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Article in the Telegraph about kids starting school and not being potty trained.

(228 Posts)
wintera Sun 02-Aug-09 22:01:20

I read this in the paper this morning and thought it was an interesting article.

www.telegraph.co.uk/education/primaryeducation/5956231/Pupils-start-school-still-in-nappies.html

thegrammerpolice Sun 02-Aug-09 22:09:41

Wow I really would not be happy with my mum if I were the seven year old daughter. I hope her school friends don't read that (not that I imagine many seven year olds read the Torygraph grin)

scrappydappydoo Sun 02-Aug-09 22:22:29

Erm - could be just me but am i the only one thinking that the 7 year old has some health issues?? I mean if you're still wetting aged 7 - then surely there must be something else going on and you should be consulting a doctor rather then talking to the telegraph??

wintera Sun 02-Aug-09 22:40:03

My daughter starts school in Sep this year but she will be one of the youngest in the class as she only turns 4 next week. She has been absolutely wonderful since being toilet trained at 2.2 and hasn't wore a nappy at night for ages either. The only thing I am concerned about is that as she is only just 4, she still isn't wiping her bottom properly at the moment. My Mum says it will be ok and her body will adjust by going in the morning or later on, as she reckons most kids don't have a poo in school! I just worry she will be left uncomfortable if she still isn't wiping her bum properly by the time she starts school. Anyone else got this problem? At what age should they be able to wipe their bums properly ????

Sidge Sun 02-Aug-09 22:40:12

I am hmm at the inference in that article that a lack of on-site school nurses means that teachers and TAs are disputing whose responsibility it is to change children's nappies.

As a school nurse I don't remember 'changing nappies' being in my job description! (not my nursing one anyway, I know it's in my mum one)

I agree with some of the points made re modern nappies and parents being child-led in toilet training.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Sun 02-Aug-09 22:44:29

They need to give 'appropriate training' to change a nappy???

My best friend is a teacher, they do prevent children from starting school because they are still in nappies. I fail to see how not training a child to use a toilet is covered by the disability discrimination act!

Sidge Sun 02-Aug-09 22:53:53

FBGB the idea behind the DDA is that achieving continence is for many children a developmental and physiological stage, so not allowing a child access to nursery/school on the basis that they haven't yet achieved that stage is discriminatory.

(I'm no expert by the way, it's just how it has been explained to me)

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Sun 02-Aug-09 22:57:59

But parents not taking the time to do this doesn't mean that the child is developmental or physically behind it's peers. I trained as a paeds nurse, I've seen 5 year olds being pushed about in buggy's and still in nappies because their parents sadi "it's easier" hmm

maggievirgo Sun 02-Aug-09 23:03:01

That's funny. Julie Henry cobbled that article together quite quickly. She was looking for people's stories about potty training her the other day, but she didn' say that the flavour of the article would be hopeless parents who were too busy/lazy to train their hopeless children, oh what a world we live in!

FlorenceandtheWashingMachine Sun 02-Aug-09 23:05:04

I agree, Sidge. My DD couldn't start at our chosen school in nursery year as she was still in nappies despite our best efforts. DD had a very rough start in life and just didn't get there despite my best efforts and support from our health visitors.

Our council are working with schools to improve things here. The 'lazy parenting' theory simply doesn't apply to all kids.

Sidge Sun 02-Aug-09 23:06:42

Oh I agree, there needs to be some sort of assessment to ensure that those children in nappies are in them because they need to be, not just because the parents can't be arsed!

To refuse a child entry to school for being in nappies when the parent has tried to promote continence is unacceptable IMO; the child shouldn't be denied an education due to problems with toilet training.

I remember watching a programme (Supernanny? blush) where a mum had 5 year old twins in nappies at night as she just couldn't face trying to help them be dry. That's not on, but it's a shame that the child is penalised for the parents' laziness/cluelessness - ideally someone should have offered support before the child started school but if the parent doesn't seek help it's a difficult one.

Wonderstuff Sun 02-Aug-09 23:13:02

I really think that this article is making it seem to be a much bigger issue than it really is. I am a secondary mainstream special needs teacher. I know of one child starting at primary in sept who is in nappies, I believe he has other health issues, and that is the only time I have ever heard of it happening, the primary senco has never had to deal with it before, we have about 6 feeder schools so it is really very rare.

Special schools obv. are different and do deal with this. I guess as special school places get harder to fill and more children with complex needs go to mainstream it may start to happen more often as the person from Voice says. I find it odd that LEA's don't have a policy drawn up already for special schools that can't simply be transfered to mainstream.

If my 7 year old was incontinent I would be at the doctors demanding some investigation. I wouldn't be talking to the Telegraph, however much I wanted to plug my website.

epithet Sun 02-Aug-09 23:13:15

Yes, wintera, my dd2 is just 4 and has trouble wiping her bottom - though we have made progress this week and she at least tries. But I'm not happy at the thought she might be spending long periods at school in skiddy knickers! This all fits in with my firm belief that she is too young to start school at all, though, which might not help.

