Using Public Restrooms with Kids

Public restrooms. Those words alone can cause even the most experienced parents to panic. But, taking your kiddos to the bathroom is pretty much unavoidable anytime you venture outside your home. So, how do you make the most out of your situation? What are some practical tips to help you stay focused so you (and your kids) can do your business and get in and out as quickly as possible?

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Episode Transcript

Parent Savers
Using Public Restrooms with Kids


Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.

[Theme Music]

JOHNER RIEHL: Close your eyes and picture this, a public restroom. Your mind probably jumps to the worst dirtiest, messiest once you have experienced. But really they don’t have to be that bad. Well they may skew you out as a parent using them is totally unavoidable. Today we are going to talk about tips for using the public restroom with your kids. This is Parent Savers.

[Theme Music/ Intro]

JOHNER RIEHL: Welcome to Parent Savers your online on the go support group, for parents with toddlers. I’m your host Johner Riehl. Thanks so much for listening to us. I’m sure you listen to us every time a new episode is released, but even if this your first time thank you for joining us. Thanks for those of you who also continue the conversation with us on Facebook and twitter and social media we love hearing from you, we love interacting with you we love when you participate in the show.

So make sure you to check out the Parent’s Savers app or the New Mommy Media apps you can listen all of our episodes wherever you go both from us and from our sister's shows. There are tons of ways for you guys to get involved. So here is Sunny with a few more details on how you can do that.

SUNNY GAULT: Yes so we have bunch of segments you guys can participate in. They are all listed on our website in fact we just updated the home page of our website to showcase some of the most popular segments across all of our shows. So all of our shows kind of follow the same format if you listen to multiple New Mommy Media shows you probably notice that in the past and so all of our shows have special unique segments and Parents Savers is no exception.

So we have a Parenting Oops segment where we share the comments you guys have about perhaps parenting fails that could have happened to you in the past and you think you want to share with us you can ask our expert questions and will include you question and their response in future episodes that could help other parents. And just in general we want to hear from you we want to hear what you are thinking about the show if you have follow up questions after we release an episode if you want to share what you thought about a certain episode, good or bad.

We believe this is your show and we are here to help educate in any way we can, so if we did something you really like let us know, if we did something you didn’t like so much let us know that will see if we can make any improvements for the future and just make Parents Savers the best it can be.

JOHNER RIEHL: We love the feedback, we love the good feedback but it’s also good to get the not so good feedback sometimes that helps us make a better show.

SUNNY GAULT: Well it helps us grow right we don't know if people don't tell us what they don't like then we don't know right

JOHNER RIEHL: So today it is going to be me and Sunny with conversation about public restrooms. I have three boys, Nine year old, a seven year old and an almost five year old. And so we definitely use precautions but it’s probably a different experience for just our boys than you might have with your girls and boys

SUNNY GAULT: Half and half.

JOHNER RIEHL: Because I cannot just go to the same one.

SUNNY GAULT: Yes we totally should have had your wife on the show Christina we should have had her on the show to be like I got four boys what do I do?

JOHNER RIEHL: Yes exactly.

SUNNY GAULT: Yes so I have experience both sides of the story here because I have four kids and two of them are boys and two of those are girls. I have to be honest I don't really leave the house all that much to be able to experience this in full force right because I have got four kids and its crazy but we do venture out of the house occasionally and when we do, I do have to think about what I am going to do with my older boys?

It is nice that I got two five and three and my twins are two and half and actually it's not three anymore five and four sorry just turned four. So it’s nice because they kind partner together we may talk about that a little bit later on.

So when I send them into the bathroom now if it's men's restroom I don't usually follow them in or anything and I have a little bit of comfort that at least they can pair up and do it together. Yes so with the girls it's not a big deal at all because they can just always follow me in then it's more of what I do with my boys if I’m by myself right do I bring all four in I have never had experience that.

I think any time I try not to venture too far from house without my husband for that very reason.

JOHNER RIEHL: Really that is fascinating but first we will take a quick break.

[Theme Music]

SUNNY GAULT: All right so this is regarding an episode that we did a couple months back and it was about electronics, and tablets and we actually asked the question within the title of the episode, do they really work and so Mary Anne is commenting on this episode and she says “Hello, I love your show however I was quite surprised as well turned off by these week’s episode on electronic toys, games and tablets. First of all, let me preface my comments by saying I am not anti-electronics or video games at all. I really do believe there was a time in place for all these things in our lives and our children's lives. However having a gaming expert on the show to talk about the benefits of the online games and apps is a kin to having an oil executive share with us the reasons that we should not try to reduce our reliance on oil or somebody from Peda sharing with us the benefits of a vigan diet.”

“What else would we expect? I would have very much appreciated a Pediatrician, a child psychologist or other health expert on the show as well. He mentioned and she's referring to our gaming expert. He mentioned that the science was not definitive, I do not know where he is looking but in the journals that I have read, the science is definitive, there is nothing I repeat nothing that replaces human interaction.”

