- Family and Parenting
Toilets and Kids
What is this infatuation with this piece of plumbing?
Let us delve into this curious phenomenon that most times 'temporarily' plagues many parents. However if you have a special needs kid it can be an ongoing drama...... as if potty training wasn't enough of a challenge.
This is not an activity restricted to boys, girls can be equally as curious. Whether it's a budding genius who is discovering 'cause and effect' or a deeply sensitive child who is exploring water therapy.
To do with our budding earth angels I believe the kids are having a type of calming, interactive, Feng Shui thing going on,( that is calming until they get caught and yelled at). This experience can be likened to the zen gardens that you can get where you get your little rake and rake the sand. These kids are in fact getting in touch with nature and the flow of water...it's just a pity about the source. The fact it's the same place we poo and wee is of little to no concern of theirs...just their protective parents who don't want them to catch any faeces related diseases and don't want them expanding their horizons to public loo's.
Then there's the fascination with seeing objects being flushed away like mobile phones or washed vigorously like the family pet, coincidentally if they're trying to flush the pet repeatedly they shouldn't have one until they develop empathy which some special needs children will struggle with forever.
What You Can Do?
Divert the attention away from the toilet by providing a water play alternative and of course make sure you supervise. Clean, plastic, storage containers or small paddle pools are great, add different size containers and a plastic jug if you have one.
Don't add soap because, a) your child will probably drink the water and b) because it may detract from the sensory play and learning about capacity, fluidity and floatation. Get down with them and get them to have a chat about what they are doing, if they're nonverbal talk to them, kids love interactive words like 'splash' and if you can think of some silly songs all the better.
Small example of what you can set up as an alternative.
Calm Your Farm
You're best 'not to react' when catching your kids, particularly the ones with behavioral issues. Kids with behavioral issues are attention, seeking, sponges so they don't rationalize between a positive and negative reaction to them its a "reaction", that's why its so important to immediately redirect them (after you've cleaned them up) and then use positive feedback when they're onto the next good activity.
We had the self inflected drama of living with my in-laws for awhile and although the house was cordoned off into their side and our side of the house. The in-laws could still hear "me" apparently.
What they could in fact hear was me yelling every time I found my autistic son merrily splashing his feet in the toilet bowl (not always a fresh bowl either). Unfortunately screaming in horror after a particular incident put my son off using the toilet altogether, so it was back to square one with the whole toilet training thing. I did in fact manage to stifle a yell after catching him throwing a pooey pants over the patio fence and sticking like glue to the side of his fathers boat....I renamed the boat WhoFlungDung but kept that to myself.
What toileting incidents have you had to endure? Feel free to comment and share below.