Mum sparks toilet training debate: When are kids too old for help on the loo?

How old is too old? Things got snarky on an online forum about toilet training after one mum admitted she still helps her 12-year-old with personal hygiene. Photo / Getty
How old is too old? Things got snarky on an online forum about toilet training after one mum admitted she still helps her 12-year-old with personal hygiene. Photo / Getty

While most parents dream of the day their children no longer need help to use the loo, others admit to still assisting in the toilet long after their child has started school.

The discussion kicked off on Mumsnet, after one mother wrote about her six-year-old refusing to wipe his own bottom.

"He wipes it in school, but refuses to do it at home insisting me or his dad does it. I've just refused and he's currently having a meltdown on the toilet," she wrote. "Am I being unreasonable to expect him to wipe it himself?"

Comments quickly flowed in from mums who sympathised with the woman's situation, with many saying they had been in the same phase with their own children.

The discussion about toilet training started  off as light-hearted chat between parents. Photo / Mumsnet
The discussion about toilet training started off as light-hearted chat between parents. Photo / Mumsnet

"Mine (nearly 6) was the same," one parent wrote. "Over the holidays I've played hardball and just told him to sort out his own bum."

Another agreed, saying, "You are not being unreasonable. Recently I was at a friend's house and her hale and hearty seven-year-old roared at her from the downstairs loo, 'Muuuum wipe my bum!' 'It wasn't very edifying for anybody."

However, things took an unusual turn when other mothers began to confess to helping their much older children in the toilet.

"I wipe all my kids, oldest is 12 and is c**p at the best of times," one parent wrote. "It would be cruelty leaving him dirty when he has an upset stomach."

As other parents responded with horror, the parent added, "I doubt I will be wiping his bum when he is 16 or 24. There will be some point where he wants me to stop, probably over the next year."

Things stared to get heated after some parents admitted to helping much older children with their personal hygiene. Photo / Mumsnet
Things stared to get heated after some parents admitted to helping much older children with their personal hygiene. Photo / Mumsnet

The admission was all too much for one parent, who said they were shocked that a parent could still be in that situation with a 12-year-old.

"Honestly, I'm shocked," they wrote. "Firstly that these 12-year-olds aren't utterly mortified at having their a**** wiped for them but also at how a 12-year-old with no special needs could be incapable of wiping themselves? It's not that difficult is it?"

Most people commenting on the thread agreed that children should be toilet-trained by the time they start primary school.

-nzherald.co.nz

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