I’ve noticed something lately in some mothers groups regarding toilet training. High fives all around because “My child did their first poo on the potty today”. Did you know this is a milestone? a celebratory moment?
Who knew that this is a great achievement in one’s life, who happens to have their whole life in front on them. I don’t mean to kill the buzz of excited poo mum, please go ahead and party.
I didn’t know this was something to rejoice over because I do not recall ever being blessed with that moment. I had the child who was traumatised by the toilet.
It’s common for kids to get constipated, you would think it’s one of life lessons, shit happens…..and sometimes it doesn’t. The average parent wouldn’t consider that this could cause psychological ramifications, but it can.
Toilet Training isn’t easy at the best of times, I have learnt never to underestimate how something seemingly small can affect a child and send things spiralling backwards into poo land.
I’m going to call the situation, PTTS. Post Traumatic Toilet Stress. Just one of the many things my first child has suffered through, not as bad as cancer, but is certainly related. You see, Chemotherapy can make you VERY constipated. The toilet represented a lot of this suffering.
I did not get a lot of help and advice with this at first, maybe I should have just known what to do? Maybe I should have just googled? Eventually I found the right G, Movical and pear juice became my BFF for a very long time.
Going to the toilet for my kid became a terrifying experience after having such a bad ordeal. This took many many years to figure out. It was a Family Doctor that asked me a few questions and said: “Hey, you know what you are doing wrong, you are stressing too much about it”.
It’s true. Once he hit 4 – 5 years old I had convinced myself he would be hiding under school desks attempting to go to the toilet or holding on for so long his business would involuntarily evacuate into his pants. This ended up happening, many times, but my doctor’s point was – I was NOT helping the situation by freaking out.
I probably even made my kid feel a little embarrassed that he was scared of the toilet. Not on purpose, but within my communication and the pressure I put on him to catch up to other kids.
In what was quite a complex situation, unnecessary pressure simply made it worse. Funnily enough, it’s when I gave up and pretty much stopped caring, things started to improve. By that time I had already washed approximately 50000000 pairs of soiled undies, what’s a few more going to hurt?
I don’t want to take away someone’s excitement over their child making poo milestones, but I am sure there are many many parents feeling like they are doing a bad job when it comes to parenting and toilet training.
It’s not always as simple as it seems. Kid’s are developing emotionally, have fears and insecurities and if the toilet is one of them – They might take longer. One very important thing, don’t beat yourself up because all of your friend’s kids are 100% toilet trained. This will get you nowhere.
Comparison is the thief of joy. – Theodore Roosevelt