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Old 08-11-2010, 01:30 AM   #1
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An emotional defense of the late potty learners...

I love John Rosemond's parenting column, but this week he's dead wrong. he says let them go naked for a week or two sometime between age 20 months and 30 months, then have your carpets cleaned and you're done! He then proudly proclaims his grandson was trained this way. Ugh! Parents take far too much credit for their kids potty learning.

John arrogantly claims
"It is not OK for parents to allow a child to remain in diapers past his or her third birthday. In fact, it's an insult to the child's intelligence."

This statement is grossly insensitive to the many parents who have children on the latter side of the developmental curve, his numbers are off, way off. I've never had a child who could undress themselves for toileting, safely climb up on the toilet without a stool, flush, or wash their own hands before age four. I know, I know some kids can totally do all this at an earlier age, my point is that some kids CAN'T. I was guilted into trying to potty train earlier by husband, friends, and child psychologists. (diapers are so expensive, my kid did it in a weekend at 23 months, it's poor hygiene, etc) I tried every single potty training method under the sun including ec from birth! I have four kids that all developed along similar time tables. Regardless of what kind of potty training circus I ran or what age I began, the kids potty learned clser to age four than age three. It shouldn't matter what kids in other families can do, no one elses tips will speed up mother nature. Are my kids really late bloomers? I don't really think so, whenever I informally poll other parents, almost half of them confide in me that at least one of their kids, especially sons weren't truly potty trained until about age four.

Now, my thoughts about three year olds that poop in their diaper... I hate it, but the fact that so many good kids do it makes me think that they feel they have more dignity privately filling a diaper, than they do if they alert their mom whats coming. In fact, it seems like instinct to not say anything about the need to poo, ever. Eventually they get old enough that they can sneak in the bathroom and take care of business all on their own and at that point they usually do.

Do kids really toilet train later now than they used to? I don't think so. Not unless 2 year olds were a lot more coordinated in the olden days than they are now.

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Old 08-11-2010, 06:39 AM   #2
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Re: An emotional defense of the late potty learners...

I really think it comes down to what your definition of being potty trained is. When you start to quiz people who potty trained their kids back in the 50s you find out that a lot of kids didn't in fact take themselves to the potty on their own. Their parents would take them to the potty every hour or so until they started telling them they needed to go which typically happened around their 3rd birthday. But, they claimed their kids were potty trained much younger than this because they didn't wear diapers and had few accidents. The effort to do this was worth it because laundry was a lot harder to do back in those days and there weren't any disposable diapers. I read the book Diaper Free By Three and followed it to the letter thinking I could get my twin boys completely PLed sometime when they were 2. Well, they were PLed on 1950s standards because I could take them to the potty every 1.5 hours and have very few accidents. Problem was they never initiated these trips. They turned 3 in May and are now just starting to get it. I beat myself up for a long time about this but I realize now that no matter what I did they wouldn't have gotten it until now. I really think it's a developmental milestone and every kid hits it at a different age. Some at 20 months (like my sister's DD1) and some not until 4 (like my friend's DS1). I do think, though, that some parents don't encourage it enough and wait for their kids to just PL themselves which is a mistake. In hindsight (after PLing 3 boys) I think I should have encouraged the potty from birth but never set any expectations or put any pressure on my kids.

So, I know where you're coming from and I think that parents who have the good fortune of kids who are early PLers tend to take credit for it. They do get credit for encouraging it at a young age, which is important, but beyond that it's all up to the kid. So, in answer to your question, I think kids may be PLing a little later due to laid back parental approaches to potty training but I don't think kids are any different in their abilities than they used to be.
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:58 AM   #3
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Re: An emotional defense of the late potty learners...

DD wasn't "fully" Pl'd until she was in preschool ( we had night accidents thus she was in a pull up at bedtime) until she was almost 5 - granted there were some mild SN issues there HOWEVER - When I asked our dr about her not being trained ( an occasional daytime accident would still happen as it does with ALL kids I dont care what people say its normal)and he laughed and said that its a horrible sad misconception people have , and that most parents are trained by the time their child is x age NOT the child. He said that if your child does not have any special needs that there is absoloutely no need for concern until the child is around 5 or so , then it would be an idea to take the child in and see if there might be an underlying issue or not.

Personally I think he is abosloutely right , there is too much pressure on people especially young mothers ( I was one heck still am if you ask me!) to have the "perfect" child who speaks at a certain age , walks by a certain age , knows letters numbers etc by a certain age and is PL by a certain age - and I think its all a bunch of poo ( pun inteneded!) DD may not have pl'd until she was close to 5 ( we expected atleast 6 with the issues she had) HOWEVER she is now 7 reads and comprehends at a 7th grade level , is entering 2nd grade but can keep on par with 4th grade math she is incredibly intelligent , very creative and spirited oh and VERY VERY proud of herself - anyone who says late potty learners may have other issues - has issues themselves!
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Old 08-11-2010, 07:03 AM   #4
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Re: An emotional defense of the late potty learners...

