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My Ngala • View topic - Toilet training 3 yr old HELP!!!

Toilet training 3 yr old HELP!!!

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Toilet training 3 yr old HELP!!!

Postby rbrown » Sun 24 Mar, 2013 7:47 pm

Hi,
I am after some advice to help my newly turned 3 year old complete toilet training. We started training her approx 18 months but didn't consistently take her out of nappies until probably 8 months ago. At the moment I can keep her dry during the day by taking/reminding her to go to the toilet every few hours. She knows what to do and will wee most of the time when requested. She is fully aware and able to hold on and has never had an accident outside of home since we put her in knickers. On the odd occasion (very rare) she has taken herself to the toilet without prompting. But I am baffled as to how to get her to do this consistently. If I forget to take her she will wee anywhere at home and doesn't seem to care. I have tried sticker charts, rewards, lucky dips but to no avail. I cannot seem to motivate her to take this last step. I was advised recently to try taking a firmer approach such as punishments like not allowing her to play iPad or watch tv etc when she wees on the floor but this doesn't seem to phase her either. She went off and weed in our playroom this afternoon and when I told her she couldn't have the iPad today she simply said ok mum no iPad no tv and no biscuits today!!! She is completely dry at night so never wears nappies. With poo she is much the same she has done poos on the toilet several times and we have made a huge fuss with praise etc but unless I catch her starting to squat she won't initiate the toilet. I never expected toilet training to be easy or only take a few weeks but I'm starting to feel 18 months is ridiculous when I know she is fully capable!!!! Please help how do I get her to care about going to the toilet because I really feel that is the only problem is that she just doesn't!!! Thanks in advance :)
rbrown
 
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Re: Toilet training 3 yr old HELP!!!

Postby NgalaOnline » Mon 25 Mar, 2013 10:47 pm

Hi RBrown

Thank you for your post. The issues you are experiencing with your daughter's toilet do sound frustrating after your daughter has been able to use the toilet for a long time, but the behaviours your daughter is showing also do sound developmentally normal for her age. Complete toilet training requires a large number of skills to be brought together and these skills may not all develop at the same time. The child has to be able to learn to recognise the sensations of a full bladder or bowel, hold onto her bladder / bowel contents for long enough to get to the toilet, manage clothing, successfully use the toilet, and then begin to take responsibility for organising their playtime and delaying more interesting activities in order to go and use the toilet when required. It is quite common for children to be able to manage some of these steps, but to take a while to be able to develop to the point of being able to manage the next steps towards completely independent toileting.

It is very normal for children to not toilet train until they are 3 or 3.5 years of age so it is fantastic that your daughter has made so much progress already and is able to remain dry and clean when she is provided with reminders to go to the toilet. Toddlers typically have a drive towards asserting their independence and autonomy, as part of them developing a sense of themselves as an individual. Typically there are not many areas in a toddler's life where they can exert full control, and quite often toddlers will come to realise that the two areas they can control in their life are what goes in and what goes out. It is quite common for toddlers to exert strong control over these two areas, and for these things to sometimes become areas of conflict or stress between parents and children. Research has shown that with fussy eating, children are significantly less likely to try a new food if they are given either strong encouragement or negative reinforcement (such as punishments) as a way to try to get the child to try the new food. Research shows that maintaining a very neutral and relaxed attitude to food refusal - continuing to offer the same food again on another day but taking the meal away with no comment or conflict if the child does not eat it - seems to be the most successful way of encouraging a child to try new foods. It seems that a similar approach to toilet training is most likely to bring successful independent toileting when the child is ready. Punishments or strong encouragements to use the toilet often appear to make the toddler more determined to retain control over this issue, and more likely to be resistant to what the parent is requesting. Some parents find that they may be able to find a reward or incentive that works well to encourage the child, but many parents find that this does not work to encourage their child. Often, if toileting has become a source of conflict or tension between parent and child, the parents find that if they take a few weeks of not mentioning or discussing the topic much their child begins to take the initiative with the toileting when they feel it is in their realm of control. After resting from the topic for a period of a week or two you may like to slowly reintroduce the topic in a relaxed manner, such as having an occasional brief talk a few times a week about how it would be fantastic if she could begin to decide to go to the toilet like a big girl.

