November 13, 2007

Old Codger Paper: New-Fangled Toilets Freak Out Young Whippersnappers

So according to someone at the New York Times who probably just started toilet training her kid, these new [sic] automatic flush toilets everywhere are traumatizing young children.

Like so many articles about Kids These Days, the real issue is, is your kid neurotic? Experts say not yet, but keep trying:

Jerilyn Ross, president of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, said that a fear of automatic toilets did not, in itself, meet the criteria for a psychiatric diagnosis.
The real problem, of course, is parents, parents who didn't grow up in an automatic flush world, who had to get up to change the channel, whose phones were tethered to the wall by long, curly cables with an annoying propensity to get tangled up.

The kid has had her issues with unexpectedly loud toilets, especially on airplanes. Now we anticipate it, talk about it, sometimes pre-flush the toilet to see if it's loud. See, she likes to be told. If it's going to flush.

For Children, It's A Scary World Out There (In There, Too) [nyt]


Automatic flush toilets scare me too - but for a different reason. Two words: aerosol effect.

I like some time to escape before the worst of it hits, and that's really really difficult when you're bending over to stuff a wiggly toddler back into her pants and the toilet is flushing right near my head. Gah!

My daughter hates those automatic toilets! And the super loud ones at Target, too, even those are the "old-fashioned" kind.

My daughter hates them, as well. We carry little Post It notes to cover up the "eye". Beats standing there with my hand over it.

The autoflush ones crack my daughter up. She thinks it funny.

Yep, my boy is almost 5 and he's still scared of them. In fact, it's ruined public toilets in general because he's worried they might be the automatic type and suddenly flush at any time.

My nearly-6 daughter is freaked out by any unusual toilet. It's gotten so bad sometimes that she has a complete meltdown 20 feet away from them, despite my best parenting efforts.

She can sometimes be coaxed to sit on an automatic one, if I hold my hand over the sensor.

Hand blow dryers are another problem. I think their ears are just much more sensitive than grownups' ears.

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