Do you want to wean your child off his diapers? Do you need a toilet training readiness assessment? This critical decision affects your child also on an emotional level. Premature weaning, before the child is ready, affects his self-esteem and coping ability.
By analyzing his drawings, we will be able to help you determine whether your child is emotionally mature enough to start weaning. Do not throw him into this crucial developmental stage without proper professional guidance!
The decision to wean the child off his diapers is sometimes made by the child and in other by the parent. The parent usually initiates the weaning process before moving into a new home, the birth of a baby brother or just because it’s summer…
Often, when the parent initiates the process, this has nothing to do with the child’s readiness. By analyzing her drawings you will be able to assess whether she is mature enough to start the weaning process. Since weaning is not a one-time event, but continues over a period of time, it has moments of progress alongside moments of regression.
We therefore recommend analyzing drawings made over a long period of time in order to make an accurate assessment.
How to decide?
Primarily, the child has to develop awareness of his body and particularly, of typical sensations prior to urinating or defecating. In other words, he has to associate his need to evacuate with actually doing so. Afterwards, the child has to be able to perform a sequence of tasks – call his parents’ attention, go to the toilet or potty, take off his trousers/her dress and underwear, evacuate, etc. Some children find some of these tasks more difficult than others.
When weaning off diapers, it is important to provide positive reinforcements at every stage of the process: “You felt like doing poo-poo and now you’ve done it!”; “It’s great that you peed in the potty! Soon you’ll be able to pee in the toilet!”; “Never mind if you missed, I’m sure you will make it next time…”
The girl who made these drawings is 4 years old. Her parents reported that she had been weaned from day wetting but then regressed all of a sudden. When comparing her drawings over a period of three months, we can see that she began to draw figures and progress towards the schematic phase. Just two weeks afterwards, however, this trend was reversed and her drawings regressed to the scribble phase.
Such regression occurs usually as a result of an external event, not necessarily related to the child’s maturity level. When discussing the issue with the parents, we found out that precisely at that time, she had entered a new kindergarten with a particularly large number of children.
In this case, analyzing the drawings was critical because it eliminated two common conjectures:
- The child’s inability to associate her sensations with the need to evacuate.
- The child’s inability to perform all the tasks required to evacuate.
The reason for her regression was simply an inappropriate surrounding, which did not suit her personality. Changing her kindergarten had an immediate, positive effect on her weaning process.
Drawings help to assess children’s level of emotional maturity, their ability to cope with changes and ability to perform the sequence of tasks required. Preparing them for weaning and helping you deal with the various stages of the process will get you through this important process smoothly and successfully.
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