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  • Writer's pictureThe SOF Team

Tips for toilet training your toddler diagnosed with ADHD

Updated: Jun 20, 2022

Toilet training can be difficult no matter the child. Here are some tips for toilet training a child with ADHD.

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Toilet training is a milestone achievement for many young children and their parents. Though, teaching this essential life skill can be difficult for some children. Parents of those young children with ADHD may find it challenging to teach this skill for many reasons, whether their child cannot sit still or cannot focus on the instructions they are given. Some parents cannot watch their children during the day because they are at work, so staying consistent with the process can be difficult.

It may take a considerable amount of time and effort to reach successful results, and how to teach this essential skill may differ from the norm. Here are some tips from parents of children with ADHD and how they reached their goals.

Image Source: Children’s MD


One of the most commonly agreed tips that work among parents of children with ADHD would be motivation for your child to use the toilet. For example, one parent on Reddit found that their child was highly motivated by Octonauts, little toy figurines based on a popular kids show. The parent bought a mega-collection of the figures and put them in the bathroom. He then told his child that he would be rewarded with a figurine every time he went to the bathroom on the toilet. Finally, the child could go to the bathroom and was rewarded with a toy. The consistency of being rewarded after going to the bathroom helped make the behavior a pattern and a learned skill.

However, it does not happen magically and all at once. According to the parent, this process took time. After the initial success, the child stopped wearing diapers, which was encouraging. But there were many accidents in between for about a year. Learning how to clean up after themselves after using the toilet properly also took some time. After some time, the parent had to find a new motivation, so they bought a gumball machine, the child’s new fixation. This helped the child stay consistent with the new skills he learned because he knew he would be rewarded.

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A parent on Reddit also said taking off some time from work and dedicating all their time to making sure the child was consistently using the toilet every time they needed to help make the behavior stick. The parent took two weeks off from work, kept an eye on the child, and frequently brought them to the bathroom to see if they would go. Over time, this strategy started to work, and the child began going when they sat on the toilet.

Clear, reinforced directions.

Lastly, another parent said using a potty chart was helpful in the process. They noted that the potty chart helps the child stay on task and completes every step of the process, including cleaning up and washing their hands. After each successful trip to the bathroom, the child would be rewarded with their motivator––depending on the child, which could be screen time, time playing with a new toy, or time outdoors. What is especially important to note is that the child should be rewarded even if they attempt to comply with the chart. Even if the child does not do everything completely correctly but makes an effort to, they should be rewarded. Eventually, with time and practice, the child will make progress.

Image source: Consultant 360



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