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Preschool expectations?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
My DD is 3 and I signed her up for the preschool camp at her gymnastics school. If will be her first time away from me in a preschool-type setting. I recently got the impression that she's supposed to potty - wearing a leotard no less - completely independently. Is that a reasonable expectation for 3 and 4 year olds? I consider my daughter potty trained, but she still usually has help in the bathroom, and definitely can't manage a leotard on her own. Now I'm all worried!
post #2 of 11

Does she have to wear a leotard, or can she wear shorts and a T-shirt? I was lucky enough to have boys, so I didn't have that issue, but I can't imagine expecting a 3 year old to be able to deal with getting in and out of a leotard by herself. Can you contact the coach and ask how that will be handled?

 

When DS started preschool he HAD to be potty trained, but when they asked about anything he might need help with, I wrote that he'd need help with BMs b/c he couldn't wipe his own butt yet. They had no issue with that. I'm willing to bet the "potty" rule is about changing diapers/pullups rather than requiring the kids to be 100% independent in the bathroom.

post #3 of 11

There are legal ramifications here. At preschools where they state " must be potty trained" it means they don't have diaper changing facilities. There are minimum standards/hand washing rules for centers with diaper changing facilities. 

 

If they say she must be potty trained, I would expect no help in the bathroom. I would be very uncomfortable helping a toilet trained child in the restroom that wasn't my own. In a society that is on hyper alert for sexual abuse, helping another's child in the bathroom opens the daycare worker up for allegations of abuse.

 

 If you don't think she can handle a leotard, send her in a two piece outfit. 

 

as for if it's a reasonable to expect 3/4 year olds to handle their restroom needs on their own-- well, that's how many school based preschools work, and how it worked years ago when I was a preschool teacher. 

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Pajama View Post

There are legal ramifications here. At preschools where they state " must be potty trained" it means they don't have diaper changing facilities. There are minimum standards/hand washing rules for centers with diaper changing facilities. 

 

If they say she must be potty trained, I would expect no help in the bathroom. I would be very uncomfortable helping a toilet trained child in the restroom that wasn't my own. In a society that is on hyper alert for sexual abuse, helping another's child in the bathroom opens the daycare worker up for allegations of abuse.

 

 If you don't think she can handle a leotard, send her in a two piece outfit. 

 

as for if it's a reasonable to expect 3/4 year olds to handle their restroom needs on their own-- well, that's how many school based preschools work, and how it worked years ago when I was a preschool teacher. 

 

Yikes.  Well, we've got some work to do in the next few weeks, then!  It's a BIG toilet, with no child-sized potty seat, and she still can't reach the sink faucets or soap dispenser in the bathroom, even with the step stool they provide.  I am sure they would be okay with us skipping the leotard, but I hope we can get her up to snuff in time.  I just assumed the potty trained meant "knows to ask when she needs to go to the bathroom and can hold it until she gets there."  She can get herself up onto the potty at our house and hold herself there with her hands, but the toilet at the school is larger.  I'm afraid that she will fall in, since she takes such a long time going #2....I'm not sure how to deal with the hand washing issue if she can't reach, either.  Most of the preschools we've checked out so far seem to indicate that they're able to work with kids who still need help in the bathroom, but perhaps this is different because it's a gymnastics school generally geared towards older kids. 

post #5 of 11
I would assume that they would help her with adjusting her clothes if needed, but not actually going in a stall with her. They would possibly lift her up if she couldn't reach the sink. More likely, she would just skip washing her hands or use hand sanitizer. Not ideal, but not the end of the world.

As a former teacher, who has assisted many children in the rest room, I can assure you that most kids don't need to poop during a half-day program.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Ew. Now I'm envisioning het holding herself up with her hands on the toilet seat and then not washing her hands. It's a "onesie" bathroom with the sink inside. Sigh. Maybe we're not ready for this. I know it's a short day, but it's right in her prime pooping time...
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmamalizzy View Post

I recently got the impression that she's supposed to potty - wearing a leotard no less - completely independently.

You should confirm with the camp organizers. No need to worry if that's not the case, KWIM?

post #8 of 11
Confirm. We had to skip the preschool camp at our gymnastics gym this year because my four year old can't be 100% independent in the bathroom because it is an adult sized toilet. Coaches can not assist in any manner at our facility. I almost signed up and then waited in the waiting room in case a potty break did happen but decided against it because well, I had things to do!
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Okay, so I got some clarification. She does the whole potty part on her own, but they can help arrange her clothes and do handwashing. So...I guess we need to work on our wiping skills! Any tips for that? Particularly for #2? We still usually use wipes for that.
post #10 of 11

As the mom of a tiny girl who started going to independent gymnastics camps/classes where potty independence was necessary before she was 3, a few ideas that might help.

