A discussion on one online forum reveals some mums are still wiping their children’s bottoms up until the age of 12.

The discussion began on Mumsnet when user Changedmymind shared she is frustrated with their six-year-old’s refusal to wipe his own bottom.

She shared: ‘He wipes it in school, but refuses to do it at home insisting me or his dad does it. I’ve just refused and he’s currently having a meltdown on the toilet.

‘Am I being unreasonable to expect him to wipe it himself?’

Many parents shared her pain and totally understood her predicament.

‘Playing is more fun than sitting on the toilet for ages waiting for someone to come and wipe your a***….’

And Elspeth Flashman agreed saying: ‘You are not being unreasonable. Recently I was in a friend’s house and her hale and hearty seven-year-old roared at her from the downstairs loo “MUUUUM! WIPE MY BUM!”

‘It wasn’t very edifying for anybody.’

What wasn’t expected was the confessions from some parents that their older children still require some assistance.

Mummyoflittledragon said: ‘I help DD (darling daughter) if it’s a bit “squadgy”. She’s eight. It can become a habit if I’m not careful. I’m too soft, I know.’

FloraFoxglove wrote, “I have a 9 year old and I help out sometimes when he’s got himself in a bit of a pickle. It’s no big deal.”

youarenotkiddingme  shares,”My Ds still asks now occasionally when he’s struggling and he’s just turned 12.
He didn’t manage to do it himself reliably until a few months ago. Yes he’d have to at school but it wasn’t clean.

Can’t get my knickers in a twist about it tbh.

And my Ds is certainly not spoilt.”

But it was user Javabeansaintgeorge who really provided the shocker.

She admitted: ‘I wipe all my kids, oldest is 12 and is c**p at the best of times. It would be cruelty leaving him dirty when he has an upset stomach.’

That left many parents quite stunned.

Jinkxmonsoon said: ‘Honestly, I’m shocked.

‘Firstly that these 12-year-olds aren’t utterly mortified at having their a**** wiped for them but also at how a 12-year-old with no special needs could be incapable of wiping themselves? It’s not that difficult is it?’

ElspethFlashman added, “I have to add that my friend is still washing her eldest daughter’s hair for her and said daughter is about to turn 16.

In the shower. Seriously. Her daughter puts shampoo in it and then roars for Mum to come into the bathroom to do the rest. Every second day. Completely normal boringly Caucasian hair.

I don’t have a 15/16 year old daughter – is that normal or indulgent?”

The thread has so far received 240 comments.

Most children are expected to be fully toilet-trained, including wiping their own bottoms by the time they start primary school.

As a mum of a twelve year old boy my answer is simply NO. No. No. NO!!!
Of course, if for some reason he needed help (I would seriously be screaming in my brain) but I would if I had to.  But not just because. NOPE NEVER!

Share your comments below.

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  • This surprises me and shocks me too – every child should be taught to take care of their basic hygienic needs which includes toilet hygiene.


  • Well I would have been mortified if someone had to wipe my bare bottom once I turned 5. Talk about mollycoddling children. It’s amazing what they can do if you let them do it – just by saying No and walking away. They won’t sit there all day, especially if they have no electronic games with them.


  • Surely not – surely it’s just a post to get comments going. Think back to what you were doing when you were 12. I’m sure almost everyone was independent with their ADLs. I know my neighbour was smoking behind the toilets for sure rather than waiting for his mum to wipe his butt!


  • Children are supposed to be able to care for themselves in the toilet when they start kindergarten. It sounds as though these children are treating their Mum like a slave, and even worse embarrassing them in front of other people.
    Only children with special needs may need assistance still when they start school.


  • These mums keep their children dependent of them and that isn’t healthy in my opinion. I taught my kids to wipe their bottom from a young age. Not only that, I taught them to clean their undies when they had a poo accident/didn’t wipe their bottom very well from age 5 or so. By teaching to scrub their undies themselves when their undies were soiled they learned to wipe their bottoms more seriously. This may sound hard/firm for some, but it seriously helped the kids to feel responsible for their own hygiene.


  • These mums are hurting their children by not allowing them to grow up and be responsible for themselves.


  • There’s no way I needed help by kinder. This is disgusting and kids should know how to wipe by school unless there’s a medical reason. I know some kids are going to rush it but they need to be taught from an early age to take the time to do it right. I know flushable wipes are sadly not that flushable but they sure can help kids get a better clean.


  • Wow….there is no way I would have been happy to still be wiping my kids butts at age 12. I wasnt even doing that when they were 5. I only have girls so perhaps girls are more switched on with these things then boys …I really dont know.


  • Lol what on earth!? That’s really not right


  • I agree that once your child is school age, they should’ve been taught to wipe their own bottom. They may not be able to wipe properly at first, but practice makes perfect!


  • I think if there is no physical or mental problems then it is not ok! There comes a time when it isn’t really appropriate to be seeing or touching your child’s bum! And washing your 16 year old’s hair for them?? maybe if you are helping them.dye it but not in the shower. Time to cut the cord people!


  • My kids were very self sufficient by the time they started school. It was actually a requirement that they could self toilet completely before starting school. I remember a lad who broke both arms at about age 11 or 12 and hated that mum had to wipe his bum for him. I can’t imagine my lot wanting me anywhere near them when toileting!! And my now 23 year old daughter has washed her own waist length hair since she started having unsupervised showers at about 7 or 8!! Mums…..let your kids grow up!!


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