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Old 02-07-2020, 10:16 AM
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Your Thoughts On This Minor Marital Dispute (Giving An 8 Year Old Too Much Information?)


Last night I purchased and installed a toilet-seat bidet attachment, for reasons that you don't need me to explain to you.

Mrs. Homie infrequently (4-5 times per month) babysits an 8 year old girl for an hour or so after school, or on days when there is no school.

She (Mrs. Homie) says that we should tell "Coraline" that the attachment is Never To Be Touched, Never To Be Asked About. With any luck, she'll lose interest and won't touch it or ask about it.

I say there's absolutely zero harm in telling Coraline exactly what will happen if the messes with it: that it will spray a blast a cold water at her butthole (a conversation that Mrs. Homie needs to have with her, not a conversation for me to have with her). I also say that turning the device into a Thing Of Mystery And Intrigue is just going to make her more interested in it.

What say you? Warn her not to touch it? Have Mrs. Homie explain to her what it is? Don't mention it at all and hope she doesn't take an interest?
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:27 AM
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I see lots of issues if the girl tells her parents about a butthole washer at the babysitters house. As parents, you don't want the babysitter talking about anything like that with your daughter. It doesn't matter whether it's you or your wife telling her. The parents are going to be thinking that the babysitter is doing the washing. You don't want to do anything that will make the parents have those kinds of thoughts.

Can the valve to the bidet be turned off when she's there? If she's told that it's something inconsequential like "a toilet with a washer" and it doesn't work, she'll likely just ignore it.
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:28 AM
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She (Mrs. Homie) says that we should tell "Coraline" that the attachment is Never To Be Touched, Never To Be Asked About. With any luck, she'll lose interest and won't touch it or ask about it.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! HAHAHAHAHA!! HAHAHAHAHA!

I agree with you that Coraline will immediatly find it the most interesting thing in the house and will do whatever it takes to investigate the Magic Mystery Thing on the Potty.

All Mrs. Homie has to say is that it's a special gadget to help wash off your bottom after you go #2. She doesn't need to know the backstory.

(And if she wants to try it, let her, and after the first cold blast launches her into orbit she'll never want to touch the thing again!)
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:33 AM
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Tell Coraline’s parent(s) that you have a bidet, FFS, and give them some input into what the policy should be.

Last edited by kaylasdad99; 02-07-2020 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:40 AM
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Tell Coraline’s parent(s) that you have a bidet, FFS, and give them some input into what the policy should be.
Seriously. It's just a toilet, not a sex toy collection. People the world over have them and, presumably, their kids still use the toilet at age 8.
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:43 AM
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I installed the exact same bidet a few months ago for my wife. Took me 2 trips to Lowes to finally get it to work. I have used it a few times, works pretty good.
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:45 AM
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Tell Coraline’s parent(s) that you have a bidet, FFS, and give them some input into what the policy should be.
This. I think kaylasdad99 has the best answer.
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:52 AM
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I installed the exact same bidet a few months ago for my wife. Took me 2 trips to Lowes to finally get it to work. I have used it a few times, works pretty good.
Got it on the first try! Maybe I should have been a plumber...
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:52 AM
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Seriously. It's just a toilet, not a sex toy collection. People the world over have them and, presumably, their kids still use the toilet at age 8.
Yes, seriously, I don't understand the prudishness here. Also she's 8 not 3. Most 8 year olds have perfectly functioning brains if you try and engage them.

Do you get equally embarrassed about toilet paper?
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Old 02-07-2020, 11:20 AM
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Yes, seriously, I don't understand the prudishness here.
It's an American thing, and it's not prudishness exactly, it's just that most of us find bidets weird and exotic, since they are exceedingly rare in the US. If you shower assiduously at least once a day, they don't seem all that necessary.
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Old 02-07-2020, 11:26 AM
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Yes, seriously, I don't understand the prudishness here. Also she's 8 not 3. Most 8 year olds have perfectly functioning brains if you try and engage them.

Do you get equally embarrassed about toilet paper?
Agreed. Even in the US where we don't generally use a bidet, they aren't taboo by any means.

