Children and public restrooms...

I was at a restaurant the last night, got up to use the restroom, standing there doing my thing, when a father came in with his daughter that appeared to be around 10 or 11 years old. He rushed her into a stall, shut the door, and waited for her outside the stall. I did not know his circumstances, but I felt uncomfortable with an alert girl of her age in the mens restroom. I discussed this with my table mates upon returning to the table & a few of my friends felt I was being hypersensitive. Am I?

At what age does it become inappropriate to bring an opposite sex child into a public restroom?

Do these rules of order apply to the women’s restroom as well?

Yeah I’d say he was overdoing it. There’s no reason he couldn’t just wait outside the women’s room while she goes inside.

At least it’s not as bad as the one poster on this board who said that he would *physically bar *anyone else from entering a multi-stall bathroom while his precious snowflake was inside using the facilities. :rolleyes:

Oh lord, this again. Yeah, age 10 is ridiculous. I routinely send Whatsit Jr., age 7, into public restrooms on his own when I am not even within sight of the restroom, and it’s no big deal. Some people are just overprotective.

Two issues here.

  1. How old is a child before he/she is old enough to safely go to the bathroom on their own? I think the answer to this is around 6, especially if it’s a fairly controlled place like a restaurant. Tunrpike rest stops or the ball park might give me greater concern. The parent waiting outside the door should be sufficient security.

  2. How old is a child before he/she shouldn’t come into opposite-sex bathrooms? I think the answer is about the same. A girl of 10 or 11 (really? she was 10 or 11?) shouldn’t be exposed to seeing guys standing at urinals with their dongles hanging out, and on the other side of the coin women probably wouldn’t want an 11-year-old boy in the ladies’ room gaping bewteen the cracks at them. At my gym they have a sign up that prohibits children over 5 from being in opposite-sex locker rooms.

I read that thread - can’t remember who it was, but I think that they didn’t clarify age of their sproutling until much later and the child was around 3 or 4, at which point everyone said “that’s the age you can take them in”.

Agree with the comments that 6-7 becomes borderline, older is a flat no, and younger would clearly go in with the parental unit.

I let my 5 year old go into the men’s restroom by himself. Never had any sort of problem.

Of course, he’s a 4th child, and I was a lot more paranoid with my first. But not paranoid enough to take a boy into the women’s restroom with me at age 10.

I think as soon as they are able to go to the toilet by themselves at home they can go to one in public, and that would be no later than 5 years old, unless they suffered a severe mental or physical disability. Daddy can wait outside the ladies’ room while his daughter goes inside, and if she hasn’t come out after a few minutes, can send a woman in to find out if anything’s wrong, but she shouldn’t be going to the men’s room at that age.

5 seems about right for a cutoff age. I have a 5 year old son and a 7 year old daughter. they both can go to the bathroom by themselves, and do, but sometimes we accompany our son to make sure he actually does (still hasn’t mastered potty training). I think we prefer I take him, but sometimes she has to.

I can’t recall the last time I had to take my daughter to the men’s room, probably was no later than 5, as potty training suddenly clicked for her when she turned that age. (Of course, seeing “the equipment” isn’t a big deal, she’s seen mine a couple of times (I sleep nude) and her little brother’s lots of times)

So, to simplify, if they’re potty trained, they don’t need an adult, no matter the gender. A 10-11 year old should be potty trained by then.

My kids were all potty trained at age 2 and I wouldn’t have sent them into the public bathroom by themselves at that age. Because they can’t reach the sink to wash up, not because I was afraid of molesters or kidnappers.

You know what’s really bizarre? A mother with several 3 young boys who let’s them use the men’s room, but follows them in. :eek: A couple of weeks ago I went to a matinee at the local movie theatre. I went for a quick piss before the show started and inside the men’s room was a woman waiting in front of a stall with two small boys (one was a toddler). For a brief second I though I went in the ladies’ room by mistake, but there was a row of urinals. I just used a urinal and neither one of us acknowledged the other. I didn’t bother reporting her to a manager (mainly because I didn’t really care enought to miss the start of the movie). Just think of the reaction if it was a father doing that in the ladies room.

Fair enough – but I think using the sinks is a part of the process they need to be competent at, as is being able to close the door of the toilet. So 2 years would be too young.

Well, I’d consider the possibility that she’d faced disaster before with 3 boys using a public restroom. I once babysat 2 boys, ages 6 and 10, and there had to be a firm rule about letting them in the bathroom together, because they once lit the toilet on fire.

You might say, she has the option to let them go in one at a time. And she might. Knowing these boys, one would be sadistic enough to dawdle interminably to torture his brothers who really had to go.

I hope never to be involved in the restroom activities of children again.

Yes, but if the boys were that young, she should have taken them into the ladies’ room.

As to the OP, yeah, accompanying a child that age to the bathroom is. . .weird. Unless you’re in a really unsafe area or something. . .

My 9YO regularly goes to use the public restrooms by herself.

Are you talking about the kids I babysat? I guarantee you that 10 year old was not suitable for the ladies room. He was very big for his age, about 5 feet tall and150 pounds. He wasn’t mature, obviously, but neither was he naive. **alphaboi **doesn’t tell us what age he meant by young. I for one do not welcome groups of school age boys into the ladies room. But I recognize that they might need adult supervision.

The original tone of the thread was about overprotective parents. I’m pointing out that sometimes it’s not about protecting the kids, it’s about protecting people and property from the kids.

Ah. Thank you for clarifying that for me!

Wouldn’t the issue there be how the hell did kids that age get access to matches?

Well, I mention that one was a toddler, the other looked maybe 6/7 yrs old, and I didn’t see the one in the stall.

My five year old daughter goes to public bathrooms alone while I wait outside.

When she was 3 1/2 I could send her in with friends of the family. My wife is a bit more protective than me, but even for her having me wait outside is now good enough.

She has been doing this easily for 6 months or more - if she can’t reach the sink she asks someone to help her.

Escorting a 10 y o girl in the men’s room is weird, but perhaps there was a queue in the ladies? I will do this at times when there is a queue. I don’t particularly care about the “equipment” part - she has seen mine all the time, but also, every urinal I have seen faces the wall, and you actually have to be trying pretty hard to see anything at all. I have no qualms about peeing with my back to a lady, and don’t really care if my little princess sees the backs of peeing guys.

In my case that didn’t work either. Yes, I still vividly remember the tits and the bushes from when I was 2-3 and my mom brought me into the ladies’ lockerroom at the gym.

Sort of. But their mom smoked, and matches and/or lighters were usually around the house. The family didn’t just have issues, they had a subscription.

Although I actually don’t remember a time as a kid when *I *wouldn’t have had access to matches, but I also had the common sense not to light the house on fire. Maybe matches have become quite a bit less common around the house as people smoke less and are more protective of their kids.