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What would you do?


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I am the teacher in a local authority nursery in a school so the children are 3 and 4.

I have a little boy who attends for 2 full days a week and has a sister in Reception. The family are new to school and it has quickly become apparent that they are a 'vulnerable' family with previous social services involvement.

The little boy is bright and articulate and enjoys being with us although will cling on to mum in the morning. The problem is that he refuses to use the toilet at nursery. He wets and soils approx. 4/5 times a day. He will only let us change him into his own clothes but refuses to wear ours once his have run out. Recently, mum has been sending him in a pull-up so that we don't have to change him but he will not let us help him to change it so by the end of the day it is drenched and/or soiled.

We have tried everything we can think of to support him to use the toilet (mum says he is fully trained) but every question or request is met with the stock phrase, 'want mummy do it'. Mum has no strategies for dealing with the issue and as soon as she arrives he uses the toilet and lets her change him. I am concerned for his well-being but am also aware that he is, for whatever reason, controlling the situation.

Any advice please?!

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due to the nature of this families problems I would suggest you get the Health Visitor involved....difficult to give any other advice as there may be other issues we are not aware of on here. (get parents permission obviously) Does the sister have any issues like this?

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Hello, well done on making your first post ...

I agree that's a really tricky situation and one which I haven't encountered before myself. Did he attend any kind of early years settings previously - were there any transfer documents? If mum is aware, can you talk to her about what happens when he is not with you or is he always with her? I agree with finleysmaid that the Health Visitor would be a good idea. If he hasn't been at an early years setting previously I might be tempted to do a 'late' 2 year check and liaise with mum and the HV with that as a basis for discussion. 

Keep us posted, I'm interested to know what happens  

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Thank you for your thoughts.

He did attend another setting using his 2 year funding, they had the same problem and didn't manage to move him on.

According to mum he is very attached to her - she is a single parent.

I will contact the HV and/or our school nurse and see what they say.

Thank you!

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you may be dealing with an a attachment disorder if he is this young and has had traumas in his young life.

if Mum has any time off...or can come in for a couple of days why don't you try this and get her to take him to the loo. This way he breaks the cycle of not doing it at school. (is he worried about performing on anything other than his home loo??) or is it the attachment issue or the actual action itself.

We need to move this little guy on ...we just need to know why he's doing what he's doing. It won't be bad behaviour, there will be a reason for it. Not sure I agree with him being in pullups (though I understand the other problems) what has happened in the past if he is in pants and you take him to the loo? when you say he refused, by doing what?

Do you have any other concerns about his development???

 

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Thank you for your help! It's so good to share a problem with people who understand the little people!

His development is good generally, he enjoys adult interaction but doesn't yet interact with his peers. He talks about his experiences at home openly. He protests when mum leaves by clinging to her but as soon as she is gone he is fine. When he is in pants he won't go to the toilet and simply wets himself. He doesn't tell us he has done it so when we see that he has, we change him. His refusal is in the form of retreating to a corner, repeatedly saying 'want mummy do it'. He won't engage in any conversation around toileting, even when it is just in passing. I have been trying to build up his self-esteem and my relationship with him so that he trusts me but so far, it's not worked!

I will get mum in next week when we return to school and see how we go!

 

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22 hours ago, BidLills said:

Thank you for your help! It's so good to share a problem with people who understand the little people!

His development is good generally, he enjoys adult interaction but doesn't yet interact with his peers. He talks about his experiences at home openly. He protests when mum leaves by clinging to her but as soon as she is gone he is fine. When he is in pants he won't go to the toilet and simply wets himself. He doesn't tell us he has done it so when we see that he has, we change him. His refusal is in the form of retreating to a corner, repeatedly saying 'want mummy do it'. He won't engage in any conversation around toileting, even when it is just in passing. I have been trying to build up his self-esteem and my relationship with him so that he trusts me but so far, it's not worked!

I will get mum in next week when we return to school and see how we go!

 

I have assumed that he's 3...is that correct??? just re-reading this and don't think I've established how old he is. Getting Mum in will help you to work with her and may (!) help him to settle more.....sometimes you have to go backwards to go forwards. Try to get her to just do the minimum with him and get her to play with the others ...that way he can see good examples of interaction (she may not interact at home at all so you may need to give her lots of advice!)

You have a chance to make a real difference to this family I suspect...!

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