Diaper to Potty – the emotional story.

Parents side of story – Pressure to ensure that my toddler grows out of diapers… literally like come on now Grow! Grow! You are now going to be going to school and we need to do all main jobs at home. I don’t want school to complain, they expect some basic training before you go there. Phew!

Children side of story – Moving from diapers to the potty is a big step, may be first few experiences of me being independent. And doing it all by self is challenging. So far, I was doing it all without any announcement and now you want me aware and announce? Really! What is the need to rush? Diapers work fine.

Since both stories are different, there are bound to have some hitches and this can be emotionally demanding. Bach Remedies can work well for both children and parents and alleviate them from the trials and tribulations they may be going through.

And as every story the characters of our story – Parent and Child, and the plot is ‘Potty Training’ the following usual scenes of conflict, both the characters may grapple with.

Conflict 1 – Parent: I am ready! Child: I am indifferent!

As a parent you may be excited to potty train but your child is not interested, or not even aware that they need to be trained. The looming pressure of pre-school is hovering around the parent, while the child is not bothered simply because he/she does not know what’s the big deal about the pre-school or being potty trained.

Conflict 2 – Parent: I taught you Child: I missed it  

It is not uncommon for the child to just miss the alarm till last minute rush to the toilet. And here we are in middle of the pathway with an accident – well a potty accident. And all this after many days of training can be frustrating for the parent, and the child may too have bag full of feelings. 

Conflict 3 – Parent: What is so scary? Child: I am scared

To a small child the standard toilet seat can be intimidating, even when you provide them with a baby seat. The child may find the whole experience scary, while as parent you may be constantly comforting and telling them that you will hold and you won’t let them fall and they are safe. But the fear of the seat and sometimes the noise of rapid flushing can create an aversion in their mind towards the whole process.

Conflict 4 – Parent: Wash hand and flush Child: I can’t remember all

Successfully using the toilet is more than being on seat in time. Child needs to wash the hands, flush the toilet, etc. more from hygiene and health perspective but the child may forget to follow through the routine and as parent to keep reminding can be frustrating. 

Conflict 5 – Parent: You wet the bed Child: Give me diaper for night

It is possible that the child has mastered the toilet training during the day time but somehow during the night he/she does not show the same skill as a result the bed gets wet. As parent you may want them to develop the sensation to know that they need to use the toilet and you are fine to accompany them for their trip. Once in a way if bedwetting happens and it could just be an accident but if it is regular feature even after being fully trained during the day, then there me some psychological issues the child may be facing. As a parent it will be good idea to be observant about it, rather than getting frustrated about it.

Conflict 6 – Parent: We must move forward Child: I want to go back

When anything causes stress, anyway could want to return to comfort zone. Same way, if the child finds the whole process stressful, he/she may insist to go back to the diaper days. As a parent it may feel very disappointing that all the effort made to train is going in the drain because the child wants to go back to olden days. But from the child’s perspective the fear, anxiety, or may be overwhelming pressure is not allowing him/ her to move forward.

Some of the following Bach Remedies can be helpful to both parent as well as the child manage this emotional story.

For child

Walnut to make the transition easy. Crab Apple when child has a feeling of disgust towards this bodily function. Crab Apple is also a cleansing remedy and can help in constipation. Mimulus for the known fears – fear of toilet seat, rapid noise of flush, etc. Gentian for the discouragement after a toilet accident. Clematis if heavy sleeping is the cause for bed wetting. Agrimony when cheerful child keep worries to self – like hiding the wet bed or wet clothes. Centaury when being bullied is the reason for worry continues in the night. Vervain for children who are so engrossed in what they are doing that not want to attend to nature’s call. Vine for those who stubbornly refuse to use the potty, perhaps they may act like a rebellion. Chestnut bud when fail to learn from a past mistake or keep the repeating mistake. Rock Rose when child is terrified of something and perhaps causing nightmare, thus resulting in bedwetting. Cherry Plum if many feelings have been kept inside waiting to explode and thus resulting in bedwetting.

For parent

Larch when you doubt your ability as a parent. Cerato when you doubt your judgement on best way to get going, instead keep seeking advice. Mimulus when you are afraid that baby will cry again.  Cherry plum when you feel under immense pressure and think you will not be able to control your actions. Impatiens when you get irritated and impatient by the slowness you have to deal with. White Chestnut when you feel fixated on the subject of toilet training and can’t stop thinking about it. Vine when you keep being stricter and insistent that the child uses toilet in a particular manner which leads to only tears and fights. Centaury when you only say yes to most all the things child says.  Gentian when you feel discouraged after a toilet accident and doubt if you will ever succeed. Willow when you feel like a victim. Elm when you doubt your ability to cope. Holly when you are so angry that you constantly shout at him/ her. Red chestnut when you are constantly worried about your child’s progress. Olive because you are exhausted.

Feelings witnessed by each parent and child may be different hence it is important to not generalise, but to create a personalised mix as may be necessary. (Note: one must make a personal blend after consulting a BFRP (Bach Foundation Registered Practitioner)

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