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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Diapers in kindergarten?

Kids are starting kindergarten in diapers and "pull-ups," complain teachers on the subreddit, r/Teachers, writes Megan Quinn on Your Tango. These are not children with developmental or medical disabilities. They just haven't been toilet trained at the age of five. The problem is worse in pre-K classrooms.


"Kindergarten teachers reported to We Are Teachers that 15-20% of their classroom is not potty-trained, and even a few first-graders are still in Pull-Ups," Quinn writes.


I sure hope that's an exaggeration.


The average age at which children are fully toilet trained in now 36 months, she writes. Forty years ago, when I had a toddler, the median age was 27 months.


Some teachers blame “gentle parenting” for persuading parents that it's "harmful to force a child to learn how to use the toilet" before they say they're ready, Quinn writes.

“I’ve seen some people compare forcing a child to be potty-trained before they are ready to abuse,” a Redditor wrote.


A growing number of parents aren't teaching their children basic skills such as tying their shoes and zipping their coats, a third-grade teacher complained on TikTok. “They would just stomp their foot at me with laces all over the place and be like, ‘tie this!’” Maren says. In third grade?


California wants elementary schools to offer pre-K to four-year-olds -- with no requirement that they be toilet trained, reports Jenny Gold in the Los Angeles Times. Districts may need to negotiate with labor unions on who deals with diaper changes and help with wiping, an Education Department official said.


"The state has received questions about toilet issues all the way up through the third grade," reports Gold.


Districts are adopting their own policies, she writes. Some now provide online potty training advice to parents.


Micaela Moreno who teaches four-year-olds in Long Beach, worries about child-abuse accusations. “We should not be with kids alone in a room, and especially not a bathroom.”

Moreno said she tries to teach her students the basics of using the toilet, and even offers step-by-step tips through a closed bathroom door — telling them to rip off a piece of toilet paper, wash their hands and throw the paper towel in the trash can.
But she doesn’t help them wipe. . . . “We were not trained to wipe children. It shouldn’t be part of my job.”

The district has "added toilet assistance to the job descriptions" of pre-k aides.

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6 Comments


Guest
Oct 07, 2023

Well, this seems to be the "Pandemic Skip" on the other end of the spectrum. Based on a September article at The Cut, the pandemic skip is people have not mentally aged while locked down but their bodies progressed.


This pandemic skip — the strange sensation that our bodies might be a step out of sync with our minds — happened to people of all ages. We’ve heard of those freshmen in high school, who, never having attended middle school, went back to their classrooms punching each other like 12-year-olds.
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Guest
Oct 07, 2023
Replying to

How does that explain diapered seven-year-olds, who were four when lockdown started and should have been well-trained by then?

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Guest
Oct 07, 2023

OMG the comments on that reddit thread. There are multiple teachers talking about multiple second-graders !!!! who come to school in diapers. Developmentally normal (except for toilet training, that is) seven-year-olds.

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Guest
Oct 07, 2023

Yeesh. 60 years ago when my brother and I were toddlers, you started training around 15-18 months. My brother and I were both fully trained before the age of 2, according to our baby books. I can remember when the advice was "They'll learn when they're ready. Nobody goes off to kindergarten in diapers." Well, that time is here.

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Guest
Oct 07, 2023
Replying to

"The counter argument is how much adult mental illness was caused by obsessing about potty training at too young an age. "


I am under the impression that mental illness (anxiety, bipolar, etc.) is much more prevalent today than it was 50 years ago. We certainly have a much larger percentage of the population on drugs for mental issues.


-Mark Roulo

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