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I got in trouble for DS going "potty" outside school

post #1 of 173
Thread Starter 
After picking DS (4yrs old) up at school, we usually stay at the school playground for another hour or so to hang out with his friends/ other moms. He only goes to pre-k from 7:30-10, so it's nice to have that extra transition time.

Well, today as soon as he was at the playground, he said he had to go potty and ran to the corner (behind a tree) and peed on the tree. A teacher happened to walk by and while I was loudly and clearly telling him, "We can go to the bathroom inside school, it's not ok to go out here. Tell me before you have to go", she looked at me disgusted and said "You know he can't do that, the principal doesn't allow that....and on and on lecturing how there's a bathrom inside...I replied politely, that I remind him not to wait until the last minute, and that he mustn't do it.

He's done it a few times before, and I guess, well, he's decided that's his spot He always waits until the last minute too. ...I don't encourage going potty outside, but boys are boys, and if there's no bathroom around, I will make sure it's in a discreet place...at least behind a tree. I do remind him afterwards that he can ask to go to the bathroom, and we can run back in...at first i wasn't sure if we could since they lock the school doors, but another parent told me it was ok.

So an hour later, still at the playground, that same teacher walks by again and gives me a nasty look, then 2 min. later the Asst Principal walks out...pulls me aside (the few other moms there all staring at me like ooooh your're in trouble), and gives me another lecture on how I can't allow my son to urinate outside, other kids play around the tree and it's dirty and unhygenic....I apologize and repeat myself again....she then tells me that from now on when I pick him up, I need to take him to the bathroom before going to the playground. She didn't suggest doing so, she basically was telling me how I need to parent... I said, ok, but then it would make sense for me to be able to pick him up at the gym and take him to the bathroom before going outside (since once he's out he's running off to the playground). She said no,because of security reasons, he will have to be sent out by the teacher the way they always do (parents must wait outside on the sidewalk), then I would have to walk down to the main door, ring the doorbell, then they will let us in to use the bathroom....ok well, you know how it is, you ask your dc if they have to go potty, they say no, then 10min later they have to go....so basically, I guess I'd have to just drag him to the bathroom, and not ask if he has to go. Then she said she was going to talk to his teacher about it, because I asked, don't they have a designated potty time? The bathroom is all the way down the hallway from the classroom, so the teacher has to take them altogether. So tomorrow I'll probably get a 3rd lecture from his teacher.

Ok, I'm sure I'm overreacting, and maybe I'm doing the wrong thing by not disciplining him more firmly about peeing outside, since he keeps doing it...I guess if he does it again, I should just tell him he's not allowed to stay at the park, and drag him to the car crying and screaming??? Any suggestions welcome on how to deal with this. I know it sounds silly, I think it is silly, but I guess I have broken the school rules and who knows, I could get sent to the principals office next time...grrr... just venting here.
post #2 of 173
peeing outside isn't wrong.. but maybe not such a good idea where other kids play. can you put ti thim like that?

Is there another outside place near home, or your own backyard where he CAN pee outside... until he outgrows the urge.

4 is still young.

sounds like the school is just uncomfortabel with urine... can't blame them. I think they are trying to fix it...
post #3 of 173
Dogs pee where kids play. Not that I think peeing near the playground is great.... just saying!!!... but... I have two young boys in a town without public bathrooms. We have peed on park trees and in alleyways. In the forest it is A-OK! I have heard moms embarrassed that thier boys have peed on the school grounds. You aren't the first mom to have to modify that behavior! It really sucks that you were shamed for it though.
post #4 of 173
I think if they want a change in behavior, they should make more of an effort to facilitate it. Like not sending 4 y.o.s out the door away from the bathroom after who knows how long since the last potty break.
post #5 of 173
I let my DS pee outside at home all the time. Of course, that doesn't make it appropriate for public places but I'm not gonna freak out if it happens!
Just sounds like teacher/principal have their panties in a bunch. He's only 4. Sheesh!
post #6 of 173
I think my head would have exploded the first time someone lectured me about an incident I had already handled. :

Wow.

Did they think once he started you could stop him mid-stream?

It sounds to me like they make it extremely difficult for them to go to the bathroom, and he found a simple solution. Natural consequences for micromanaging things to death, don't you think?

I think if the teacher lectures you, you should have a response ready, something about them not responding to the needs of small children very well and maybe back it up with some cites about bladder infections from waiting too long to go. I would laugh if one of my dc's teachers lectured me. Talk about overstepping boundaries!
post #7 of 173
I will have to say that I am NOT a fan of peeing in public. Even in the woods there are rules about where you can urinate, not in the water supply, not where you are going to prep food etc.

IMO peeing should be done in its designated area, unless it is an ABSOLUTE emergency. Emergency don't really happen on playgrounds.

Maybe your boy likes peeing outside. I know I like going outside. I would rather go outside. In the appropriate area.
post #8 of 173
I can totally understand the school position I alos think they could have handled it with a lot more grace. I'd just try my best to figure out a way to help my son and move on from there comments at this time. Sorry you were harrassed so much.

Deanna
post #9 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattysmomma View Post
....ok well, you know how it is, you ask your dc if they have to go potty, they say no, then 10min later they have to go....so basically, I guess I'd have to just drag him to the bathroom, and not ask if he has to go. Then she said she was going to talk to his teacher about it, because I asked, don't they have a designated potty time?
We have certain rules here in the house. Before we go out somewhere everyone uses the bathroom and also before stories and bedtime at night everyone uses the potty. I don't know about the 'asking them if they have to go' thing. It may be that it just needs to be a new rule to use it as he has shown you pretty consistently he needs to go at that time. Potty before play in the park outside may need to be the new rule.

