Bathroom stalls in a public school

You’d be hard-pressed to find a parent who doesn’t understand the value of potty
training their child. Toilet training takes your child one step closer to self-reliance
and equips them with a skill they’ll need to learn sooner rather than later.

But how much effort is placed on teaching children how to respect communal
toilets? When children reach a certain age, they understand that they have to keep
the toilets at home clean because no one is going to clean up after them. But it’s a
completely different story at school. At most schools, the responsibility of keeping
school toilets spick and span lies squarely on the shoulders of cleaning staff. When this is the case, it’s easy for kids to adopt a ‘someone else will clean it up’ mentality.

So how do you go about getting your kid to respect their school toilet? Here’s how:

Change Their Attitude

Ownership is a powerful thing. When something doesn’t belong to you, you’re far more likely not to give it the respect it deserves. But once you take ownership of something, you generally do your best to keep it in good condition. This principle can be used to your advantage. Hammer home the fact that the toilets don’t belong to the school – they belong to the pupils. Since they are the ones using them, pupils should be encouraged to practise proper sanitation habits at school, just as they do at home.

Warn Them of the Potential Risks

Bacteria thrive in dirty, unhygienic facilities. If your child is using a bathroom that is not regularly cleaned and disinfected with bleach, they run the risk of contracting an E.coli infection, shigella or diarrhoeal diseases. Once these diseases are contracted, there’s no guarantee they’ll stay at school. Your child may bring them home and infect the rest of the family. This is why it’s important to remind children that the same toilet hygiene habits they practise at home ought to be practised at school as well.

Show Them the Bigger Picture

Sticking gum under the table and littering on the school playground are frowned upon and discouraged by schools. Most pupils realise the harm in these habits and take the necessary steps not to engage in them. But not flushing the toilet after use or failing to clean up after they made a mess is just as bad, if not worse, than littering. If your kid is doing their best not to litter, explain to them that not keeping their school toilet clean is all part of a cluster of unacceptable behaviours.

Chances are your kid’s school is already up to date on the best toilet cleaning tips. But that will be of little use if the pupils don’t play their part. Get your kids on board, and the process of keeping the school toilet clean should be a breeze.