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Mums in the boys' swimming changing rooms?

(115 Posts)
Dadof3boys Sat 13-Feb-16 23:37:57

Sorry to intrude here, but this is a genuine question and I would be interested to hear your views.

I have always taken my 3 sons swimming, but have only recently started to feel uneasy at the many women in the male communal changing rooms helping their sons (some up to the age of 9/10) get changed.

I feel that we have segregated facilities for a reason throughout society: remember the outrage over mixed sex hospital wards? I don't think it right for my sons to have to follow the rules on being in the 'correct' facility only to find a grown woman in front of them in the swimming changing room.

I have recently asked mums in the boys' changing room to (politely) use the girls' changing room. When faced with a roll of the eyes and a mutter of "I'm only here for him", I ask if they would be happy to find me, a grown man, in the girls'...? I could also argue that if their boys are old enough to be embarrassed to be in the girls', then they are old enough to dress alone! They have all left fairly quickly not wishing to have the argument. The swimming lesson manager is a wet fish...

My wife is embarrassed and leaves the lessons to me now, but accepts my logic!


VoldysGoneMouldy Sat 13-Feb-16 23:40:35

But the other side is that if they took their boys into the girls changing rooms, there would be some parents being funny about there being boys in there. Catch 22.

edwinbear Sat 13-Feb-16 23:42:11

YADNBU. Small children go into whichever gender changing room applies to the parent. So I take both ds and dd into the ladies and if dh was in swimming duty he would supervise them both in the men's.

BertieBotts Sat 13-Feb-16 23:44:34

Ask the pool attendants if they have a policy. Even if the manager doesn't want a fight he could put up a sign! Adults shouldn't be in the wrong changing room. Children who are young enough to need help changing can go into the opposite sex changing room if they are with that sex parent. Usually the age cut off is about 8, though, not 9 or 10. Could they be younger than they look? I'd expect a 9 or 10 year old to be able to change alone, unless they have special needs. In which case, it might be more appropriate to use a family changing room or disabled changing room.

Shakey15000 Sat 13-Feb-16 23:47:55

It's a nightmare. Ds isn't quite old enough (and certainly not organised enough) to be on his own in the men's but old enough for me to feel uncomfortable if I take him in the ladies with me and there are girls/women changing confused

Balletgirlmum Sat 13-Feb-16 23:49:27

Yanbu. I had a similar issue with a grandad in the girls changing rooms. (I was in there changing my son)

If a child is too young to change alone he should go into whichever changing room the parent is.

Saying that I did once go into the boys changing rooms. Ds had just reached the age of changing alone & he just didn't come out. I was worried but I called in & knocked to warn everyone before entering. Turned out some other boys had hidden his clothes.

ADishBestEatenCold Sat 13-Feb-16 23:50:07

At our nearest pool there is no segregation ... everything is in one area.

However there are both individual and family changing cubicles, all with full length doors and locks.
A large shower area for those who wish to have a quick shower (before and after swimming) with their swim wear on and a handful of individual shower cubicles for those who wish to strip for a more thorough wash.

MyBigFatGreekYoghurt Sat 13-Feb-16 23:52:05

Wow YANBU id be very unhappy to find an adult male in the femal changing rooms!

ADishBestEatenCold Sat 13-Feb-16 23:52:50

Sorry, mine wasn't a very helpful reply for your AIBU. Except I think non-segregated area works best and that we should all be campaigning for these at our local pools.

Ameliablue Sat 13-Feb-16 23:54:04

No yanbu. I've complained about men in the women's changing before and knew that a lot of women went into the men's, my oh was uncomfortable about this but as we had girls it was less of an issue.

usual Sat 13-Feb-16 23:54:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BackforGood Sat 13-Feb-16 23:55:31

Of course YANBU.
Women should not be in the men's and men should not be in the women's changing rooms.
I think 8 is usually the standard age dc are not allowed in the changing room for the opposite sex, by which time the vast majority of dc can dress themselves. If you know your child struggles with buttons then dress them in a t-shirt and joggers. If they have greater difficulties than that then use the family changing cubicle.

edwinbear Sat 13-Feb-16 23:55:34

I'm amazed the mum's aren't embarrassed. At our pool, if I took ds into the men's, I'd be confronted by dozens of adult male willies attached to grown up men getting changed. Shame faces all round. And probably result in my gym membership being cancelled.

nocabbageinmyeye Sat 13-Feb-16 23:57:12


WorraLiberty Sun 14-Feb-16 00:00:10

I've got 3 boys and have never experienced this problem.

If DH wasn't on hand to come with us, I would take the boys to the female changing rooms (when they were too young to manage alone) and stick them in a cubicle.

IME it was extremely rare (if it happened at all) for women to enter the male changing rooms.

arethereanyleftatall Sun 14-Feb-16 00:00:15

What? Just what??

I am a swimming teacher, and a competitive swimmer, I've been in hundreds of pool changing rooms.

I have never ever heard of an adult going in to to the changing room of the opposite gender.

That is absurd.


WorraLiberty Sun 14-Feb-16 00:03:05

I have to say though that you are extremely lucky to have an actual fish for a swimming lessons manager.

That's ingenious and I hope my local council include this in their employment criteria.

Dadof3boys Sun 14-Feb-16 00:08:02

Thanks all, it appears 99% of you feel IANBU! Yay. Thanks for the honest and funny replies!

DontCareHowIWantItNow Sun 14-Feb-16 00:11:49


EmbroideryQueen Sun 14-Feb-16 00:12:19

The adult always has to be in the correct gender changing room IMHO.

Though I do wonder how families with older SEN / disabled children manage if the child is of a different gender to the parent?

Brightnorthernlights Sun 14-Feb-16 00:16:01

I agree. I had to have a word wth the swimming club manager at the last place my daughter had lessons. An adult male persistently came into the women's changing room to change his two youngish girls (maybe 3 & 6). My DD (12) did not want to get changed and felt v uncomfortable. Glad I 'whinged' to make her feel comfortable about changing.

Ditsy4 Sun 14-Feb-16 00:19:06

Several pools I have been to are communal with small and large family size changing rooms.

ClarenceTheLion Sun 14-Feb-16 00:23:10

It wouldn't occur to me to take my DS into the mens, and I've never seen a man in the women's changing rooms with a DD either.

I think family changing rooms are a very good idea, everyone with children in one space.

budgiegirl Sun 14-Feb-16 00:27:51

YANBU, adults should not be in the incorrect changing rooms. If a child cannot manage to get changed themselves, then the adult should take them into their changing room.
Many of the women where I go swimming wander about starkers, it definitely would not be appropriate for an adult man to be in the female changing rooms, or vice versa

clary Sun 14-Feb-16 00:30:10


Mums of 9-10 yo boys should be in the women's; and their sons in the boys'.

This drives me bananas the other way round - ie boys that look at least 10 in the women's at my pool (should be in the men's at 8yo). I don't dare ask as I don't want the grief.

But women in the men's??? WTF? They should be asked to leave by the staff.

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