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Thread: when do you let your child use a public toilet alone

  1. #1

    Question when do you let your child use a public toilet alone

    I was in the parent's room at Westfield yesterday and I got to thinking that some time in the distant future the day will come when my sons will want to go to the men's room not the ladies or the parent's room. Of course I thought of the safety/risk factor of a little boy unattended in a public toilet but obviously the time will come when it's just not appropriate for me to expect them to use the women's toilets or the children's one - I'm just curious about when other people let thier children of the opposite gender use a public loo alone.


  2. #2

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    Good question. I'm interested in the answers too.

    My gut feel is somewhere around 8 years old (depending on what type of kid they turn out to be). But I wouldn't let them go alone, I'd always send both of them together. I guess I'm lucky enough for them both to be boys.

  3. #3

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    My DD is 8.5 yrs and we still accompany her. When I was pregnant with her there was a case of a 10 yr old boy who was raped in a public toilet in a Darwin Shopping centre, just metres from where his family were eating their lunch waiting for him to return. The rule is - we either go in and check it out (yes that means sometimes my DH will stick his head in the ladies - especially if it's an outdoor public toilet - to check there are no perverts) and then we wait - just outside the door. I imagine I'll be doing this until she is in high school and has a more age appropriate understanding of the possible dangers and how to avoid them.

    Sad reflection on the state of the world.

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    Yeah I'm a bit like Caro after what happened recently. Even 2 young girls or boys couldn't defend themselves against a strong man. I would maybe check the toilets first and stand outside. Paris and I used to have a sing policy... if she had to be in the bath when she was 2 and I had to run out for the phone I'd tell her she had to sing to me, if she stopped singing I would know there was a problem... I'd probably do a similar thing with the toilet LOL! BUT even if I do go with her, I'll be teaching her safety on how to check the toilet for strangers etc. Because its more effective to educate rather than just protect...

    *hugs*
    Cailin

  5. #5

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    I think we will always use the disabled because of what happend here in Perth. I wouldn't want to be sending my kids alone in to the toilets.
    I don't care what kind of looks we will get when the kids are older. I find adults using them toilets when they can use the others so why can't a mum with kids use it.

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    I know that we used to take my youngest nephew (who has just turned 25) into the ladies with us, his brother is nearly 4 years older than him and it wasn't until he was in his teens that he was allowed to take his little brother into the toilet with him. I'd also be wary of how they actually use the urinal.

    A girlfriend is divorced & in a new relationship, her now 13 yo son went to the toilet with her new partner about 1 year ago and the new partner was horrified to see the son drop his pants completely to use the urinal. When he told my girlfriend, she was also horrified, as she had expected her x-husband to "educate" her son on the ettiquete of going to public toilets. She had taught him, as best as she could but honestly thought her xh would correct her son if he saw him doing that.

    The 13yo has aspergis, so isn't as worldly and knowledgeable as other boys his age and is the sweetest most darling boy in the whole wide world and if anybody ever laid a single finger on him I'd be baying for their blood (so would my DH)!

  7. #7

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    My daughter is 12 and i still go into the toilets with her (although she hates it), i just make an excuse that i need to wash my hands etc. It also depends which public toilets they are. My DP lets her go in alone if they are out but stands by the door to wait and she yells out to him while shes in there, just the thought of someone even looking at her the wrong way sends me shivers. Its just so scarey.

  8. #8

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    Yep,
    I'm just as mindful. My oldest child(son)is nearly 10 and i still take him into the ladies with me.And god look out for a woman that ever tells me i cant. Our children are our worlds they are our everyhthing and i keep the under very close watch. Not only for weirdos lurking in the loos but also to check on their dunny ettiquete.

  9. #9

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    Nicholas has been toilet trained for nearly 2 years now and has only ever used a public toilet once (and that was only 2 weeks ago) and i took him into the ladies with me
    I always make sure he goes before we leave the house, especially if we're going to the shopping centre, after what happened to that little girl in Perth, and the couple of incidences here in Adelaide with young boys i'm not taking any chances
    I don't use public toilets, but that day he was desperate so we had no choice

  10. #10
    kerry Guest

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    My X-ss is 8.5 and even now if he is at the shops with female relatives they will take him to the mum's and babies room, instead of letting him go alone. He also has Aspergers and it is not practicle for him to be unaccompanied.

