A.B. asks from Highland, IN on March 26, 2008
Potty Training One of My Childcare Kids
I have been babysitting (since he was 5 weeks old) a darling little boy who turned two in January. He is exceptionally bright; however, his parents feel that since he is so 'advanced' for his age that he should be potty trained now. They have asked me to put him on the potty every half hour, have been putting him in Pull-Ups, and I have heard Mom scold him (in my bathroom) for wetting his pants. I have told Mom that he is not ready to be potty-trained, especially with summer coming up. I have 3 other small children that I watch and I don't have time to put this little boy on the potty every half hour - especially when he doesn't want to go! Mom is insistent that he begin a preschool program in January, when he turns 3, but he must be potty trained. I have assured her that once he is older and we are spending more time inside the house, the potty training will be easier. Yet, she is paying me and I feel like I have to abide by her wishes.
So What Happened?™
Thanks to all who responded. I knew the right way to go, but need reassurance. His mom has backed off, especially with summer coming. I promised her he'd be potty trained before he graduated high school!!
C.D. answers from Springfield on March 26, 2008
Honestly, her "wishes" seem ridiculous and she may even hinder his potty training progress by doing this. Kids do this at their own time and no sooner. It always bothers me when parents push thier kids into using the potty. By age 2 they should have figured out that kids will learn and progress as they choose to.
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J.S. answers from Chicago on March 26, 2008
This is a tough situation! I can really appreciate your dilemma. I was in a somewhat similar situation a few years ago. The parents expected me to do the training "their" way, and I disagreed with their methods (punishing for accidents). I was straight with them, that I wouldn't do it their way. I would use a gentler approach. They were okay with that. Ironically enough, he only became potty-trained when he went to preschool about 6 months later. He needed that peer pressure.
I think you need to have a conference with the parent(s). Not when they are picking up or dropping off, but a nice 15 minute, non-distracted chat.
I would tell her that you don't agree with the potty training now and that you will start the training after the summer is over. State your reasons. If she isn't agreeable to that arrangement then you have three choices. 1) you can do the training now as specified; 2) you can do a somewhat modified training your way; or 3) you can't watch him anymore.
Option 4 would be to lie to her and say you are doing the training when you actually are not, but I wouldn't recommend it. As in most situations, communication is key.
Good Luck and let us know how it turns out.
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M.R. answers from Peoria on March 27, 2008
I too have had this problems with my daycare parents. Parents expect so much from us as daycare providers. In my contract I have a big section on potty training,here is just a little bite of it.
Children generally achieve toilet training between the ages of 2 ½ to 3 years old. If potty training is begun when your child is ready, the task is easy and quick and can often be achieved in one or two days. Some sign to look for include appropriate language skills to communicate the need to use the potty, stay dry for long periods of time, the ability to dress and undress self, and an interest in staying dry or clean. I take a very relaxed attitude towards potty training. Please realize this should be your child’s accomplishment and not yours or mine. Children should not be compared to how others are doing. Children train easily when they are ready.
Parents must begin the toileting process at home. If successful and I’m in agreement that your child is ready, I will follow up with the toilet training here. During this time I require that children wear pull-ups for health and safety reasons in my child care setting. Please keep in mind that the activity level here can distract your child from responding to an urge to use the potty, more so than at your home. Therefore, I will continue to use pull-ups until your child can and will announce that he/she must use the bathroom(not just at home, but here, as well) and can control his/her bladder and bowels for a few minutes beyond that announcement. It will be at my discretion when you may bring your child in big girl or big boy underpants to child care.
Also just a little suggestion, yes she is paying you,BUT it is your business not hers. You make the rules and they follow them. Plain and simple.
I hope this helps
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E.S. answers from Chicago on March 26, 2008
She is paying you to take GOOD care of her son, not to listen to every one of her demands. I know this may sound harsh, expecially since the boy has been in your care for so long but I (me, personally) would tell the mom that he's not ready and that if she thinks he is, she can stay home with him and potty train him..lol.
That being said, I know it's hard to tell a mom what to do with their son but have you given her examples of why he is not ready and what "signs" he'll show when he is ready or maybe even suggest a book for her to read? I know there are studies showing that kids who were "forced" to potty train before they were ready were more likely to be bed-wetters or have other bladder issues than those who trained when ready. Maybe if you can get these, that might help her. She sounds like and over-achieving mom who wants an over-achieving son. I don't mean to judge her as I don't know her but that may be what's happening. If she aactually thinks it will take almost a year to get him potty-trained, he's not ready.
Our dd has been in an in-home day care since 7 weeks and we do everything we can to make the sitter's life easier and that includes not demanding when potty training started. We started potty training on a weekend when our dd was ready and just had the sitter work with dd as she saw fit (she did a great job). We gave her a choice of Pull-ups or cotton pants and plastic so it would fit with the schedule and other kids in her care. It also helped that we always communicated with the sitter about signs that dd would/not show that indicated when she was ready.
If this boy is as smart as his mom thinks, there is no need for pre-school as he will pick up everything in school anyway and not get bored for knowing too much.
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T.S. answers from Chicago on March 26, 2008
I have a son that will be three in June. He is also very bright. (I'm not just saying that as Mom, we've been told that by his teachers more than once). I've considered the potty training and he just doesn't want to do it yet. I've been talking with his teacher - who has a reputation of being the best potty trainer in the center - and she said that he's just not ready. She also said that she is confident that once he is ready, he will be done in a week.
Part of potty training is a control issue with the kids (as you know, being a child care provider). It's one thing that they have total control over. If you try to jam it down their throat, they will reject it. Just because they can. Our son "tests" us on a daily basis with many things.
You've obviously had a lot of experience being a Mom, Grandma and a child care provider. I'd sit down with the parents and talk to them about it. I agree with Julie S and you should lay out what you are comfortable with. Give them options and let them be the ones to make the decisions. Maybe you can find a book on it or suggest some books for them to read on the topic.
Oh, and I think that the AVERAGE age for a boy to be toilet trained is over 3. I think.
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