"Age-appropriate"? I need input
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March 21st, 2013, 04:27 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
I really don't like the term age appropriate - most things labeled with that aren't specifically linked to a particular age. That's just the label society has (ridiculously) put on those things. I think it's more about the individual child and their developmental stage. Also, regression is a very normal occurrence. Especially with a younger sibling around. I wouldn't worry about it too much unless it continues longer than 6 months to a year.
Anyway, obviously I can't say what is right for him. I don't know him or where he is psychologically/physically. I do think the teeth issue can be a big factor, but that's my individual perspective. You do have to weigh the health of his teeth (which can be fixed with dental work later) against his emotional health (which is so much harder to fix). And it's hard to know if he really does need those comfort items, or if he needs a gentle push to the next stage.
I've known kids who potty trained all on their own. I've also known kids who would have rather bitten their own fingers off than potty train. Truth be told, I think "it will happen when they're ready" has a good deal of merit. There's always the chance that you just haven't found the right motivator for him yet - the most stubborn child I've ever known was potty trained in a matter of days when her parents resorted to money as a motivator. It may be that he just isn't ready, though.
Consider Vygotsky's zone of proximal development. Sometimes children need to be shown there is another way and then they can do it. Sometimes no matter how many times you show them they just aren't ready yet.
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