There are some topics that are very important, but most of us are too embarrassed to discuss. Even if our health and happiness depend on it.

Do you know what’s important and stays with you from your early childhood to the end of your days? Knowing how to wipe your butt after going for a Number 2. But before you go running off to some other article that’s not talking about DooDoo and CaCa, hear us out: a teacher went viral on the internet after using balloons to teach her preschool students how to wipe their behinds.

Read on for Bored Panda’s interview with potty training guru and children’s behavioral expert Amanda Jenner about the topic.

The video where a teacher uses balloons to show kids how to wipe went viral

Image credits: gnuman1979

Image credits: gnuman1979

Image credits: gnuman1979

The creative and innovative unnamed teacher showed kids how to wipe front-to-back (and not back-to-front), fold the paper, and wipe again. The balloons were a perfect way to illustrate how to do this in practical terms.

When the video was posted online, it went off the rails: when one person shared it on Twitter, the clip got over 165,000 likes and was retweeted 48,300 times. Plenty of American Twitter users exclaimed that lessons like this would be invaluable in US schools. However, there were plenty of offended people as well — they thought that lessons such as wiping one’s buttocks were best left for parents to teach at home.

Children’s behavioral expert and potty training guru extraordinaire Amanda Jenner shared with Bored Panda her opinion about the teacher showing her students proper restroom etiquette: “I think it’s very important for the parents to teach this at home initially, but this does take little ones a while to get this right.”

“I see no harm in a teacher demonstrating in the way this particular teacher has done. Children really adapt to visual demonstrations and I also think this is giving the message that we can talk openly about our bodily functions and not to be ashamed about it.”

Jenner also shared with us what she wished every parent would know about potty training. “Firstly, that every parent will compare their child and this is where the mistakes begin, each child will develop at a different rate. Also, potty training does take time and patience and being prepared yourself as a parent is just as important as the child. Most of all, keep it fun and consistent!”

The potty training expert highlighted that our attitudes towards the restroom have changed over time. “I think many years ago the restroom wasn’t as much as an emotive subject. I think because resources have dramatically changed and improved over the  years, there were many poorer conditions and we had to make do.”

“Nowadays, we find it very difficult to openly discuss any toilet-related problems, and when it comes to teaching our children, it becomes more difficult as they pick up on everything, which in turn is delaying children being potty trained and the age has hugely increased.”

You can watch the full clip here

Wiping your behind with toilet paper is far from the healthiest or cleanest thing you can do, according to scientists and BBC Future. In the West, the fact that we overwhelmingly use toilet paper instead of water to clean ourselves is an indication of the influence the United Kingdom and the United States have, rather than ‘proof’ that it’s more hygienic than the available alternatives.

According to BBC Future, the vast majority of the world uses water to clean themselves after [ahem] evacuating their bowels. Or, in the words of Egyptian comedian Bassem Youssef during a recent performance in the UK, “I don’t get it: you guys are one of the most advanced countries in the world. But when it comes to the behind, you’re behind.”

“The penchant in many Western countries for wiping after using the toilet – rather than rinsing off – is a source of puzzlement around the world, writes Christine Ro on BBC Future. “Water cleans more neatly than paper: at the risk of inspiring an “ew!”, imagine trying to remove chocolate pudding from your skin with tissue alone. Plus, while toilet tissue may not be as harsh as pieces of ceramic (used by ancient Greeks) or corn cobs (used by colonial Americans), we can all agree that water is less abrasive than even the softest five-ply.”

So, dear Pandas, what do you think of teachers showing their students proper bathroom etiquette? Do you think that water is better than paper? What other thoughts do you have on this topic? Share your ideas in the comments.

People’s opinions were divided on this subject

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