to take my 5 year old into changing rooms/toilets with me

(39 Posts)
youbethemummylion Fri 01-Feb-13 20:26:39

I take my 5 year old DS to Karate at a local sports centre on a weekday evening. Sometimes when we are short on time he has to get changed there, other times he just goes for a wee before the lesson starts.

Anyway this week I just took him into the female changing rooms to use the toilets as it is hard for him to get his belt off etc and also he does not like to go by himself into the mens he is a bit scared and shy I think.

There were a couple of young girls in there say about 7 years old getting chaged for gymnastics but we did not hang about just went round the corner where the toilets are then out so DS wasn't staring at them or anything.

Later on while DS was having his lesson I went into the reception area to read the notices etc one of the girls came up to me and said 'your little boy is a pervert cos he came into the girls toilets' I was quite shocked and said 'no he is too young to go into the mens by himself'. She just skipped off to her friend and they were laughing and sniggering looking over at me.

I can't decide wether to think that this little girl is just repeating things she has heard adults talking about etc or if maybe at this age DS should not be coming into female changing rooms/toilets with me?

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 01-Feb-13 20:28:20

It's fine.

I think the other child had heard it being said and doesn't really know what it means.

WorriedMummy73 Fri 01-Feb-13 20:30:16

Wow, what a rude little girl! My concern there is that she knows what constitutes a pervert at her age. There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking your son into the ladies with you - he's still a little boy. My son is now 8 and wants to go to the mens by himself - I'm terrified of perverts in there! I wouldn't even worry about what some rude child said to you.

BarbarianMum Fri 01-Feb-13 20:31:31

It's fine.

As a general rule of thumb boys can go into female changing rooms/toilets until the age of 8.

PopMusic Fri 01-Feb-13 20:31:53

YANBU. He's only 5. I would not dream of sending him to the men's loos by himself at this young age.

Don't take any notice of these silly girls.

youbethemummylion Fri 01-Feb-13 20:35:15

Thanks, I thought it was fine but then because of this strange reaction from the slightly older girls I started to doubt myself.

Chottie Fri 01-Feb-13 20:35:42

No I do not think so either. I would have challenged those little girls too. I would asked why they were laughing and what was so funny. Hadn't they seen a boy before?

I hope your DS was not upset. I would not have let my DS use the mens toilets on his own at 5 years old either.

Chottie Fri 01-Feb-13 20:38:04

I remember when DS started to use to use the mens toilets on his own. I was worried. I'd be lurking outside monitoring who was going in and out smile Looking back I'm surprised I wasn't arresting for loitering smile

Since then one of our local toilets has been shut as it was used for cottaging.

BackforGood Fri 01-Feb-13 20:40:34

What a rude girl! Also, how sad that someone has been filling her mind with such rubbish.
Agree with everyone else. 8 seems to be the age when they become too old to go into female changing rooms / toilets.

seeker Fri 01-Feb-13 20:42:09

Either this little girl has a very worrying family life, or she was doing something she had been dared to do, or this isn't true.

Catchingmockingbirds Fri 01-Feb-13 20:45:49

I do the same with my 5 year old when he gets changed for his martial arts lesson too. It's perfectly fine.

youbethemummylion Fri 01-Feb-13 20:46:32

It is most certainly true, I was so shocked she had said it I just went back to DS's lesson but after I had calmed down a bit I was kicking myself for not finding her parent or whoever she was with and letting them know what she has said, and yes I agree she probably didn't even know what it meant or if she did I feel sorry for her being exposed to that sort of language at such a young age.

IAmLouisWalsh Fri 01-Feb-13 20:47:08

I change DS in the female changing rooms for swimming. He is 6. Lots of other mums do the same. He wouldn't manage on his own.

AnaisB Fri 01-Feb-13 20:51:04

She was 7 - if you've had to come on mumsnet to check whether you were being unreasonable imagine how hard it is for her to learn all the rules and exceptions to rules.

So yanbu (and she was rude).

Dominodonkey Sat 02-Feb-13 01:01:02

YANBU - I used to go swimming with my dad and go into the men's changing rooms with him. We always used a cubicle.
When I was 6 (and quite tall) the pool staff stopped us on our way in and asked my age, when my dad said I was 6 they said I had to go into the ladies alone.

I remember it well - i remember crying hysterically as I couldn't work the locker and just generally found it all a bit overwhelming. A nice lady helped me.

I did get the hang of it all but to wait until 7 ie Junior School would have been better.

halcyondays Sat 02-Feb-13 08:27:29

It's fine, he's only five.

SkinnybitchWannabe Sat 02-Feb-13 08:41:06

I wouldn't even let an 8year old go into any changing room/public toilet alone.
So YANBU regarding your 5 year old.

seeker Sat 02-Feb-13 10:57:28

Oh, god- this will run and run.

My one contribution. Not letting a NT 8 year old go into the appropriate gendered changing room or loo is seriously bonkers. If a NT 8 year old needs help getting changed and organising his/her stuff, then something has gone wrong somewhere. However, not letting a 5 year old go into whichever changing room matches the gender of the accompanying adult is equally but differently bonkers. Thank you and goodnight.

mrsbunnylove Sat 02-Feb-13 10:59:05

it is not fine. he is too old.
on the other hand, what on earth are you going to do? you can't go into the mens with him.
family facilities needed.

seeker Sat 02-Feb-13 11:00:39

5 is too old??????????