“I’m a mental health and addictions therapist who works with children, adolescence and adults and I have a healthy skepticism for opinions people share that they claim are biggest in science.” She does continue on this, its quite big email I’m going to skip to the bottom just for time.

She says, “I hope that in the future you will have more balance opinions on the show. I thank you for reading my long and very opinionated but based in science comments thank you for all that you do.”

So yes, I just wanted to mention this a little bit and address this comment. This was I feel like on the show for Parent Savers, we are talking a lot about children behavior because when we have toddlers that's what we are dealing with. We are dealing with how do you manage this?

What I find is we have a lot of pediatricians, the same thing that Mary Anne was mentioning in this email, child psychologist, Pediatricians, those are the main experts we always have on the show. Any expert that's going to give their opinion based on their experience right and so with these episode we were really trying to think a little bit more outside the box, we have never had a gaming expert to share their opinion on this.

But I totally get what Mary Anne is saying, is that it is probably from a little bit bias perspective, but the other thing we did with this episode that I think was great is that our expert and I can't remember how old his daughter was like ten months, Johner do you remember how old?

JOHNER RIEHL: I’m trying to remember how old, I don’t have it on top of my head

SUNNY GAULT: Yes but I think he only has one but he was the really young child you know and we were hoping that kind of balanced it a little bit, and I think one thing we probably could have said at the top of the show listen exactly what I said listen we typically have this experts on the show, we are trying to do something a little bit different because most of the information we see out there is so negative towards this.

We are trying to provide a different perspective. I don't believe we said that and so I can totally see how Mary Anne took this to be you know this isn't quite fair because of the expert you have.

JOHNER RIEHL: It's interesting I mean and I’m not trying to sound defensive here but because we do welcome the feedback, but she did preface her email by saying that she's not necessarily anti-electronics and toys. But then the rest of emails was like a big but after that to talk about.

Whether or not some of the things that Andy was saying were like hardcore claims that this is based in scientific fact and that's not how I recall the conversation necessarily going but I think looking at it at a different perspective. I think there is a very negative stigma towards video games and apps and I think it is something that as parents in this generation that we are all struggling with between the fact that there are educational benefits to using apps and there is clearly addictive possibilities with the two and where is the line where is the balance and I think to make a blanket to stay with either way I don't think we are making a blanket statements that electronics and apps are totally okay and should just go all in on them, but I think that we were talking about there are ways to use electronics, toys and video games that you don't have to be afraid of.

Certainly I think the other side of that pendulum is to try and cut out any string time, any TV any interactive entertainment. Personally I am not sure that we are their either but I think we are trying to represent and by having the gaming expert on I can see that it definitely was more slanted towards hey lets try to find positive benefits of it. But just trying to represent the difficulty that I think a lot of us are facing with this. But also that hey you know what it can't be okay and here are some reasons why.

SUNNY GAULT: Yes absolutely so I’m definitely going to reach out to Mary Anne. She mentioned that she has you know some other information journals that she's read. We do have for all the episodes that we have released, we have a section on our website for the individual episode pages where we've listed additional resources. So I’m going to reach out to Mary Anne make sure that we get some of those links up there on the site for those of you who are looking for both sides of it.

We certainly do want to provide that for you and maybe an episode that we explore in the future too. It's really dive into somebody's journals and what they are saying they are negative side of things. So Mary Anne we really do appreciate your comment thank you so much and again if anyone else has comments about the shows that we do and why we cover things the way we do we would be happy to look it over and we really do take things seriously.

So even if we don't read an email on the show, we do discuss it internally and we always grow from it. So we really do appreciate your feedback.

[Theme music]

JOHNER RIEHL: Today on Parent Savers we are talking about a topic that has been surprisingly in the news lately, its public restrooms. Specifically we are looking at using public restrooms with kids. So Sunny thanks for having the conversation.


JOHNER RIEHL: So let's start here, this might be too personal but I think we have covered a lot of personal topics. I think we've covered our personal topics between the two of us. When was the last time you were able to go out to dinner in the restaurant without your kids without one of your kids pooping in the middle of the meal? Does this happens to you? It happens to us every single time.

SUNNY GAULT: Well I don't know if I can really compare to going out in public because like I stated earlier, I rarely like go out in public but as far as going out with my kids, I will tell you so it rarely happens. But I will say my parents were in town recently and my parents were like let’s go out let’s take all the kids I think we went to IHOP, because kids eat free.

And no joke my son went to the restroom at least seven times this is my five year old at least seven times and it got to the point that we quit walking to the bathroom with him, we could visually see it and I am just like honestly I don't think some mass serial killer is going to IHOP and hurt my child and I could see the bathroom right there. So I don't know what business he was doing in the bathroom I am assuming that he wasn't pooping every time but yes they get crazy.

