When everything seems to be going smoothly and you are about to give the leftover diapers to friends and relatives who are still in the tunnel, suddenly you might hear a little voice saying: "I made it on ...". Don't panic: it can happen that even after the age of 4 children poo over themselves. But how can we try to "counter" this inconvenience?
"There is no precise rule," he explains Roberta Rubbino, psychologist and psychotherapist, responsible for the Developmental Age area at the AT Beck Institute. "THEThe potty is one of the most important achievements in a child's development. In general, girls acquire sphincter control at about second year of age, while the boys al third year. However, these "deadlines" must be taken as general guidelines: each child has his own life story and his own times ».
1. From the book to the potty
“You can start by introducing the potty as a game and not as an imposition or a challenge to be overcome in the shortest possible time ». Some books on the market are an excellent help to bring the child closer to this goal: «understand through short illustrated stories the benefits of using the potty or the toilet and discovering the various types of poo will make the topic lighter and create a moment of sharing between child and parent. Let us remember that the child does not know why he has to do it, since the diaper has been one of his most faithful companions since he was born: he has the right to know why he has to change ».Read also: Spannolinare: 5 truths that no one has ever dared to tell you
2. Learn by watching
“Whatever you want to teach children, remember that learning by imitation it is a fundamental aspect. Sitting on the toilet and showing how to use it will be an excellent incentive to use the reducer which must have a rise to help the child reach the toilet. Furthermore, placing the feet on the ground facilitates the sphincter thrust ».
3. Reward with a smile
Let's remember to gratify our baby. "Smile, clap, congratulate with the child whenever he has been able to use his "new friend" is a fundamental step not only to strengthen its use but also to cultivate that sense of self-efficacy that will be so useful once they grow up. If the child succeeds, it is good reward him with compliments or applause. Buying toys would risk creating the association "potty equals gift" in the child, which should not be encouraged ».
Read also: How to remove the diaper in three days
4. Be patient
Switching from diaper to potty isn't always a walk in the park. “Parents who are preparing to live the experience must first be aware that the path may include obstacles, so it is good to have patience and perseverance. This is why it is not recommended to decide to take the “big step” in stressful situations such as the birth of a new brother, moving house, change of job. Even if the 18-24 month deadline has arrived, if parents are not physically and psychologically ready to help their child in this fundamental stage of development, waiting will not be the end of the world. Complete sphincter control is a slow and gradual transition: only around 4 years of age does the child learn to contract and release the sphincter muscle at will ".Read also: Taking off the diaper: when is the right time?
5. When to seek help from experts
If we are occasionally called by the teacher because our son has poo all over him, we don't have to worry. "It may happen that a particular event or situation generates in the child what is commonly defined"regression attitude'. The move to a new home, the transition from kindergarten to elementary school or even the wait for his birthday can shake the little one, who can react in this way. Often the child is ashamed of what he has done and tends to withdraw. We must reassure him without making him weigh what happened».
However, if the episodes begin to be frequent, the child could suffer from encopresi. This term refers to the repeated involuntary or voluntary evacuation of stool child older than 4 years in inappropriate places and situations, such as on the floor or with your clothes on. First of all, gastrointestinal diseases or chronic constipation, which could cause this disorder, must be ruled out.
"If the cause of the problem is not organic, the psychologist can help to understand the reasons for this behavior". The child, in fact, tends to involuntarily retain the stool that comes out when he least expects it, also causing abdominal pain and loss of appetite.
In any case the parent he must never scold the child. "The reprimand certainly does not encourage the child to do better and, if continued over time, could give rise to negative feelings in him up to push him to hold on to the poop again. Talking together about what happened in a peaceful, harmonious and encouraging context will help the child and parent to understand the dynamics of the event and to choose possible solutions together ".
- remove the diaper
- 1-2 children years