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Understanding a child’s needs when parents are embarrassed about farts and toilet talk….

Embarrassment around toilet talk is a social construct that has been reinforced by cultural norms and expectations. In many societies, bodily functions such as going to the bathroom or passing gas are considered taboo and inappropriate topics for public discussion. As a result, children may feel ashamed or embarrassed when discussing such topics, even in private or with close friends and family members. This can assist to create an environment of “off topic” conversations that don’t encourage openness and connection between children and parents/caregivers.

It is important to recognize that these bodily functions are natural and normal parts of being human. Ignoring or suppressing discussions about them can lead to a lack of understanding and awareness of our own bodies, which can have negative consequences for our health and well-being. Furthermore, this discomfort around toilet talk can perpetuate harmful stereotypes and stigmatization, particularly around issues such as menstruation and bowel disorders.

Talking about taboo subjects opens dialogue between parent and child.

 It is critical to challenge the social norms of suppressing conversation and “taboo” topics that are actually “normal” and create a culture where discussions about bodily functions are normalized and accepted. By doing so, we can promote a greater understanding and acceptance of our own bodies and reduce the shame and embarrassment that many people feel around these topics. Laughing at yourself and being open about things that make us human, fosters openness and connection between children and their parents. It assists in not only confidence but reduces shame and embarrassment about bodily functions, thereby contributing to allow children to flourish in their lives. It’s also important to laugh at ourselves. It contributes to resilience when things don’t go as planned. Laughing at farts is part of normal development of children.

As a parent, it’s our job to have these uncomfortable conversations with our kids regardless of how uncomfortable we feel. Laughing about farts can break down barriers of embarrassment and encourage openness in our families.

As a parent, it’s our job to have uncomfortable conversations with our kids.

  • Being funny means that children also need to think outside of the box and be clever.
  • When children play, they use humour to help them explore emotions and analyze other children’s and adults’ reactions. They learn more about social interactions and explore what others consider funny.
  • As children explore humour through verbal and nonverbal communication, they begin to gain a better understanding of the world and engage in abstract thinking.

So next time your child insists on talking and laughing and making jokes about farts, let it go and realize it’s just part of the journey.  Letting them be open about things that are annoying or maybe uncomfortable for you cements a family environment of open-ness and togetherness even. 

Further Reading

1. Why We Need More Kids’ Books About Farts – Lisa Ferland
2. Encouraging Your Child’s Sense of Humor
3.Parenting expert says mums should fart in front of kids! | Bounty Parents