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Mom reluctant to toilet train 4-year-old daughter

by on March 17, 2014 10:59 AM

Question: I’m taking a lot of grief from the other moms in our support group because my almost-4-year-old daughter is not yet toilet trained. I intend to follow her lead and when she’s ready I’m sure she’ll let me know. What should I say to the other moms?

Answer: If this approach works for you and your child, then do what you feel is right and don’t succumb to the pressure from the other parents.

You would be part of an increasing trend of potty training children at a later age.

The percent of toddlers 30 months old who are toilet trained decreased from 90 percent to 22 percent in the past 35 years. Most attribute this change to the widespread availability of paper diapers.

Children are generally developmental ready for training sometime around 18 to 30 months. While I support your decision to raise your child in the manner you feel appropriate, I do wonder why you are letting your child make this decision. You set and enforce all kinds of expectations for your daughter. What is your reluctance to do the same about toilet training?

Question: My husband spends very little time with our 5-year-old son, and I’m worried about how this will affect my little boy. Will this make him more likely to become homosexual when he gets older?

Answer: No. An absent or cold relationship between a dad and his son does not cause homosexuality. However, there are lots of good reasons why your little boy needs attention and love from his father. The issue you need to discuss with your husband is why he has no interest in his own child. Give this serious consideration before you decide to have more children.

If you are unable to encourage more contact with his dad, then make certain your son is around other positive male role models such as uncles, cousins or friends of the family.

Question: I’ve been reading my teenage daughter’s diary without her knowledge for a few years. This has helped me understand how she feels about things and it has made me a better parent to my teen.

I’ve heard you speak and I know you are opposed to this, but there are times when it helps us parents.

Answer: Don’t delude yourself into thinking that this has made you a better parent. You have violated your daughter’s trust, resulting in a phony relationship built upon deceit and dishonesty.

If you have strong suspicions that your child is at imminent risk for hurting herself or someone else, and then reading a diary would be appropriate. This does not appear to be the case in your circumstances.



Dr. Gregory Ramey is a child psychologist at Dayton Children’s Hospital. This article appeared in the Dayton Daily News.
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