Friday, January 15, 2010

How do you tell a parent (nicely) that they need to start bringing their child in a pull up?

I do home daycare and I have a little boy who just turned 3 at the end of July. I started watching him in the middle of August and his mom said he was completely potty trained. He has had an accident every single day for about 3 weeks now and I don't have any idea what to do anymore. She hasn't brought any extra clothes(which I have asked for many times now) and half of the time she doesn't even bring me a pull up to lay him down in.(some nights he is here til about 11:30.) I have said something to her that maybe he wasn't ready for underware yet but she insists that he is. She says that as long as I take him in there every 15 min-30 min then he won't have an accident. I have 5 other children that I watch (2 are under the age of 1) so this is not always an option for me to drop everything and take him in there. He doesn't know how to pull his own pants up or down yet, you have to do it for him and he can't get up on the toliet by himself, even with the little step stool.How do you tell a parent (nicely) that they need to start bringing their child in a pull up?
This little guy is clearly not potty trained, but is ';habit trained';. You listed all the indicators that I would look for to see if a child was ready to potty train, such as being able to pull down his pants, verbally or physically expressing to you his need to go potty, and being able to get to the potty on his own. His mother is wanting him to be ready for something he is not ready for yet. Habit trained is not the same as toilet trained.

I would talk with the mother again, this time stating that you absolutely need the extra clothing, as well as the pull ups. Perhaps she is having money trouble and cannot afford pullups, so offer her a low/no cost solution in your area (call the local welfare/WIC office, and they should be able to direct you to where she can receive either monetary services or free diapers). Explain (again) the importance of making her child feel successful when it comes to toilet training, and that her methods are setting him up for failure. Only when he shows readiness indicators will you start working on toilet training with him, and maybe you'll have to go as far as developing a toilet training plan for him along with the mother. First, show her the skills her son has to be able to do alone (pulling down pants, indicating need to go, following one-part directives, ability to stay dry for two hours, etc) and then develop a plan to work on those skills with the child.

It can be just as frustrating for you to deal with this parent as it is for this child... they are being expected to do something that is not developmentally appropriate yet. Say you'd be willing to work on potty training with the child, but in the meantime, you'd like her to bring the things that the child needs (clothes, pullups). Just because this mom wants her child to be potty trained doesn't mean that he is. : )How do you tell a parent (nicely) that they need to start bringing their child in a pull up?
I'm sorry some of the other posters are being so rude to you.

But I do agree that if you've already talked to mom about this and she isn't cooperating, it's not your responsibility to be nice anymore. You are obligated to be professional about it, but her feelings aren't the issue. Don't be ugly about it. Just tell her that it's your daycare and therefore she needs to cooperate with your requirements or you simply can't take care of her son any longer. You can say those words kindly but firmly.

If you're taking care of children that age, I also think you do need to expect to have to do some potty training, but do it on your own terms. My advice would be to have your own method decided upon as soon as possible, and get it printed up as a handout for those parents whose children aren't already potty trained. Include on the handout that children who aren't fully potty trained need to bring extra supplies, and detail those supplies on the handout. Give them an option of paying extra for you to supply the necessary items, if that isn't too complicated for you.

Do you have your customers sign any kind of paperwork when you first take them on? You really should have emergency releases, financial agreements, and so on. Make potty requirements and supply lists part of the paperwork to be signed and therefore contractually agreed upon.

Regardless of what you charge, you are running a business, and a very important one. People trust you with their children, so they should trust that you are competent and professional; if you keep things as ';official'; as possible (by putting things in print) then they've got a lot less room to manipulate you, and I doubt they'll be as tempted to try.

Good luck!