JOHNER RIEHL: Sometimes I think they just like the idea of going to the bathroom it's something for them to do.

SUNNY GAULT: That's true maybe he is just bored that is a really good point.

JOHNER RIEHL: May be he was bored. Seven times is a lot.

SUNNY GAULT: At least seven times, seven to ten I am going to give it that.

JOHNER RIEHL: For us It's like clockwork if we go out somewhere with our three boys, chances are by the end of the meal someone is going to have broken off and need some help probably, the older one can do it, the middle one I mostly trust but he has had some not through experiences and I still like to come with the youngest one but I think that just underscores that for us at least if we go out in public the restroom are going to be a part of wherever we are going whether it's shopping or wherever, chances are the kids are going to want to go to the bathrooms whether it is just to pee or poop or whatever.

So what I would say for me it’s a little bit easier because when I am out it is me and the three boys and so it is pretty easy for me to take them into the bathroom but what of if you have a baby and a three year old and you are shopping and the three year old has to go so like what do you do the baby is sleeping but you just you have to go and take care of the business of the three year old right?

SUNNY GAULT: Yes and I think it is one of those things that you just hope no one else is in the restroom so you could bring your whole group into the restroom and keep things as quite as possible but everything echoes in the bathroom so the odds of that you not waking up your baby are slim to none but yes. We are all going to do what we think is the safest for our kids right so we are not going to leave one kid out in the hall while the other goes potty cause they are opposite gender I mean give me a break.

JOHNER RIEHL: A lot of the places we go I think that we go that you would never make the venture out into the public are family friendly and so if you are in the restroom people probably understand.

SUNNY GAULT: Then they have the family bathroom and staff too, some of them right?

JOHNER RIEHL: Yes that is a whole other thing, I have got some thoughts on that, but what do you think it is about public restrooms that make people the most nervous or even about you? People have some strong opinions and are pretty scared of public restrooms.

SUNNY GAULT: Right so I think it is the fear of unknown honestly there is a lot of unknown factors here you don't know it might look clean and that gives us some peace of mind but we truly don't know we just did a whole episode on parent savers about germs and we talked about public restrooms settings and you know we think things are very clean but who knows people could be skipping out on the soap in the soap dispenser and not using the right chemicals on the floor so I think there is a lot of unknown there.

I think there is a lot of unknown with you don't know who is coming into the restroom with you, you don't have control unless there are single use restrooms and I feel much more combatable in those although you find waiting in the hall ten people back those are kind of the things that we don't know in our homes we know what to expect because we know the last time when the last time we cleaned our toilet was, we know generally what germs we are bringing in to the house.

JOHNER RIEHL: So I think for me I think that it is some crazy dirty place and my kids are going to be in some filthy place but I know some people have some stranger apprehensions to about hey, you don’t know what the other people are or what is going on in the public restrooms. I think that gets to the root of a lot of conflict of hey what do you do when you have two boys so five and four now but if they have to go to the bathroom would you bring them in at this point would you bring them in the with you to the lady's room and if you wouldn't do you feel bad about that?

SUNNY GAULT: Would I bring them into the ladies room? It would be very rare that I just had the boys, but if that were the situation I would I think it depends on what they had to do in the bathroom. I may question them before hand, okay is this number one or number two? Because if it's number two and if it's another thing like if the handicapped stores are available where I know I can ease everybody in and we are not going to super cramped.

If I know it’s going to be more detailed more involved, kind of clean up afterward, I will take them in to the women's restrooms still. If I think it's a quick pee, again I would feel more comfortable if they went in together and if I knew if I had some control or I knew there weren’t many people in the bathroom and I can kind of manage that a little bit at least have a better idea like an airport, I would never let my kids go into an airport bathroom by themselves ever, ever, ever.

JOHNER RIEHL: For clumsiness reasons.

SUNNY GAULT: No, because you know someone could steal my kids and be on a plane in two seconds.

JOHNER RIEHL: Oh God because of that?

SUNNY GAULT: No way, no way like clumsiness aside.

JOHNER RIEHL: In a worst case scenario reasons

SUNNY GAULT: Yes worst case scenario like and I would never know, yes that's an extreme situation. But it really depends on the situation. If it's simple clean up then I'll let them go by themselves but will feel better if the boys are together.

JOHNER RIEHL: If you saw like a four year old boy in the bathroom with his mum you won't really think twice about that right?

SUNNY GAULT: No, not at all.

JOHNER RIEHL: Right so I feel like it might be one of those things with a lot of parenting things, like we feel bad like everyone is out there judging us for something with like really young kids even four, even five year olds. But for most part of the parents aren’t going to have an issue with that.