Wrt nappies - a friend's son (just turned 5) has had a lot of trouble potty training - but he has had a very traumatic couple of years. I would certainly hope that his problems won't be the cause of rolled eyes and heavy sighs in the staffroom.

MollieO Sun 02-Aug-09 23:16:06

I 'took the time' to potty train ds but only succeeded just before he started school and we had a number of very unpleasant incidents once he was at school. Nothing he or I could do about it as it was down to his delayed development. If I had to send him to school in a nappy I would and I would expect his teachers to change it too. Would actually have been easier than what they did have to deal with. Fortunately his teachers were wonderfully supportive and realised it wasn't down to any laziness on either mine or ds' part.

Wonderstuff Sun 02-Aug-09 23:16:20

I remember that Supernanny sidge the poor kids were mortified that they had to wear nappies at night, the mum was a doctor iirc.

mumblechum Sun 02-Aug-09 23:17:56

If they're five, they should be able to change their own nappies, surely? hmm

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Sun 02-Aug-09 23:20:58

Pull up pants are easy for a child to change themselves. There's no point in using nappies. I can't see where the problem would be if all they needed to do was pull them down and put a dry pair on. Most children can do this.

wintera Sun 02-Aug-09 23:23:51

epithet - My daughter tries to wipe her own bum too but seems to end up wiping it across her bum or up her back instead! I am also worried she will be sat in school with skiddy knickers. Oh the joys!!

However she has never ever had an accident since potty training and stopped wearing a night time nappy ages ago as it was always dry in the morning. So we just stopped using them.

Quattrocento Sun 02-Aug-09 23:35:41

I'm a bit hardline about parents being lazy about toilet-training their children. Frankly there is no excuse for children without special needs turning up at school not being toilet-trained.

It's getting noticeably worse, as well. More and more people give me the line that little Perry/xanthe just aren't ready.

And it makes me want to slap them, really it does. You just have to work at it. Parents will happily toilet-train their dogs, but they willingly fork out shedloads of cash to nappy companies to avoid toilet training their children.

It's utterly bonkers. Just train them, goddammit and let teachers get on with teaching.

mumblechum Sun 02-Aug-09 23:39:15

I heart you Quattro, you often say what I think but am afraid to say!

mumblechum Sun 02-Aug-09 23:39:52

Wintera, could lyou send your dd in with a pack of those wet wipes?

FlorenceandtheWashingMachine Mon 03-Aug-09 09:22:58

Quatrrocentro, I think that it's truly awful if it's down to laziness. I wouldn't want anybody to have to clean up my child because I didn't persist with toilet training. I think that if parents are not bothering then it is a form of neglect.

However, a refusal to have strategies for dealing with problems is wrong in my opinion. Is it right for a four year old to be left to sit in her own mess for perhaps an hour while her mother drives back from her job to clean her up? Luckily my DD is now totally fine, but this is what I was told would happen at two out of the three schools I approached. Her consultant said that she was delayed in toilet training, but still just within the normal boundaries when she started nursery (she was three and three months) and yet two schools said that they treat her like this.

I was really shocked. I don't expect any teacher to stop teaching to change my child, but if schools are taking on three year olds per year then they should have the facilities and staff in place to cope with that. Even toilet trained kids suffer from accidents.

alardi Mon 03-Aug-09 09:28:19

Typical Telegraph, bashing modern parenting (do they take lessons from the DM?) hmm. I love the way they managed to throw in how the mother working full-time might be a big factor in a not-toilet-trained child. angry No mention of what the child's FATHER does all day, is there?

The woman featured in the article (Debbie Bird) said that she had sobbed over the difficulties in t-training her daughter, that doesn't sound like lazy parenting to me.

A friend had similar problems with her DD; when her DD was 7yo doctors finally found some abnormalities in the child's bowels; surgery corrected what might have been labeled as parenting laziness.

Plenty of healthy normal children are still in nappies at night at age 7+.

There was a girl in nappies in DD's reception class; looked "normal" and very bright (top stream for literacy subsequently). I think she had sensory issues, not easily described or identified.

But the Telegraph would probably label stuff like Dyspraxia or DAMP or ADHD as "Lazy parenting", too angry.

Nettee Mon 03-Aug-09 09:38:09

Quattrocento - that is easy to say if your children trained before they went to school however hard you had to work at it and however long it took. The mother of the 7 year old sounds like she has been working hard at toilet training since the child was 18 months old. Parents tear their hair out trying to train children who aren't ready - it really isn't lasyness, it is luck. I am sure a 7 year old would want to be dry in the day and there must be some delay or medical problem. Night time dryness is all related to the production of a hormone which some people don't produce enough of until they are older

I would compare it to fussy eating and good sleeping - easy to say that a routine or a wide range of food from weaning are the answers until your child is the one who is unsettled all night or will only eat toast.

maggievirgo Mon 03-Aug-09 10:31:33

quattrocentro. you sound like my mum. she kept hounding me to toilet train dc2, so eventually I said, right you do it. when she was fed up cleaning up shit she said, er, you might have been right. NOW, he's toilet trained. But fgs, I knew he wasn't ready! He'll have been toilet trained for about 2 full years by the time he starts school (at nearly five and a half)

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