Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Taking pleasure in personal hygiene!!?...including toileting!

I've mentioned before that, apart from being an administrative nightmare, Development Matters is an excellent way of measuring and recording Nursery children's progress. It accurately describes the learning steps that most children follow from birth to approximately 6 years old.  As an example, I've included an excerpt from the Dispositions and Attitudes section under the subheading of self-care...

From 0 - 11 months
Anticipate food routines with interest.
Express discomfort, hunger or thirst. 

From 8 - 20 months
Begin to indicate own needs, for example, by pointing.
May like to use a comfort object. 

From 16 - 26 months
Show a desire to help with dress and hygiene routines.
Communicate preferences. 

From 22 - 36 month
Seek to do things for themselves, knowing that an adult is close by, ready to support and help if needed.
Become more aware that choices have consequences.

Those of you who have worked with children in these age ranges, or have children yourselves, will probably recognise these steps and agree that there would be some cause for concern if a child was not showing any evidence within a given age/development range.

I deliberately stopped short of showing you the final step in the 22-36 month range as I think it stands out from all the others, and is a little odd...

Take pleasure in personal hygiene including toileting.

It's worth remembering that you need to provide evidence (written note, photograph, sound recording or video) for each learning step!

Before Development Matters was published, some very clever person (or group of people) must have justified this statement to the Government for approval...or did they?...can you imagine the conversation?...'Do they really need to take pleasure in it?'...'How would you know?'...'Do they need to smile afterwards to prove it...or during it?'

I've always wondered if this was a sense of humour seeping through...after all, we Brits do like a bit of toilet humour.

I hadn't given much thought to this for a few weeks, but the penny finally dropped this afternoon.

I was sitting with a group of children playing lego and heard a girl singing very contently. There was an odd, slightly echoey tone to the sound and I had to move around to try and locate it...

I finally traced the sound to a 3 year old sitting and singing on the toilet...what more evidence could you possibly want for taking pleasure in going to the toilet?

Needless to say, my chosen method for recording the evidence was a written note!
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