September 30, 2011

The Great Sit or Stand Debate

Alright friends, time for a post I'd like to call Potty Training 101.5: Who gives a crap edition. Let me just preface here, not going to talk about why, but potty training sucks. I would rather donate all my toes to science or something, but it must be done. Potty training a child with Autism? Toes, fingers and possibly my left arm.

In the potty training department, I get a gold star. I don't know why God has given me the gift of my kids being "easy" so to speak, but I'll take it. No joke, they were both potty trained in a matter of days, even through the night....hello? Are you still reading? Stop cursing me!  Have to say I am a potty training hippy.  I don't push the issue, little kid potty is always available, we "try" a lot too.  But kids have to be developmentally ready, physically ready, and cognitively ready before this is even going to work.  Follow their lead.

At any rate, I think The Boy may be the only one in his Day Treatment that is potty trained; luckily this is what they do there, so I was in no rush. I was not forcing the issue, he just decided out of the blue 1 week before school started that he wanted to wear the Cars underwear. Wahoo, Cars it is! Now, we deal with the fact that you can't wear the same pair of Cars underwear 2 days in a row, but we're working through it.

Onward. The Boy has started "inclusion" at "regular school" with typical kids. I get update phone calls from his teacher. The first day it went something like this...

"The Boy did great, a few snags, but he worked through them very well. By the way, did you know he sits down on the potty to pee? We're going to work on trying to get him to stand up."

Maybe it's just me here, but who cares if he sits down or stands up, he's going! I didn't realize this was such an issue. Listen lady 6 months ago the kid was stripping down to his socks and sitting backwards on the potty, we've come a long way. Naturally I told the other parents at Day Treatment who were all like, "she's a tyrant, bully and ugly troll." I totally know the troll comment was uncalled for,  but I just ignored it. But I didn't say it. I'm just the messenger. *innocent*

I told inclusion school teacher, "look it really doesn't matter to me as long as he's going. I don't want to cause him any more anxiety about going potty and the rights and wrongs of it. He'll get it, he'll see the other boys standing and probably catch on, so let's just let nature take its course here."

Seriously. Settle down teacher. Settle down. If they put this in his IEP, I will come unglued. The sitting method is much less messy, less of a spray factor there, and I don't have the time to be constantly sanitizing.  So this works for me.

Who is the standing easier for really? The kid! I totally wish I could stand to pee, that would be awesome. But I just don't see why this is an issue. Am I missing something? So my kid's not a potty conformist, so what! He also lives with a household of women, but that's not the point here.  I'm pretty sure he won't be sitting down on the potty when he's in high school.  Peer pressure can be a wonderful thing.

What say you? Is there a right or wrong way for a little boy to go potty and should I be enforcing the stand?  If so, why?

{P.S.} If you disagree, and are a proponent of the stand, I promise not to call you names, so don't be scared.


  1. I'm all for them sitting. When I was potty training my son, he had, according to the Asian doc, "dee teeniest peepee hole I ever see". Which meant that he could aim at the toilet and shoot me in the forehead while I was standing behind him.

    So he sat on the toilet for years. Unfortunately, he's 7 years old, has had surgery and still pisses all over the place. I think it's a boy thing, so I'll have to keep checking back for answers from men.

    P.S. - Yes, I realize my comment was no help to you. But it was fun to remember the pee head days.

  2. Oh wow! You probably know how I would handle this! I'm with you. Who in the ever lovin world cares? I can't believe this is a concern. No one should have to be a potty conformist. Keep us posted on the potty nazi. I need to know if I'm missing some important piece of boyhood here and her reasoning for enforcing the stand.

  3. Dumb. Who cares how he pees?!?! After working at a daycare, I will take the boys that sit down over the "standers" anyday...WAYYY less pee on the floor.

  4. Yeah, she should probably focus her energy on the ones that aren't potty trained or whizz all over the place. There are grown men that choose to sit to pee. I wouldn't date them or anything but really who cares.

    I'd stand too if I could. Would also make it a lot easier to pee in random places like in the woods and behind nightclubs. Let him figure that it when he feels like it.

  5. Peer pressure would be a very tough way for him to learn to pee standing up...and yes it is a big deal...There will be phrases like "mangina" and much much worse. Plus how will he ever learn to write his name sitting?
    Peeing standing up also gives you the opportunity for light saber fights, distance peeing, and quick emergencies...Also playing battleship in the toilet...
    disclaimer:Yes this is a guys perspective, I have 3 boys and 2 girls. Boys are easier to raise in general. Peeing standing up is one of the few things that are sacred to a man, I encourage you to help him to find his stance:

  6. I’ll provide a dad’s opinion here. Not sure if my angle differs from the rest because I’m a man or because I don’t know enough about Autism to understand appropriate timelines of development. But here goes, and call me out where I’m saying something ignorant.

    I agree with you, Cari. Not a big deal Gabe is squatting in these early days. I’ve heard from various moms that start off training their little guys this way. Easier and less piz dripping from the ceiling.

    But I also agree with the teacher. Now’s probably as good a time as any to get him standing up. Especially if his teacher and school are experienced in the potty training business. Although I wouldn’t push it too hard at this time, it’ll come in time.