Toddlers also often take some time to develop the concept of delayed gratification, so it is possible that your daughter may not yet be developmentally ready to be able to delay what she is doing and enjoying, and organise herself into going to the toilet at the appropriate time. It could also be that whilst she has developed the ability to hold her bladder and bowel contents, she has not yet fully developed the ability to recognize these sensations. This is still very normal at 3 years of age. It does sound like your daughter is doing well with the toilet training, and that with some more time and development the full independence with toileting will come. In the meantime, keeping toileting positive and relaxed without too much focus on this area will help to prevent this issue becoming an area over which your toddler may want to "dig her heels in".

I hope this information is helpful. If you would like to discuss this subject further, please ring the Ngala helpline.
This information is general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for the personalized assistance that can be received from the Ngala Helpline by telephone.

For families residing in Western Australia you can also contact the
Ngala Helpline
Telephone 9368 9368 or 1800 111 546 for country access
Available 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm
or request a callback online

For helplines in other Australian states please follow this link
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Re: Toilet training 3 yr old HELP!!!

Postby rbrown » Tue 26 Mar, 2013 7:39 pm

Thanks for the reply! You have definitely described our daughter in regards to digging her heels in and wanting to retain control with toileting and also with food so we are definitely going to change our tact and become much more neutral because as you described the extreme positive or negative isn't working (tonight she took herself to the toilet to wee so I made a huge fuss called her daddy so she could tell him etc then an hour and a half later she stood in front of me and weed on the floor!!!!!) also found it very interesting that she may not be recognising the sensation of a full bladder. When you suggested not mentioning the toilet for a few weeks and then reintroduce would you put her back in nappies for this? I'm really reluctant to go back to nappies ESP because she is completely dry at night. Or do I just ask her if she needs to go if she says no leave it at that and just deal with the accidents without any reaction? Thanks once again!
rbrown
 
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Re: Toilet training 3 yr old HELP!!!

Postby NgalaOnline » Wed 27 Mar, 2013 12:22 pm

Thanks for your response RBrown. I am glad that the suggestions seem helpful to you and that you feel they accurately describe your daughter. Seeking independence and autonomy are normal parts of development for toddlers as they learn to develop an identity as an individual person. It is helpful to know that maintaining a neutral position may not bring a fast result depending on your daughter's readiness, but once she is developmentally ready to take the next steps with her toileting this does seem to be the most successful way of encouraging children to take steps of independence towards toilet training and also eating.

It is best not to put her back into nappies as she has achieved day and night time dryness, therefore we do not want her to regress or to take away her sense of achievement about these things. Regarding my suggestion of not mentioning the toilet to her for awhile, I would suggest continuing to give her reminders or to take her to the toilet regularly as you have been to maintain her dryness. Moreso, my suggestion is that you do not discuss the issue with her of wanting her to take herself to the toilet independently. It would be helpful to take any focus off of toileting, to continue to take her to the toilet as necessary but to have toileting be a relaxed "non-issue" in the house for a while and see if this helps her feel inspired to take ownership of going to the toilet on her terms. If accidents occur it is helpful to treat these with indifference as much as possible, as sometimes children can use toileting accidents of a way of gaining attention or an interesting reaction from their parent. The age of two and three typically do involve times of boundary testing from children (such as testing how one can provoke a response from the parents), and toileting can be an where this occurs. I hope this information is helpful.
This information is general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for the personalized assistance that can be received from the Ngala Helpline by telephone.

For families residing in Western Australia you can also contact the
Ngala Helpline
Telephone 9368 9368 or 1800 111 546 for country access
Available 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm
or request a callback online

For helplines in other Australian states please follow this link
User avatar
NgalaOnline
 
Posts: 530
Joined: Tue 07 Dec, 2010 8:42 am


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