I used to love reading John Rosemond's column, and while I think he has a lot of good advice, I'm with you on the potty training. I started at 28 months with DD#1 and endured an entire year of "potty training" after that. After two weeks I felt like we were almost there but we would have a couple weeks of good and then a couple weeks of bad. If took her to the potty every 1.5 to 2 hours it was okay, but if I waited for her to initiate there were "accidents." It wasn't until 3.5 that she started taking herself to the potty.

Now I'm not even going to try until DD#2 is closer to 3. Its just not even worth it for me to push it. One of the great things about CDing is that potty training isn't a financial issue for me. Parenting isn't a race to milestones. Congrats to everyone who had their child perfectly potty trained by 2.5 years old. I don't feel like less of a parent because its taken my kids longer.
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Old 08-11-2010, 12:04 PM   #5
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Re: An emotional defense of the late potty learners...

I guess "potty trained" is all in your definition. I gladly take DD to the potty on a regular basis and help her if it keeps her dry. And when she finally stays dry on a regular basis I consider this "potty trained" even if I still take her and help her. For her to initiate everything and take care of herself, I expect this more by age 4, not 22 months.

I'm glad we started early, because it helped me realize that DD has food allergies and these were keeping her from knowing she had to pee.

I believe in encouraging the potty from a young age and and helping your child. For me, if you wait until they can do it all themselves, you are denying them the chance to try and fail and try again. It doesn't seem very supportive. And, I also don't think that every child can potty train in a week. All kids are different and the same approach doesn't work for all and there are so many variables (like food issues, family issues, work and daycare, etc...). Every family needs to figure out what works for them.
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:19 PM   #6
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Re: An emotional defense of the late potty learners...

I found this thread really interesting. I agree and disagree.

While I don't think parents should be made to feel guilty for having their children in diapers at 3 and beyond, I do not think it is a good thing that this is considered "normal", and I do think many children who do not use the potty until 3 or 4 very well could have learned to use it much earlier.

However, we live in a culture where we believe babies need diapers and are told that we should wait until they are "ready" to be potty trained - and that that is usually between 18 months and 3 (with 18 months being considered "early").

After doing EC with both of my LO's (part time with my son at first and then full time with both my daughter and son), I think that information is completely wrong, and know that even very young babies are capable of communicating that they need to pee and poo - and often do so when given the opportunity instead of being taught that they should only ever pee or poop in their diaper. With EC, it is not about training the parents, nor about potty training, but offering them another place to go besides their diaper. Who can say that's a bad thing? That doesn't mean every EC'd baby will use the potty early on, but I don't think it's a coincidence that many EC'd babies DO.

If a LO is accustomed to going in his diaper for 2, 3 and even 4 and 5 years - sure, some may just right away seem to get it when the parent finally decides it's time to potty train - however, it makes total sense that many will not. The child is used to going in his diaper wherever and whenever he needs to pee/poop, has probably figured out how he feels comfortable doing it in spite of the diaper (in privacy, yeah...standing maybe too!) and all of a sudden is expected to learn to use a potty or toilet instead? I don't agree with all the doctors who say if a child is ready it should only ever take a few days or a week.

And you're totally right that they like their privacy! But that doesn't mean you can't give it to them when trying to teach them to use the potty or toilet. When my son was still in diapers, he would go off to hide behind the table to poo for awhile. Even when he was using the potty, we didn't insist on being right beside him every second - we'd let him take his little potty off to do his thing in a place he felt comfortable. Close enough to us so we were aware but far enough away that he felt he had enough privacy. He'd often want to go in the closet, or in the kitchen.

I do not think needing help or being taken to the toilet means that a child isn't potty "trained" or that "only the parent is trained" anymore than needing to have proper food prepared for them means a child isn't capable of eating. And it isn't some sort of contest. But really toilets and sinks are adult sized. To be fully potty trained a child needs to be able to climb on the toilet himself and wash his hands himself? I don't think so. Not until adults are expected to use giant sized toilets and sinks that we can't easily reach on our own

Also, if a child is still in diapers for so long, EC'ers would often suspect food issues. Processed food, gluten, dairy and eggs being huge culprits. And these are so often a huge part of the North American diet!!! From what I've read these things can affect elimination in a big way if someone is sensitive to them - examples being: not sensing that they even have to pee until it's already started; peeing more frequently; peeing at night, etc.
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:59 PM   #7
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Re: An emotional defense of the late potty learners...

