Post # 1
Ok bees, something happened to me today and I just wanted to hear some opinions on it.
As a mum of a little boy myself I have taken him with me into a female bathroom to use the toilet.. only up to the age of 6 though. After that, I have trusted him enough to go while I wait directly outside.
Today, in my local shopping centre, I went into the females bathroom and a boy came out of the cubicle, with whom I assumed was his mum. Bees, I swear, this boy was no younger than TEN. He was obviously embarrased and all the ladies felt a tad uncomfortable. I couldn’t believe the mother thought it was appropriate to take a child that age into the female bathrooms.
So, maybe I’m overreacting, but when do you Bees think it stops being okay to take a boy into the female bathrooms? Or, alternatively, a girl into the mens bathrooms?
Post # 2
Kelly6871: it really doesn’t bother me, but then, unisex toilets don’t bother me either. I mean, there are cubicles, it isn’t like you’re getting naked in front of people, so what’s the big deal?
Post # 3
I would never let my child at a vulnerable age into a toilet without me. Some children are tall and look older. They are still defenseless against weirdos.
Post # 4
Honestly, I think parents have the right to take moderately older children into the toilets with them. Men’s bathrooms can be disgusting and scary to younger children (and ten and eleven year olds are hardly capable of looking after themselves without supervision) I support mothers and fathers to make a judgement call that suits them and their situation. Some children mature slower and some faster. I know my brother had a tendency to wander off all by himself if left alone so he had to be more closely supervised than I did. You don’t know the mothers or child’s history or behaviours. And its likely women such as yourself were making the boy self conscious and embarrassed by giving him accusatory and uncomfortable stares.
Post # 5
I think it’s a little weird that he was in the cubicle with his mom. I’m female and I wouldn’t have gone right in with my mom at that age. I think at 7ish they are old enough to wait outside the door while the parent goes. And by age 4 or 5, they can wait in the bathroom, but outside the cubicle. I have a son, and that’s what I’d do.
Post # 6
For a boy in a female restroom, while I think it’s odd, I woudn’t care as much. It’s just stalls. But if he was uncomfortable, then he thought it was off and should have just went to the mens room. As for a girl into mens bathroom, I feel like that’s a little different since they use urinals and are more ‘exposed’. I wouldn’t want a girl any older than 7-8 going in the mens unless absolutely necessary. Most the time there are family restrooms everywhere so I can’t even really see it being an issue.
Post # 7
A 10yo boy who is the size of a petite woman? I’m surprised that they both fit into the stall. Yeah, basic logisitics become an issue at that age/size.
Post # 8
My son is 6 and there is noooooooooooooooooo way in hell I would ever let him into a grown man’s washroom where they all have their peepee’s out. I will be that mother that everyone judges. No way in hell, this world is too weird and statistically there are way too many men that are attracted to young boys. I would say 12 maybe and even then, depends on where this bathroom is located.
Post # 9
Kelly6871: Maybe the boy has special needs while using the bathroom or was previously mistreated in a men’s room by himself? Unless he’s peeking under the stalls or behaving inappropriately, this would not bother me.
Post # 10
I generally don’t mind as long as the kid isn’t old enough to have hit puberty, provided, of course, that the kid also isn’t sticking his head under stalls and all that nonsense. I have more than once been mid-stream when some obnoxious kid’s head popped under the stall door and was like HELLO. I mean, thank goodness I was JUST mid-stream and not doing something else women sometimes need to do in public restrooms. I get it; you’re a mom alone in the mall with your 8 year old son, maybe it’s an old mall with no family bathroom, fine, but it’s your responsibility as a parent to make sure your kid (of any age or gender) doesn’t go disturbing other people who just want to use the restroom in peace too.
That said, I think it’s very, very different for single dads with daughters. My dad NEVER would’ve brought me near a men’s room when I was a little kid. He had my vindictive mom to deal with; all he needed was for the court to hear he took me into a men’s room or walked into a ladies’ room himself, regardless of the circumstances. I remember a few times he’d walk me into stores with female clerks and ask to use their bathrooms, and usually they took pity on him (or maybe they liked him, I don’t know) and let me use the back room bathrooms, but there were also days I just had to hold it.
At least now in most places there’s at least one bigger family bathroom; that does help.
Post # 11
I think trying to come up with rules for this situation is pointless. Too many variables. Child could be developmentally disabled, child could be afraid to go into bathroom by him/her self, child could have history of having been assaulted, child could be transgender. You can’t tell by looking. And it’s possible this particular child looked uncomfortable because you were staring/giving judgmental look. If you personally have issues with who is in the bathroom with you, go use a “family”/gender neutral bathroom so you don’t have to share. If there isn’t a family/gender neutral bathroom available, that’s probably while the child was in the women’s room with their parent/guardian.
Post # 12
I’m a big supporter of family bathrooms to prevent this in general, but when the option doesn’t exist, I think it depends on the setting. In a small, safe area, the kid can probably wait outside the bathroom. In large, busy public places, the kid should probably be inside with the parent. That said, if the kid is old enough to legitamately be embarrassed, it’s probably time to leave him outside.
Post # 13
I think some of the PPs have hit the nail on the head. It is not about the boy in the women’s bathroom, it is about the boy NOT being ALONE in the men’s bathroom with strangers.
Post # 14
molokoa: I was just about to post something very similar to this. I work with kids and used to care for special needs boy who was 11. If there were no family/unisex bathrooms (at many playgrounds there are not), I would take him into the women’s room with me. I definitely got stares and rude looks often, but I always figured it was no one’s busniess and he never acted inappropriately when we were in there so I didn’t care. I think we all forget sometimes that we can’t get all the information about something in a 45 second interaction with someone. If his mother was bringing him in there, I would just assume there was a good reason why.
Post # 15
Only the parent knows if the child is capable/mature/responsible enough to be left on their own while using the restroom or while the parent uses the restroom. I don’t think it’s anyone else’s place to judge.