- not, for example, just after moving t a new house or bringing home a baby brother or sister.