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Aubrie posted 7/15/2014 15:35 PM

How old is too old for a boy to use a women's restroom? What if he is accompanied by a parent or sibling?

Crescita posted 7/15/2014 15:40 PM

I think that should be up to the parent. As long as they are clearly children, and attended, it wouldn't make me uncomfortable seeing them in the ladies room.

Myname posted 7/15/2014 15:52 PM

Just to say I don't have kids so I might be clueless here.

But I would say it would depend on the child. Is he the kind of kid running up to strangers or not? I think the location of the restroom is important too.

Inside a small local church that you've been going to for years then I think it would be okay for a younger boy to use the men's room while someone waits outside the door.

In a big city with lots of people like at a football stadium I think the boy has to be a little older before I would feel comfortable having him go by himself.

dameia posted 7/15/2014 15:59 PM

DS9 goes into the men's restroom alone and has been for a year or two. But it's only at places like Target and I'm waiting outside the door for him.

I wouldn't feel comfortable with an 8 year old (he just turned 9) going into a men's room at a larger place, like a sports arena. Of course, you also have to factor in the comfort of the child. I doubt an older boy (8+) would feel comfortable in the women's room. Many bigger arenas now have family restrooms for this reason.

Bigger posted 7/15/2014 17:50 PM

Put it this way:
I would rather deal with strange looks and step on someoneís sense of modesty and decency rather than risk having a child molested or kidnapped.

When my kids were younger I would take them to the menís room (both sons and daughters) irrespective of location. From about 7-8 I would let them go alone but stood by the door and would holler in if I thought they had been too long.

Aubrie posted 7/15/2014 18:24 PM

Kinda what I was thinking.

My 5 year old was approached by someone we know and instructed to stay out of female bathrooms. (Sibling was with him.)

The Mama Bear in me wanted to murder. The sitch was handled. But I second guessed myself later. Hence my question here.

[This message edited by Aubrie at 6:39 PM, July 15th (Tuesday)]

Please1983 posted 7/15/2014 18:29 PM

The question is more how old is old enougth for them to go on their own to the men's. That depends on the child and the place.
I would say up to teenage years is ok if that's what they want to do and are with an adult and behaving appropriately. The child should have a say. I would think most boys would hate going to the women's room by then but some might still feel the need. My oldest is 5 and at smaller places already asks to go on his own but has not been allowed.

[This message edited by Please1983 at 6:31 PM, July 15th (Tuesday)]

Aubrie posted 7/15/2014 18:40 PM

He isn't comfortable alone. He was in the back of a building with not very many people there. He would have been alone in the bathroom. I would be scared to go alone if I was 5.

People need to mind their own dang business.

Please1983 posted 7/15/2014 18:42 PM

Was that by another user of the facilities or someone that works at them?
Either way pretty shocking.
Any adult in the women's that comes across any problem with a male child's behaviour in the restroom is far better equipped to deal with that behaviour than a child alone in a men's.

Aubrie posted 7/15/2014 18:48 PM

DD and DS were in there alone. An adult walked in there after she saw my kids in there. (Someone I know)

Nobody in that section of the building. No other women in the bathroom. He wasn't looking under stalls. He was peeing and washing his hands.

I feel if there is an issue, I should have been approached. Not the child.

Jrazz posted 7/15/2014 19:05 PM

Any adult in the women's that comes across any problem with a male child's behaviour in the restroom is far better equipped to deal with that behaviour than a child alone in a men's.


5 years old is completely acceptable to be in the ladies restroom, with an escort of course.

That lady was totally out of line. You go, mama bear. (((Aubrie)))

Please1983 posted 7/15/2014 19:05 PM

I feel if there is an issue, I should have been approached. Not the child.

Yeah, I completely agree, I am sorry if I was misunderstood.

Jrazz posted 7/15/2014 19:09 PM

I was agreeing too. I can't imagine that your son was doing anything inappropriate, but if a hypothetical little boy - even an older one - were acting out, it's on the parent, not the kid that got sent in there.

