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When can a kid go to bathroom himself?

  1. #1
    Biggie is offline Registered User
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    When can a kid go to bathroom himself?

    How old is your kid when he/she can go to bathroom himself, especially outside, like restaurants, mall etc?
    My 3+ yr old boy can go himself at home with little help pulling pants up nicely. I take him to ladies room with me now. But when will he be too old to go to ladies room? And then what do you do when you are out with your opposite sex kid - leave them outside to wait if you have to go? Seems dangerous!
    Same for swimming pool locker rooms?
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  2. #2
    Honkyblues is offline Registered User
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    Well, I still take my 4 yr old and 6 yr old boys into the ladies' toilets with me if we are in a shopping mall/restaurant. Likewise, for the swimming pool changing rooms. If anyone objected, I would ask for family changing facilities. I don't think you can expect a 6-yr-old to go into the men's changing rooms by himself. It's just not safe.

    I don't know what age I will stop taking them with me. Perhaps 8-yrs-old when they become more body-aware and find naked ladies embarrassing/objects of curiosity. Right now, they don't blink an eye at naked women, but we are quite open at home.

  3. #3
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    A kid can go when he is ready to go. Only he and you can know that as it very much depends on the maturity and comfort level of the child.
    I have a 10 year old who is very uncomfortable going still while my other one was going starting at age 4.

    There is nothing particularly dangerous about a 3 or 6 or 9 year old using a bathroom or changing room; please don't spread paranoia.

    A recent relevant post with many opinions:
    http://freerangekids.wordpress.com/2...ass-psychosis/

  4. #4
    Honkyblues is offline Registered User
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    How did I know that Howard Coombs would have a contrary opinion on this?

    And yes, there is a danger for small boys in men's bathrooms. Of course there is! They are alone and vulnerable.

    The likelihood of anything happening is, I agree, extremely slim. But why take a risk if you don't have to?

  5. #5
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Honkyblues View Post
    How did I know that Howard Coombs would have a contrary opinion on this?
    It must be because you know me and my opinions well. I just cannot resist chiming in when there is a ridiculous theory being put forward.
    And yes, there is a danger for small boys in men's bathrooms. Of course there is! They are alone and vulnerable.
    Ok, I'll play along. At what wonderful age does this danger magically and instantaneously disappear?
    The likelihood of anything happening is, I agree, extremely slim. But why take a risk if you don't have to?
    Because its better to prepare kids for real life instead of coddling them forever. Teach them real life skills when they are ready and let them experience life.

    BTW: Even at age 49 there will be a risk of going in there, slipping and hitting your head and dying all alone from a nasty concussion. So what age do we allow our precious ones to go into a bathroom alone?

  6. #6
    Frenchy is offline Registered User
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    My son is nearly 5 and I take him with me to the ladies bathroom. It just happened one time that he went alone in the men's room as the queue for the ladies was too long (as usual !) but when i opened the door the toilet cleaner told me we would take care of him, and he did. If the guy was not there, I would have accompanied my son without any second thought !

  7. #7
    Honkyblues is offline Registered User
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    Oh, please, Howard. Stop the nonsense. I'm not talking about slipping and hitting your head.

    My 6-year-old is small, skinny and light. Very un-street-smart still (though we're working on that). His chance of defending himself against a molester is much less than a bigger-built (say) 8-year-old who might know to scream blue murder, give the offender a kick in the shins and dash for the door. Of course I can't set an age where the danger "magically and instantaneously disappears". It never does. But I know that my little boy is in no position to recognize an uncomfortable - or worse - dangerous situation, let alone extricate himself from it. So, until then, I'll keep taking him with me to the ladies bathroom/changing room. And I'll keep trying to teach him about what to do if a stranger/teacher/relative/friend touches him in a way that is inappropriate. But right now, the concept of 'danger' is a new one to him and he is not ready to deal with such situations.

    From Biggie's post I get the impression she does not feel comfortable leaving her 3-yr-old alone outside a bathroom (or sending him alone into a public bathroom). I'm trying to reassure her that it's perfectly acceptable to keep taking a 3/4/5/6+ yr-old with her.

    Please stop being so combative, Howard. It's really not needed on this forum. There is a way to express contrary opinions without trying to make anyone who thinks differently than you feel foolish.

  8. #8
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Honkyblues View Post
    My 6-year-old is small, skinny and light. Very un-street-smart still (though we're working on that).
    You as a parent have decided that your child is not ready. Fantastic and perfectly fine.

    There is absolutely no need to invent any other excuse to justify your actions. Why not stop there, why do you feel the need to invent improbable scenarios to justify your parental decisions?

    His chance of defending himself against a molester....
    This is exactly what I'm talking about. Where did this molester come from? Have you heard about the molesters at changing rooms, malls, restaurants in Hong Kong? Why make up such stuff in your head which then naturally affect those around you too. We live in a safe world. The chance of encountering a molester inside a public bathroom is slim to none. Your child has a much bigger chance of getting molested at home or in one of your relatives homes than at a public bathroom. Stop inventing dangers please.

    From Biggie's post I get the impression she does not feel comfortable leaving her 3-yr-old alone outside a bathroom (or sending him alone into a public bathroom). I'm trying to reassure her that it's perfectly acceptable to keep taking a 3/4/5/6+ yr-old with her.
    And as I've indicated, I've got a 10 year old and its perfectly acceptable to keep taking a teenager too; they'll be ready when they are ready. That has nothing to do with molesters, kidnappers or any such nonsense.

    Please stop being so combative, Howard.
    Lets make a deal. Lets stop stop inventing dangers and I wont come along and state my contrary opinion.
    It's really not needed on this forum. There is a way to express contrary opinions without trying to make anyone who thinks differently than you feel foolish.
    I apologise to anyone who I have made to feel foolish, it is not my intent. My intent is to stomp out irrational fears that are prevalent in many parents heads and hopefully get them to think a bit differently about the world around us.

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