Published On: Mon, Sep 3rd, 2012

Poo Poo Bum Bum Head

Danielle Mantakoul

Danielle Mantakoul

BA of Ed Early Childhood and Editor at Mummy Weekly
She's described as one of the most engaging & dynamic speakers in the early childhood industry today, now having educated hundreds of thousands of parents & teachers. She has lectured for organisations such as KU Children’s Services, Only About Children, Qantas, National Australia Bank, Child Protection Australia, Goodstart and hundreds of council & private centres. She also developed and ran the popular parenting series for the Australian Financial Review.
Danielle Mantakoul

Poo Poo Bum Bum HeadThat’s right, you heard me, “poo poo bum bum head”. Or you might know this in your house as “wee wee bott bott” or “stinky poo face”. That’s right, the good old preschool toilet talk. For some parents, it’s seen as kids just having fun. But for some, it drives us crazy and is simply seen as bad manners. So which is it, and what if anything should we do about it?

Many preschoolers tend to be quite open with each other in the toilets, where the topic of bodily functions is not out of the ordinary. It can tend to be once they hit school that they become more self conscious. If you ask your child’s early childhood teacher, they will tell you that toilet talk is heard from the preschoolers in the bathroom on many occasions.

What I believe is happening here with the preschooler and toilet talk are two things. Firstly, their language is pretty good now, so they are now starting to experiment with it, and two, they are starting to develop more of an adult sense of humour. Poo poo bott bott is pretty funny, and kids start to understand this, and enjoy the humour of it too. (Toilet talk is in a different basket to swearing. I am not referring to swearing in this article).

I prefer to have restrictions on toilet talk rather than try to get rid of it altogether. At my house you are only allowed toilet talk in two places. The first being on the trampoline. It’s great! I can’t hear a word they are saying. And the second place I allow toilet talk is in the car. Now I know what you are thinking. The car? She must be mad.  Well, let me explain.

You know about that 5.30ish time you have kids in the car, and you don’t want them to fall asleep? Because you know, that one minute of sleep seems to equal one extra hour of being awake at night!  So, if I looked into my rear vision mirror and would see one of my kids nodding off, it would be me that would start the good old toilet talk. In fact, I would have a Wiggles song where some of the words were replaced with toilet talk words. It’s great, everyone’s awake, singing along, laughing and no one falls asleep. But, my kids would know that as soon as they got out of the car there was no toilet talk allowed. They clearly knew the rules surrounding toilet talk and what the restrictions were.

Kids can work really well with restrictions, as long as you are very clear on what these are along with being  developmentally achievable. Not too many parents want their kids throwing around the good old poo poo bott bott at grandma’s. We must teach our kids that we need to be sensitive to the needs of others, and the best strategy here is to be talking about what your expectations are before you even get to grandmas. “At grandma’s remember we take our shoes off, use our manners and nice talking”.

Kids are able to learn that different places they visit can have different rules. If you do get the good old toilet talk at an inappropriate place such as grandmas, the important thing is not to over react. Calmly but firmly remind your child that grandmas is not the place for toilet talk, (yes give it a name so they know what you are referring to) then quickly move them on to the next topic of conversation to divert attention.

Consider having a little toilet talk fun with your kids under restrictions that you create. We are so busy these days that small bursts of fun you can grab with your kids is therapeutic for all, and if you can cope with a few toilet talk words and they don’t stretch your scruples too far, have a play, it will make you and your kids giggle. Its harmless fun in the right place.

Signing off, Mrs Poo Poo Bum Bum Head.

By Danielle Mantakoul
Copyright 2012 Mummy Weekly
www.mummyweekly.com.au

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