Has your child ever forgotten to go to the toilet? Mine has and it turns out it’s quite a common issue, especially for kids on the Autism Spectrum or that have ADHD.
It is often caused by the ‘hyperfocus’ that children can have particularly when they are enjoying themselves. They either don’t recognise the need to go as their brain isn’t clued into the signals very well or they put off going because they want just a little longer doing what they are doing.
So when one parent asked for a ‘toilet’ mission magnet I thought that’s probably good idea.
Since having it as an option alot of parents have added it to their list. I have one on my fridge and my daughter has said when she sees it ‘hmm I don’t think I need to go but I’ll go anyway’ (it’s first thing in the morning so of course she needs to go lol) then I hear a little voice from bathroom ‘Yep, I did need to go!!!’
What can you do to if your child often leaves going to the toilet too late?
Try and implement lots of routine times to go such as before meals, always before they leave the house and before they commence screen time/watch TV or start a new activity etc. With screen time make sure your child knows how to pause their game or the TV if possible. This helps to set good habits so that going to the toilet becomes a regular part of the day.
Also put a visual reminder up, this can of course be a Mission Magnet but can also just be a paper print put up in your house where it can be seen and remind. Visual reminders with a simple picture work best as they trigger the mind quicker and easier than words.
You can also help your child to remember, perhaps even set an alarm on your phone. With younger children suggest they go to the toilet even if they don’t feel like and let them know that if nothing happens it doesn’t matter it’s just getting them the habit of going. Sticker charts are also great for younger children.
If your child does have an accident try to stay calm and not make too much of a fuss. Chances are they are already distressed by the situation and you getting frustrated or angry will only add to their anxiety. Just focus on setting up better routines so it doesn’t happen again.