The Frog Blog

Thoughts from the Leapfrog Learning Center in Shrewsbury

Archive for the ‘Medical’ Category

The challenge of potty training can be stressful for everyone (parents and children) but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Over the past 20 years, the professional staff at the Leapfrog Learning Center has helped hundreds of children make a stress free transition into being potty trained.  Leapfrog has a variety of resources (books, tapes, and magazine articles) which we make available to parents who are struggling. We particularly recommend “Toilet Learning,” a book by Allison Mack.   Our experience has proved that patience, tenacity and a coordinated plan (home and school) always work in the end.

Most children start the process between 18 and 36 months of age but all children have different ways to tell parents when they are ready.  Parents who start the process prematurely can cause problems  so it is important that parents know the signs of readiness  (physical and psychological).  Children are physically ready when … parents can tell a child is urinating/pooping  by his facial expressions (or words) …  if a child can go for more than two hours between urinating  … if a child poops at roughly the same time every day.  Children are psychologically ready when … they can follow simple instructions …  feel uncomfortable in dirty diapers …  can recognize a full bladder or the need to poop …  or start asking to  go to the bathroom.  Experts say parents should never start potty training when times are already stressful (like during a move or the arrival of a new baby) and parents should never punish children for accidents.   If potty training makes your child act  stressed, you are pushing too hard and need to back off for awhile.

The “Mayo Clinic” says if a child is not potty trained by 3 1/2 then he is “resisting” and you need change your strategy accordingly.  Many things can make children reluctant to cooperate.  Maybe they are afraid of the potty or frightened by the flushing process … perhaps they once had a painful  experience (stool too hard) … sometimes they are confused by inconsistent rules from different care givers … maybe they crave the negative attention that comes with “accidents” … perhaps they resent being forced to sit on the potty for long periods of time … or, maybe, they are just naturally stubborn.  Very rarely, there may  be an underlying physical disorder.

Some strategies for resistant children include … having them participate in the cleanup process … switching to “big boy” underwear even if they are still having accidents … refusing to give a child diapers or pull-ups if they ask for them just to avoid the potty … finally, this is one problem where bribery is acceptable.  Bribes might include special books that children choose but can only have read to them while they sit on the potty … a chart where they get stickers for potty successes … special toys which they can only play with while they are on the potty …  extra bed time stories … a reward visit to a favorite park, etc.  How far you go with bribes depends only on how creative you can be.

If your child goes to a good preschool, ask your child’s teacher for advice and strive to replicate the strategies they use in school.  Consistency is important and will help your child make this important transition.  Finally, as with all your child rearing questions, spend  some time researching answers  on the internet and read everything you can find.

Visit the Leapfrog Learning Center & read about our “outreach” programs to help parents with common problems

The Leapfrog learning Center in Shrewsbury is the best preschool for allergic children because our professional staff has special training and knows what to do in case of an emergency.

Choosing the right  preschool can be hard enough without the added worry of a child with allergies.  What can you do to ensure that your child will be safe when you are not there to protect them?  The first step is to make sure that the preschool management is sensitive to your needs and is willing to be flexible in allowing you to keep a vigilant eye over the classroom and school snacks to make sure that there is nothing  that can cause problems.  Management should also be willing to support your efforts to brief teachers about your child’s special needs and allow you to send a letter to the other families in your child’s class t to alert them of your child’s allergy problems.

At the leapfrog Learning Center in Shrewsbury, all our teachers have had professional training from a certified nurse in how to use an “epi” pen.  All our teachers are also certified in pediatric CPR and pediatric first aid.  We have been in operation for almost 20 years and have always had some children with allergy problems (who came with nebulizers or an “epi” pen) but we have never had an allergy emergency.  Our 6/1 teacher ratio ensures that every child is always carefully supervised and never far from the watchful eye of a teacher.  No preschool is better equipped to deal with allergic children.

Every preschool depends on cooperation from their parents to make their allergy policies effective.  If your child is allergic, you should make sure you keep track of “epi” pen stale dates and you should take the time to get to know the other parents in your child’s class to ensure they don’t send their child with “special treats” that might cause problems.  If your child is not allowed to have the snacks provided by your preschool, you should provide your own snacks and non-allergenic treats when another child has a birthday.  Keeping allergic children safe is a joint effort that requires sensitivity and committment from management, teachers, and other parents.  If you discover your child has allergies, take a deep breath and know that there are preschools that are prepared to help.

Visit the Leapfrog Learning Center

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