SUNNY GAULT: Yes and in fact I think a lot of moms are like this, If we see another mom struggling because usually it is the moms with a bunch of kids in the bathroom, I think we go out of our way to help whether its whatever though I wouldn’t wash someone's kids hands for them that is a little crazy but I might reach out and get some towels for them or help them throw something away or open the door for them or you know something that's simple like that.

I mean we've all kind of been there and we know it's challenging and there are so many things that are going through your mind you are trying to keep everyone together and you don't want anyone to get any dirtier than they have to be. So there are lot of stuff happening and I think moms are really willing to help out other moms in the bathrooms when they see that.

JOHNER RIEHL: But I will say it's so totally different being a dad. Because as a dad and so like having gone through like coaches training for little league and soccer and things like that. You know what happens like we could be in practice or with like we got four and five year olds that team up like this you know the first year soccer and the kid could be like I have to go the bathroom.

So we are trained as coaches, do not take a kid that's not yours to the bathroom. Never find yourself alone with another kid in the bathroom. If you are in a public place like it really isn't appropriate for you to engage with somebody's else kid while there in bathroom or something whereas a mom may be more willing to help out because even if nothing is going to happen it just ends up being you and that other kid in the bathroom, so never let that situation come up this way, we are trained as dads which I think is pretty interesting. It’s a lot different than for girls.

SUNNY GAULT: That's amazing because that would never have crossed my mind. Like when I see little penises and vaginas now I think kids. That's the first thing for my psyche how do I take care of this child? I'm like a care giver mood and not the dad's when they be taking their kids

JOHNER RIEHL: No even if we would be but we don’t take the chances

SUNNY GAULT: Its actually really sad, I actually think it's really sad I understand why that needs to happen and God forbid anything bad happened where those precautions weren’t taken, I'm sure it has which is resulting why we do things the way we do.

But I think it's so sad because I mean the dad’s just want to help, right. But there are boundaries right?

JOHNER RIEHL: Yes and I would say that like just from hearing stories or like you hear maybe its like one story every couple of years about something really bad happening in a public restroom in a park or something, my radar goes up mostly in public parks. If we are at a place like a play ground where as I might feel fine like an IHOP or something or just let my kids run to the bathroom, but in a really public place like that I guess you are saying like you have a big line at the airport. Public parks those are the kinds of places I don't want to let my kids go inside unseen like you definitely want to sort of check it out investigating make sure it's okay. I don't know even what I guess I’m afraid of a bad person.

SUNNY GAULT: Oh yes for sure.

JOHNER RIEHL: I really don't know what specifically why I am afraid of but just that there is some person that I don't know about in there.

SUNNY GAULT: But you are probably not worried that they are going to take your kid or maybe you are but I don't think that's the primarily issue I think you just worried about you don't know like anyone has access to that facility, anybody doesn’t matter who you are, whatever, because at least within an airport, they had to make through some security right, so the odds are they are not going to blow at my kids in the bathroom or wherever. The odds are that the worst thing that's going to happen is that they are going to take them, right.

So just a different concern but again it's the unknown you don't know and then we hear this horrible headlines of kids being assaulted in bathrooms and someone could be hiding in that bathroom store. I mean maybe something that happens even before you get there, you just don't know and I do know parents that can call in there, have you seen that too and they are like hello, is there anyone in here?

JOHNER RIEHL: Yes I imagine if I had a little girl I would maybe call out and then I would go and investigate myself once I’m was sure there were no other people in their or if there was no one else there to help me get her to the bathroom safe that's what I would have consider .At some point the parent boundaries go down when you are just like hey I am being a papa bear or a mama bear I am doing what I need to do to protect my kid. If you know the chances are so slim that anything that anything would happen we all parents go in for the God forbid scenario.

SUNNY GAULT: Absolutely

JOHNER RIEHL: Then I think that’s what everyone is afraid of.

All right let’s take a quick break, I think there is a lot more to talk about with this public restrooms topic including sort of why its been in the news recently and I’m curious to get your thoughts on it Sunny as well hopefully after the show hear from our listeners, so we will be right back.

[Theme music]

JOHNER RIEHL: Welcome back here to Parent Savers. Today we are talking about using public restrooms for kids. So there is a big issue going on currently about transgender people and what bathroom should they use or be assigned to, and lots of States are stepping into the discussion. I think people have a lot of opinions about it and I think a lot of it is tied into the kids. You hear a lot of arguments sort of on both sides that I think involves kids in the bathroom in sort of like what effect would letting the members of the opposite sex in have on them.

It seems to be that Target restrooms are the ones they got called out the most and I know that they may be took a stay at the topic, but for some reasons when a lot of people picture this, they picture shopping at Target and then what exactly is going to happen in the restrooms there.

Why do you think Sunny that people are so fired up about this topic?

