In Arlington, VA, a cacophony of upper class problems as a toddler is kicked out of a competitive preschool for being unable to control her bladder. Commence proclamation making, letter writing, and yelling.
The Montessori school swears up and down that the three year old was given multiple chances to amend her offensive behavior, but ended up suspending the child from the $835 per month center. Her mother claims it was a shock and that she had to completely rearrange her life around her daughter's lack of child care in addition to continuing to pay the center's tuition. And, of course, she's composed what she's referring to as a "potty manifesto."
The Washington Post reports that it reads, in part
"We would like Arlington County to revise its policy so that other kids and other families won't have their lives disrupted like this for something that's totally developmentally normal," Rosso said. "If a kid is emotionally and intellectually ready for school . . . then they should have the ability to go, regardless of whether their bladder has caught up with their brain."
The child in question was removed from the program for having more than 8 accidents in one month.
The suspended child's situation is an unfortunate one. She shouldn't be punished for something that takes some children awhile to catch on to. At the same time, if she's in an academic environment (although imagining an "academic preschool" is making my "used to build forts in the woods to learn about nature until kindergarten" brain hurt a little) and her inability to socially keep up is distracting, then it's not fair to the other mortar board-wearing tuition paying three year olds in the program. Additionally, child care is expensive, and the school should have at least come up with an alternate arrangement for the girl. Perhaps she could have joined a less-advanced, more free-flowing (no pun intended) class with less structure and more flexibility for her to learn to use the bathroom at a slower rate. Perhaps the school could have refunded her mother the tuition and helped he make alternate arrangements until the little girl was able to socially fit in with the other students.
As programs that push very young babies into early potty training grow in popularity, experts think we'll see more similar problems over the next few years, especially as competitive preschools with "potty trained children only" policies continue to grow in popularity.
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