Day Care’s Role in the Potty Training Process
by Angie Long
Angie is an experienced freelance writer and mother of two. She has extensive experience working in professional training, including the development and evaluation of training and exam material. She has a background in elementary education. Angie has a 4-year-old who still struggles with potty training, yet her 8-year-old nailed it by two years of age.
How are They Teaching Potty Training?
- They recruit the help of another child. It can be difficult to convince a toddler to even sit on the potty. Many children are either scared or not at all interested. So, day care teachers may recruit the help of a friend of the toddler who is already potty trained to teach Children are more likely to model their behavior after another child than they are to model the behavior of an adult. Watching another child assures them that they’ll be safe, and it also motivates them to be just like the other kids.
- They teach all of the steps. They may first teach the child to pull their pants down and up. Then they may teach the child how to pull the toilet paper off the roll. Then they learn to flush and wash their hands. Breaking the potty process down into different steps makes learning less intimidating.
- They use potty training books. Advice given to UK from parenting educator Elizabeth Pantley is that if a child acts clueless about potty training, they probably are. So, books with visuals can really help teach them how to use the potty.
- They’re consistent. They don’t give up simply because the child isn’t interested. If the child says no, that’s fine. They’ll simply ask again later and repeatedly throughout the day.
- They know that accidents are simply accidents, which are a natural and expected part of the potty training process. When a child has an accident, the staff should put the child in clean clothes and go about the rest of the day. They’ll also try to determine if the accident was triggered by a certain incident. Sometimes a change in routine can cause minor setbacks.
- During the potty training process praise them often. Some day cares keep sticker charts near the toilet and share the good news with other staff and kids when a child successfully uses the toilet.
- They have a set schedule. Different centers and teachers use different systems for scheduling potty breaks. Some go every half hour while others may try four times a day. It all depends on the center and the needs of the children. Whatever the schedule is, day care provider Bright Horizons recommends asking the teachers what schedule they use and then duplicating the same schedule at home, so the training process is consistent.
- They avoid diapers and rely solely on underwear. Even if the diaper is a pull-up, it will affect the potty training process because it feels exactly the same as a diaper to the child. Since diapers prevent children from being able to feel wetness when they have an accident, they have little motivation to potty train. Don’t feel like you’ll inconvenience the teacher by sending your child to day care without diapers either. Ultimately, the child should learn more quickly by wearing underwear, so everyone wins!