Using the toilet for elimination is a major step in taking responsibility for oneself, and provides an important opportunity for the development of autonomy and independence, as well as a boost to self-esteem. An important first step in showing readiness for school is to be able to control one’s bodily functions i.e. being toilet trained. Physical and emotional readiness are factors that affect the toilet training process. Please review and consider the following points:
- Your child must be toilet trained and may not wear diapers or pull-ups to school.
- Your child is toilet trained when he/she: knows they have to go to the bathroom and follows through with this process; can take down and pull up clothing independently; is able to wipe him/herself; is able to flush the toilet and wash hands afterwards. Your child may need a few months in order to achieve this milestone and to be fully comfortable with this new rhythm and routine of life.
- If your child shows little interest in using the toilet, it is best to delay school entrance and allow for this to develop at home without the pressure of school life. Another option would be to place the child in a program where there are provisions for diaper changing, if this seems suitable for your child. Clothing can either facilitate or impede the progress the child makes towards mastery. Loose fitting clothing your child can easily manage, without help, is the most suitable when using the toilet. Avoid belts, difficult zippers, buttons, and hard-to-pull-up leggings or tights.
- If your child has a medical problem regarding elimination, it is very important to discuss this as soon as possible with the classroom team.
- Should it become apparent that your child is not able to exercise control and cannot use the toilet, it may be in the child’s best interest to be withdrawn from school for a while to allow for time at home for mastery of this skill to develop.
- We want your child to be successful and begin school with a smooth transition. When the toileting milestone has been achieved, the child is ready to fully participate in the program.
We ask that you adhere to the following requirements:
- Children need to wear underwear–no diapers or pull-ups to school.
- Dress children in loose-fitting clothing they can manage themselves.
- Teach your child how to wipe when using the toilet, and be sure to check when the child gets home if additional wiping is needed. We do not wipe children, however, we will guide him/her through the process in a supportive way. The ultimate goal will be to enable them to take charge of themselves. We know they can do it!
- Talk to your child about using the bathroom at school and feeling comfortable asking for help if there is a problem regarding matters of elimination. Reassure your child that the teachers are here to assist with learning and will not be angry when they are asked for help.
As always, please remember that we are available to discuss this matter with you and will be happy to do so. If there is a problem, together we can find the solution that best fits your child.