EDIT: ha, ninn posted while I was typing and I wouldn't even have answered if I had read her reply first. She is 100% right on the money.
Just say that she needs to bring two extra sets of clothes (tell her you'll wash them if he soils them--maybe cost of laundering is an issue?) and that she needs to provide a diaper or pull up for naptime. If they aren't brought in by such and such a date, let her know that she needs to find a new daycare. He's clearly not potty trained and say that you will work on letting him dress and undress himself at daycare, but that she needs to do it at home. Let her know that what she sees as being trained is the beginning of training. Explain that for a child to be fully potty trained, they need to go to the bathroom ON THEIR OWN, make it through naps without an accident, and be able to pull up and down the pants alone. Closing snaps is not required and neither is wiping, but everything else is. This little boy needs to be sent to you in sweatpants so he can pull them up and down. I'd tell her that you can't take him if she doesn't work with him at home and if she doesn't provide the things he needs. I'd maybe start a sticker chart for him when he goes and provide incentive (a sticker to wear at the end of the day if he gets no accident or one of those tattoos that wash off). Good luck!
I agree with the last person. Start charging every time you need to use one. And she needs to learn that a child needs to be able to hold it two hours b4 he starts training. Daycares only toliet every two hours. I maybe can see an hour but 15 min is just dum! Good luck
moms a rude idiot -- there is no need to be nice to her she will just be rude. let her know exactly what you expect if mom wants to keep dropping off her little nightmare at your door every day. if you want to continue keeping him you are going to make up for mom's inability to be a mom -- somebody has to potty train him.
You do not need to put him back in pullups. That is the worst way to train a child. I work at a daycare. I have 11 two year olds all by myself. And yet I still manage to take one of the kids (newly potty trained) to the potty every half hour. If I can do it with 11 kids, you can do it with 5. However, she does need to provide pull ups for nap and bedtime. If needed, you should buy the pack of pull ups and add the price to what she pays you each week.
Okay, as another licensed daycare provider, I have to tell you that you are being TOO nice!!! Lots of love and support, but really, it took me close to a year before I realized I just couldn't put up with parents like this anymore.

A little late for this particular child, but I wrote up a handbook that clearly stated my policies on everything, down to the last little detail (it's about 20 pages long!!!) If you want it, email me and I can send you a copy. The parents sign it, and it clearly states in the handbook that I can terminate care for any violation of policy. The sig page is fully legally binding.

Parents that care will read it....parents that don't care (barring suspected abuse that I have no qualms about reporting to authorities)... I'm sorry, but I have other children (including my own) that I need to care for, and those just aren't the parents for me. I'm in the business of caring for children WITH the parent's assistance, and I have the right to mutual respect and communication with each and every parent.

Now, for your particular problem...this child is obviously not ready for self-toileting while in the care of others. Tell the parent honestly and in a non-threatening way (I know that is hard) that her child is not ready.

15-30 minute ';coerced'; toileting is not a reasonable request. Children should be able to hold their bladder and bowel for at least 45 minutes at a time....and should almost always be able to tell you when they have to go to define ';toilet trained';. Before then I require pullups or diapers (which are cheaper and I have found that children can easily remove by themselves). Even plastic pants over the underwear would be acceptable given that a child can remove them without frustration.

Two changes of clothing (even for non toilet training children) are required to leave at my daycare home at all times. I rarely have to use them both in a given day, but if a child soils one, and the parents forget to bring another for a few days, I have another on hand.

Talk to this parent honestly about your concerns. Tell him or her that you MUST have pullups or plastic pants and 2 changes of clothing for the child (once again I know it's hard). But it's not fair to you and you cannot possibly give the best care if you don't.

Deny care if this parent does not respond. Harsh and hard for you, I know, I know, I know. This child is special and you see that in each new child on the very first day. But you can't be stressed...just like a parent you need to take care of yourself first before you can take care of the children.

Please revise your handbook and contract for the future. Wish the best of luck to you.
sometimes you just have to be straight forward with people and not hint at things. I would tell her that you are more than happy to help him potty train and you will continue to work with him, but for the sake of your carpet and furniture he needs to be wearing a pull up until he stops having accidents. Also remind her that he needs to have a change of clothes. Tell her that if she doesnt comply that you will no longer be able to care for her child. Honestly, to me it doesnt sound like he is potty trained at all, the mom is the one who is trained. This is exactly like the people whos child is potty trained by a year old, it is the parent who is trained to know about what time the child needs to sit on the potty, not the child.
I agree that each child should have an extra set of clothes.

