This is topic Potty training angst in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by MandyM (Member # 8375) on :
My almost 4-year-old is having some regression in her potty training. It happens about 3-4 times at school and maybe once a week at home so I have started a poster with rewards to help her. It is working but she is still having accidents at school almost once a day, everyday. So I am thinking it might be something going on at school; the teachers are reminding her to go, there are too many sub teachers, or there are problems with the kids. She is in a class of mostly 2's and young 3's and I think that is part of the problem.

Today the director of her preschool told me they are moving kids up today but they won't be moving mine because of her potty training problems. Academically she is far more advanced than the kids that will be left in that class. They are still learning letters and mine is pre-reading. She is also more socially aware than the little ones.

I am pretty upset about this and I want to talk to the director but I think I need to calm down and figure out what to tell her first. What do you think? Am I overreacting? What do you think I should say to not come across like a witch?
Posted by lem (Member # 6914) on :
It is working but she is still having accidents at school almost once a day, everyday. So I am thinking it might be something going on at school; the teachers are reminding her to go, there are too many sub teachers, or there are problems with the kids.
I would talk about your concerns with the director. It seems unfair to not advance her for potty training. That just places bad stigma on your daughter. If she is smart enough to handle academics then she should advance! Maybe advancing with peers will help her role model older kids.

I know my kid eats a lot better around other kids and also brushes his teeth better around peers.

Potty training is hard. My 2 year and 4 month old knows to take off his diaper, but then he just goes on the carpet. I lost track of how many rug doctors I have rented. Maybe I should buy one!
Posted by jeniwren (Member # 2002) on :
lem, it's not really about fairness. It's about expedience. They can't put her in a class where full potty control is expected because her accidents are major disruptions. I can understand the decision.

By the same token, I was mom to a 4 year old not-potty-trained child, where there was no potty control at all. It took strong measures to solve the problem, and in the meantime, he had to stay in the younger kid's class, where the teachers were geared toward potty training as major part of the day. So I understand the stress as a mom, wanting her child to be in the upper class where he really belongs.

Regarding potty issues: Is it possible that the issue is physiological? If so, and you can have a doctor verify it, then that should remove the issue with the school. She'll need to be diapered (or pull-uped) to reduce the disruption to the class, but they should still be able to accomodate her. If not, then why is she having this problem? I'd want to have at least an inkling why she's regressed (and at 3-4 times a day, that's pretty much not-really-potty-trained anymore, IMO). It may be worth getting expert help if you just have absolutely no idea.

I'm also curious how much responsibility she has over her pottying. If the school is undressing her and doing all the cleanup, I'd say she doesn't have enough. Part of what helped my son "get it" was putting all the responsibility on him. I stopped reminding him, etc. When he had an accident, he was cheerfully coached through changing his own clothes, cleaning himself and the floor, (and if at home) loading the washing machine with soiled clothing. Reminders stopped, rewards stopped. Fortunately, his school was just as desperate as I was to get him potty trained, so they were very supportive when I laid out what I wanted them to do.

For full details on what I used on my son, I highly recommend Fox's "Toilet Training In Less Than A Day". It took more than a day with my son, but it's what worked. It was also helpful for me to remember that he would figure it out by the time he was 18, I was just sure of it. [Smile]

edit: I should also mention that I spoke to two counsellors in the course of this issue. One was a child psychologist (he's the one who recommended the book to me) and then with a family counsellor much later to try to address night-time control. Overall, it really came down to my son owning the problem, not me. He learned to do laundry very young. Which, to my mind, didn't hurt him a bit.
Posted by Icarus (Member # 3162) on :
I highly recommend that book as well.

