Children all develop toileting skills at varied times and communication skills are vital to this process. Many children will follow simple instructions best when supported with a visual cue. This could be an object of reference e.g. “toilet time” and then show your child an object which would represent this. This approach can be used with a photograph, sign, or visual card too. Visual toileting strips in the bathroom area can help a child to remember what are the next steps, this can be at the side of the toilet area.
Social stories can help increase understanding of the toileting process and help to build upon understanding of what will happen next. There are many social stories which can be purchased and individualised to the child and also many character story books are available in many book shops.
Children with bladder and/or bowel problems cannot always rely on a good signal telling them they need to go to the toilet. In order to get the wee and poo in the toilet they need a regular toileting routine. Children tend to not spend enough time on the toilet and can hop on and off without concentrating on what they should be doing. It is important that your child feels comfortable and relaxed when using the toilet. Use a foot rest that is high enough that your child’s knees are slightly above the hips. Correct positioning helps to relax the muscles that support comfortably and easy passage of stools.
We all need to be motivated to make behaviour changes so our children will need the same. You can see in your child’s face, their smile and their eyes that children respond to praise. Giving your child positive feedback is a key part to help your child manage constipation. Download the chart here.
A sticker chart is an easy way to reward your child’s positive behaviours. The idea is that there are specific toileting goals represented by different animals on the Potty Chart. Once they have reached the animal they put a stick on the woodland toilet trail. Every time they reach an animal on the Potty Chart they get a small reward such as:
Not all children will respond to toileting charts and rewards, if that is the case for your child we have a variety of resources we can share. Visual social stories can often be helpful and you can try tailored rewards for children with additional needs.