However, I am firmly against pull ups for children who are being toilet trained.

I believe that it delays toilet training substantially. In the past, children have been trained quite well without the use of pull-ups. I wonder, too, why you aren't toilet training him. If you keep that age, you should expect that it's a part of your job. It sounds like you have too many kids to handle.

Kids are going to have accidents as they become toilet trained. If you do the things the others above have recommended, -having his mother bring him in sweat pants and adjusting things so he is more independent, than the accidents may lessen. Also, what about just going and buying a cheap potty chair that he can access easily. You can get a plastic one that sits on the floor. No stool necessary.
I agree that he is not ready. She was hoping that you were going to finish the job. I know this because a friend of mine thought that the daycare that she sends her daughter to would do it for her, but this is not the case. I think that you are doing a wonderful job, and you are the caregiver for this child, not the parent. It is the parents job to potty train their child. I think that you should kindly tell this lady that she needs to send Pull-ups. Explain to her what he does and that you think that he is not fully there yet. Tell her that if she does not bring them, you will have to charge her the extra money because you will buy them yourself. She should realize that she has found someone great to watch her son (after all, you are willing to help him train, just as long as she sends Pull-ups) and if she doesn't, I am sure that someone will scoop you right up. Good Luck!

Yes, the two above me have hit the nail on the head... :)
Honey, we passed nice long ago when she didn't bring the extra clothes. Tell her that if she doesn't bring pull ups for him the next time, that you will start charging her $1 apiece for providing them yourself. Then go buy some because she will test you.
You just have to be as firm as possible. Don't ask, Tell her, it's required that every child should have an extra set of clothes, and several pull-ups. this is non-negotiable.

There's really nothing else you can do, except eventually refuse to take him so she'll get the message that it's REQUIRED.
If you want her to do it, you've got to say it firmly. Like this

';Look, you're child is not potty trained. He has accidents almost every day and it's really causing me a lot of trouble. I'll have to ask you to get some pull ups and have him wearing them every day that he comes here or I'll have to ask you to take your child somewhere else.';

Chances are, she'll do it then. If you're as cheap as you say you are, she won't have many other options anyway.

Good luck with it, I know some parents are hard.
As a former co-owner of a day care I can tell you many children revert back to there potty ways when moved or changed from there location and routine. Your a professional, you should have the diapers with you it's a matter of being prepared. Children should be in diapers until they can go to the potty themselves, your right the ';every 15 minutes is a training procedure, not a potty procedure';. We had 28 children, 7 helpers, 1 cleaning girl, 1 cook and two volunteers everyday from the local Vocational School and it was still a handful.
You have a very blind mother on your hands. She obviously refuses to beleive that children simply cannot leanr to be pottytrained on instinct.

I would really have a several minute conversation with her saying that he is still in the process of being potty trained, and will need to be trained at home, too. Also, ask her to make sure she brings him in pull ups, and some extra ones too including clothes, or you simply won;t change him and he will be in soaked pants and underwear all day. Tell her that it's important she nderstands whats going on, and that this is what needs to be done. Be nice, but firm. If she tells you to just bring him to the bathroom every couple minutes, explain to her that potty trained children don't need to be brought to the bathroom every few minutes, and that he needs to be trained.

Good Luck!
just TELL HER.

You don't sound like a very competent person to be looking after children, RUNNING A BUSINESS? if you can't even communicate something as basic as this.

There was no need for the question to be so long and have so much detail. Grow some balls and get on with it or turf the kid out, clearly he is more trouble than he is worth for your business so what exactly is the problem with upsetting the parent. Is it your job to help him potty train or not? Figure that out.

Simply tell the mother what is happening and if she does not at least start bringing in the appropriate supplies you can't look after her child anymore and that is the end of that.
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