Tuesday, 10 March 2015

What age would you let your child go to a public toilets alone.

I have 2 sons 5 and 7 years old.  When we go out I always take them to the ladies toilets.  Unless their dad is with us daddy takes them to the Mens toilets.   Its been an unwritten/unspoken rule, its just happens this way.

A few weeks ago I took my sons to the Natural History Museum, my older son wanted to use the toilets. I told him to come with me, he refused making a song and dance about wanting to use the mens toilets only.  I tried to explain the best I could he cant go alone, he had to come with me.

This caused totally confusion.  'Daddy has let me go by myself'

I later found out the boys went to a public toilet while shopping with their dad. He was checking the shopping out and they went to the bathroom together alone. 

I did what all mummies would do and flipped-out at daddy.  I don't think daddy will be letting them go anywhere alone.   

My dilemma, do I check the mens toilets before my sons want to go, go to the mens toilets with them  or insist they go to the ladies with me.  I prefer the ladies bathrooms.  I don't want to go the the urinals and feel embarrassed.  Then what happens when they get older, I definitely do not want to go in the mens.  

What do schools do?  Is this part of sex education? If sex education is going to be taught to young children will this be covered.  I do explain to my children 'There are bad people in the world - that may want to hurt them'.  But that's it, there's a huge black hole of what could happen.    

I remember growing up in the 80s.  I used to play out with my friends all the time, I would of been as young as 6 years old playing in the park at the bottom of our flats.  My mum would be checking up on us, looking over the balcony, making sure me and my friends were all okay.  One of her rules would be; if you need the toilet, you have to come home.  But being a girl life would of been easier for my mum, I always went to public toilets with her, simples!  However times have a changed, children do not play outside unattended not until they are a lot older.  Children shouldn't be left to go to the bathroom alone.

This is just one example of what happened to a 6 years old using a public toilet.
Independent News: Sexually assault in McDonalds

Could you imagine seeing a 68 men using a public toilet. I would think little old man wouldn't harm anyone, so wrong.
This little boy was so brave and told his mum what happened right away, not all kids would have.  This is an incident where someone was caught and put in prison.

If you have any ideas on how to explain safety to young children, I am all ears.  My 5 years is very swayed by his big brother, I don't want him being stubborn and waiting to go to the men's toilets only.

Also what is the appropriate age to a child go to a public toilets alone.

Thank you.
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