<slaps self and leaves again>

chandellina Sat 02-Feb-13 11:03:28

Of course Yanbu.

My DS went into the mens changing room at his gym when he was 5yo.

It was an open changing room, (ie no doors but two walls so you couldn't spy on them) .
There were plenty of staff and all the other boys in his class did the same, which was why he wanted to.

But I wouldn't have sent him where I/He didn't feel safe.

The girls have probably been seeing all the Saville coverage on TV? Not realised the seriousness of what they were saying?

Maryz Sat 02-Feb-13 11:14:22

<snurk> at seeker trying to be all reasonable on a thread like this grin

op, you will discover that mumsnet is split between people who think that any boy in any female changing rooms, at any age is evil, and those who still feel they should take their 14 year olds as they might get into trouble in the mens toilets which are full of perverts waiting to attack their pfb's.

Personally I believe by 7 they should be able to manage alone, providing they have no SN and it isn't an enormous place where they can get lost.

ChaoticisasChaoticdoes Sat 02-Feb-13 11:21:54


specialsubject Sat 02-Feb-13 11:34:19

OP's little boy is FIVE. He's fine in the ladies. In a couple of years he goes to the mens, which is not full of perverts any more than the ladies is.

the little girls have just dared each other, are using words they don't understand and are just trying to wind you up. Don't let them succeed.

jenniepanda Sat 02-Feb-13 12:13:38

Our leisure centre has notices all around that says children under 8 must be accompanied at all times in all areas. YANBU and in our centre I would have reported those rude girls for being without a parent/adult.

pigletmania Sat 02-Feb-13 13:38:35

What a rude and nasty little girl, I would have saud quite loudly yes he is only 5 and still a baby

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sat 02-Feb-13 13:46:55

There's no way I'd allow a five year old to go into public toilets alone. A pervert lurking might be rare but I'd probably be the statistic that encountered one!

mrsbunnylove Sat 02-Feb-13 15:03:27

five is not ok in the ladies, or in a changing room. it is too old. haven't you ever seen nasty little boys leering at women getting changed?

Dominodonkey Sat 02-Feb-13 15:56:20

haven't you ever seen nasty little boys leering at women getting changed?

No as they are 5!

Are you Sue Sylvester bunnylove? - You seem to want your girls attached to your breast until puberty on other threads but think little boys are perverts.

exoticfruits Sat 02-Feb-13 16:12:54

Of course he is alright at 5 yrs, but by 6 yrs he should be starting to manage in the right changing room/toilet.
To the person who said they had to change their 6 yr old-of course they don't! They go swimming in many schools in year 1 and of course they manage when they have to!

My one contribution. Not letting a NT 8 year old go into the appropriate gendered changing room or loo is seriously bonkers.

I think it had better be my one contribution too. You wish that all DSs stood up for themselves like my nephew and said 'I am a man you know' and just went -it is the only way to deal with over protective mothers! I am seriously surprised that 8yr olds put up with it-mine wouldn't.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Sat 02-Feb-13 16:21:55

mrsbunnylove. Do you have any dc? What age and gender are they?

Ds1 is 7.6 and we're preparing for him to change alone in the gents when he hits 8. It's more the lockers that are the issue rather than the changing tbh but when he first does it no doubt I'll be a bit anxious.

Ds2 is 4.7 and is no where near being ready to change and organise himself and his stuff independently.

What planet are you living on?!

Pixieonthemoor Sat 02-Feb-13 16:30:33

shock cheeky little baggage!!! How on earth does she think that it is ok to talk to an adult she doesn't know like that?? What did you say to her? I would have given her a piece of my mind and be on the look out for her parent and telling them how rude she had been.

Btw, YANBU - it's totally fine - he's only 5!!

5madthings Sat 02-Feb-13 16:37:26

The girl was probably dared by a friend? Anyway i would have told her not to be so silly and that your ds is only 5 and therfore needs a bit if help and is fine to.use the ladies toilets.

I agree with seeker and exotic that by age 7/8 a nt child should be able to.use the appropriate toilet for their gender.

exoticfruits Sat 02-Feb-13 17:38:54

Some little girls that age just like saying things like that-especially if dared by friends! She wanted a reaction-best not to give her one-just be totally bored and matter of fact.

exoticfruits Sat 02-Feb-13 17:40:10

Sorry-see that you had already said the right thing 5madthings-should read before posting.

lottie63 Sat 02-Feb-13 17:46:39

That she feels it was ok to even say that to a stranger us a bit.. Well.. Odd I think. It's fine unless you pick up on ds being uncomfy. Then I would find a toilet for him to change his clothes. I wouldnt be happy sending him alone to males changing room tbh

I have never seen a 5 year old (or an 8 year old for that matter) leering at women in changing rooms. My DS (just 9) has been using the mens toilets on his own for a year or so now, but 5 is too young to send them on their own, I know my DD (just 7) often had trouble with flush handles being too stiff for her to manage, also push taps until fairly recently.

Nanny0gg Sat 02-Feb-13 18:37:23

LOL! Dominodonkey

I was wondering that myself!

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