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Preschool programs & "completely potty trained" kids.

I'm still on the hunt for a preschool for my 3-year-old. The places I like have massive waiting lists. I just realized that our local recreation center is now offering a preschool program for kids ages 3-5 for 2-3 days half days a week, which is what I would want for my son. Only problem is, the rec center program states that all kids must be "completely potty trained" by the time they start class - which is at the beginning of April.

My son is still in progress. He'll usually go pee, but usually if you ask/make him go. Occasionally, he will tell me that he has to go. Pooping is still a struggle most days. For both pee & poop, I'll ask him if he needs to go, and he'll say no, but I take him anyway and he ends up going. (For poop, he is much more defiant, but he's getting better.)

Registration just started. They say you can cancel until the day the class starts, but they'll just deduct $40 from the cost of the class ($315). After the class starts, they don't offer any refunds.

Should I risk it and register my kid anyway? We've been at potty training for a while (since around October of 2010), so I don't know how "completely trained" he'll be by beginning of April.

Answer Question

Asked by phoofy at 3:20 AM on Feb. 28, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 14 (1,655 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • I'd go for it! Our preschool, which both my kids attended, and which I LOVE, had the same rule. My daughter was not 100% potty trained at the cut-off date, but the school said to send her anyway because she would learn by example. They knew that your child would be much less likely to make a mistake if the other kids in the room were holding on!

    Answer by dogdoc at 4:07 AM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • Go for it, and talk to them about it.

    Answer by whoreallycares at 4:23 AM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • What about the preschool? Have you researched it? If you are happy with it, I would definitely make the preregistration.
    Get your son excited about going and that likely will help him to get motivated and try to become potty trained.

    Answer by tootoobusy at 5:10 AM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • If I were you, I would not. I wouldn't want to push my daughter into something before she was ready. She potty learned without being trained and she is not yet 2.5 but if I had another child in the future (boys often take longer), I wouldn't push them because of an age cut-off.

    Mostly, I would be concerned about how the preschool teachers would react to a miss. If, like the first poster's preschool, they would be supportive of his process and think that he would learn by example, but not be angry or shame him for a miss, then that would be fine. If, however, they would make a big deal out of misses when he doesn't have pottying down, I would avoid that. They would probably react differently to a child they know has not learned and a child who they believe was just lazy and waited too long, so I would be honest with them if, when the time comes, he is still having issues.

    Answer by Bellarose0212 at 6:28 AM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • My best potty-learning advice is to make it very normal. Don't have the potty parties or reward charts or frown and ask "why" when they miss. Just have the potty around and make it really part of the routine. Let him be nakey and clean up pee like it is water. No biggie. Let him sit on the potty when he wants to (put it in the main living area of the house and another in the bathroom) without too much coaxing. Let him see you and husband using the potty, go at the same time, etc. When we start something new, if we make a big deal, even if it is a positive big deal, it creates anxiety.

    Answer by Bellarose0212 at 6:32 AM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • If all you'll lose is $40, I would sign him up and make a judgment call right before the class starts. I know that my mom's preschool is not licensed as a daycare, so they cannot change diapers/ pull-ups, which is why they have the fully potty trained rule. If a child has an accident, the child is given wipes and clean clothes from his bag and the child changes himself. If he poops, then mom/dad are called in to change and clean up the child. I know her school is fine with the occasional accident, but if a child is clearly not potty trained (several accidents in a short time frame) then they are asked to bring the child back when he/she is fully potty trained. I do think you need to respect the school's policy, but if you're fine with risking the $40, I'd go for it and see if you can get him ready in the next few weeks.

    Answer by toriandgrace at 7:47 AM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • For what it's worth, it took my son about 6 months to get to the point where he would go on his own (prior to that, he did just what your son did, I'd ask if he had to go, he'd say no. But I took him anyway and he went...) You may find that he'll be ready by then. In addition, preschools typically take all the kids to the bathroom during the day. That might be enough to keep him dry. I'd suggest talking to the preschool about it.

    Answer by momofryan07 at 10:31 AM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • Does he want to go to school? It may be the thing he needs to help him master the bathroom once and for all. My oldest was playing around with potty training for a while. We took a tour of the preschool he'd be attending and he was in love with the idea of being there. We were very clear that he could only go if he was using the potty all the time without me needing to remind him - within the week he was done. He wanted to go to school so badly, he mastered the toilet. My DD was the same way. It was their currency.

    Most preschools are prepared for the occasional accident. IN fact, the school my two attended had a stash of clothes in a variety of sizes just in case a student needed a new outfit because of an accident. It was only an issue if they needed to dunk into that stash often.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 12:09 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • Thanks for the replies! My son is very eager to go to school - we've gone on a couple of tours, and after each time, he gets real upset that we have to leave. (Unfortunately, I don't think he's susceptible to making deals when it comes to the potty. I've tried.) And as toriandgrace mentioned, I think they only accept potty trained kids because they're not licensed to accept otherwise. It's not an actual daycare/preschool facility, but a program offered through our local parks & recreation program. So when their brochure says "NO EXCEPTIONS." it makes me think that it's because they legally can't accept kids who aren't potty trained.

    Comment by phoofy (original poster) at 1:16 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • I say go for it.

    Answer by HomeAlone45 at 6:33 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

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