I wouldn't want a 5 year old to go into a public restroom by himself. I am protective though.
You never know what might happen. Here is something that happened in a mans locker room at a health club here in town. A little boy was molested by a grown man in this locker room. So, tell the other ladies in the restroom to get over it, the other option is wait until all ladies are done and then take him.
I took my son to the ladies room till he was about 6 or 7. I got some stares too, but I'm sorry, in this day and age with all the child molesters out there, I just don't want to take any chances. I always tried to make sure he went to the bathroom before we left so that I wouldn't have to worry about it, or tried to make sure my husband was with me. When I did start letting him use the mens room, I would stand right outside the door, and if I felt like he was taking too long,I would pop my head in and ask him to hurry up.
Also, I've taught my kids to leave the seat down partly because I think it looks better and partly because we had animals I didn't want to get into the toilet!
I also taught my kids to wash their hands after going to the bathroom. You'd be surprised how many men don't do that. Granted, I don't know what they're going to do when they're grown, but at least I've hopefully ingrained some things into their heads!
i also have a 5 year old boy and often thought of this!! i have 3 girls so when ever we are out i just take them all in with me. i worry about what laura has stated. besides a young boy going into the girls restroom is a lot diff then a girl going into the boys!! boys just have an open floor and girls well we all have our own little seats behind closed doors! (nothing to see anyways)
also whenever i can i just take them all in to the family br ,we have one of those at a target near us. my son rarely has been in a mens br so when he started school this year i showed him where the boys bathroom was(at orientation) and that its the one with the sign NOT wearing the skirt (that hes used to!!) i told him to go in and check it out and he got a little shy about it but assured me that he would use it on Tuesday!! he did. I will still take him with me in public places, just forget about those women with the looks.... they have nothing to lose.....we do.
2. my son sits on the potty at home when he tinkles...mydh taught him both ways. and im sooooo glad! i have never had the seat up at home!!
Thanks for your great comments, I see there are a few options in either tackling the intimidated ladies, the timing or the occasions. Why take chances, you are right. As for the toilet seat - very interesting. You seem to be raising a seat-and-lid-down generation...Maybe I should get some pets to have a good reason to keep the lid closed and the animals out of the bowl...haha! Thanks again.
Trial - after about 5 years, my boys all used public bathrooms. I would stand outside - like at the airport, or a restaurant - and listen. I really don't think anything is going to happen when I say come right out after you're done, I'm standing right here waiting for you. My father-in-law had a weird situation last year - a little boy about 3 years old came into a restaurant bathroom and needed help unsnapping and unzipping his pants and then putting them back on again. He asked my father in law for help getting dressed, and he helped this little boy. Can you imagine? I'm still shaking my head, who sent this child in be undressed by strangers. Good God.
I walked right into a men's restroom at a State Park a couple years ago when I heard a child screaming inside. Turns out there were kids snapping each other with towels, no problem. But I kind of feel like it's about being vigilant, and watchful. No one is going to harm my child while I stand right there and listen 3 feet outside the door.
Thanks, RockRose, what a story about that little boy!
I have taken my son to the men`s washroom once before when the ladies` was overcrowded but I did keep "a foot in the door" to be in reach - much to the men`s annoyance. I think that option all depends on the washroom layout. Some are huge and angled with too many stalls, others are small rooms. The latter is okay if I can hear my son talking but I would not want to rely on him screaming. I have seen his reaction before when feeling overwhelmed by strangers. There is total silence and he looks the other way instead of speaking up. And I am only talking about an incident where a creepy type coworker insisted on holding his hand on a "tour" through the facility. It just showed me he doesn`t know how to say no to adult touch and that I have to find a way to teach him first. But I know what you mean - a little vigilance goes a long way.
if it is a restroom with an open door way--such as at the front of Wal-Mart stores--I let my boys go in them with me standing out side of the opening---I always have my 4 1/2 yr tell me if anyone is in there first--If it has doors where I can not see them or hear them, I then make them use the women's restroom with me...just much safer that way.
My boys lift the toilet seat to pee--but they know to put the seat down when they are done--my husband was taught this and it is taught to the boys...so I am lucky.
My 5 year old does not want to go into the girls bathroom. He kicks, screams and wines, but he goes, I only let him use the mens if ther is no line and it is a small place, but I always tell him if I have to yell his name twice then Im comming in after him.
Don't worry about what people are or are not looking at. They are behind closed doors anyhow. If they are looking at you, then you look right back. I don't take stuff like that from people. I had a hard time when I was breast feeding. I know that is a little different but its a part of life! You know your son, ask him what he thinks, ask him if he knows to yell or to run out if somehing happens that he does not think is right. He's a big boy, but maybe just not big enought yet!
My son is 8 and just started going into restrooms within the past year by himself. I am always standing right outside the door.
Since he was 4 years old or so, he has peed standing up... I guess ever since he was tall enough to pee standing up. We do not leave the toilet seat up, nor do we leave the lid up. After teach potty break, everyone in the household makes sure the toilet seat and lid is down.