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  • 3 Things to Do if Your Child Is Starting Preschool But Not Yet Toilet-Trained

    No need to put a deadline on potty training.
    by Rachel Perez .
3 Things to Do if Your Child Is Starting Preschool But Not Yet Toilet-Trained
PHOTO BY iStock
  • Ideally, kids are toilet-trained when they start preschool. They can use the potty independently, including unbuttoning their pants and putting it back on after they’re done with their business. But you do not necessarily have to delay kindergarten if he cannot use the potty alone. Sometimes when kids see other children go to the potty by themselves and without a fuss, they will have the courage to do so as well. But that’s not a guarantee. So what can you do?

    First, there’s nothing wrong with your child not being fully potty trained in time for school. Many parents feel ashamed about it, but the truth is 5-year-olds will need help sometimes. Accidents can still happen.

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    Potty-training when your child is starting school

    We need to be more concerned about our child’s confidence and sense of independence, according to Allison Janu, author and owner of Potty Training Consultant LLC. “If your child is still in diapers when the rest of the class isn’t, for example, it could be very embarrassing for them,” she told Romper. The last thing you want is to hinder your child’s potty training progress due to low self-esteem. Here’s how you can help your child get through potty-training even when he’s already starting school.

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    Be honest and talk to your child’s teacher about it

    There’s no point in letting your child wear underwear to school when you know there’s a good chance he might wet himself. You might just embarrass your child. Talk to your teacher about your concerns and your child’s issues, if any, with the potty. Does your child go to the potty at certain times? Is he afraid of going alone? There’s no shame in telling your teacher your child still wears pull-ups. Be upfront about it, so she can help you deal with it.

    Find out the school’s potty-training policies

    When you talk to your child’s teacher, ask if the school has rules about potty training. Does the class have a potty training song? How does the teacher handle accidents? Have a tour of the classroom and its comfort room with your child. You want to get a sense of what may make him afraid or hesitate in a new bathroom.

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    “It will also be helpful for easing your child into the change in routine if you are able to incorporate those practices at home before school even starts,” Janu advises.

    The key is for you and your teacher to meet halfway and work towards the same goal: to help your child be potty trained and avoid accidents in school along the way.

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    Don’t give your child a deadline

    While waiting for the first day of school, make the most out of your potty training at home. Some pressure can be good as long as you prepare him before he goes to school. Tell your child you want to experiment underwear with no diapers and strictly follow through. (Click here for three-day potty training hack.) But remember each child has his own pace. Putting your child on a deadline may do more harm than good. (Read here why.)

    If your child is making good progress but still has a few accidents, stick to your routine. Giving your child incentives, but let your child suggest what his incentive will be to motivate him. Maybe the school has a sticker-reward system, and it might help him adjust. Make sure to recognize your child efforts.

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    Watch your words, and don’t rush your child. You may be the only one who is feeling the pressure. But remember, it is your child who needs to do this.

    Find more tips for successful potty training here.

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