If you’ve ever been in a room with small children and just mention the topic of “passing gas” or burping it’s usually received with smiles and a roar of laughter. Bodily functions are quite interesting and amusing for children.
Displaying or going out of your way to exaggerate bodily functions is inconsiderate of others and plain old rude. Following are some bodily functions that are worth discussing with your child.
Burping – When possible, children should try their best to remove themselves from the company of others and release their burp in private. If that’s not possible, or just doesn’t occur, than she should be encourage to burp as softly as possible and remember to say, “excuse me” afterward.
Nose Picking – Toddlers and preschool age children are frequently guilty of nose picking. When a small, shall we say, “fishing expedition” occurs, a reminder to remove their finger(s) from their nose, because it isn’t pleasant to look at and dirty, is usually all it takes. Offering them a tissue and insisting they wash their hands is also a good idea.
Cleaning Teeth – Getting something stuck in your teeth is irritating, but resolving the issue in public is not polite – neither is dental flossing or using a toothpick in public polite. No one wants to see your eaten food being swished and coming out of your mouth on a string or stick – let alone watch how you dispose it. Children, however, usually use their fingers, which can be a dirty proposition. Encourage the removal to occur in the restroom.
Yawning – All of us, including children, are tired from time to time, but yawning in front of other people makes you appear uninterested and bored. Also, no one really wants to see what every single one of your teeth looks like. If it can’t be avoided remember to cover your mouth, quietly yawn (no roaring) and say, “excuse me” afterwards.
Sneezing and Coughing – This is one of those topics that usually can’t be avoided. If your child needs to sneeze or cough teach them to turn away from the people around them, and to cover their nose or mouth with a tissue if available. If a tissue is not available, then they should at least sneeze and or cough into their hand or arm. The goal is to avoid spraying other people. Children sometimes also need to be reminded to throw away their tissues and wash their hands.
Passing Gas – It must be said that passing gas is normal. I once read that the average person passes gas about 14 times a day. If a child feels something coming on, going to the restroom quickly is encouraged. If that doesn’t happen for a myriad of possibilities, then saying, “excuse me” may be necessary. On the other hand, if your child is on the receiving end, and an odor is detected with a small gathering of people it’s rude for a child to yell out “who cut the cheese?”. Calmly continuing what you were doing helps to avoid a possibly embarrassing situation for someone else.