For the sake of not wanting to confuse a kid who has likely never heard of or seen such a thing, I'd just say, "It makes it easier to get clean down there," if she asks (or your wife can, as the kid herself might feel embarrassed afterward). Maybe mention it to the parents in passing, just in case she asks them about it, and they likely don't have one. Can't say I've been in this exact position before, but it really shouldn't be as complicated as it's being made out to be.
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Old 02-07-2020, 11:30 AM
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it really shouldn't be as complicated as it's being made out to be.
You've never met Mrs. Homie. She'll agonize for hours over the most trivial of trivial things. She comes from a family where the worst thing you can do is cause embarrassment.
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Old 02-07-2020, 11:31 AM
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I would suggest if you have other bathrooms just get her to use one of the others.
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Old 02-07-2020, 11:33 AM
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I would suggest if you have other bathrooms just get her to use one of the others.
1BR house, unfortunately. Although we live in a wooded area and there are plenty of trees to hide behind....
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Old 02-07-2020, 11:36 AM
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As a parent, I do not want anyone other that me or my wife talking to my kids about bodily functions, intimate areas, or anything like that. I don't want to normalize having other adults talking about that stuff in any way for the kid. Kids won't know the difference between a helpful adult and a pedo trying to groom them. I want it to be a hard line that doesn't get crossed. That's just something I'm going to be super protective and proactive about because I don't want to take any chances.

What I might consider appropriate for the bidet is if the wife told the kid "It's called a bidet. You should ask your parents to explain what it is." And then the wife should tell the parents that their child asked about it. But to be honest, I probably would be worried and might consider using a different babysitter. Nothing against the OP, but I wouldn't want to have that doubt.
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Old 02-07-2020, 11:40 AM
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I was probably eight years old when I encountered my first bidet. I was with my dad, visiting a friend of his. I had to pee and my dad's friend gave me directions to the bathroom. When I entered the room it was immediately obvious there was one toilet too many. I investigated and more or less figured out what was up. No big deal.
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Old 02-07-2020, 11:48 AM
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I say there's absolutely zero harm in telling Coraline exactly what will happen if the messes with it: that it will spray a blast a cold water
Wait, I'm curious; how unpleasant is it with cold water? Particularly in winter if you have well water. I know I have to mix in some hot water to comfortably wash my hands. BTW, I agree that you should tell her frankly and honestly what it's for. If you're concerned, mention it to the parents ahead of that, just to avoid any weirdness.

Last edited by Dewey Finn; 02-07-2020 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 02-07-2020, 12:00 PM
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Wait, I'm curious; how unpleasant is it with cold water?
Thoroughly numbed the gooch this morning, but, you know, First World Problems. I wasn't going to spend the extra money on one with a heating attachment.
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Old 02-07-2020, 12:01 PM
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Good grief! I can't believe this is an issue. It's plumbing, FFS. If she asks, tell her it rinses a person's bottom after they go, but she should ask her parents exactly how it works. No doubt SHE has been taught not to discuss her private parts with other adults. NO. BIG. DEAL. This:
Quote:
She (Mrs. Homie) says that we should tell "Coraline" that the attachment is Never To Be Touched, Never To Be Asked About.
is Beyond Nuts. It's not a dildo collection, a whip, and a set of handcuffs.

Last edited by ThelmaLou; 02-07-2020 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 02-07-2020, 12:07 PM
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If you really feel the need to talk to her about it, I hope you can be less crass than "It squirts water up your butthole"

"It squirts water to clean you up". Sounds better.


