31picking nose - web


There are some things that our children need to learn just so that we all get along together. The big issues for most parents are that our children should learn to:
· Use a toilet
· Sleep through the night
· Behave reasonably well in public and private
Sometimes we feel so anxious about these goals that we actually make it harder for our children to achieve them.
This chapter helps you to step back a bit and see how you are managing.



Children get bladder and bowel control when they’re physically ready for it and want to be dry and clean. The time varies, so it’s best not to compare your child with others.
· Most children can control their bowels before their bladders.
· By the age of two, one in two children are dry during the day.
· By the age of three, nine out of ten children are dry most days. Even then all children have the odd accident, especially when they’re excited or upset or absorbed in doing something.
Learning to stay dry throughout the night usually takes a child a little longer than staying dry during the day. He or she has to respond to the sensation of having a full bladder while asleep either by waking up and going to the toilet, or holding on until morning. Although most children do learn this between the ages of three and five, it is estimated that:
· A quarter of three-year-olds wet the bed.
· One in six five-year-olds wet the bed.
When to start
It helps to remember that you can’t and shouldn’t try to force your child to use a potty. In time he or she will want to use it. Your child will not want to go to school in nappies any more than you would want him or her to. In the meantime, the best thing you can do is to encourage the behaviour you want.
Many parents seem to begin potty training around 18 to 24 months, but there’s no particular time when success is guaranteed.
It’s probably easier to start in the summer, when washing dries better and there are fewer clothes to take off.
Try to work out when your child is ready. Most children go through three stages in developing bladder control.
· They become aware of having a wet or dirty nappy.
· They get to know when they are peeing, and may tell you they’re doing it!
· They know when they need to pee, and may say so in advance.
You’ll probably find that potty training is fastest if your child is at the last stage before you start. If you start earlier, be prepared for a lot of accidents as your child learns.
What to do
· Leave the potty around where your child can see it and get to know what it’s for. If there are older children around, he or she may see them using it and their example will be a great help.
· Let your child see you using the toilet and explain what you’re doing.
· If your child regularly opens his or her bowels at the same time each day, take off the nappy and suggest that he or she tries going in the potty. If your child is the slightest bit upset by the idea just put the nappy back on and leave it a few more weeks before trying again.
· As soon as you see that your child knows when he or she is going to pee, try the same thing. If your child slips up, just mop it up and wait for next time. It usually takes a while for your child to get the hang of it and the worst thing you can do is to make your child feel worried about the whole thing.
· Your child will be delighted when he or she succeeds and a little praise from you will make it better still, but don’t make a big deal of it and don’t use sweets as a reward. You may end up causing more problems than you solve.
When the time’s right, your child will want to use the potty.