Obviously in much bigger venues he had it still go with a trusted adult. But smaller places we knew well we let him go alone.
I would sometimes stand right outside, sometimes not.
He's about to be 13 and I still worry about him alone in a bathroom. But what can I do? I don't think he'd appreciate it much if I took him into the girls room!
I don't see any problem with a 5 or 6-year old going into the ladies room with his mom if he's not comfortable going into the men's room on his own, but any older than that, I'd suspect helicopter parenting...
If your DS is old enough to go into a restroom with your DD who is not that much older, he should be going by himself.
If we're at say, Jo-Ann Fabrics, where the men's room has closed stalls and is often unoccupied anyway, I'll walk him in and then let him know I'll be outside the bathroom door...obviously this is a male/male situation, but he could still make a ruckus in there. If we're somewhere more familiar, like my job, I'll just send him by himself.
My son is 7, and if he and my wife are out and about, I'm 99% sure that she still takes him into the ladies washroom with her. Partly for reasons of expedience (he's a dawdler), and mostly just in case someone else walks in and and is startled find a 7-year old in there by himself. Why not just send him in to the women's bathroom? Because if he has any issues, my wife's not going to go into the mens room to help him, whereas she can do that in the ladies room.
In any case, Aubrie, I think you're fine.
Next time someone gives you grief, just him them with a sack of oranges. They won't bruise up that way.
I think it all depends on the child and situation. When my son was 5 he was still coming into the restroom with me. If he had to use it I would just stand outside the stall door. Sometimes I would have him check the mens room and if it was empty he would go in by himself. If it was a situation where I needed to use the restroom I would have his stand right in front of the stall door so I could see his feet. No one ever gave me grief about it.
There was one time when I was in my early twenties. I was using the restroom and some woman came in with her kids. The older boy (maybe 7 at the time) was outside the stalls and the mother was in a stall helping a younger child. The 7 yr old looked in the stall that I was using. I obviously said something at that point. When boys are doing stuff like that is when they should not be allowed in the restrooms.
Now that my son is 10 he uses the mens room all the time. If he's with me and I have to use the restroom then he sits in the lounge area (yes men, we get a lounge ) and waits patiently for me or his sister to be finished. That's just for his safety.
I hope my rambling helped.
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.
I read somewhere you are to have them sing Happy Birthday or ABC song the entire time...with the understanding if they stop singing - you are coming in ASAP because that means something is wrong.
In my area, there was a little boy killed in a public restroom. They said the entire attack was very quick (3 mins). The parent was waiting right outside the door and never heard a thing because the guy covered his mouth immediately and sliced his throat.
That is an extreme situation but weird stuff happens everyday.
As a female, I really do not understand the issues with a parent bringing a child into a public restroom. I mean, we are all in stalls with doors...not like you walk in and see rogue vag*inas all about
I don't judge even if the child seems "too" old because you never know if that child has a disability or if the child (OR PARENT) has been a victim in the past.
I think maybe the problem is that this woman saw two kids in a restroom unattended and probably thought they were horsing around. I'm sure they weren't, but I can see how a busybody might jump to conclusions.
I agree with this. As a mother, safety in public restrooms was always a major concern for me. (And remembering poor Jrazz's recent experience as an adult in a ladies' restroom, I think any maternal anxiety is entirely justified.) I was very relieved to have two sons, because they were able to go into the men's restroom together. I didn't let either of them go alone into a men's restroom until they were old enough to argue with me about it! And even then...... In places like motorway services, with lots of strangers, I always waited nearby, even when they were together and much older. (Heck - even when I myself use such places at night, I prefer to have my husband nearby. When I'm traveling alone, I usually wait until another women is also going in.)
However, I don't think I would let a boy go into the women's restroom unaccompanied. Not merely for safety, but out of courtesy to other patrons. I hope I'm not a busybody. I expect women to do as I did and take little boys into the women's restroom. But I have to admit that I would be quite surprised if I saw a little lad in there alone. Firstly, because I think it's wise to accompany one's small children thither anyway. And secondly, because taking boys into the women's restroom is a safety thing; so I think I might wonder why a mother who was concerned enough to want her son to use the women's restroom wasn't also concerned enough to be there with him. Not that I would say anything, Especially to the poor child.
Aubrie, please, please don't take that as a criticism! You explained exactly why you did it. And, having also had to force myself to let my own children spread their wings a little on numerous occasions, I totally understand. But I think this might not be the best area in which to try it.
In case it cheers you up - I once sent my husband into the women's restroom! We were in a strange town in the days when everything closed on a Sunday and desperate to use the restroom. We finally found one, only to discover, to our horror, that the men's restroom was locked. In the end, I sent my husband into the ladies', while I stood guard outside. While he was in there, another man in the same situation arrived and I offered to stand guard for him too!
PS I thought Nature-Girl's advice about teaching her son to avoid eye contact, etc. was excellent. I wish I'd thought of that when my own offspring were children.
[This message edited by Cally60 at 5:32 PM, July 16th (Wednesday)]
I've kept the details vague because I didn't want biased opinions because of the people or location involved.
I appreciate everyone's voices and opinions. At the end of the day, I don't feel my children did anything wrong. I'm not trying to brag or be one of those parents that swears her children doesn't do anything wrong, but my children have a full understanding on how to act at this venue. Horsing around would not have been in the equation. Also, concerns of 2 children alone is ludicrous considering the person who approached them.
If I look at the big picture, I know the confrontation was not about 2 kids in the bathroom, but a control tactic. Yet it started the wheels turning. He is growing up. So really, what *is* the right age to shift. Y'all have some good ideas. The singing. Stuff like that. Thanks everyone.
[This message edited by Aubrie at 9:04 AM, July 17th (Thursday)]
"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne
"What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?
I'm not sure on age for solo trips to the male rest room, probably when they ask?
Funny story, when my brother was about seven he went alone into the male rest room. He was taking awhile and we were hanging around outside waiting. My mum got worried and asked a guy who was just going in if he could call out my brother's name and ask if he was alright. The guy came out and said no one had answered to the name, he didn't think he was in there!
My mum waited until she thought the room was empty and went in. She found my brother in a cubicle. When she asked why he hadn't answered the guy calling his name, he replied 'you told me not to talk to strangers'.
[This message edited by BrokenButTrying at 10:40 AM, July 17th (Thursday)]
My Ddays - 01/10 & 12/04/14
His Dday - 23/12/13
Chin up. Unwavering. Fight. I can do this.
I turned around and walked out and never told anyone what happened. I didn't realize until I was much older how lucky I was that he only wanted to flash me and not something worse.
How old is too old for a boy to use a women's restroom?
I am SO thankful for the places that provide family restrooms and the smaller places that have the 'private' room (where only one person can be in there at a time) because if I'm out and about alone with my middle, SN son -- he HAS to go in with me which is getting kinda awkward since he is as tall as me and has facial hair......
In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.
What doesn't kill me, scars me.