That said, that's not a conversation I would be having with any kid that's not mine. I think you should listen to your wife.
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Old 02-07-2020, 12:16 PM
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Between kaylasdad99 and filmore I think the clear answer is to tell the parents that you got a bidet attachment for your toilet. The parents will have to lead the way here on what you may and may not discuss with the child.
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Old 02-07-2020, 12:24 PM
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And if she wants to try it, let her, and after the first cold blast launches her into orbit she'll never want to touch the thing again!
I think this is a separate issue from what you tell the girl. What if she worries about the bidet being there and becomes reluctant to use the toilet?
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Old 02-07-2020, 12:45 PM
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Old 02-07-2020, 12:45 PM
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I see lots of issues if the girl tells her parents about a butthole washer at the babysitters house. As parents, you don't want the babysitter talking about anything like that with your daughter. It doesn't matter whether it's you or your wife telling her. The parents are going to be thinking that the babysitter is doing the washing. You don't want to do anything that will make the parents have those kinds of thoughts...
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Originally Posted by filmore View Post
As a parent, I do not want anyone other that me or my wife talking to my kids about bodily functions, intimate areas, or anything like that. I don't want to normalize having other adults talking about that stuff in any way for the kid. Kids won't know the difference between a helpful adult and a pedo trying to groom them. I want it to be a hard line that doesn't get crossed. That's just something I'm going to be super protective and proactive about because I don't want to take any chances.

What I might consider appropriate for the bidet is if the wife told the kid "It's called a bidet. You should ask your parents to explain what it is." And then the wife should tell the parents that their child asked about it. But to be honest, I probably would be worried and might consider using a different babysitter. Nothing against the OP, but I wouldn't want to have that doubt.
OK, I'm not a parent, never have been, never will be. But when I read these two posts I feel very sad. Is the world such a threatening place for an 8-year-old girl that this attitude is appropriate? I hate to think so.

And I wonder if the parents' attitude would be any different if the child were a boy. This is not a "gotcha" question, I am genuinely interested.
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Old 02-07-2020, 01:48 PM
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You don't have to talk about unless she asks. But at age 8, she'll get it. "It's called a 'bidet.' It's to wash your bottom after you go. Ask your parents about it." You don't have to demonstrate, and you don't have to let her use it. And don't let the Mrs. make it a taboo because that's what will turn it into something weird. They're not common in the U.S. but there's nothing weird about it unless you're Crocodile Dundee.

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It's an American thing, and it's not prudishness exactly, it's just that most of us find bidets weird and exotic, since they are exceedingly rare in the US. If you shower assiduously at least once a day, they don't seem all that necessary.
The hotel-style standalone ones are rare in homes, but you can buy an add-on bidet at Home Depot or Lowe's. If you had one you would abandon that position, unless your timing is such that you shower every time you use the toilet.
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Old 02-07-2020, 01:54 PM
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She (Mrs. Homie) says that we should tell "Coraline" that the attachment is Never To Be Touched, Never To Be Asked About. With any luck, she'll lose interest and won't touch it or ask about it.
Besides sounding like the setup for a terrible plumbing-themed horror movie, this will never work. The kids in the movie will immediately want to play with the thing. So will Coraline.

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As a parent, I do not want anyone other that me or my wife talking to my kids about bodily functions, intimate areas, or anything like that. I don't want to normalize having other adults talking about that stuff in any way for the kid. Kids won't know the difference between a helpful adult and a pedo trying to groom them. I want it to be a hard line that doesn't get crossed. That's just something I'm going to be super protective and proactive about because I don't want to take any chances.
To each his own. I hope you are having lots of discussions about body parts with your daughter to normalize it. She should feel comfortable discussing these things with you. Because if she is ashamed to talk about her body parts and bodily functions, a pedophile will have an easy time convincing her that her parents would be angry with her if she told them about what happened to her and that it should just be a secret between them. It's a fine line between "don't talk about these things with other people" and "we don't want to hear about these things."

aap.org.en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/news-features-and-safety-tips/Pages/Parent-Tips-for-Preventing-and-Identifying-Child-Sexual-Abuse.apsx
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Old 02-07-2020, 02:08 PM
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What I might consider appropriate for the bidet is if the wife told the kid "It's called a bidet. You should ask your parents to explain what it is." And then the wife should tell the parents that their child asked about it. But to be honest, I probably would be worried and might consider using a different babysitter. Nothing against the OP, but I wouldn't want to have that doubt.
Seriously? You'd get a different babysitter if your regular one got a bidet? What do you do if she sees wet wipes in somebody's john?

