Too shy to ask permission

How can I help my child if he is too shy to ask for permission to go to the toilet during classes?

In kindergarten, children change seats at will, blurt out answers spontaneously in class and know to use the toilet a skip away.

Some parents say that a child's toilet-going is part of their concern for their six-year-old's transition to the "big school" next year.

Ms Rachel Lim, branch administrator of PCF Canberra Branch, says that parents need to be "very encouraging" especially if the child is shy and does not dare to speak up. It took her daughter, Vean Lim, now 10, three weeks to pluck up the courage to ask her teacher for permission to be excused.

Ms Ng, who learnt this from Vean during a bedtime chat, says: "She was so shy, she waited till recess to go to the toilet." To help her child muster the courage to ask for permission to go to the toilet, they role-played. Mum (the pupil) learnt to raise her hand to ask daughter (the teacher) to be excused.

And while a child is still plucking up his courage, his parents could help him manage his toilet-going habit. Housewife Joanne Cheong, 37, says she made sure daughter Reanne, seven, used the loo about 10 or 15 minutes before they walked to school, which is five minutes away. Reanne was in Primary 1 in Canberra Primary School this year.

Ms Cheong says: "This way, she was good till recess which is a couple of hours later. Anyway, she's old enough and didn't need to go to the toilet every other hour like in kindergarten."

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