Parenting can be confronting sometimes, I remember coming home from hospital with Mitch, my first child and feeling excited but nervous, inadequate and unprepared too. These feelings revisited many times and still drop by from time to time…..I wished for that magic knowledge – didn’t your DNA mean you would just know! Well, I learnt quickly that was a no! Each new thing Mitch did was not only a challenge for him but often a challenge for me too – how could I best help, what did I need to do. Like I said, I don’t think you ever completely escape that. I sought out good support and good advice, sometimes I found it and sometimes I didn’t.
A couple of years back I was having a conversation with my sister, a Maternal and Child Health nurse of many years about the uncertainty and anxiety of parents being expressed to her about toilet training.
My journey as a educating professional has included many years of training people across a whole range of sectors as well as many years of study to understand how people learn so teaching and training is most effective and successful. I understand how people learn.
I’m not one who hears about an issue and can let it go when I know I can make a difference. I knew immediately when talking with Anne that my skills and knowledge about learning and skill development could take the pressure out of toilet training.
It makes so much sense to understand a skill like using a toilet in a learning framework – we all learnt the same way we learnt how to ride a bike. People may have tried to teach it differently but we all learnt it the same way!
We had a look at what was out there to help parents and we found it confusing, overwhelming, difficult, unsubstantiated and in some cases – just awful.
I felt challenged and compelled to do something to help, to change what appeared to be for many, an anxious and difficult time into a rewarding and successful time.
Toilet Training Educators was born…….I designed the toilet training continuum, overlaying the way we learn with stages children pass through when learning to use the toilet. We also incorporated our knowledge of the development stages of children and our combined years of experience in Maternal and Child Health and Education.
Its so satisfying to watch parents realize that they have a plan that they can relate to, to see them explore where their child is at in the continuum and have everything suddenly make sense and to understand that learning anything is a process and it can be helped along but it needs to unfold. The pressure lifts and confidence in their plan, themselves and their child moves in.
We understand that everyone’s doing the best they know how too, us too – I love it that everyone does better through understanding with a clear action pathway – that’s what we do and what we’ll continue to do.