It's an utterly normal appliance. It does not automatically imply weird sex practices, or even common sex practices.
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Old 02-07-2020, 02:08 PM
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Just tell her that there's a special attachment that you use to wash your butt when you go to the bathroom. If you feel you must, have the wife tell the parents, too, but it really seems akin to saying that you installed a new shower, to me anyway.

If you don't tell her it's used to wash butts, that thing will turn into a "secret drinking fountain" in a hot minute.
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Old 02-07-2020, 02:27 PM
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Seriously. It's just a toilet, not a sex toy collection. People the world over have them and, presumably, their kids still use the toilet at age 8.
I have one and my son - at 8 - was inquisitive. I told him what it was and how to use it. He used it twice and lost interest.
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Old 02-07-2020, 02:38 PM
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You could always mount a simple set of instructions, making it self-explanatory. Other guests would appreciate it, too.
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Old 02-07-2020, 03:24 PM
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This: is Beyond Nuts. It's not a dildo collection, a whip, and a set of handcuffs.
And that is, of course, the solution:

Homie can just leave out the dildo collection the next time the kid comes over, and that will surely ensure that his wife won't have to be embarrassed to tell the kid that she cleans her butt after she poops.

Everybody wins!
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Old 02-07-2020, 07:41 PM
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The hotel-style standalone ones are rare in homes, but you can buy an add-on bidet at Home Depot or Lowe's. If you had one you would abandon that position, unless your timing is such that you shower every time you use the toilet.
I have lived nearly all of my adult life outside the US and have had many homes with bidets, stand-alone ones even. It did not change my position in the least. Maybe it would if I crapped at random all day long, but since my innards very kindly wish to evacuate when I get up in the morning, just before I shower, it's not an issue. (Also, I didn't think this was a special skill or anything, but I'm REALLY good with tp.)
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Old 02-14-2020, 08:46 AM
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As a parent, I do not want anyone other that me or my wife talking to my kids about bodily functions, intimate areas, or anything like that. I don't want to normalize having other adults talking about that stuff in any way for the kid. Kids won't know the difference between a helpful adult and a pedo trying to groom them. I want it to be a hard line that doesn't get crossed. That's just something I'm going to be super protective and proactive about because I don't want to take any chances.

What I might consider appropriate for the bidet is if the wife told the kid "It's called a bidet. You should ask your parents to explain what it is." And then the wife should tell the parents that their child asked about it. But to be honest, I probably would be worried and might consider using a different babysitter. Nothing against the OP, but I wouldn't want to have that doubt.
I hate to break it to you, but their teachers will have had conversations with them about toilets many times. "Hey little Timmy, do you need to peepee? Shall I come with you?"
And why does the wife have to do the talking?
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:11 AM
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I think Crocodile Dundee's explanation is perfectly appropriate: "It's to wash your backside with."
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:14 AM
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And why does the wife have to do the talking?
I assume because the wife knows the girl much better, she could be a lot more delicate about explaining it, and HeyHomie would feel awkward and is maybe worried about it looking weird that a grown man is talking bathroom stuff with a young girl.

I was around the same age when my family went to a big picnic at somebody's cabin in the woods. There was no plumbing so they had an outhouse. One of my mother's friends took me to use it and she explained that it was too far away to have water pipes so it was like olden times out there. It was no problem at all. The adults were way more worried about the well. It had a little shed built over it but the door didn't lock so they were afraid one of us would get in and fall.
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:25 AM
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I see lots of issues if the girl tells her parents about a butthole washer at the babysitters house.
Not a parent, but that in no way would be of any concern to me unless she continues "...and his name is Kevin."
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:54 AM
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I assume because the wife knows the girl much better, she could be a lot more delicate about explaining it, and HeyHomie would feel awkward and is maybe worried about it looking weird that a grown man is talking bathroom stuff with a young girl.
All of this. The latter thing mostly. I'm as woke as the next guy, but it seems wrong for me for a grown man to discuss bathroom things with a little girl. My involvement with her and the bathroom began and ended with me telling her where it is ("first door on the left").
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:34 AM
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I think Crocodile Dundee's explanation is perfectly appropriate: "It's to wash your backside with."
"Bidet, mate!"
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Old 02-14-2020, 02:57 PM
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OK, I'm not a parent, never have been, never will be. But when I read these two posts I feel very sad. Is the world such a threatening place for an 8-year-old girl that this attitude is appropriate? I hate to think so.

