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Kids Peeing in Public: Do or Don’t?

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With the blogosphere abuzz about little boys (and even little girls) peeing in public spaces, as seen everywhere from CafeMom’s The Stir to Lisa Belkin’s recent post on Motherlode, I guess it’s time to fess up: I admit to occasionally allowing my older son (3 years old) to pee in public, albeit discretely.

Bloggers aghast at the sight of little kids relieving themselves in public have blamed everything from premature potty training to parental entitlement. In our case, I always have my son go to the bathroom before we leave home, and I’ll take him into public restrooms when they’re available (unless they are truly unsanitary, as some New York City bathrooms are); I’ll even pack up everything and run home with him, if that’s a possibility. But sometimes it’s just not. And unlike some of the bloggers who have weighed in on this topic, I don’t think that having him pee in his pants helps him to learn any life lessons. In fact, I think that’s just cruel, when he could just as easily duck behind a tree, and then continue on with his day without wearing soggy pants and a crown of shame.

What’s your policy regarding letting your kiddos whiz in public? Are there times and places where it’s kosher – or it is never appropriate? 

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