    Thinking back to my school days, many elementary schools don’t have doors on the toilet stalls in boys bathrooms. Trust me, ask around, this is true. And boys can be cruel. I remember as far back as 1st and 2nd grade, kids would see someone in a stall taking a dump and would stand there and opening mock him. It was embarrassing. Heck if you shook it more than twice standing at the urinal, kids would notice and comment. So we learned to avoid the toilet as much as possible, willing to brave a stomach ache so as not to have to pinch a log at school. Perhaps the kids in my class were especially crass, but I suspect what I experienced is par for course.

    So I think it’s not a big deal your son is sitting. And also not a big deal the teacher suggested she’ll work on him standing, as long as Gabe is ready and she’s not forcing him.

    With respect,

  7. Are you kidding me? Ok, coming from a mom of two non-potty-trained 6 year olds.....LET ThE KID SIT!!!!!!!! Good Lord, it's wonderful that he sits!!!!! Choose your battles!

  8. Just letting you know that I stopped by your blog today from the 'In The Nestwork' site.

    Have a nice weekend mate!

  9. I didn't know that there was such as issue surrounding this. I don't think its that big of a deal. I mean, really, c'mon people find more things to do in your day, if you have this much time to over analyze sitting/standing, lol. Great post!

  10. Personally, I'm with you because I'm sick of cleaning pee up around the toilet. BUT, DH would be mortified if he read this post. Apparently there is definite peeing etiquette (or whatever it's called) in the mens' room. Our ABA therapists (who were all women) basically told us Dan had to get the boys straightened out as far as the rules of peeing in the mens' room goes. I mean, a bunch of women can't go into a mens' bathroom to mentor the boys on this topic. Whatever, it's all a mystery to me and I'd like to keep it that way, thanks. And, good post.

  11. Hey Cari~
    We got Zac standing up this summer by standing outside! Then as you know like everything else it is like he has done it forever, but like everything else I think it is never going to happen, but then it just does! I think we got him doing it as he got out of the pool at Gma and Gpa's and of course like all boys he still likes to go outside, now we are at a wonderful school that actually has the kids pee outside while on hikes:)!! Zac hasn't yet! But I think it is so great! Keep up the good work! You are doing awesome!

  12. My little dude is 3 and still chooses to sit to pee. I don't know why, but it's his choice. On occasion he will stand but maybe he likes to take a moment to just sit and chill...or maybe it's because he is the only male in our house and considers that the norm. LOL!
    I wonder why the teacher cares about how your son chooses to urinate?...weird.
    Like an earlier poster said, "Pick your battles people!"

  13. Finally a topic I can relate to and comment on. I agree with most everyone. If he is not ready do not push it, BUT it is important for him at some point as a boys bathroom / Locker room can be a tough place for a kid. The sooner he gets it the better. I say put him in front of a tree outside and let him pee. This will definitely get him to pee standing up but you may never get him to pee in doors again. My next visit to MN I can offer some mentoring services in the peeing department as I consider myself a master pee'er. For those of you wondering what a creep I may be, I am said little man's uncle and wish I still lived closer to provide a more active male role model for him.

    Hope all is well,

    Your Bro-in-Law

  14. I was talking to hubby about not looking forward cleaning up the mess once my boy is potty trained. Hubby said make him pee sitting down. It would be a nice skill to know someday, but I don't understand why teacher needs to work on it.

    I heard on the radio once that it's "un-man-ly" to sit down to pee. What ever. :)

  15. Hmmm, this is an epic debate :) Personally, I could care less whatever position the little guy takes to do his business as long as he gets to do it. And I hope your little man becomes successful with whatever is comfortable for him (at the moment). Good luck!

    Ria C

    It's My Party
    Home is Where the Heart Is
    Red Lips and Pinky Toes
    The Travel Bug
    Handmade with LOVE

  16. Holy Moly! I did not know that there was such debate to be had here. Good points from both sides. Thanks everyone for your comments, especially the dudes. As I am dude-less, good to hear the point of view from a guy.

    As a Mommy, who hates germs and dirty bathrooms, I like the sit method. I'd probably be okay with this his whole life. And then we'd never have the darn 'put the seat down' issue. But yes, I guess I have to think, if he's going to stand, he should do it now while he has support.

    And Christina, you make a good point, I probably wouldn't date a guy who sat down to pee either, I would wonder.

    On the flip side, from the dudes' point of view, oh and my bro-in-law, aka master pee-er; this is something sacred to a guy. As a girl who knew? And I know there is something to the writing your name with pee, as I've seen it mentioned on other blogger's blogs, ahem. I would hate to deprive him of this rite of passage. Also I really don't want him to be teased either, and I can see that happening.

    Thanks everybody, awesome commentary, I'll keep you in the loop. Although this morning I asked him if he wanted to stand up to pee and he looked at me crazy and started crying. This might be bad.

  17. the point is to go potty, right? I don't see an issue. Full disclosure: I haven't started potty training yet - so, far from an expert here.


Let me know what you think by posting a comment or sending me an email, I promise not to stalk you if you do!