Poo is important!

A few incidents with kids and poo made me want to write a bit about it.  Little weird? Think we adults have been trained to dislike poo too much.  And really, what's to like? 

celebrating poo!
Poo is goood
But poo is very important to a 2 to 3 year old.  My little friend, 30 month old Hannah, now knows all the organs in the digestive tract.  She particularly loves the colon cause that's where the poo is.  My niece, 4 month old Lily did an untimely #2 in the bath the other day.  Her 24 month brother Big Boy was a little shocked but also impressed.  And there's certainly a reason why Winnie's a Pooh-bear!

Good ole Freud
Freud was the first to make an issue out of kids and pooh.  His theory of psycho-sexual development described the Anal stage.  That is when 1 to 3 year olds get most of their "psychological energy" (I'm trying to make Freud sound a little less weird) from learning to control their pee and poo.  I know people don't like that the word "sexual" is connected to children, but this "sexual" refers more to a type of energy than to what we adults think of as "sexual", OK? 

Freud went on to say that the way parents handle toilet training is strongly connected to whether a child feels shame or accomplishment.  He linked anxiety-type personality traits to rigid, punitive toilet training.  Not sure how accurate that is.  What I do know is that children LOVE poo. 

Poo is power!
I think it has to do with how powerless they feel amidst powerful adults in a huge world.  Being able to produce something from your own body must be amazing if you feel powerless.  And to get that bit of autonomy and sense of "self" is one step in that journey of growing up. 

Poo punishment
Sometimes children use pee and poo to punish people.  I have heard of children that would poo inappropriately to show their disdain with parents.  To show that they don't agree.  In that sense, being able to hold back and produce poo at will is a way to have a little bit of control in relationships. 

poo=happy with friends
Constipation with a purpose
Amazing that not wanting to give poo often is to do with a child who feels helpless, angry or depressed.  A little client I had would always have a poo accident during play therapy.  She was raped and severely neglected in her first two years of life and didn't know how to appropriately attach to people. During play therapy, she started to gain control over relationships again.  She showed this by "giving" poo to me.  Fortunately she was old enough to do the toilet thing herself.  I'm not that good with "receiving" poo. 

Poo has energy?
Another child development theorist, Melanie Klein, often talked about the child "flinging faeces at the parent".  Not really flinging it, but trying to show some independence and control.  So, flinging refers to the psychological energy behind the act of pooing and how it sometimes is used to punish or show disdain. 

Poo Power
So, the journey of becoming aware of pee and poo is not just about being potty trained (and saving money on nappies - although an important consideration sometime!)  It is really about your child taking significant steps in her perception of accomplishment and sense of autonomy.  On the other hand, if not handled correctly, it could be your child’s introduction to anxiety and shame.

Yes, poo is important!

Tell me some of your kids' poo-stories. 


Anonymous said...

We don't have pooh stories yet, but I am hoping to make it a fairly easy transition for N if I can. Lots of people are pressuring me to start already, others to wait. I think she'll let me know when she's ready. I'm definitely not doing it as a money saving exercise only.

amanda said...

Parents are in a totally different world: imagine talking about your pooh stories. ;-)

Zurena said...

Poop!! I never thought I'd be so interested in poop. I've always said tho that when I have a child I would never let them feel shame about poop. My nephew was made to feel shame so when he did a poop as a toddler he would always go and hide...I never liked that. So when Hannah arrived I was encouraging and made it to be a natural thing. I would tell her what colour it is and what consistency. Show her... Smell it.. Maybe that is why she's so interested in it now..hehehehe..She says she wants to be a poop doctor..She's so comfortable with it...Not ashamed and that's what I always wanted...

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