SUNNY GAULT: I'm going to be redundant and say it's the fear of the unknown. It’s the fear of not knowing who's going into that restroom. I saw an article recently and in fact maybe I’ll post this on our Facebook pages to see what other parents think of it, but it was this picture of this beautiful child, I mean just gorgeous, almost looked like a glamour shot honestly. The article was saying you are really going to be surprised about this child and the experience this child had in the restroom.

It was all about transgender and it turns out the picture was actually the little boy who is now transgender and is going through some sort of change I think its hormone changes right now. Somehow they are making this change a no surgery but something is involved of someone who was born as a boy and always identify themselves as a little girl. You can't just have such an image in your head because when you look at this photo you think oh my goodness of course this is a little girl and of course this little girl should be able to use female restroom right.

Those are the obvious cases, those are the things I think most parents we want rights for our children. We love our children regardless of what our children do, we love our children and you know we want to embrace them as people in general. I think most people will agree with that you know. But I think I have a little bit different spin on all of this and again when we see in article like that and a picture like that our hearts goes out to that family to be like yes of course you know that little girl should be able to use the restroom.

I come from friends and family that are in law enforcement and they are specifically in law enforcement dealing with child abuse and you know just sexual abuse and the death of children everything is like involving children. So they are very concerned about these issues right now because the way things are worded to be so general is that literally a male could walk into Target put on the dress off the rack at Target and say you know I’m going to go now into women restroom and this could be a pedophile.

Now this is an issue that you know it’s kind of where do we draw the line? So again we are dealing with two extremes here right but the case kinds of ends up being well what’s in the best interest of most people. You know do we have most kids really wanting to change their identity or do we have more pedophiles? I have to say I want us to get to look at this statistics we have more pedophiles. So it’s a hard case you know it’s a hard decision to make but you kind of feel like wow you kind of go with what’s going to impact the most amount of people. I mean is that how we make the call here?

JOHNER RIEHL: Right and certainly you are definitely coming out with the bias of child abuse and looking at it from that perspective and I mean it’s seems like no matter what the attention being drawn to this issue isn't necessary helping. I think that especially over the past year or so as the transgender acceptance and awareness has risen more and more to the forefront, there is probably been more transgender, people in my life throughout my life that have encountered that I have ever realized and is sort of I think that in the past they all go to the bathroom everything was just fine and they weren't transgender as a ploy to be able to be pedophile or to do anything horrible they are just transgender because that’s who they are and they could just go in and use whatever bathroom they need to and its really not a big deal.

But now it's becoming a big deal and to me it seems like this is again a little bit of the God forbid parenting you’re protecting against and certainly you don't even want one case to happen but the majority of people are that being affected are to the Transgender folks that are now not able to go with the bathroom they are identified with and definitely have no ill intentions or anything like that and I don't know if they are pedophiles that are going to take advantage of this or not or not but I certainly understand that that probably also happens way more than I want to realize or admit.

SUNNY GAULT: Yes and if you look online like most communities you know have websites and stuff that you know show you that there are different pedophiles in your area and you would be amazed. Like if you ever go on those sites like you know what we know of as we think of like an old creepy grandpa or uncle like greasy kind a person like looking in on people.

These are everyday people that you would never even know. So a lot of people have been classified as is nothing everyone is going to take advantage of this. But it’s just one of those things that we have to keep in mind. Because again what we are trying to do in general? We are trying to protect our children that’s the bottom line.

Whether you know you say you are protecting your child because you don't want this transgender thing to happen or you know you are protecting your child because your child is transgender you want to stand up for the rights of transgender children. We both also trying to do the same thing. Everyone is just trying to protect kids and you know we want to be fair.

JOHNER RIEHL: So at the end of the day I think what can we as parents do to our kids and that’s keep them close to us and be able to just control as much as we can and hopefully not. A lot of issues that you were talking about what really scared you about public restrooms are really about lack of control but we don't control the environment and so we just need to kind of take back as much control as we can.

So for example I mean I don't think it’s a choice. If you have to go to the bathroom and your kids don't it doesn’t matter they'll come in with you right. I mean it’s not like you would leave your kids. Wanted to use the Targets example like yes why don't you go checkup the toilets section I will be right back. You are going to bring them with you.

SUNNY GAULT: Yes I mean there have been exceptions to the rule. I mean obviously if my husband is with me I will leave them with my husband right, they don’t have to follow me in that way. But in all I have you know in situations like we’ve been like in certain clubs and stuff as we know everybody and you have to have a membership or something to get in.

Anytime were it is vetted like that were you truly like know everybody that’s coming in I think obviously those are you know exceptions to the rule. Right yes but otherwise they have to come in with me I really don't care how old they are like they have to come in with me and till you could really fight with me about it but I think you are going to come with me.

JOHNER RIEHL: Then when they get skewed up by it and eventually you meet up your spouse and then you guys go to the bathroom of your choice.

Let’s talk about family restroom speaking of watching each other go to the bathroom and you pile all in like that one big room. Have you noticed any like any kid around family restrooms or do you sort of have any boundaries around those?

