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Toilet Training & Food Policies


Like separation, toilet training is a two-way arrangement between child and parent(s). Sometime during the year your child is two you’ll probably want to begin. If you need an extra incentive, here it is: We would like you to try toilet training before your child begins school.

You’ll begin to notice that your child can wait to eliminate on a toilet and doesn’t resist sitting on it. S/he can pull up his or her pants. S/he is starting to stay dry during nap time. These are all signs that your child is in that “window of opportunity.” You can keep your eye on accomplishing the big goal while you and your child together decide on the small things, like potty vs toilet and Sponge Bob vs. monster truck underpants. Several low-key days around the house with routine visits to the toilet—and maybe a celebratory trip to the ice cream store at the end of the first accident-free day—can often be enough. The accidents that go with toilet training can be inconvenient for a few days or weeks, but consistency soon pays off.

If your child is consistently and increasingly resistant and/or if you notice that s/he does NOT seem to have the awareness or control to ever get to a toilet before excreting, it’s best to lay the project aside for awhile and let Betsy know that your child will be starting school in diapers.

If your child is in the middle of training when school starts, accidents will inevitably occur. We will gladly help with changing and dressing. Sometimes children may have more accidents because of circumstances like a new baby, a move, an absent parent, etc.; and diapers may seem in order again. We want you to keep your child coming to school in underpants. Please don’t worry about accidents for our sakes! We would prefer your child hang onto the accomplishment of toilet training than to revert to diapers. If you’re having qualms, please give us a call or talk to us at school.

PLEASE: NO PULL-UPS. They are essentially diapers and send your child a mixed message.

..& FOOD

Our parents provide lunch for their own children, a complete but small meal that includes proteins, unsaturated fats, simple carbohydrates (fruits and vegetables), and complex carbohydrates (whole grains). The school provides a table outside and one inside (both covered with telltale tablecloths) at which AM and PM children are welcome to eat whenever they want until Group Time begins, provided they wash their hands with soap, eat, converse (rather than play), remain seated, and put away their lunches when they’re done. Many self-care, self-control, and friend-making skills develop here; and we prefer this eating regimen to eating all together at a specific time because it doesn’t interrupt the children’s play, require them to wait for food, or oblige them to reorient themselves to other activities afterward. Many alumni have told us that some of their fondest memories of the school have to do with choosing when and with whom to eat. If you are a parent whose child would never eat unless made to, never fear!—we have a period before our end-of-the-session Group Time when children who haven’t eaten do so on the patio with a teacher while the children who have eaten work with table manipulatives in the playroom.

We distribute three-compartment lunch containers at the beginning of the school year to make it easy for children to open their own lunches. All-day children get two containers, and their parents provide two simple, hearty meals that include proteins, simplex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables. The all-day children eat a school-provided snack on their walks; we sometimes supplement our afternoons with tea and fruit; and we cook around once a week.

Because of possible allergic reactions, we do not allow the children to share their food. Due to a growing trend of allergic reactions, pea- and tree-nut products are prohibited.

If your child would like to celebrate his birthday with a treat, you may bring one, as long as you do not bring refined sugar, pea- and tree nut products, and anything that may provoke specific allergies.

NOTE: Please LABEL the lunch containers we provide for your child. If you supplement these containers with any others (including water bottles), please have your child practice opening and closing them and please, once again, label, label, label them.

Banned Foods:

  1. Pea- and tree nut products
  2. Sesame products (including hummus if it contains tahini)
  3. Candy
  4. Processed foods in containers that can’t be resealed.

Foods containing sucrose (processed cane sugar that has no nutritional value) sit on your child’s teeth for several hours and are strongly discouraged. We do not allow refined sugar, in addition to the above products, for snacks and birthday treats.