Teaching the Toilet: 8 Overlooked Potty Tips for Preschool Teachers

If you’re a preschool teacher with a room full of potty-trained 3- or 4-year-olds, you might think: Fantastic— they’re out of diapers! That makes my job easier. Not so fast! Changing diapers may not be convenient, but it’s pretty easy. What’s difficult is teaching toilet-trained children to pee and poop when they feel the urge — not two hours, or two days, later. This job is terribly important, both for teachers and parents of preschoolers, but it’s often overlooked. A child’s graduation from diapers means it’s time for parents and teachers to pay more attention — not less! — to the child’s pooping and peeing behavior. That’s because preschool is prime time for children to become poop and pe

The Problem with Preschool Potty Training Deadlines

Yesterday I received an email from a mom who has been issued an ultimatum by her daughter’s preschool. The mom wrote: “Our daughter has one month to display fully potty-trained behaviors, or she will be disenrolled.” I get emails like this every fall and have written extensively on one of the more egregious examples of preschool potty crackdowns. These stories follow the same rough outline: A child has multiple accidents at school, the school declares the child “not potty trained,” and the director pulls out the school’s toileting policy — the one all parents signed — to justify the ultimatum. The policy at the 4-year-old’s preschool is as follows: “If a child has multiple accidents in a day

Urologist on JonBenét Ramsey Bedwetting Theory: "Not Shocking"

Was JonBenét Ramsey killed because she wet the bed? That apparently is a theory that police investigated following the tragic death of 6-year-old JonBenét at her home in 1996. According to a retired FBI profiler, bedwetting was a “nightly occurrence” with JonBenét. On the night she was killed, police theorized, Patsy Ramsey became so enraged that her daughter wet the bed again that she struck JonBenét, accidentally killing her. Media outlets have called the theory “shocking.” I have no idea whether the theory has merit in JonBenét case, but as a pediatric urologist who specializes in bedwetting, I am not remotely shocked. Bedwetting and toileting accidents are a leading cause of child abuse.

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