And I wonder if the parents' attitude would be any different if the child were a boy. This is not a "gotcha" question, I am genuinely interested.
I'm a parent, and I think there's a lot of pearl clutching going on in society in general about this sort of thing. It's silly.

I mean, come on. Little kids get their diapers changed by lots of people. Kids being potty trained need an adult to wipe their butt for them for a while. Then after that you need to remind them to wipe their butts, and instruct them on how to do it. Don't be embarrassed about bodies. Just be matter of fact.

There's zero reason to be afraid of someone describing a bidet in simple straightforward language. We have one in our house, and if a kid asked about it, I'd say "It's called a bidet. It's to help clean your bottom after you poop." Like, they get it that butts have to be cleaned. We don't have to be such prudes.
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Old 02-14-2020, 03:09 PM
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As a parent, I do not want anyone other that me or my wife talking to my kids about bodily functions, intimate areas, or anything like that. I don't want to normalize having other adults talking about that stuff in any way for the kid. Kids won't know the difference between a helpful adult and a pedo trying to groom them. I want it to be a hard line that doesn't get crossed. That's just something I'm going to be super protective and proactive about because I don't want to take any chances.

What I might consider appropriate for the bidet is if the wife told the kid "It's called a bidet. You should ask your parents to explain what it is." And then the wife should tell the parents that their child asked about it. But to be honest, I probably would be worried and might consider using a different babysitter. Nothing against the OP, but I wouldn't want to have that doubt.


This mentality is baffling to me. Do your kids never go to the bathroom outside of the home when you're not around? Did they never go to a babysitter while being potty trained and need help wiping? You never had a boy learning to aim and his friend's mom had to talk to him about not peeing on the seat/floor or at least wiping up after? Kids poop and pee, and you need to talk to them about it, fairly often, for at least a few years. Do you just keep them under lock and key at home that whole time? Did you never go to a movie on the off chance they might have to pee while you were gone and the babysitter would god-forbid say something about it? To me, this seems like an irrational fear of stranger danger taken to an absurd degree of excess. What am I missing?
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Old 02-14-2020, 03:14 PM
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I was around the same age when my family went to a big picnic at somebody's cabin in the woods. There was no plumbing so they had an outhouse. One of my mother's friends took me to use it and she explained that it was too far away to have water pipes so it was like olden times out there. It was no problem at all. The adults were way more worried about the well. It had a little shed built over it but the door didn't lock so they were afraid one of us would get in and fall.
My mom tells a story that, back in her youth, my uncle somehow fell into the outhouse (he was pulled out and cleaned up, much to my mother's relief at the time), so they were perhaps worried about the wrong thing.
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Old 02-14-2020, 03:25 PM
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Wow. There's some serious puritanical American prudishness bullshit showing in this thread. It's completely baffling to me. Take the kid into the bathroom and show her what it's for and how it operates. What the fuck is the problem with that? If she wants to use it, go right ahead. That's what it's the fuck for!

What the fuck is wrong with some of you?

Last edited by Leaffan; 02-14-2020 at 03:30 PM.
  #43  
Old 02-14-2020, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by iamthewalrus(:3= View Post
I'm a parent, and I think there's a lot of pearl clutching going on in society in general about this sort of thing. It's silly.

I mean, come on. Little kids get their diapers changed by lots of people. Kids being potty trained need an adult to wipe their butt for them for a while. Then after that you need to remind them to wipe their butts, and instruct them on how to do it. Don't be embarrassed about bodies. Just be matter of fact.

There's zero reason to be afraid of someone describing a bidet in simple straightforward language. We have one in our house, and if a kid asked about it, I'd say "It's called a bidet. It's to help clean your bottom after you poop." Like, they get it that butts have to be cleaned. We don't have to be such prudes.
Exactly.

