Public washrooms...

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Public washrooms...
9
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 11:45am
At what age do you let your opposite sex child go to a public washroom by him/herself? My DS is 9 and is terribly embarrassed when I say he has to come in with me. Is it time to let him go alone? Am I being to protective making him come with me? What do you do?
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 12:20pm
I think at 9 he is more then ready to go into the washroom on his own.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 11:32am
I let my 8.5 year old go into the men's washroom alone, but I wait outside the door for him. We also had a talk about what to do if he is approached or harrassed by anyone and I make him go in a stall, rather than a urinal(I don't know if he is tall enough for that anyways?).

When we go to our fitness centre for swimming, we go into the family change room, as I was told the men's might not be always safe because of the teeage boys hanging around in there.

Katherine
Avatar for blueskyinmaine
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 2:38pm
I agree that he is old enough to go to the men's room but I also agree with the writer who said she would wait outside the door. The safety talk is important too. Children are trusting and so easily intimidated by adults, waiting outside the door insures a modicum of safety. I feel for you. My son is 8 and I worry about the creeps that are out there. You don't want them to live life in fear but you don't want to take chances either. Good Luck!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 9:35pm
I started letting my DS go into the men's room at 8. By that age they are already engrained with the boy's room/girl's room stuff from school. If I tried to take him in the ladies room, he was not only embarassed, but was appalled that I was breaking this cardinal rule.

When I first started letting him go in the men's room, I would make him peek in to see if anyone else was in there, and would only let him go if it was empty. I stood outside the door and made myself look very unfriendly to anyone else who entered. :-) Now I let him go in without the pre-screen, but he knows I grill him on the way out if anyone was in there and if they talked to him. He's so funny, he'll come out and say "No Mom, no one talked to me." and roll his eyes. He also knows that I will walk right in there if he's taking too long: I've done it. I'd rather get some guy at a urinal ticked at me than not go in and regret it later.

His brother has it worse. He's now 7, and since he was 6, I've let him go in the men's room if his brother was with him. I figure there's safety in numbers. So now he's used to going in the men's room and is mortified when I make him go in with me when big brother is not around!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Wed, 04-09-2003 - 8:43am
Its time to let your child go to the bathroom by himself. My daughter is seven and has been going alone to the ladies room for about six months now. I guess i'm confused. Why do you not want him to go to the mens room alone? I think that like most of us you dont want to realize that your "baby" is a pre teen. Am I right? or no?
Avatar for ttandaj
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2003
Sat, 04-19-2003 - 1:18am
I agree with your concern. My son just turned 9 and he only goes into public restrooms if a) its empty or b)there are only children in it. And for the poster comparing letting their daughter use the ladies room to letting a son use the men's room, lets be honest--there is no public nudity in the ladies room. My son is fine with accompanying me to the ladies room if need be--he understands why and appreciates my caring enough to ensure his safety as much as possible. I vote for family restrooms in public places anyway!!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 04-21-2003 - 11:53pm
I know exactly how you feel, but since my ds is 10 he should be able to go alone into the bathroom. I have lots of different levels of comfort or discomfort about it. In a very public place like a museum or airport rest room, I am parked outside the door. I watch who's going in (and how long they took to come back out)and my anxiety level goes up if too many guys have come in and out and ds is still not finished. That's when I start listening at the door. Luckily most of those types of places his dad is with us so ds isn't alone in the restroom.

I am a lot more relaxed about his being alone in the restroom in our small rural community where the bathrooms usually only accommodate one person at a time. Pretty much eliminates all reasons to worry, especially since I can usually see the bathroom door from wherever I am.

We've only had one experience at the local indoor pool where my ds and his friend were being hassled by older boys in the men's locker room. That was not fun - it sounded awful (I heard lockers slamming, etc.) and was just about to fly in there when they came out to tell me what had happened.

Shirley

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2003
Fri, 05-02-2003 - 10:01am
I have an 8 year old boy (as well as two younger ones), and I also don't let him go to the mens' washroom by himself. He grumbles and groans every time I take him into the womens' washroom. However, when I hear in the news about occasions where young boys are molested in the mens' public washrooms, I am reassured that I am doing the right thing for his safety, even if he isn't happy with me. I'm sure that lots of people feel differently, but I will continue to take him into the womens' washrooms for as long as my conscience tells me to. Also, some places have handicap washrooms that are singles and the door locks. When those are available, I have my son use those. Hope this helps!!
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 10:49pm
I've been letting my 8 year old ds go into the mens room since he was 7 years old, but always wait outside the door, calling out to him just to hear his voice and know everythings okay. I'm sure this is embarrasing to him , but it makes me feel better. He gives reports like " Still going, washing hands , I'm almost done " lol. If DH is with us he goes with him and I don't allow him to go alone in airports , bus terminals or places like that. I recently had a problem at the family swim center due to lack of understanding and I was scared. It was our first time there and found upon arriving that they didn't have a family changing room. I told DS to change and meet DD and I at the baby pool. I went out to the pool and he wasn't there. I knew it couldn't have taken as long for him to change as it took me to change and change 3 year old DD. I ended up getting a lifeguard to go in after him. DS said he thought he was supposed to wait in the locker room. I won't do that again. From now on he will change into his swim shorts at home and skip the locker room.