Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What’s the Right Age to Potty Train?

I find that more families are holding off on potty training their children. Years ago, most children were trained before their third birthday. Today, I have some four year olds who are just being trained. Does it matter? That’s a personal decision, but I believe that when a child is ready, it’s important to take those cues and get the job done.

Sonia was a four year child I taught who was bright, articulate, and strong willed. She was the only child in our class who still wore a diaper. When we would encourage Sonia to use the potty, she would, though reluctantly. She simply didn’t want to be bothered. Though we encouraged her at school, her parents didn’t reinforce this at home, so there was no consistency in her training.

In my opinion, Sonia should have been trained by this time. She understood and recognized how it felt when she needed to use the bathroom. It got to the point where other children would make fun of her for still wearing a diaper. She wore dresses a lot, and when she sat at circle, her diaper was obvious. The kids love to talk about the characters on their underwear, and Sonia seemed embarrassed that she was still in diapers.

Experts say that it’s easiest to potty train a toddler when she’s ready. Watch for those signs from your child and take advantage of the opportunity. Cleaning the bottom of a four year old is not a fun experience. By four, most children should be using the toilet.

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