I am a parent, and if for some reason I didn't trust you to tell the Sprout what a bidet is, I would definitely not trust you to babysit. (A babysitter better be able to talk about pooping. Either in case an accident happens (possible even at eight years), or to help prevent one).
  #44  
Old 02-14-2020, 05:18 PM
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Filmore, if you changed babysitters over this, how would you explain that to your kid? I can't imagine a way in which that would be a healthy conversation, but maybe you'll surprise me.
  #45  
Old 02-14-2020, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Roderick Femm View Post
OK, I'm not a parent, never have been, never will be. But when I read these two posts I feel very sad. Is the world such a threatening place for an 8-year-old girl that this attitude is appropriate? I hate to think so.
Ah, it's, um, not such a threatening place as suggested by filmore. I think he's just having a hard time distinguishing between a baby sitter and Rando, the washroom guy.
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Originally Posted by Quercus View Post
... if for some reason I didn't trust you to tell the Sprout what a bidet is, I would definitely not trust you to babysit.
This. FFS this is an eye-opening thread.
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  #46  
Old 02-14-2020, 06:20 PM
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I can't even figure out what is acceptable to filmore - he doesn't want anyone talking to kids about bodily functions other than him or his wife. I can understand that , to a point. But if "potential grooming behavior" includes the babysitter explaining that a bidet is used for cleaning up after using the toilet, then I expect filmore has gone far behind the point that is reasonable, and would object to a doctor asking questions about body functions or a teacher explaining menstruation when his daughter get her period unexpectedly young , before her mother has explained things to her. And if even saying " It's a bidet, ask your parents what it's used for" is too much, then I guess the only acceptable thing is for the babysitter not to have anything filmore's kid might ask about.

Last edited by doreen; 02-14-2020 at 06:20 PM.
  #47  
Old 02-14-2020, 06:29 PM
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Add me to those baffled why there needs to be some sort of formal introduction between the kid and a new home appliance.

If it were me, I wouldn't mention any changes to the bathroom unless the kid, as kids do, said something like "what's that?" And if the kid did, I'd respond with, "It's a bidet. Popular in Europe. It squirts water to help you clean after you go the bathroom. It's not a water fountain." We'd probably laugh at the last part.

I don't think that any of that is beyond the capacity of a kid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filmore
...What I might consider appropriate for the bidet is if the wife told the kid "It's called a bidet. You should ask your parents to explain what it is." And then the wife should tell the parents that their child asked about it. But to be honest, I probably would be worried and might consider using a different babysitter. Nothing against the OP, but I wouldn't want to have that doubt.
This is weirdly paranoid.
  #48  
Old 02-14-2020, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by SanVito View Post
Yes, seriously, I don't understand the prudishness here. Also she's 8 not 3. Most 8 year olds have perfectly functioning brains if you try and engage them.

Do you get equally embarrassed about toilet paper?
I'm thoroughly confused as well. Even a 3-year-old could understand it. It's a thing to clean your butt. There's nothing "naughty" or intriguing about it, and it wouldn't even occur to me to talk to the 8-year-old's parents about it. I would just tell her it's a butt washer. (ETA: And, yes, I am a parent to two kids under that age, and I would have no issue somebody explaining to them what a bidet is.)

Last edited by pulykamell; 02-14-2020 at 06:46 PM.
  #49  
Old 02-14-2020, 06:46 PM
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Just print out instructions and tape it to the wall or set it on the toilet lid. No other communication needed.
  #50  
Old 02-14-2020, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by filmore View Post
As a parent, I do not want anyone other that me or my wife talking to my kids about bodily functions, intimate areas, or anything like that. I don't want to normalize having other adults talking about that stuff in any way for the kid. Kids won't know the difference between a helpful adult and a pedo trying to groom them. I want it to be a hard line that doesn't get crossed. That's just something I'm going to be super protective and proactive about because I don't want to take any chances.

What I might consider appropriate for the bidet is if the wife told the kid "It's called a bidet. You should ask your parents to explain what it is." And then the wife should tell the parents that their child asked about it. But to be honest, I probably would be worried and might consider using a different babysitter. Nothing against the OP, but I wouldn't want to have that doubt.

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