Tuesday, December 11, 2007

How things have changed since we were kids

Sometimes it's fun to reminisce about how our childhoods differ from our kids' (and how they're similar). In so many basic ways, things are basically the same, in that I grew up in the suburbs, went to school, had after school activities, a dog, carpools, etc. Kids are pretty oblivious to the things that make a practical difference to moms (microwaves, ziplock bags, disposable diapers, aromatherapy, spanx). Of course there are the obvious changes in technology - our kids can't fathom life without cellphones, email or gameboys, but in practical terms, all those devices just help us do what we used to do (communicate or play) more efficiently - leaving us more time to surf through 900 channels instead of 9, and still find nothing to watch.
I'm more fascinated by the weird side effects of technological change. For example, I just read about a new psychological disorder in young kids, complicating their toilet training because of their fear of automatic flush toilets. My kids are old enough to have been completely toilet trained and then some before the invasion of automatic toilets, which at least around here (suburban California) are pretty recent. But toddlers are freaked out by toilets that go off without any warning - frankly, it scared the daylights out of me the first time! - and there are now child psychologists who specialize in treating this phobia. (Side note - I just heard from a friend who has lived in Japan: apparently toilets there are incredibly high tech, with automatic seat warmers, various buttons to activate different digitalized sprays, sanitizers and washes, and now some even higher-tech toilets can process and analyze urine samples. I shudder to think what those contraptions will do to toilet-phobic toddlers!)
Another side effect of technology that cracks me up - disposable diapers advertising a new feature, a "feel wet liner". Apparently, disposable diapers are SO effective that kids don't mind wearing them, which is another disruption of toilet training. So now when you think your kid is ready to be trained, you switch to diapers which are intentionally LESS effective, so the kid feels less comfortable and is more willing to sit on the potty seat. My mother likes to remind me that all 3 of her kids were toilet trained before our second birthdays - but we weren't precocious, we just didn't like sitting in soggy cloth diapers. My younger son's toilet training ran just a bit later than the introduction of new sizes of disposable diapers, fortunately, because he was (and is) a big kid; so just when I despaired of him ever being out of pullups, they introduced size 5, and then size 6 - and then he finally gave them up, just before I would have to have switched him to Depends.
I'll write again when I can think of some non-bathroom-related examples of technology gone awry.

1 comment:

health watch center said...

Hi Supermom,

Everything has changed since we were kids... :) including this potty training and kids too... :)

We can know when our child is ready for potty training by observing the dry diaper for long hours. When our child maintains diaper dry for at least two hours, then our child is ready for potty training.

When we start the training, our child should be in a position to understand what we are saying and what are the instructions to follow. When our child is ready for training, he may feel discomfort in the dirty diapers.