I'll bet if I didn't have the potty time rules in the house my kiddos would probably have accidents a lot and when we went out. I think maybe my DD's 5 and nearly 7 have wet the bed maybe twice since they were fully potty trained in their second year.

I know it may be a PITA, especially initially to do it. But he will accept it, and get used to it. I really personally feel the same way about pottying in a public place whether it's a boy or girl. Obviously accidents happen, but once you've noticed a trend, and that he thinks it's acceptable it's a good idea to prevent it. There are laws against public urination for reasons. And, I definitely think that the school is only trying to be responsible and respect what other parents likely would be upset about. I definitely would not like it if I found out that one of my DC's classmates was consistently peeing in an area they could play in.
post #10 of 173
Honestly, I think that's pretty icky, and I really wouldn't want to play in a playground where kids are peeing here & there. And I'd about the least germ phobic person around. I used to keep a toddler potty in my car for such emergencies. Maybe you could put one in the trunk.
post #11 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
I think if they want a change in behavior, they should make more of an effort to facilitate it. Like not sending 4 y.o.s out the door away from the bathroom after who knows how long since the last potty break.
Amen, sister. Plus, I'm pretty sure that pee is sterile. It's really not going to hurt anything or anyone for a 4 yo to urinate outside.
post #12 of 173
Wow, this seems a little high strung - he's only 4!

On the other hand, I don't suppose I would want my kid to put his hand on the tree where somebody peed.
post #13 of 173
Well, I wouldn't be really psyched about my kids playing in pee, but I'm sure there are worse things. :

My issue would be being corrected MULTIPLE times even AFTER I had already dealt with the situation. That would really piss me off.
post #14 of 173
I think I'd frame it as a "school rules" thing. It's against the rules to pee outside at school....even if Mommy is here with you.


I'd hate to see all 300 kids peeing outside
post #15 of 173
I think if there's a bathroom available, it's best to pee in a bathroom, instead of on the school playground.

Just take him to the bathroom after school. Why is that a big deal?

They probably overracted a bit, but, it's not that big of a hassle to stop at the bathroom before you go out to the playground.
post #16 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatchristy View Post
Obviously accidents happen, but once you've noticed a trend, and that he thinks it's acceptable it's a good idea to prevent it. There are laws against public urination for reasons. And, I definitely think that the school is only trying to be responsible and respect what other parents likely would be upset about. I definitely would not like it if I found out that one of my DC's classmates was consistently peeing in an area they could play in.
I agree with this, and sorry, I side with the school. Telling him "not to do it next time" every single repeated time he does it, is not "handling it" at all. It's not like he did it once and you told him not to and made sure to take him to the restroom before the playground in the future. That would be "handling it," and I'd agree with you that they should stop harrassing you about 1 incident. You're saying though, that he does it repeatedly and every time you tell him, after he's started, not to do that. I think you need to make sure he pees before he goes to the playground, or take him home where he can pee in your yard. Or pull him out of school if its that big a deal to you, or bring a portable potty. Its not about if you think pee is sterile, its about societal rules and potentially laws. On school grounds, its entirely possible that you're breaking the law.
post #17 of 173
Unless your son has a bladder infection, his urine is completely sterile. It's more hygenic then touching a public door handle anyway. Besides, he's four, so peeing out side is like... the coolest thing ever!
post #18 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattysmomma View Post
she then tells me that from now on when I pick him up, I need to take him to the bathroom before going to the playground.
Why don't they take the kids to bathroom BEFORE they send them home with their parents? Doesn't that seem like the LOGICAL thing to do? I get so sick of power-tripping imbeciles running rampant! Jeez, what do you pay them for anyway? Peeing outside isn't that big of deal. When my brother was in preschool he peed on the playground, while standing on a piece of playground equipment, and he got some on another kid. Yeah, that was trip to principal for my mom. Don't feel bad. They are the ones that are making a big deal out of nothing, not you!
post #19 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by EviesMom View Post
I agree with this, and sorry, I side with the school. Telling him "not to do it next time" every single repeated time he does it, is not "handling it" at all. It's not like he did it once and you told him not to and made sure to take him to the restroom before the playground in the future. That would be "handling it," and I'd agree with you that they should stop harrassing you about 1 incident. You're saying though, that he does it repeatedly and every time you tell him, after he's started, not to do that. I think you need to make sure he pees before he goes to the playground, or take him home where he can pee in your yard. Or pull him out of school if its that big a deal to you, or bring a portable potty. Its not about if you think pee is sterile, its about societal rules and potentially laws. On school grounds, its entirely possible that you're breaking the law.
They're dealing with 4 year olds who were very recently potty trained.

You'd think they would make bathrooms more accessible. All she can do is correct him once he's started to go, it's too late to do anything else.

If it's such a big deal to them, they should make it easier for him to take a bathroom break earlier, while continuing to correct him.
post #20 of 173
I would worry that if he has made this a habit, he may try it while he is at school under the teacher's supervision. If that were to happen, I imagine it would be handled as a discipline issue, and very well could result in your child feeling shamed. It also sounds like you are there playing during school hours, and it honestly surprises me that you are permitted to hang around and play after he is dissmissed. Are there no other classes using the playground during that time? I can't even imagine the drama that would result if other children saw him, or imitated him.

I understand that the whole experience was embarassing for you. I can understand though, that from the school's POV -- you should be able to teach your child not to pee on the playground.
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