'I just witnessed a mum tell her son to pee in the playground.'

Okay, I know, I know. Toilet training is a tricky business. To get your kid from nappies to the point where they quietly nip off to the loo and do a no-fuss, no-mess wee is a long, complicated process that can take months. Years. Decades. I get it. But…

Can we agree that weeing inside a playground is not okay?

I took my kids to the beach a while back, and after we went for a splash in the water, I herded them into a fenced playground nearby. There was a group of people in the playground having lunch. One little boy who belonged to the group ran up to his mum and asked her something. I saw her point to a spot inside the fence, and he went off and did a wee there. Then he went back to playing on the equipment.

There was a public toilet block about 50 metres away. Yep, 50 metres.

Obviously, I don’t know the whole story here.

Maybe the son was actually asking something completely different. (Like, “Mum, what is a fence?”)

Maybe the mum had other children she didn’t want to leave unsupervised. (But she was with a group containing adults, not her 11 other kids under the age of four.)

LISTEN: Our kids gave us a performance review. (Post continues…)

Maybe she thinks public toilets are disgusting because they smell bad and have urine on the ground. (Much like that particular section of the playground does now.)

Or maybe she just couldn’t be bothered taking him to the toilet.


Peeing in the bushes? Fine. Photo: iStock.

Of course, kids get caught short. Sometimes, you just have to tell your child to wee behind a tree. But the idea is that you're trying to be a bit discreet, or at least look like you're trying.

I know that lots of parents encourage their kids to wee (and occasionally poo) in the backyard as part of toilet training. But a public playground is not your backyard. Other parents may not feel comfortable about their barefoot children paddling in a puddle of your child's pee, no matter how sterile you may believe urine is.

It's similar to changing a kid's stinky nappy. Of course you have to do it in public sometimes, but you choose your place, preferably some distance away from other people, especially if they're eating. It's just about being polite and showing a bit of respect for others.

The world is not your child's toilet.