This month, I listened
the stories of the most obstinate childs from the mothers.
The
sentence I heard the most was “whatever I do, it doesn’t work”. If you ask why; because this month, while saying
“Hello to Toilet with Selpak”, we started to meet mothers and fathers face to
face.

 

On the first day of the
training, while parents were waiting for the seminar to start, children were
enjoying themselves in the game rooms, which Selpak prepared for them.
You could
see those sitting on the huge elephant of Selpak, or throwing balls to each
other, while crawling along the floor…All of them were in an entertaining rush.
One moment, I noticed a boy, who was around 3
years old. While he was just bending
towards the elephant, he was being startled upon a voice, and turning back to
his place. When he wanted to take a ball
from the floor, I also turned to that direction together with him, where the
voice was coming from. To my surprise, I
realized that his mother was always telling to his son “dear, don’t touch, your
hands are getting dirty, don’t rub you knees on the floor”, and was making
gestures, in the meantime. While all the
children were playing cheerfully, the poor child, whenever he moves away, he
turns back to his place with a dull expression, as if a rope, wound wround hick
neck, was drawing him, he could not go so far from his mother’s sight, he could
not go further than having a pencil and paper in his hands.

 

The thing that I try to
be cautious about in my life the most, is not to tell my thoughts when one
doesn’t ask me, not to use my knowledge as a means of attack.
Therefore,
all I could do was to wait for the question that this mother was going to ask
me during the seminar. In the meantime, I
conjured up those years the child was going to live, when he would not be
allowed to touch, for he would get dirty.

 

Our seminar started within less than 15-20
minutes. Mothers and fathers started to ask their questions one by one. “What
is the right age?”, “Should daytime and night-time training be given
simultaneously?”, “Until which age is it normal for a child to wet his/her
clothes?”…… and it was the turn of our precise mother. Can you guess what she
asked? “Whatever I do, I can’t make my son go to the toilet, in any way. He
keeps it inside; sometimes he doesn’t make it for days. I’m so afraid that he
would become ill. What should I do?”

 

It’s very easy to tell but, difficult to
do to the same extent, there is only one answer to this question: “Relax!” If
one child wants to take over control and be obstinate with his/her parents,
he/she has two weapons: Food and toilet. Children, who live abiding by rules of
adults all day long, who do not have any chance other than complying with them,
who are not presented any choices, may render you helpless, using their utmost
power, when it comes to food and toilet. If you have a problem about either of
these issues and if your child goes head to head with you, you have no choice
other than letting yourself go and leave your child in a rather free condition. 

 

Not eating or not going to toilet is never
such a simple eating-defecating problem as it seems. They are the control
buttons of a much bigger relationship pattern. If you encounter a problem in
this respect, please know that there is a situation in your relationship with
them, which your child is displeased, which he tries to say “no”.  In fact, there is no other way for them to
tell that they are not your continuation but have their own feelings and
wishes. Now, stop, first relax, stop forcing them to eat or go to the toilet, and
by reviewing when and how much you force them, turn this signal into an
opportunity for restructuring your relationship.

Derya Gülterler, MS

Clinic Psychologist

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