SUNNY GAULT: No and I can't feel like it’s anything goes and knows, who they may have this families. I mean it is a lot for businesses to stay in and not to dwell in the whole Transgender thing but I do think it’s relevant to say a lot of people said why can't trans gender men and women people why can't they use the family restroom? You know but the thing is that a lot of time think about what it would be like for all these visitors even in your own home to create a new restroom.

You know I mean it takes money I mean think about all this because you brought out Target. Think about what would cost Target to install they didn’t already have it I don't know what the stats are how many family restroom they have or whatever, but if you said okay Target the answer is to install family bathrooms you know think about what the hit that would be to their budget.

And we can't really expect people to do that kind of thing. So I kind view family restrooms as kind of catch all they don’t really know what they are going to get it is not my first option. So for example if it’s a situation where I feel comfortable taking everyone into the women's restrooms which right now is with all of my kids I don't really care I will always opt for that.

I don't believe I have ever used a family bathroom with everybody yet.

JOHNER RIEHL: Yes I think family restrooms are for families and it really has nothing to do with sexual orientations thing. I remember one time being in a base buggy with bigger people and seeing a person I know sort of look around and then walk in the family bathroom by himself and I was like oh my gosh he's going in the family bathroom like without a family I’m like he's just like breaking some big rule but still I think that they are for families. If somebody came along with a dirty diaper or like a young kid that’s potty training and you'd go in with them, you are going to have that family bathroom available for him

I don't think that individual should be using family bathrooms I really don't.

SUNNY GAULT: That's like people using like the family parking spots or the pregnancy parking spots when they don't need to that’s drives me crazy too. But I'm with you on that, but I'm one of those people that for some reasons and this is totally not fair but I almost view family bathrooms is not being as clean that’s not fair.

JOHNER RIEHL: Yes I think about that as well and so it’s probably a little hard to clean up and so I think that probably goes to the eticate as well but as families we need to imagine we are the next family coming in as we leave so let’s not completely thrash that place.

SUNNY GAULT: Because I think I just think about ooh I know how the bathrooms like after when you go to the bathroom at home it can be kind crazy verses you know my personal my husband personal bathroom is usually cleaner. You know because we don't really usually mess. So it’s just a whole different thing.

JOHNER RIEHL: All right so we found this article online, on life hacker right, how to survive public restrooms when you are with kids. So let’s talk about some of this tips real quick.

SUNNY GAULT: Okay so the first thing on our list here is don't touch anything you know they are talking this can go to an extreme but they are talking about using tissues to open doors I can't say that I do that.

JOHNER RIEHL: I know we just did the germ episode and everything like that and I totally get the people have their germs issues and want to avoid as many germs as possible. I am not one of the people that’s going to keep the bathroom door open or wait for somebody else to open it so I can squeeze through without touching anything but I certainly understand that you have a great fear of germs not to touch anything but to me if you flushed the toilet with your foot that’s just making me the normal person that flashes with my hand like I'm not going to touch your foot stuff like common you just making it dirtier for us, I think that’s a little bit selfish.

SUNNY GAULT: Well so they said don't touch bathrooms locks, doors, and taps. I don't know what a tap is?

JOHNER RIEHL: Taps is like when there is like a metal plate on the push door.

SUNNY GAULT: Okay it’s maybe like preparing for surgery guys seriously don’t touch the door.

JOHNER RIEHL: You know I mean that’s how a lot of people are in a germy place.

SUNNY GAULT: Yes exactly.

JOHNER RIEHL: That is what they think about public restrooms but if you think about it if you are a gas station in the middle of know where I can certainly see that it’s pretty messed up but a lot of places that family’s will go to they are priding themselves on having clean bathrooms on cleaning probably more often than you clean your bathroom at home.

SUNNY GAULT: Okay the next item on our list is bring hand sanitizer with you and this kind leads into the germ episode that we just did too, I'm not a big hand sanitizer. I just feel like my kids are so dirtier all the time and why am I not using more hand sanitizer.

JOHNER RIEHL: I think it is like a plastic effect

SUNNY GAULT: Yes I kind of feel like the more I protect them from it the more there immune system are just going to grab on to anything else and just not be protective. Yes and then it would just drive me crazy. In all fairness I carry it in my purse I just rarely use it. So my intention is there I have good thoughts about it, it’s just doesn’t always happen.

Next on our list is teach our kids not to touch anything which I kind feel like is the first one, don't touch anything.

JOHNER RIEHL: Dude if you know listen if you know a secret about how to do this I am all ears. My kids want to touch everything. If they walking down the street and there is like wood with like splinter sticking out of it they just going to walk along and touch it. So I think this is just goes beyond public bathrooms but kids you don't have to touch everything.

