The Psychological Value of Toilet Training

By | July 13, 2016

Despite the reluctance of many to consider it worthy of discussion in the realm of psychoanalysis, the concepts related to the toilet and the activities performed in conjunction with do have their purpose.

Toilet training

After all, Patrick Mahony, a Sigmund Freud scholar and psychoanalyst in his own right, notes that Freud focused on toilet training during the second part of his psychosexual development theory.

The belief by Freud was that the reward and punishment aspect of toilet training can set the stage for future understanding of an individual’s behavior. Reward for doing it properly can offer tangible benefits or simply boost the child’s burgeoning self-esteem.

On the other hand, failure, in whatever form that takes, could cause the child to lash out. This could be in relation to a punishment of some sort or simply offering verbal disdain for that failure. Such training is part of the anal phase of development, which generally occurs between the ages of two and four.

The actions of the parent (or other adult) tasked with the toilet training are seen as something of a litmus test for future behavior of the child. When it comes to the punishment side, it can eventually cause the child to develop tendencies that can border on obsessive when comes to ideas like cleanliness.

That parent must quickly realize the fact that once a child reaches the age of two, an inevitable rebellion is expected. That’s one reason the term, “terrible twos,” holds so much weight in parenting circles. There can be a strong urge to punish the child for willful actions that include a refusal to adapt during toilet training.

By the same token, Patrick Mahony finds that a lack of training that ignores trying to instill conformity in this area eliminates boundaries for the child. In future years, this behavior can manifest itself in tactless comments, slovenly appearance or a willingness to rebel against any attempt to instill rules and regulations.

While topics such as these might be considered cringe-worthy, whatever embarrassment might be felt needs to dissipate in order to aid in child development