I also recommend, whereever possible--at least at home--not using pull-ups or anything else that wicks the moisture away from her body. Wetting her pants should be uncomfortable; Pull-Ups shortchange that in the name of convenience. Convenience is important, I know, but it might be hurting in the long run.
Posted by MandyM (Member # 8375) on :
It's more like 3-5 times a week, not 3-5 a day. She is having about 1 accident a day at school, but at home it is more like one accident a week. She usually gets too engrossed in something to remember to go, which I think it normal 3-year-old behavior but that shouldn't be happening everyday at school. I think the teacher should be encouraging her to go more. Since there are so many little 3's and 2's in that class, the expectation is that accidents are ok. In my daughter's case, they aren't and now it has kept her from moving on.

Again at home, she is usually fine. She does have to change herself and all that and it works so I will talk to the school about that too. I really think the issue is that she is with little kids so she will potty like the little kids. If she were with older kids, she would potty like the older kids.

She has been in panties full time for over a year now. The only time she wears pull-ups is at night since she is not yet able to hold it all night long.

We did speak to her doctor a while back and she did a work-up on her and said she was fine.
Posted by Samarkand (Member # 8379) on :
I dunno, maybe you could get her to agree to work hard not to have accidents at school, and the reward could be getting to move up with her peers. You could have a meeting with the school director and your little girl, you could all lay out the expectations (and help teachers will give with reminding and expecting her to clean up after herself) and then see how it goes. I know she's pretty young, but I swear being held back would have been a HUGE incentive for me to fix the problem, even at that age.

I'm also a big fan of sitting down with kids, even the wee ones, and asking them what's going on. They usually know. So this may sound a bit silly, and feel free to say so, but have you tried asking her about it? First I ask them to volunteer ideas, and then I say that I'm going to guess things, or make suggestions, and they can tell me if it's true or not. That gets them going. Sure, it helps me to understand, but mostly it helps them to understand, and then they can address why they wanted to throw rocks at their brother, or whatever, and not do the behavior any more.

Good luck!
Posted by ketchupqueen (Member # 6877) on :
MandyM, if this is really a regression and rewards aren't helping, you need to take your child to a doctor, just to rule out things like a urinary tract infection, etc. Once that's ruled out, ask if it might be psychological, and I bet your doctor will be happy to talk you through some possible reasons that you might not have thought of.
Posted by Belle (Member # 2314) on :
If you really think that she will do better with the older kids, then suggest that to the director. Ask if there can be a trial run - let her go a week in the older class with her peers and if she stays dry she can move up with them. You may be right, and the peer pressure with the older kids may help her to stay focused.

I can sympathize with not wanting accidents that disrupt the learning process, but this is preschool for the love of Pete, and holding a child back because she is having some issues with potty training irks me. I had a preschool director tell me my son couldn't go to preschool at all because wasn't potty trained yet, I asked if that was in their written policies and she said, "well, it's a recommendation but we can't really refuse to take a child, we'd lose our certification if you complained." So I asked what was my incentive not to complain about her to the state. [Roll Eyes]

In other words, I'm not sure that you don't have some recourse to try and force the issue - but then the question becomes do you really want to force it? Will you lose more than you would gain if you do fight?
Posted by MandyM (Member # 8375) on :
OK I went and talked to the director and I feel better. She is still having some potty training issues and I certainly don't want the next teacher to have to deal with them. I also think that she will see the consequences of not going to the potty like she is supposed to when her two friends move up and she doesn't.

The director obviously is very in tune with what is going on with the kids in the center and my talk with her went very well. She really does know my daughter and thinks it is better for her to stay with the little ones for a while longer. She also told me that the majority of the kids in her class are really closer to her age than I thought. Julia evidently likes knowing everything in her classsince she gets a chance to show off and putting her in the next class might make her even more frustrated since those kids are so much higher than she is. She likes to play with the kids in her class, especially the boys, so I really think leaving her was the right decision.

She just caught my off guard this morning and I was in a bad mood. I feel a little better now. [Smile] Thanks!
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
Originally posted by MandyM:
The director obviously is very in tune with what is going on with the kids in the center and my talk with her went very well.

That's wonderful. [Smile]
Posted by jeniwren (Member # 2002) on :
That's great news, MandyM. [Smile] I'm glad to hear it.

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