Effective "Toilet Training"

We had decided it was time for our three-year-old son J- to make the transition from daytime nappies to jocks, but the mention of a toilet would set him off crying and yelling (with puddles everywhere!).

At a playday held at our house, the opportunity came up for us to support him to work through his distress about this. I took him to the bathroom and gently told him that it was time to use the toilet and that he needed to do a wee before returning to play. He started discharging heavily-crying, screaming, stamping his feet. Each time he eased up I'd remind him about the wee, and the discharge would start anew. Through all this, J-'s father sat close by me, giving me excellent attention, letting me know I was doing well. His support and encouragement made me feel confident enough to hang in there with J-.

J- had started discharging about two meters away from me, screaming, "Don't get me!" and "I want to go and play!" He could've walked off at any time-the door was wide open and he had unrestricted access-but he chose to stick it out. At one stage I asked, "Are you ready to do your wee?" and he looked at me slightly mystified and said, "No, I haven't finished my session yet," and launched into renewed discharge.

In half an hour he had worked his way closer and closer to me until eventually he was curled up in my lap. Then, without prompting, he happily jumped up, wee'd in the toilet, and ran off to play.

Something big shifted for my small son that day. After the session he was the happiest and most confident and loving I think I've ever seen him. The big hug and spontaneous "I love you" (he had never said that before) reinforced for me that he was on track. He's been in jocks ever since then, with few "accidents," and he is very pleased with himself and his new-found independence.

Birkenhead, South Australia, Australia
reprinted from the newsletter of the Western Adelaide,
South Australia, Australia RC Community

(Present Time No. 110, January 1998)

Last modified: 2016-08-22 02:11:22-07