Monday, April 14, 2008

a question

1) At what age may a child no longer visit the restroom of the opposite sex with their parent and is it different for girls vs. boys?


fairyhedgehog said...

This has to be such a cultural thing!

I think it's probably easier for boys to go in with their Mums than for girls to go in with Dads but I have only had boys so what do I know? I just think that if there are urinals that may not be something that would be a comfortable experience. A boy in a ladies toilet is no problem at all - except that it means a longer wait for the inevitable queue of women.

When my boys starting going into the Men's toilets on their own, I was ready to go in and rescue them if necessary. Not a pleasant thought! I can't remember what age that was though.

I'm guessing it will depend a lot on the sensitivities in your area and it's probably very different from in the UK. We don't even use the same words to talk about it. Public restrooms are toilets over here, or loos. And when we talk about bathrooms, we expect the room to have a bath in it.

I am aware of being no help here at all. Sorry.

Mommy to Ander and Wife to Box said...

I agree that it's easier for mom's to bring boys. But I figure school age is generally the right answer (with caveats made for seedy places where you can't let your kid go by themselves). Think about it. By school age, kids go potty by themselves at school, with teacher just standing in the hallway.

Precie said...

Add me to the concensus--easier for boys to go in with Mom than girls to go in with Dad.

As for what age, I have no idea. I haven't had to deal with that just yet, but I'm not at all ready to cut that cord. Any public restroom is potentially "seedy" to me when it comes to my child's safety so I really don't know.

writtenwyrdd said...

My first thought is that little girls in men's rooms are problemmatic at a far earlier stage. However, many places have 'family' rest rooms, which solves that dilemma handily.

Fairyhedgehog pegged the problem pretty well: It seems to be cultural.

pjd said...

As a father, I always thought it better for me to bring my daughters into the ladies' room.

Fortunately for society, I had only sons.

Mamaebeth said...

first of all, i assume we are talking about the multi-stall variety of public restrooms.

i think it depends on the maturity level of the child and the relative safety of that location. a 6 year old at a gas station vs an 8 year old at the movies... very different decision. many places have family restrooms now.

i am disappointed in myself that my solution of girls in the men's room is solved in a way thay i am not sure i would consider for boys... but this issue of girls in the men's room could be solved by asking a woman who is going in with her own children to take your (hypothetical) daughter into the ladies room. but i am not sure if phillip would even be comfortable if a complete stanger asked him to take their son into the men's room though, even if the mother saw him with me and JD as well.

i think most children could go on their own by about 8 or 9 in most situations.

Ello said...

By 8 they can definitely go into a rest room by themselves - but depending upon where, the opposite sex parent should be hovering at the door. I worry about this because remember the story of the kid who went to the bathroom and got killed by a homeless person inside? His mother was waiting outside the whole time. What can you do? this is why places with family bathrooms are blessings.

pacatrue said...

Thanks for your thoughts, everyone. B is 5 and getting to the point where he can go by himself, so I was debating it. To be blunt, he can go number 1 by himself and does all the time, but the old number 2, well, he can complete the critical task, but I wouldn't want to wager any money on his cleanliness after being done. Speaking of which, I am looking forward to a year in my life when I'm not wiping anyone else's butt.

Fortunately for me, since I only have a son, only his mom has to make this tough call in the next couple years. Hah! I win the genatalia war this time!

Precie said...

Speaking of which, I am looking forward to a year in my life when I'm not wiping anyone else's butt.

AMEN. This is almost certainly oversharing, but I have an uncommon dislike of s**t. So whether it's diapers or wiping or treating "dirty" laundry...I'm SO looking forward to being done with this stage. Unfortunately, I was hoping to be done with it sooner than age 5. (I know, I know, every child is different.)

ello--YES. Sadly, I remember that story. And that's why I doubt I'll feel comfortable with the idea of letting Child go in public restrooms any age. I guess I'll have to get over that fear eventually.

Robin S. said...

I never allowed my girls to go in a men's room.

I don't have sons, but I'm guessing four or five years of age is about the limit, both for their sakes, and for the other peeing patrons.

Robin S. said...

Just read the posts. Yeah- you have to be so careful- bathrooms are death traps. Back in the 70s, in a very nice best-end-of-town new mall, a grandma took her little grandson shopping. He went to the men's room- and two teenage boys cut his penis off for laughs.

A few months ago I was in Barnes & Noble in suburban N VA, in the women's room, and as I was walking out, a gnarly looking fruitcake old man walked in. I tagged on to the fact that there were two little girls in there - set my teenaged daughter to the help desk in a hurry - and walked back inside, making the guy talk to me (I'm not exactly shy) until the little girls left and help came.

Public bathrooms are scary places.

Sammy Jankis said...

Well, I'm 35 and I still go into the women's bathroom on a rare occassion. Then I'm like, "wait a minute, why aren't there any urinals on the wall"? Then I freak out, blush, sprint for the door and generally beat myself about the head for not paying attention to where I'm going.

blogless troll said...

I took my 7 year-old daughter to an Orlando Magic game recently. I let her go inside the women's restroom by herself and I stand outside, because it's pretty safe. Everyone is trying to get out as fast as they can to watch the game. During her 3rd quarter pee break these three drunk guys, who had to be in their mid-thirties, are also standing outside the women's restroom laughing it up. I realized they were daring each other to go inside the women's room and take a picture with their cell phone. One of them finally got up enough courage and started in, but I stepped in front of him and gave him a look. Since they were drunk off their asses, it took them a few seconds to realize what was happening, but fortunately my daughter came out about that time, so I think they got the point and I didn't have to say a word. Which was good, because I had no idea what I was going to say.

pjd said...

Wow, BT, good on you for stopping them. Those idiots give humanity a bad name. (For the record, my earlier comment was a joke. Just in case there's any ambiguity.)

pacatrue said...

I have now figure out what most interests my readers: going to the bathroom. Most comments ever on a post.

And geez have you guys freaked me out about public toilets. Restrooms. WCs. Loos. SuperLoos.

fairyhedgehog said...

It's interesting what draws the comment, isn't it? Most comments on my blog were on a post about strong language.

I must admit I hadn't realised public toilets were so dangerous.

Precie said...

LOL, paca! Have you learned nothing from ello? Scatalogical discussions get lots of attention. :)

My highest comment post was political.