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There's a lot going on when it comes to potty-training. Between trying to make it to a toilet on time, the nuances of wiping, and all of the rest, social norms tend to be the last thing on a parent's mind.
When I potty-trained my two boys, I didn't care what position they were in as long as pee didn't go everywhere. For us, that ended up being seated and facing forward. I must have said, "Tuck it down!" a hundred times, but eventually they learned.
But after that my memory gets fuzzy. They've peed standing up for years now, but for the life of me I can't recall when they learned to do it.
The topic is on my mind, because one mom recently asked, "When did your sons start standing up to pee?" on Reddit. She went on to explain:
"My 9-year-old son still sits down to pee (I know because of his lack of ability to close a bathroom door). I never thought anything of it. I was babysitting a 3-year-old nephew over the weekend and when he peed, he stood up.
Is this another thing I am doing wrong as a parent? His classroom still has a [private] bathroom attached, so we haven't had to deal with any teasing because of it. I figured he would just stand whenever he wanted to stand, but I don't want this to be an issue. It shouldn't be, right? When do most boys start standing up to pee?"
"It shouldn't be [an issue], right?" Oh, how I feel what this mom is saying. There's obviously nothing wrong with a male sitting to urinate, but as the mother middle schoolers I know all too well what it's like to fret over their social experience.
"Could some dads on here comment on whether or not it really matters in the long run?" another mom asked. "I mean, it's awfully convenient to be able to stand and pee, but does something like this become a pissing contest (heh) between boys later in life?"
One male wrote, "A kid that sits to pee will probably get made fun of for it." Another pointed out: "The only thing is that many public bathrooms are 80 percent urinal, 20 percent stall, so overall, being able to use the urinals will be a benefit later on."
I found it surprising how many comments were left by those who say they sit to pee at home, but stand to do so out in public. From what I've seen (yes, another family that's lazy about closing the door), all the males in my home stand every time.
I hate to say it – because sweet goodness, a person should be able to choose how they want to pee without any pressure – but if it were my 9-year-old who didn't seem to know how I think I'd bring it up. I'd point out what others said about home bathrooms versus public, and explain that standing up is probably how most of the boys will be doing it as he goes through school.
And then I'd leave it at that. Once he had the information it'd have to be up to him to decide what to do.
Images by MorgueFile
Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.