When should your kid use a public restroom alone? Will she sit directly on the seat if you’re not there?

Carrie Smith explores a situation that we all experience at some point. When the time is right, our children will use public restrooms by themselves. It’s a right of passage, and perhaps a little scary. Maybe using the potty like a big girl is an exciting adventure, but it can definitely fill any parent with dread.

In her blog Way Out Parenting, Carrie Smith [mother of twins Cammie and Matthew] looks at a necessity that can strike anxiety in any caregiver.

She writes, “Gay fathers with a daughter and lesbians with a son face these questions sooner than heterosexual co-parents. Because you don’t represent both sexes, at some point you must allow your child to venture into a world where you have no access. What is it like in there? Will your child be safe? How can you prepare him or her?”

Carrie goes on to offer practical tips for using public restrooms and reminds us to keep a sense of humor about the situation.

For those with daughters, she says:

• Tell yourself any disease she picks up can be treated with antibiotics;
• Take solace in the fact that the first time she sits down in a puddle of someone else’s urine, she will never again make the same mistake;
• Don’t go anywhere until she reaches a comfortable height for squatting.

Read the rest of Carrie’s blog for more parenting insight; and learn how Hannah Montana can teach your child about gay culture!

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