**still giving lecture lady the stinkeye***

Nature_Girl posted 7/15/2014 19:21 PM

My son was going into the ladies room ***with me*** when he needed to use the facilities until he was probably 8-years old. He simply was not comfortable using the men's room alone and I was not going to force him to do it. I never sent him in without me, and I always instructed him to point his face & eyes to the floor if there were other women in there. No eye contact. No one ever gave us any attitude, and I know I would have made a person regret it if they did.

Aubrie posted 7/15/2014 19:25 PM

Usually I accompany my kids. But I'm trying to give up some control and stop being a worry wart. I was 50 feet away and didn't think there would be an issue as it was a relatively private setting. Wroooong.

dameia posted 7/15/2014 20:20 PM

WTF? She gave a 5 year old a hard time about being in the women's room? That's ridiculous! I've seen boys much older than 5 in the women's room and I couldn't care less. It's not like we're walking around naked in there.

jrc1963 posted 7/15/2014 20:42 PM

WTF? She gave a 5 year old a hard time about being in the women's room? That's ridiculous!


gahurts posted 7/15/2014 21:03 PM

OK I'm going to be the alternate viewpoint here. I think by the time the child is of school age then he needs to be going in the proper restroom. Preferably with an escort of the same sex. If it's a place where you are not real comfortable, like say a baseball stadium, then I agree that he should go with his mom (or a girl with her dad) into the parent's restroom. I really do not agree with a boy going unescorted into the women's restroom or vice versa - even if there was no one else there and I also do not feel that it is appropriate for him to go into the girls restroom with his sister.

I realize that I am the minority here but this is the age that I think he needs to start taking care of business on his own - with a parent nearby of course. This is around when I sent my daughters into the girls room alone and expected my boys to go alone into the boys room.

Now having said that, I think the lady at church was way out of line and should be ashamed of herself. If she had a problem she should have said something to you and you could have responded appropriately - including telling her to stick it.

In the end though it has to be what you as the parent are most comfortable with.

Just as an aside, I took DSS19 to a scout camp several years ago. Because of the fear of sexual abuse, the boy scouts separated the dads from their sons. We were not able to help our boys, some as young as 5 or 6 get dressed, change or with any other issue. They were on their own in a separate locker room which infuriated me. Do not interfere with my ability to parent my own child.

Kuwaited posted 7/15/2014 22:10 PM

but stood by the door and would holler in if I thought they had been too long.

Had to chuckle at this!! I have two daughters (and one son) and too many times I found myself standing outside the women's room yelling their names.

Thinking back (...about 10-15 years) I probably brought my daughters into the men's room up until they were in about the first grade (after which I did the standing outside the women's room thing Ė which engender a sidewise glance or two, but fuck you, I say!!).

Iím with gahurts. At some point they have to do this stuff on their own. And Iím thinking the sooner the better (taking all things into account). Maybe itís a father vs mother thing, I donít know. I think for the most partÖkids are highly adaptive, are much more capable than we give credit and will rise to the challenge Ė especially when you show them that you think they can.

And honestly...I'm a big proponet of respecting others' privacy. Best to instill at the earliest possible age.

And yeah...that woman should not have said a damned thing to your child.

CheaterMagnet posted 7/15/2014 22:11 PM

5 years old?!?! Give me a break!!! I've seen boys who appear much older than that in ladies rooms with their mothers and it never bothers me. I just figure there is a reason the mother has them with her and it's none of MY business what that reason is.

My DS25 has Asperger's syndrome. One of the issues that often accompanies AS is delayed self-care ability. My son wasn't comfortable using the men's room alone, nor was I comfortable with him using it alone until he was 11 or so. Partly because I needed to remind him to wipe and wash his hands. I know it sounds gross, but that is what you deal with and some parents have kids who are far worse than mine - through no fault of their own!

I try very hard NEVER to judge another parent for the choices them make because I don't have all the info. Obviously, this doesn't include abusive or inappropriate behavior on the part of the adult.

Parenting is HARD. You never know what another family is dealing with. Compassion is nearly always the best response.


PS. I'd have been tempted to throat punch the lady who said that to your children.

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