Too Long In The Diaper?

baby in diaper
Parents often compare their child to his peers to make sure he is "keeping up," emotionally, physically, and socially. If he's developing more slowly, at what point should you start to worry?

And if you are struggling with an eating disorder yourself, how can you warn the young people in your life away from it?

The Saturday Early Show's Mike Riera addresses both of these issues.

He's 3 And Still In Diapers

Dear Mike,

My grandson is 3 1/2 years old, brilliant, writes better than some second-graders, knows all animals, movies, etc. But he has one big problem: He still wears diapers.

It doesn't bother him even though in day care, he has to be with the little ones since he isn't potty trained.

His parents have tried everything. Do you have any suggestions?


Normal development still means different skills happen at different times. Most are toilet trained by 30 months, but not all. Your grandson is ahead in many areas, so it stands to reason he's a bit behind in one or two others. It sounds like everyone is trying their best with him, and that he is doing the same.

If you have a question for Mike Riera about dealing with your teen, send an email to with "Ask Mike" in the subject line. Or write to "Ask Mike" The Saturday Early Show, 514 West 57th St., 6th floor, New York, N.Y. 10019. Your question may be featured on future shows.
I agree with T. Berry Brazelton: In your efforts, be sure not to show signs of disapproval. It is best to support his efforts and not get hung up on the results. Be patient. He'll train himself soon enough. In the interim, let the daycare staff do what they need to do. Your grandson will catch up with the toilet training soon enough.

One more thing: Look at his overall family life. Have there been any major changes lately? if so, this often delays successful toilet training. Be understanding and empathetic throughout. It's your best bet.

For Health, Set An Example

Dear Mike,

How can I encourage my stepdaughters to eat a healthy diet and not follow in my footsteps? I have suffered from anorexia nervosa for five years.

Carol Anne

First and foremost, take care of yourself: Your model should be: "Do as I do."

Be careful that your experience with anorexia does not color how you see them
developing. That is, many girls go through a time when they try to diet and exercise. This does not indicate an eating disorder, but experimentation. Don't assume when they skip a meal that they are anorexic. Also, talk with your spouse about all of this.

In short, be clear and verbal in your love and acceptance for whthey are inside. Be open about your experience with anorexia but don't push it on them. Childhood and adolescence are narcissistic times, so just use your acknowledgement of your experiences to get them talking about themselves.

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