But they are so tactile if they just catch and they got to do everything and in a public bathroom you could all of a sudden be touching the wrong thing. I actually totally get that which I guess puts me in a weird spot but I think that like, touch the door that’s fine with me, but don't go crawling behind the toilet there is a line right.

SUNNY GAULT: Yes there is.

JOHNER RIEHL: Yes, put on the sink with your hand and wash it but don’t lick the toilet seat

SUNNY GAULT: Oh gosh can you imagine and kids lick everything, they lick everything and put everything in their mouth. Yes I guess it is a little bit different the first thing we kind a talk about us not touching stuff and then kids not touching stuff and so I get that

JOHNER RIEHL: The thing is I also know the kids let’s go straight up the nose that finger is going to be in his nose.

SUNNY GAULT: Well you know just thirty minutes ago before we started you know wherever mom like an hour ago. Before we start recording this episode my little girl brings me a dead bee, and I'm just like seriously, do we have to wash the hands now. See this would have been good for my hand sanitizer, but I’m like dead bee get it off your hands did I know? No.

JOHNER RIEHL: And maybe you can sanitize it away. The next one is totally out of my room of expertise.

SUNNY GAULT: Yes so we are talking about hovering we are talking about opposite sex here

JOHNER RIEHL: No we are talking about a girl going to the bathroom not touching the toilet seats so hovering. So and I assume that maybe moms do this as well. Like if they are in public restrooms they try not touch anything so they sort of standing squat.


JOHNER RIEHL: Do you hover to pee?

SUNNY GAULT: No I wouldn't spray if I hover to be I would spray everywhere and my girls do not have good aim either so we would be like cats honestly it would not be good. You know it’s funny. When I was a little girl my parents and I took a trip to over to Europe and I don't know if its the same is now because it was back then because you are talking about like thirty years ago, but a lot of places in Europe just have a whole like bathrooms public restrooms just have a hole in the ground

JOHNER RIEHL: Yes I have a friend that is already now just posted a picture on Facebook

SUNNY GAULT: Yes and so they are and seriously I was like eight, I remember my mom holding me over the hole and being like I got to pee and I just I mean like no, not even a drop like I’m like I don't know what that is there should be a toilet right there that’s just a hole I don't get it. So that’s what a bad memory for me is like hovering no, no, and no. You know I will put down if they got those toilets things paper things you can put on top of it I do use those and I will encourage my kids to use those but then that really does force you to be in the stall with them right so if you are just usually those are too high. Like my five year old can reach those, so if he had to do number two it’s not going to work right but yes I do encourage that.

JOHNER RIEHL: And the last one is and I have a problem with this one too is you know do your business before you leave the house. Yes anytime you are about to go out, do you wrap up with your kids like go to the bathroom right now before you leave.

SUNNY GAULT: Yes and because we are like in the middle of potty training a bunch of them, I’m potty-training three kids now, like one son the upper level like I'm almost done and my twins are like we are just starting stage. So yes like we are going potty all the time even if I feel like half my life is spent on the bathroom right now. So yes go whenever possible before you get in the car wherever, because its fear the unknown you leave the house you don't know what to expect

JOHNER RIEHL: Yes totally let’s wrap this up. Let’s talk about we have got a little response on Facebook but some of the places that have public restrooms that you love that you totally would say hey it’s a pleasure to go with is public restrooms. Do you have any for yourself?

SUNNY GAULT: Yes and I think it’s applicable to parents with families as well it’s not just for adults. So the biggest one I can think that the people would understand across the country because I know our audiences are all over the place. If you go to Home Improvement Stores, which how often you really take your kids to Home Improvement Stores, I get it but if you do they usually have really nice restrooms and if you think about it all makes sense it’s all really a big like marketing thing for them like ooh look at this back splash, ooh look at this sink this toilets fantastic look at this tile work, you know and so we recently went into a very popular store and my husband and I both commented on it like we did not expect this and of course we didn't even have our kids with us.

But I did notice when we left the restroom we came out there were also bunch of drinking fountains. But that’s kind strange you are going to drink next to the restroom. But anyway they had a lot of different sizes and stuff too. So I could tell that they were trying to make it more family friendly so that’s one thing even if you are not if you are driving because you may see a lot of this Home Improvement Stores when you are driving right.

So if you are driving and you are like I don't want go to gas station or something like that, who's going to check to make sure you are a customer there? So yes just go in one of those

JOHNER RIEHL: If you are driving along what do you do usually I'll go to the fast food restaurant because you can usually go in there and then depending on how much eye contact you make with the cashiers, if you feel guilty you have to buy like a small drink or something. If you go to a Home Improvement Store you have to find it. It is sometimes at the back or at the side.

For us Cosco always has good bathrooms and the good thing is just general like comprehend a lot of good customer service, I think that they really make sure they clean up bathrooms every hour or so anytime you go in there it’s in pretty good shape.

