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How can I helpDD1 who starts reception in September and is terrified of using public toilets?? Long post sorry!

(2 Posts)
Rose50 Wed 06-Jul-11 15:52:09

Hello, not sure if this is the right section to post this in but here goes!
My dd1 is 4.2 and will start reception in September. Ever since I can remember she has had a fear of going to the toilet when we're out of the home. At home she happily goes to the loo by herself, but she still uses a trainer seat.
I think it started when she came to the toilets at a soft play centre with me once when I was pg with dd2. She was still in nappies but I took her with me, and it was a small toilet with the sink and hand drier in the toilet. The hand drier was very noisy and very sensitive and went off each time you brushed past it!!! This freaked her out (she's not great with loud noises anyway!). After that she used to panic each time I needed to use a public toilet. I've got a weak bladder at the best of times but when I was pregnant it was even worse!

She goes to pre-school in the mornings and has never been to the loo there. She is there for 3 hours so as long as we visit the loo before we leave the house she seems to be ok. She doesn't go very often during the day anyway, even at home.

Today the children at pre-school were all going on a trip so before they left they did a "toilet run". The pre-school leader told me DD1 got very upset and refused to go - they didn't make a fuss about it and she was ok when she was out (no little accidents!)

My concern is how she is going to cope when she start reception in September, as she will obviously be there for the full day and will need to go to the toilet at school We had our first visit yesterday to the primary school and we went to look at the toilets together - it was a real struggle to even get her to go in. The toilets, which I think are only used by reception children, has a hand drier.

I really have to force her to go when we're out and she panics the whole time we are in there. I have to hold her over the seat and she clings on to me for dear life. She also puts her fingers in her ears as soon as we go in, and begs me not to flush until she has left. As soon as we're done she runs out! From what I can gather from the little information she gives to me - she's scared of the various noises and of sitting on the big seat.

I'm going to ask from advice from her new reception teacher, but just wanted to know if anyone had any ideas of how to help her conquer her fear. I don't want this to affect the way she settles at "big school"

Thanks and apologies for the long post!

Amaretti Wed 06-Jul-11 15:59:53

Take it a step at a time, but do something every day. Start by going into a loo and washing hands, then coming out, every day for a week <yawn> and tell her you're practising so that she can use other loos. Don't mention school at all. Then go in, wash hands and use the drier, for another week <I know>. Then go into the cubicle, sit down on the seat but don't use the loo, wash hands, leave. Repeat until she can actually use the loo. You may also have to remove the trainer seat at home.

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