Teachers Are Seeing More Kindergartners Arrive at School Still in Diapers
A concerning education trend has emerged in 2023. And no, we’re not talking about AI, aliens, or the term “menty b.” We’re talking about kindergartners arriving at school without being potty trained.
What was once a routine rite of passage achieved at home is now something educators are having to tackle. This question was recently raised on Reddit by an early childhood educator:
The Redditor goes on to say that they love their job working in daycare, but they’re noticing more and more that potty training is a struggle. They note that a friend working in kindergarten reported that she has “at least one in a diaper and probably another two in pull-ups.” “I cannot fathom this,” the original post ends.
In one day, the post has already received more than 1,000 comments and 3.2 upvotes. Clearly, teachers had a lot to say about this question.
But surprisingly for a post with this kind of attention, there was very little dissent for the fact that this is happening everywhere.
What every commenter agreed on was that this discussion on potty training was about neurotypical children without developmental delays. Teachers know there are plenty of reasons—both biological and environmental—for why a child might not be toileting by age 5. But in recent years, instead of administration addressing the families of a handful of outliers, now teachers are reporting that they’re responsible for the care surrounding diapering for sometimes several children per class.
Naturally, most of the comments were speculations on why this is happening all of a sudden.
Misapplied parenting advice
Most responses connected back to parenting. Teachers posited that parents were either getting straight-up bad advice or misapplying good advice to an irrelevant situation.
Parents not understanding potty training
Other comments suggested that maybe parents started teaching toilet training but didn’t teach it to mastery.
The diapers themselves
One commenter didn’t dismiss the role of parents, but also offered the changes made to diapers in recent years.
Schools not being firm enough on toilet training as a prerequisite
There’s one thing it’s not …
Teachers reject the notion that these delays should be excused because of (or are even connected to) COVID.
Beyond the obvious point that this is just another way teachers are expected to just roll with tasks that aren’t theirs.
Accusations of impropriety
Effects on personal safety, privacy, dignity
Teasing and bullying
By far, most of the comments were reiterating the extent of the problem with examples from their workplace.
Finally, we think it’s important to mention that while most neurotypical kids are totally capable of being potty trained, there are cases where parents are trying their hardest and it’s just not happening.
But to the point of the bulk of the conversation happening on this Reddit thread: If we didn’t have lots of parents sending their kids to school in diapers, genuine outliers like this 5-year-old would be able to get more personalized care and attention while at school.
What are your thoughts on this issue? Let us know in the comments!
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This Article, Teachers Are Seeing More Kindergartners Arrive at School Still in Diapers was written by WeAreTeachers Staff on on WAT - Kindergarten
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The MEN was founded by John Huber in the fall of 2020. It was founded to provide a platform for expert opinion and commentary on current issues that directly or indirectly affect education. All opinions are valued and accepted providing they are expressed in a professional manner. The Maryland Education Network consists of Blogs, Videos, and other interaction among the K-12 community.