And we as a family you know have been in Lego land few times and they've got a great friendly bathrooms which makes a lot of sense it’s a place totally geared towards families but they keep them nice and clean and they have got with lots of stalls for private, they got little places for kids to sit within the stalls, they got little tiny sinks, they've got you know everything here is just towards kids. And so it’s actually a pretty fun bathroom experience in Lego Land when you go in as well. But my wife and I cannot independently agree on that when we were thinking of this question.

SUNNY GAULT: I would imagine too you know I can't make a blanket statement but any places that are specifically geared towards kids you will think would be more friendly over all right and they would probably check the restrooms a little more because they know there is a lot more kids coming to the park or wherever so that might be something that might work out for you to.

JOHNER RIEHL: Great if you have any other public restrooms that you like definitely let us know, send us a note or if you have any public restrooms experiences let us know. I guess tell us about the gross ones too, because everyone like but we are more looking at for the funny and the Oops and stuff like that. But anyway that was a lot to talk about public restrooms but I think that we covered all the ground and I think yes its really all about control issues and not being in control but then taking a back and being as much in control as you can and so where you are comfortable with and you really just got to stick with your kids and do what you are comfortable with.

SUNNY GAULT: Absolutely

JOHNER RIEHL: Right but thanks Sunny thanks everyone for listening to us today for more information about public restrooms and some of the articles we talked about we have that up in the websites at and believe it or not we are going to continue the conversation about public restrooms for members of our parent savers club, we’ve got a bonus question about parent savers.

For more information about that in the parent’s savers you can visit the member portion of our website.

[Theme music]

SUNNY GAULT: All right so we have a segment that we call “what up with that!” I feel like we need a stinger to come on and so some sort, so this one is all about going to the bathroom which obviously is really app-propor to our conversation today and this comes from Iris and Iris says I have got one child who refuses to flush the toilet always leaves a lovely souvenir for the next visitor to behold. I love her language, to behold, it’s like a Disney cartoon or something to behold yes like “what is up with that!” because I could tell especially in my four year old I could tell him a trillion times listen when you are done flush the toilet and inevitably I go in there and there is a souvenir to behold.

JOHNER RIEHL: Right yes I honestly don't know “what is up with that!” and I mean I can just imagine that might be one of those things. You know you see things in your kids from a young age and it ends up carrying through their adult life that one hopefully is not one of those.

SUNNY GAULT: Well I know they are proud, they are usually proud of it and we have this thing going on in defense of my poor four year old which I pick on all the time. In defense of him we have a system where we give marbles we have like this little marble jar and we give marbles when our kids do good things and we take away marbles it's kind of our own little currency and we take away marbles when they do bad things and when they fill up the jar we get to do something fun.

So my four year old gets five marbles when he poops on the potty and so I get a lot of mommy I pooped on the potty you have to come look and sometimes.

JOHNER RIEHL: Oh because he has to prove it.

SUNNY GAULT: He has got to prove it of course you know because you need proof in this things, five marbles is like a lot of money to kids and so sometimes I would forget I will be like oh yeah I will be right there.

JOHNER RIEHL: Oh cool I will be right there oh no.

SUNNY GAULT: Then by the time I do get to the bathroom it's not in the state it was before or my other kids would have gone to it first and then it smeared and then it's not as nice as originally it was.

JOHNER RIEHL: Listen I will walk in one time and I will see one with no toilet paper and I would be like and I would know exactly which kid did it.

SUNNY GAULT: Clean up on isle.

JOHNER RIEHL: I know what is going on and so I got to call him in there okay, dude a couple of things about this situation like come on.

SUNNY GAULT: Maybe it was just a real clean one he didn't even know.

JOHNER RIEHL: You don't know if it is clean until you try at least once right?

SUNNY GAULT: There is probably something that you need to clean way from it right.

JOHNER RIEHL: Exactly, so “what's up with that!”

SUNNY GAULT: What's up with that flush the toilet people and don't blame your kids when you forget to flush the toilet.

JOHNER RIEHL: No you can blame kids that's another good thing about having kids you can blame them for those issues.

[Theme Music]

JOHNER RIEHL: That wraps up today’s episode of Parent Savers. Thanks again for joining us! We appreciate you listening! Don’t forget to check out all our sister shows on our New Mommy Media network, we’ve got:

• Preggie Pals for expecting parents
• The Boob Group for moms who breastfeed their babies
• Newbies for those going through it for the first time
• Twin Talks for parents with multiples.

This is Parent Savers! Say it with me, Sunny: empowering new parents!

This has been a New Mommy Media production. The information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. While such information and materials are believed to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, medical advice or care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.
SUNNY GAULT:How would you like to have your own show on the New Mommy Media network? We are expanding our line-up and looking for great content. If you are business or organization interested in learning more about our co-branded podcasts, visit our website at
[End of Audio]

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