    My daughter will be coming to public toilets with me until she is at least 30!... honestly I hadn't thought of his but seeing as we are both female I can go to the loo with her without it being an issue.

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    Naomi,
    I am abit like you, I think I could count on my laft hand the amount of times maddy has used a public toilet & never alone!
    Dach, I dont think there is a rule, you do it til your comfortable or your boys start getting severely embarassed!!!

    I have the singing in the bath rule still now with Maddy, I pop her & Indah in together, I was Indah & quickly take her out to dryu & dress her & tell Maddy to sing while I am getting Indah dry etc & thenIf she stops singing both DH & I yell "Maddy!" If she doesnt answer we both yell & run toward the bath at the same time!!!
    Then we hear a Yeah, I was washing my hair, I couldnt hear you!!! hee hee!

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    I'm not sure when I would let Flynn into the mens on his own, but I think a "one minute" rule is a good one - if he is not out in one minute I am coming in to get him. I figure I can pee, wash and be out in some minnute, so can a boy. Plus the fear of mum coming in to the mens has got to get him moving!

  13. #13
    kerry Guest

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    Mads - I used to go to the footy a lot with my dad and I think at about 5 (definately in school) he wouldn't take me to the men's anymore... instead he would stand outside the girls toilets and yell at me every 30 seconds... usually things that I would have to answer... "what did you think of that mark blah blah took?"... and if I didn't answer straight away i'm not sure what he would do.... maybe just go in there himself.

    My friends DH has been known to put his hands over his eyes and have his daughter walk him into the girls... she puts him in a corner facing the wall and says loudly... don't look daddy, I will be finished soon and take you out... and so far noone has ever complained. He says it is really embarassing but what else can he do?

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    I am lucky that my DD#1 is 15 and can take her younger sister, I would never let DD#2 go alone at only just 7. Now having a boy I will have to shift my thinking lol. I think I'll just use parents rooms with Riley if DH or my dad aren't with us.

  15. #15

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    I have only just let Jack go to the toilet on his own ... he is 8 1/2 and I stand outside the door. I watch every single bloke that goes in and I eyeball them on the way out! Some of them are freaked out by it but too bad, that's my boy in there and God help anyone who lays a finger on him!!!!

    Ryan actually went in to check on Jack the other day and he was in the cubicle ... only doing a wee but in the cubicle anyway! And I have no fear of Jack dropping his trousers at the urinal ... even at home ont he toilet he just flops his little fella over the top of his pants and wees LMAO!!!!

    Em goes on her own but she is 11 and has her wits about her. I am never far away and I do allow her to take Jack to the toilet and she stands out the front and waits!

    Cheers

  16. #16

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    Oh Mads... that is terrible!!!

    I didn't let my son start using the Mens toilets until recently.
    I always took him into the parents room... yep, we would get some funny looks but I didn't care... I am a parent, he is still a child, and my child at that, so I did what I considered to be the best thing for him.
    He is almost 13 now, and I still panic about him when he is in the mens toilets. My daughter and I go together... either into the ladies, or again, into the parents room.

  17. #17

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    i was just trying to find this to post that... Isnt it disgusting, he X and i were discussing it why would you let your 5yo use the toilet alone?? I would hate to live with the thought my 5yo was forever ruined because i didnt do something as simple as take him to the toilet...

    there an article on the herald sun site.

    If my kid wants to go on their own, i say take them either to the parents room, or disabled toilets. That way you can see that no-one else goes in, and nothing will happen to them.

  18. #18

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    NEVER - I hate public toilets anyway.
    Dp walked into the mens at the station a couple of weeks ago to find a 15 yrd girl about to be raped. He was tipped off by her friend running out crying and there was a "lookout" ready to warn his friend.
    Not into big time violence but DP is when it comes to predators - he glassed the lookout and totally wiped the floor clean with the dirty, horrible bastard who was about to get his way.

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