It certainly seems that kids over here in the UK aren’t. More and more children are still in nappies/diapers at the age of five when they start primary school which means that teachers and other school staff are spending less time teaching and carrying out their employment duties, but taking on a “nanny role”.
The problem doesn’t just stop with children not being toilet trained. School staff say that even the most basic life skills are lacking in many school age children. Some are unable to change their clothes for gym classes or indeed take off and put on coats unaided.
A lot of teachers say that parents these days don’t train their children because they’d rather pass the buck and feel it is an “education” issue and so should be dealt with by teachers. Other teachers feel that parents are too busy with their own lives to spend the necessary time teaching their children these basic skills.
A poll has recently taken place in the UK by Education and Resources for Improving Childhood Continence and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers whereby 850 primary school teachers were targeted. Of those 850 teachers, around 66% of them said there had been an increase in the number of pupils wetting or soiling themselves throughout school hours, and an incredible 71% working with kindergarten children (aged 3-5) had noticed an increase. In fact, some schools even felt the need to set up parenting workshops to teach mums and dads how to toilet train their kids!
Of the teachers that were taking part in the poll, one said that there were three incontinent children in his/her classroom and it was necessary for nappies to be changed sometimes up to nine times a day. Another said that with disposable nappies becoming more absorbent children don’t feel uncomfortable so they don’t feel any need to hold back when nature calls! Others commented that, in general, children were becoming less independent and needed help with the most basic tasks.
Back in the 1960s when I was born, it was recommended that children should be potty trained as soon as they could sit up relatively unsupported. Parents across the UK were encouraged by GPs and midwives to place a potty on a towel on their laps and then the child should be placed on the potty facing the adult. Each time the child managed to go to the toilet then he or she should be rewarded with smiles, cuddles, kisses and kind words! Once the child was strong enough to support him/herself safely then the potty should be moved onto the floor but still the child should receive encouragement. Eventually the child should learn that it’s good to use a potty.