Is this potty-training question a red flag about the caregiver?

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz  September 20, 2012 06:00 AM

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In response to your question and answer about "potty trained at daycare but not at home"... My little guy seems to be the same way. He will be 3 in two weeks and my sitter says he has been willing and able to use the big potty and wear underwear at her house. With my husband and I, however, the talk of underwear and the potty brings tears and seemed tress[ful] so we haven't pushed it and have really backed off. My sitter doesn't really seem to agree with this- she now also wants to stop since she claims I am confusing him. I had originality thought she could keep it up at her house and told her so as long as there were no tears and stress since my husband and I aren't comfortable with that. What do you think? Lay off at daycare as well and hope that training at home will come? Or keep it up at daycare and maybe this will help it happen at home too? Thanks so much for your help!!!

From: Catherine, Troy, MI


Dear Catherine,

I disagree with your sitter that it will confuse him to use the potty at her house and not at home. Even young children get the idea that things happen differently in different places. In factd, as you can see from the comments to the original question, it's not unusual at all for kids to be able to use the potty in the daycare setting but not at home. I wonder if maybe she said that in the hopes that it would push/shock you into taking a stronger position at home. But to back off and put him back in diapers at daycare would be shaming him and, in my opinion, create more problems, not fewer. I wonder, in fact, if your sitter is so firm on this because she's a aggravated with you, the adults?

I have two suggestions for you and your husband: decide how you want to proceed at home with the potty training (the advice I offered two days ago, link above) and decide how you want to proceed with your sitter. I don't mean that you need to make a change, but I would encourage you to examine your relationship with her and the communication among the adults. Why is she taking such a hard and seemingly punitive stance?

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4 comments so far...
  1. I feel so sorry for parents who are potty training. In retrospect, its such a short time in your child's life, but its so disproportionately stressful! They all eventually get toilet trained. They can not go to college in diapers!

    I disagree with your sitter too. I had a child who also did the same thing--wouldn't use the potty at home--even when I did the same exact thing as my daycare provider was doing (it was also a big peer pressure thing at day care, which I think may be part of why kids do it more easily there--"10 AM is potty time, everyone tries" kind of thing). My day care provider kept up what she was doing and we kept trying to encourage things at home. One day she just got it and that was the end of the diapers. Two weeks ago she got her learner's permit, so now that is all a distant memory. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

    Posted by ash September 20, 12 01:02 PM
  1. No, they may not go to college in diapers, but my daughter's kindergarten back to school night featured a mom who wanted the school to stock toddler wipes because Little Precious didn't know how to wipe with toilet paper.

    Posted by di September 21, 12 12:10 AM
  1. I think your sitters logic is completely off. Why would she suggest taking a step back? That does not make a lick of sense. Just sayin'........

    Posted by jd September 21, 12 07:06 AM
  1. I am on the side of the babysitter. Obviously she is just frustrated that she makes the effort but the parents do not. Potty training is work. She puts in the work & expects the parents to also. If the child has the ability to use the potty at the babysitters, he can do it at home. Take away the option of diapers & his "stress & tears" will eventually diminish. Nobody said parenting was easy.

    Posted by momof3 September 27, 12 01:09 PM
 
4 comments so far...
  1. I feel so sorry for parents who are potty training. In retrospect, its such a short time in your child's life, but its so disproportionately stressful! They all eventually get toilet trained. They can not go to college in diapers!

    I disagree with your sitter too. I had a child who also did the same thing--wouldn't use the potty at home--even when I did the same exact thing as my daycare provider was doing (it was also a big peer pressure thing at day care, which I think may be part of why kids do it more easily there--"10 AM is potty time, everyone tries" kind of thing). My day care provider kept up what she was doing and we kept trying to encourage things at home. One day she just got it and that was the end of the diapers. Two weeks ago she got her learner's permit, so now that is all a distant memory. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

    Posted by ash September 20, 12 01:02 PM
  1. No, they may not go to college in diapers, but my daughter's kindergarten back to school night featured a mom who wanted the school to stock toddler wipes because Little Precious didn't know how to wipe with toilet paper.

    Posted by di September 21, 12 12:10 AM
  1. I think your sitters logic is completely off. Why would she suggest taking a step back? That does not make a lick of sense. Just sayin'........

    Posted by jd September 21, 12 07:06 AM
  1. I am on the side of the babysitter. Obviously she is just frustrated that she makes the effort but the parents do not. Potty training is work. She puts in the work & expects the parents to also. If the child has the ability to use the potty at the babysitters, he can do it at home. Take away the option of diapers & his "stress & tears" will eventually diminish. Nobody said parenting was easy.

    Posted by momof3 September 27, 12 01:09 PM
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Barbara F. Meltz is a freelance writer, parenting consultant, and author of "Put Yourself in Their Shoes: Understanding How Your Children See the World." She won several awards for her weekly "Child Caring" column in the Globe, including the 2008 American Psychological Association Print Excellence award. Barbara is available as a speaker for parent groups.

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