Should we let kids pee in public?

We’ve done our share of public peeing in this family. But I’ve always felt that when the bare bum is tiny and cute enough, it doesn’t really count as a major civic transgression.

I mean I’ve never been appalled at the sight of a parent helping their toddler or pre-schooler even, pee in a corner somewhere at the park. I have been there and know all too well, when you gotta go, you gotta go.

But I’ve never witnessed, as Emirate Gate blogger Paula Bernstein describes, a child as old as five squatting right in plain sight of everyone to relieve herself.

In fact, I’m surprised a child that big would feel comfortable doing that. When my oldest turned a certain age, I’m guessing around five, she got pretty self conscious. I tried to convince her to squat next to the car, shielded by the open door, when we were having a road trip crisis. But just the fear of someone seeing her gave her bladder superhuman strength and she made it to the next disgusting service station. I would have preferred the roadside.

So, yes, I would be slightly miffed at the sight of a largish kid, boy or girl, peeing next to a public water fountain at the park, but I wouldn’t care if that kid went to the edge of the park, or behind a bush. Hell, even I’ve had to do that before, as a grownup. (Head of the Charles, 1987? Not my finest moment.)

I think a lot of this has to do with how, and where, you grew up. I grew up in the country, where peeing outdoors is a way of life. Of course people should be discreet, but I don’t think it’s a big deal. That said, living in France has tested my tolerance. I can’t leave the house without seeing at least one grown man, usually several, peeing in public.

The sight doesn’t offend me in itself. They just look lazy and arrogant to me. But what irks me is the double standard at work here. Why don’t I see more women peeing in public? Because women have to bare their arses to do so. So does having the right equipment make males exempt from the rules of etiquette?

Hey Jean Pierre. I’m talking to you!

Makes me wonder if parents have more lenient standards when it comes to little boys public peeing than they do with girls. Anyone with both sexes who can help me with that?

Do you think it’s a big deal, within reason, for kids to pee in public places? Do you ever let your kids pee in public?

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3 thoughts on “Should we let kids pee in public?”

  1. I think being discreet is the key. I keep a little potty in my car for my almost 3 YO daughter to use in emergencies. I usually put it in the floor of the car and she goes there where no one can see. Then I discreetly toss the pee into nearby grass or a bush. The only time she’s peed in public was on a beach, around nightfall. I made her go up behind a trashcan near the dunes, where no one would be walking, and I shielded her from view. I don’t have a problem seeing a young boy peeing on a tree every now and then, and I wouldn’t have issue with a girl doing the same, but not a five year old, and certainly not an adult. Pee outside if you will, but try to be discreet!

  2. When you do outdoor activities (hiking, mountain biking, etc.), sometimes this is necessary. I just wish my husband would remind me to take off my bright yellow bike helmet/orange coat before I “squat.” Wish I was a boy or too young to be embarassed by it…

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