July 24, 2008

Toilet habits

A certain someone once told me this when Kyle was a month old, 'You must potty train him when he is able to sit up by himself. My son was trained at about 8 months old and he was able to tell me when he wanted to go.' Few thoughts that crossed my mind when I first heard those words; Your son's physical impulses must be extremely advanced or you are just a very well trained mother...

Thank goodness that she does not have influence over how I bring up my child. As I cannot imagine how much unnecessary stress that I will be putting Kyle and myself through, if I ever attempt to start potty training him at 6 months. I will have turned into a toilet-obsessed and well trained mother to ensure that Kyle sits on the potty every two hours.

This topic of toilet training toddlers was brought up during a recent child development class on Tuesday.
Lecturer : 'When do you think a child can be toilet trained?'
Me : 'I heard of mothers who start training their child at 6 months.'
Lecturer : 'Oh that's too early...'
Classmate : 'My mom started training my daughter at 1 month,'
Lecturer (horrified expression): 'Oh my, so early? So was she really trained?'
Classmate : 'I think so, she stopped wearing diapers from 8 months.'
Lecturer : 'Actually a child is not ready till 2 plus. If you believe in Freud's theory, you may be potentially moulding a child with personality extremes.'

That's an interesting comment from someone who has 20+ experience in child development, has 2 children of her own and hold a masters in early childhood education.

Mothers who seemed to have trained their child at infancy, merely have caught the child's reflective release of urine or bowel movement at the convenient time. Toilet training is best introduced to the child after that few months following the second birthday when the child can identify the signals of a full bladder and can hold their muscles impulse.

So I rather be one to listen to knowledgeable advice rather than 'old wives wisdom' or experience. As for the part on Freud's theory, if parents insists on training their child before the/she is ready or make too few demands when the child show signs of readiness. The child may experience conflicts about anal control thatmay appear in the form of personality traits of extreme orderliness and cleanliness or messiness or disorder.

Either way, I really do not wish to be the catalyst for this sort of personality development in Kyle, moreover, I don't think I am knowledgeable enough to question Freud's theory (Freud = the 'father' of human psychology theories). So I will hold off toilet training till after 2 and Kyle's potty can be another item added to his collection of filling and dumping containers for now.


Ultra Cool Mama said...

Wow! I'm SO glad to hear this!!! I've actually been living in guilt for the pass few months thinking that I'm such a terrible mother not being able to toilet train my daughter who is 18 months old. sigh!! My MIL is the source of it. She'll give me grief whenever she see me or hear me buying diapers! Thanks for the heads up!

Rachel said...

Hi ultra cool mama,

Thanks for dropping by.

The older folks somehow are always in a big hurry to toilet train kids. Must be due to the tediousness of washing cloth nappies in the past.

Anyhow, being modern mummies, I think we ought not to rush nature's timing for our kids.

Share with me your little girl's toilet training experience after she turns 2. Good to learn some tips from a mom who is more experienced.