I think there is far too much pressure on parents for everything and it's robbing them of actually enjoying their children!! There's too much stress put on us and the kids. My goal that was placed on myself by me and me alone, was to have my daughter wearing panties on her third birthday. I knew I needed a goal, if not, I would never potty train her! So two weeks before, I made a big homemade sign, bought some stickers and smarties candies and kept her bottomless for three days in the house. She would get to pick a sticker and a smarty everytime she used the potty. She only had three accidents on the floor and that was it! Super easy, she was ready, no stress, lots of fun. She loved it. All the candy, all the stickers and we took a picture of her in front of her posterboard after two weeks. She even night trained at the same time because she was ready. She only had two night accidents after that simply because we forgot to take her to the bathroom before bed (like we transferred her sleeping from the car). If she peed before bed, she never wet the bed. It's been a year now and she still doesn't wet the bed. She'll wake up and cry and I know to help her to the bathroom to pee.
To be honest with you, she was ready at 26 months old. When I returned from the hospital from my c-section w/ dd#2, her aunt had potty trained her since she was able to watch her daughter use the potty. I wasn't ready so put her right back in diapers in order to heal from the surgery and the nursing demands of a newborn.
My neighbor's son was in diapers while he was three and his mom told me he did not want anything to do with the bathroom. He refused it completely. So she didn't fight him and just kept him in diapers. The only problem she had was that the family was mad that he wasn't potty trained but both son and mom were fine with it.
I feel the less pressure and waiting until they are ready makes potty training soooo much easier and complete (meaning they are night trained at the same time). No expensive pull ups needed. Those are my thoughts but I've only trained one so far and onto my second next year.
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Old 08-11-2010, 11:31 PM   #8
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Re: An emotional defense of the late potty learners...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sillymama View Post
One of the great things about CDing is that potty training isn't a financial issue for me... I don't feel like less of a parent because its taken my kids longer.
Love that!

Thanks for the very awesome posts. Good job all you ec mamas (I was once an ec mama, but I believe differently now). I know child initiated potty training makes you shudder, that's not what I'm talking about. I'll initiate it when my kid has the physical ability to do it, I just don't want the battle of endless potty training caused when you start years before a child is physically ready. If a child can take themselves to a toilet before age 3 I think they should. My defense is only for the kids who honestly can't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tania View Post

In hindsight (after PLing 3 boys) I think I should have encouraged the potty from birth but never set any expectations or put any pressure on my kids.
Thats it exactly! A kids never to young to pee on the toilet.

This doctor is brilliant!
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyof3monsters View Post
DD wasn't "fully" Pl'd until she was in preschool ( we had night accidents thus she was in a pull up at bedtime) until she was almost 5 - granted there were some mild SN issues there HOWEVER - When I asked our dr about her not being trained ( an occasional daytime accident would still happen as it does with ALL kids I dont care what people say its normal)and he laughed and said that its a horrible sad misconception people have , and that most parents are trained by the time their child is x age NOT the child. He said that if your child does not have any special needs that there is absoloutely no need for concern until the child is around 5 or so , then it would be an idea to take the child in and see if there might be an underlying issue or not.

Personally I think he is abosloutely right , there is too much pressure on people especially young mothers ( I was one heck still am if you ask me!) to have the "perfect" child who speaks at a certain age , walks by a certain age , knows letters numbers etc by a certain age and is PL by a certain age - and I think its all a bunch of poo ( pun inteneded!) DD may not have pl'd until she was close to 5 ( we expected atleast 6 with the issues she had) HOWEVER she is now 7 reads and comprehends at a 7th grade level , is entering 2nd grade but can keep on par with 4th grade math she is incredibly intelligent , very creative and spirited oh and VERY VERY proud of herself - anyone who says late potty learners may have other issues - has issues themselves!
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Old 08-12-2010, 01:23 PM   #9
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Re: An emotional defense of the late potty learners...

EC shouldn't cause a constant battle of potty training; it's not even about potty training or having a child potty trained before everyone else, but about communicating with the child about a basic human need and gently responding and offering them a place to go instead of in their pants. If a child is being pressured to use the potty or toilet from a young age, and is constantly resisting because of pressure, that's not EC, and absolutely, in that case, waiting until later would be better.

If a person is truly gently offering the potty and child is resisting, I really think it wouldn't hurt to consider that there might be a valid reason for it that is more than just said child isn't ready and is too young (including food issues or milestones or preferring to stand to go.) Just my opinion.

But I also agree you shouldn't have been made to feel so guilty by everyone just because your children were in diapers longer and I certainly don't think it makes you or anyone any less of a parent.
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Old 08-14-2010, 11:41 PM   #10
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Re: An emotional defense of the late potty learners...

Oh, I didn't mean EC was a battle. That's why I switched to EC, because of how gentle it is. I quit EC because it was time consuming (diaper changes are faster than pottytime) and my child clearly preferred full-time diapering because of the difficulty of holding bathroom needs, the difficulty and akwardness of removing clothing, and the difficulty of climbing onto the potty, the difficulty of wiping, and reaching the sink for washing hands.

Imagine a nice bell curve for potty training, my kids are on the edge of that curve. They potty train best at age 4, for some kids it is 2 1/2, and for most I guess it is age 3 1/2. My kids aren't lazy, or dumb, or even afraid of the toilet, they are just late bloomers. My gut instinct would have been the best guide, when I started potty training my first child, it felt waaaay too early, but the experts said it was time. I pretty much proved that age 3 was too early when I practiced EC because my child still had tons of "misses" and needed my help for 100% of toileting needs at age 3 despite having had experience from infancy.

I'm just saying mom knows best and we need to trust moms about when to train their kids and LOSE the whole idea that kids should be trained by age 3, it aint neccesarily so.
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