I don’t have children, but I have been a close observer of parents and a student of “parenting” for many years. I used to prosecute abusive and neglectful parents, and I have represented numerous children in the custody of the state or involved in divorce proceedings. I have watched many episodes of Nanny 911 and Supernanny, and I have had nephews in my care on many occasions. I one took an official state sponsored “parenting class”. These are the credentials which lend weight to my pronouncements on the subject of “parenting”.
First off, I hate the term “parenting” since it implies a form of activity. My folks did not “parent”; they just “had kids” and did what it took to render us as low-maintenance as they possibly could. In this connection, my folks did not have any problem at all with thwarting us in our will and allowing us to go ungratified when it was convenient for them to do so. This is the crux of good childrearing. Too many parents are unwilling for their children to be thwarted for even a moment, and they pander to their every need and desire until the children become rulers of the home. Raising children means getting them ready for a lifetime of thwarted desire and delayed or denied gratification, and parents are not doing their children any favors by granting instant gratification.
As to the delayed toilet training issue I promised to ponder over the Christmas weekend, I reckon that this stems from multiple causes. Parents are, like everyone else, lazy, and on top of this they are fatigued. Add this to their tenderhearted reluctance to see their children in any distress of their making, and you have a recipe for negligence.
An expert opines that toilet training is traumatic, and slothful and tenderhearted parents adopt this opinion readily as it absolves them of any obligation to train their offspring in the use of the toilet facilities. They ignore the contrary opinions that might result in their having to do the hard work of training. This is only natural.
Disposable diapers are readily available; therefore, there is no need to wash diapers or to hang them out to dry for all the neighbors to see that your child still craps himself. And the diaper companies profit from extending the age at which children are expected to continue to soil themselves; therefore, they support experts whose opinions lead to more diaper sales. Who would fund the advocates of early toilet training?
Children are able to learn to use the toilet facilities and to anticipate their movements at a very young age. This involves work by the parents and may be initially unpleasant for the child. But early training will save the child from years of stewing in their own urine and feces and will save money on diapers.