I am a single mother and I am reluctant to let my 9yr old son go alone into the mens room/toilet and take him into the female toilets instead when we are out shopping etc. I have let him go alone on a couple of occasions but he took forever (apparantly playing with the air dryer, taps, etc) and I ended up panicking and asked someone to check on him. No one has ever said anything negative to me about taking him in with me (separate cubicle).
Does anyone have any advice or strategies on how to deal with this? When is too old?
I might add, my daughters dad was regularly taking her into the men's room to go to the toilet up until she was about 11 years of age, which I was shocked at, given that there were men urinating at the urinal in her view at the time.
That's a tough one, I know. I struggle with when to start leting my 6 year old go alone, he is very tall for his age and people think he's 8 or so and I've wished I could send him to the mens room, especially when there's a long line at the ladies room! When I know there isn't anyone else in the mens room (Places where I can see from the door & it's small) I let him go in and I stand by the door. My son is always quick, he doesn't stop to play like yours seems to do.
I bought a set of walkie talkies, and my son and I take them shopping in case we get separated. I clip his to his pants and turn it on. He isn't quite old enough to use it properly yet, but then again I still don't let him out of my sight much and it's just "practice" at this point. I would think your son is old enough to be responsible with one. Maybe you could buy a small set and do the same, then if he goes in the mens room, or anywhere where you can't see him when you're out in public then he has that just in case?
I would try mom@homenow's suggestion. your son is on the brink of puberty and is way to old to go into the womens restroom. When my step son was old enough to go into the mens room alone I would stand by the door and if I felt that he was taking to long I would push the door open and ask him if he was ok.
Thank you all so much for your ideas. I do have walkie talkies - never gave it a thought, but love the idea. I was abused as a child and i just want to save my children from any harm.
I guess the real answer that I have got from you all, is that I need to let him go. How hard is that, hey? But you are right, he is starting into puberty, and although he doesnt see anything in the ladies, it is best that he isnt in there for the sake of the girls.
(I embarrassed myself once in McD's when I banged repeatedly on the mens room door after he had been in there for a while and two odd looking middle aged men went in one after the other. )
Hi, I just read your post and can totally relate. I have 4 boys: 9 years old twins, a 6 years old and a 9 month old. I am out a lot by myself with them and I always make them go with me. I absolutely refuse to let my boys stand by the buggy and wait on me when I go in to change the baby or go to the restroom myself. Too many perverts out there! Sometimes when my older boys just have to go I let my twins take my 6 year old into the mens room. They are pretty good about going in and coming right back out. Occassionally the hand dryer is just a little too interesting and I have to give them a holler (ha ha). But I see no reason why they shouldn't be able to accompany me in these situations. I would much rather have them lined up against the wall in the ladies room waiting on me than have something happen to them. The idea with the walkie-talkies is good, but for older children. My 6 year old would surely loose it even if I was walking right next to him. Granted my twins will be 10 next year and they are good sized boys so they will be able to do more on their own. God has blessed my husband and I with these precious children and I just want to do what's best for them as I know you do too with your own. Good luck and I'm afraid I'm going to have problems loosening my apron strings! :)
Thanks for you reply. You are lucky to have all those lovely boys!
There comes a time when we have to "let them fly on their own" but when you know there are perverts out there, it really makes your protective mothering instincts kick in, dont you think?
A sad story from Down Under: Last year an uncle took his niece (cant remember how old she was - about 10 I think) to public toilets in a shopping centre and let her go herself. She was raped and murdered. (I think she was even in the disabled toilets). How devastating! They were a Christian family and never blamed the uncle, but they all have to live with that loss.
it is time to let them go alone... if you are right outside the door it is fine... but save him the embarrassment of going in the womens room. As for when you go... you could stand him by customer service if it is a problem or go before you leave
I am a step mom and get very nervous about letting my step son go to the mens room by himself. He is 9 and all I can think about was that little boy that was murdered in the mens room. Women restroom are different from mens (referring to your daughter that was in the mens room) because we have dividing wall and the mens do not and he can use it seperatly from the other women. Plus men are more likely to harm a girl than women harming men. I like the walkie talkie idea. I was once at Walmart and a little girl was doing her "pee pee dance" and the dad was telling her he wasn't going to take her to the mens room. I asked if he needed me to take her (she was about 4 and it was appearant he had probably not used to taking his daughter shopping alone). The walkie talkie is a good idea, I just am a nervous parent lol.
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