Automatic flush toilets are the latest childhood fear.
Forget about unexplained things that go bump in the night. We think today’s toddlers have a far more tangible fear. The New York Times says the automatic flush toilets found in public restrooms are wreaking havoc on tender toddler psyches. The toilets are designed only to flush when there’s sudden movement, but unfortunately for toddlers, that’s pretty much what the whole toilet-going process entails. Some kids are so scared by the toilets, they refuse to use them at all.
A Mom•Logic Mom of a 3-year-old girl says, "My daughter is totally freaked out by automatic toilets—as soon as she sees one, she puts her hands over her ears and screams: 'Don't let it flush!'"
How to combat the fear? Patience and repetition. Which is ironic, since that’s how you got them to learn to go “pee-pee on the potty” in the first place. Another solution: Purchase a $2.99 Flush-Stopper, a product designed to deactivate the sensors that trigger a flush. Or, save yourself the three bucks and simply cover the sensor with your hand (or a post-it, if you're germaphobes like us).
Like all irrational childhood fears, this is one that will disappear over time. But it joins a long list of things that freak our kids out. Here's our Childhood Fear Hall of Fame. Any we forgot? Comment and let us know.