1.  For wiping, see if you can leave a box of flushable wipes in the bathroom she will use.  You might need a new box each day because everyone will use them, but it will help her a lot.  Its probably too much to ask her to go to her cubby and get wipes before heading to the bathroom.

2.  If a leo isn't required, do shorts and t-shirt, but make sure they are reasonably tight fitting so they don't cause a safety issue (nothing worse than having your shirt flop into your face during a handstand.)

3.  If she wants/needs the leo, practice getting it on and off.  DD actually finds them easier than shorts and a t-shirt since they are only one piece.  But do make sure its an easy style leo -- some are impossible even for my 10 YO to do alone.  Plain tank style without anything fancy in the back is probably easiest.  A little too big will be easier to wiggle in and out of.

4.  See if you can adjust her usual schedule a bit.  Since you seem to have a few weeks before camp, maybe encourage her to use the toilet a little earlier each day until she's going right before camp time.

5.  Arrive at camp a couple of minutes early and help her through a restroom trip them.  She might not need another one.  Kids are funny -- they often adjust so they aren't using the toilet during class times.  I know both of my kids changed their schedule to avoid needing a bowel movement during preschool days.

6.  For the longest time my DD needed to sit crosswise on an adult-sized toilet seat.  So instead of legs forward, her whole body was turned 90 degrees.  That way her bottom had a chance of resting on the opposite side of the seat and she was more secure.

7.  Our gym has hand sanitizer pumps everywhere -- if you teach her to use them even if hand washing isn't great it will help both her and her camp mates.

8.  In her tote bag/back pack stash an extra set of clothes "just in case".  Even if she isn't planning on taking a bag, have her do so anyway so she has a spare set of clothes and a gallon-size plastic bag to put wet clothes into.

9.  Be glad it's not ballet or she would need both a leo and tights -- which are really impossible!

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom View Post

As the mom of a tiny girl who started going to independent gymnastics camps/classes where potty independence was necessary before she was 3, a few ideas that might help.
1.  For wiping, see if you can leave a box of flushable wipes in the bathroom she will use.  You might need a new box each day because everyone will use them, but it will help her a lot.  Its probably too much to ask her to go to her cubby and get wipes before heading to the bathroom.
2.  If a leo isn't required, do shorts and t-shirt, but make sure they are reasonably tight fitting so they don't cause a safety issue (nothing worse than having your shirt flop into your face during a handstand.)
3.  If she wants/needs the leo, practice getting it on and off.  DD actually finds them easier than shorts and a t-shirt since they are only one piece.  But do make sure its an easy style leo -- some are impossible even for my 10 YO to do alone.  Plain tank style without anything fancy in the back is probably easiest.  A little too big will be easier to wiggle in and out of.
4.  See if you can adjust her usual schedule a bit.  Since you seem to have a few weeks before camp, maybe encourage her to use the toilet a little earlier each day until she's going right before camp time.
5.  Arrive at camp a couple of minutes early and help her through a restroom trip them.  She might not need another one.  Kids are funny -- they often adjust so they aren't using the toilet during class times.  I know both of my kids changed their schedule to avoid needing a bowel movement during preschool days.
6.  For the longest time my DD needed to sit crosswise on an adult-sized toilet seat.  So instead of legs forward, her whole body was turned 90 degrees.  That way her bottom had a chance of resting on the opposite side of the seat and she was more secure.
7.  Our gym has hand sanitizer pumps everywhere -- if you teach her to use them even if hand washing isn't great it will help both her and her camp mates.
8.  In her tote bag/back pack stash an extra set of clothes "just in case".  Even if she isn't planning on taking a bag, have her do so anyway so she has a spare set of clothes and a gallon-size plastic bag to put wet clothes into.
9.  Be glad it's not ballet or she would need both a leo and tights -- which are really impossible!

Thank you. This is SO helpful! My DD is rather small for her age, too, and younger than many in her class because she moved up in the spring. Luckily, the head preschool coach says that she is happy to help DD if she has my permission, so I'm feeling calmer about the whole thing.
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