Are you thinking of toilet training your child? Is that because your child is ready or because you are under pressure to do so, perhaps because of new childcare arrangements? Here are some words of wisdom from David Coleman in the Irish Independent.
Dear David Coleman: How can I get my daughter toilet- trained in time for Montessori?
Q My daughter is two-and-a-half years old and after crèche closures in the pandemic we re-evaluated and decided that I would work less and she would attend a Montessori school instead, in September. However, she must be toilet trained before she starts – no nappies or pull-ups – and she is not interested. She says she is a baby and babies wear nappies. What is your advice?
David replies: You are in a tricky situation, since toilet-training is a developmental stage that children cannot achieve until they are ready to do so. Readiness involves showing interest in the toileting habits of others, showing interest in using the toilet themselves, knowing when a wee and poo are coming, and being able to wait until they get to a potty or toilet.
Your daughter shows none of that readiness and so training her will be a struggle that will drag on. Additionally, the external pressure of needing her to be trained to be able to go to Montessori may also add stress and anxiety to your interactions with her, that in turn may also make the training stressful and less successful.
Perhaps you may need to further rethink your plans for September. One more year at crèche will leave her more able for the demands of preschool and will allow her to toilet-train in her own time, and without the pressure of a deadline.
Even her explanation that “she is a baby” suggests that she is trying to tell you that she isn’t ready to move on yet. I think it might be wise to listen to her.
You can read more from David Coleman plus other articles on parenting issues at https://www.independent.ie/life/family/parenting/