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a hand holding a diaper nappy

Some people are just downright shiftless and lazy. Or they just can’t be bothered. It seems. What’s upset J.A. now? I’ll tell ya. Children being sent to school in nappies. Say what? And what’s more, parents think it’s the teacher’s role to be changing nappies and toilet training their kids during school time. I am sure that when people go to university to train as teachers, changing nappies and toilet training wasn’t on the curriculum.

So, what the heck is going on here? Reception class starts at age four. Do you mean to tell me that at age four children are not toilet trained? And what’s more, parents expect the teachers to do what should be parents’ responsibility, by not only toilet training but also changing nappies. What are the odds that the parents involved are the young: and the entitled, snowflake generation who need trigger warnings for Jane Austen and the like? Maybe changing nappies and toilet training leave them traumatised.

A recent survey by Kindred₂, an early-years charity, found that 50% of parents thought that toilet training was not their sole responsibility. I guess they think the other 50% is for teachers. And what’s more, quite a lot of them feel that children do not need to be out of nappies before starting school. Where are they getting this from? Who told them this? 

Children should be able to use the toilet by the age of three, experts say, unless they have special education needs. When my son went to nursery at two, he had to be out of nappies. Or the nursery wouldn’t have him. I worked like a trojan to get him toilet trained, out of nappies and into nursery. He did me proud!

Do you know how much teaching time is wasted on helping children who are not toilet trained? I’ll tell ya. A lot. Two and a half hours per day. This has a knock-on effect on how much time and attention teachers can give to all pupils. That time is taken away from those children whose parents put the effort in, do their parenting duty and not expect others to clean up for them.

I believe that schools should have a checklist of what is required of children when they start school. And top of the list should be that they are toilet trained. And if after, say, the first couple of days it’s apparent that they are not, then parents should be asked to remove their children, toilet train them and when they are so trained, they can return to school.

A recent survey of 1,500 adults found that a large majority of them (90%) believe children should not be allowed in school if they are not toilet trained and know how to use the toilet. What’s more, in not being toilet trained, children are likely to wet and/or soil themselves in class. Think of the humiliation for a small child. After such an incident, many would not wish to return to school and that could lead to further problems down the line.

In addition, experts say that the development level of children at 22 months, and that includes being toilet trained, is a strong predictor of their educational outcomes at age 26. So, there you have it! Ergo, to the parents who abdicate their toilet training responsibilities – think on! As they say up north!

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