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Old 10-04-2008, 05:26 PM
833 posts, read 4,369,988 times
Reputation: 969


At what age should a young boy be to use a men's public bathroom by himself? I know it may also depend on the boy's maturity and confidence level around strangers.
The bathrooms that come to mind are Target, restaurants, department stores, etc.
Any opinions?

Old 10-04-2008, 05:58 PM
Location: Democratic Peoples Republic of Redneckistan
11,102 posts, read 12,799,363 times
Reputation: 3917
That's actually a pretty scary thought for me.I have a daughter.She is now 10 and I STILL stand just outside the door and tell her to start screaming at the top of her lungs if she has trouble.
Old 10-04-2008, 06:08 PM
Location: Maine
650 posts, read 1,925,775 times
Reputation: 553
My boys are both WAY too young to be worried about this yet, but I have given it a passing thought. Luckily, most stores now have "family" bathrooms that have just one stall. I think that will have to do for my sons when they get bigger. I can't imagine sending them into the men's room alone!
Old 10-04-2008, 06:10 PM
3,842 posts, read 9,240,900 times
Reputation: 3177
This is & always has been a concern to me. I was living in SOCAL when a 9yr old boy went into a beach bathroom while his mom stood outside the door. He never came out. It was a sick story.

Ever since that time, I just don't know. As a grown adult, I always look in the stalls if the bathroom is empty, etc. I have boys, so up until they are able to truly go in & "somewhat" protect themselves...I see this as 13-14yrs of age.

Some Targets & big box stores have unisex bathrooms & all the malls in our areas have Family Bathrooms. I plan on using those are long as possible, which, to me, is about 13-14 yrs of age.
Old 10-04-2008, 06:12 PM
Location: Iowa
134 posts, read 524,967 times
Reputation: 83
Unhappy I agree with on that

My daughtler is 8 and i go in to the restrooms and wait by the sink its not like over 30 years ago when it was more safer that you can have your doors unlocked and not have to worry about people snatching your kids UOTE=muleskinner;5550181]That's actually a pretty scary thought for me.I have a daughter.She is now 10 and I STILL stand just outside the door and tell her to start screaming at the top of her lungs if she has trouble.[/quote]
Old 10-04-2008, 06:14 PM
Location: Iowa
134 posts, read 524,967 times
Reputation: 83
I made a mistake on the quoto
Old 10-04-2008, 06:15 PM
Location: Penobscot Bay, the best place in Maine!
1,891 posts, read 5,146,844 times
Reputation: 2627
I'll let mine go when he can punch someone in the face and knee them in the groin at the same time, all the while screaming bloody murder. I'll determine when that time is here, but it's not yet, that's for sure (he's 9).
Old 10-04-2008, 06:22 PM
4,899 posts, read 16,248,434 times
Reputation: 3790
i am so happy that family restrooms exist--cause unless my son knows how to truly protect himself, i just dont think i could allow him to go in on his own. (he is not yet potty trained, so i still have time)
i would probably just take him into the ladies room if i have to.
Old 10-04-2008, 06:31 PM
Location: Fort Mill, SC
1,105 posts, read 4,096,343 times
Reputation: 625
This is also a tough one for me and I have thought about it often. My son is six and the only way I let him go into a bathroom by himself is if I can see the door (and there is only one exit and enter) and have another male that can go check on him if he doesn't come out as soon as I would like! Usually it is only like two minutes before I am so uncomfortable I have to check on him so usually I just take him to the women's bathroom with me. My concern is that as he gets older and older, people are going to start getting uncomfortable with him in the female restroom, or will they? Perhaps I am being paranoid for nothing.

I have also found myself wondering at what age it is OK to keep using the family bathrooms. I always thought that they were for families with infants and toddlers.
Old 10-04-2008, 06:42 PM
Location: FL
1,943 posts, read 7,627,049 times
Reputation: 2236
I thought it was 11 or 12, so I started letting my son go at that age, alone. Until.........one day we were at a restaurant, and he came back from the restroom. He told us that while he was in there, at the sink, there were 2 other guys in there, and then someone came in. (I'm a little sketchy on the details now because it was about a year or so ago). The new person asked one of the other guys if my son was his son. The other guy said no. Then this person said something along the lines of "you're a fine young fellow" or "you're a fine fellow", to my son.

I don't care if you're complimenting my son, on washing his hands, and this was totally innocent. A smart person knows that children are taught not to speak to strangers, and to be wary of strangers in places where you're alone (restrooms....). Plus...this is a place where private stuff takes place......he shouldn't have been saying boo to my son (IMO). What if no one else was in there???

So from then on, his father goes with him when he has to use the restroom, unless we are at a restaurant and we can see if from the table. Maybe if he was bigger we would be a little more secure......but my son is very small and skinny for his age- he's 13 and looks 11, so he isn't ready to handle himself against a grown man.
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