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Changing rooms - who was unreasonable?

(300 Posts)
Loobyloomicles Fri 16-Mar-18 17:16:31

Not the 90s decorating programme, but a question about boys in female changing rooms.

My 7 year old nephew regularly goes to swimming lessons, my Dad (his GF) usually takes him but the other week my Mum (GM) did instead. After swimming, mum took nephew to the female changing rooms as there are no family/unisex ones. He was having a quick shower post swim, mum was just round the corner getting his towel and clothes and heard a woman telling him off, asking why was he there (to which he replied 'Grandma told me to!') and that he was 'a naughty little boy' to be in the girl's changing rooms. My mum went straight back and got a mouthful off the woman, who was going on about how inappropriate it was.

My mum was angry that the woman had upset my nephew, rather than taking it up with her first. However, she felt bad about him using the girl's shower. She has decided that at the moment she will continue to use the cubicles in the girl's changing rooms if it's just her but will not get nephew to have a shower.

So who is being unreasonable here? Personally I think it's the leisure centre - for not having a family changing room/shower but I also feel that the woman was being a bit oversensitive, especially when considering that my nephew looks really young for his age (often gets mistaken for a 5 year old).

MissDuke Fri 16-Mar-18 17:18:56

The woman was being unreasonable. In ours it is 8 and over need to go in the correct area, I think your nephew was fine. I agree in future though don't let him shower, just so he doesn't face that again, poor boy sad

bruffin Fri 16-Mar-18 17:22:32

It was 8 in ours before they rebuilt the changing rooms as a changing village. Unfortunately you will get many coming on this thread with 10 or 11 years olds whose mums think they are not capable of getting changed in the mens by themselves.

OutyMcOutface Fri 16-Mar-18 17:23:51

The woman. Any child who is prepubescent is fine imo. But as an absolute minimum I would say 8 where a unisex facility is available and 10 when there isn’t (purely because it would mean that your son would have to go into the men’s alone).

Gileswithachainsaw Fri 16-Mar-18 17:26:32

The age cut of is usually 7 or 8 so depending on the rules posted ok the wall the answer varies

If it's 7 he should have been in the men's

If it's 8 then he was technically ok but wouldn't hurt to perhaps be a bit more mindful of the girls and use the cubicle as planned.

Not because he's sex offender in the making which is the other crap people are accused of saying. It's about bodily privacy for both the kids.

No one however should be shouting like that and she was a horrid piece of work for doing so.

Wherearemymarbles Fri 16-Mar-18 17:27:28

When i used to take the kids swimming you would constantly have mums in the mens changing room with their 5-6 year old boys. Open changing room with no cubicles.

Auspiciouspanda Fri 16-Mar-18 17:29:45

Depends on the swimming pools rules but I don’t think he should have been in the shower unattended though. I have been watched by young boys before in changing rooms and it isn’t very pleasant.

BikeRunSki Fri 16-Mar-18 17:30:06

Different pools will have different rules for the age they expect children to change in their own sex changing rooms. It’s usually 8, but I have known it as young as 6 (I ignored that one for as long as possible). However, my son is very tall and I felt quite conscious that he could easily pass for 8 or 9 by the time he was 7, so we changed as quickly avd discreetly as possible. He stared going to the men’s changing rooms a couple of months off being 8 and he loved the independence. It’s still a bit gut wrenching, but he’s never messed about with getting changed, waiting nicely by the pool for me and getting changed back. I occasionally have to send a lifeguard in the jolly him along a bit. Not having family changing is not ideal, but it’s ok. I do raise it with the pool manager from time to time though. DH works away a lot and cannot swim, it’s rare that he comes with us. I want the pool to be aware that not all children have a same sex parent available, for all sorts of reasons.

monkeysox Fri 16-Mar-18 17:32:17

Ours is 8yrs old have to own sex changing room.
If he looks older than he is you'll get odd looks. My ds did from about 6.5

Bobbybobbins Fri 16-Mar-18 17:33:58

I am dreading this in the future as both my boys have special needs (non verbal autism) that are not immediately obvious.

Babdoc Fri 16-Mar-18 17:35:49

When I used to take my kids swimming, you showered with your swimsuit still on, beside the pool, in a bank of unisex open showers. Then went to the also unisex changing area, which had mostly single cubicles and a few bigger family cubicles. It seemed a sensible arrangement, as any combination of sex/parent/child could be accommodated.

KimmySchmidt1 Fri 16-Mar-18 17:37:25

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

upsideup Fri 16-Mar-18 17:41:00

Most pools the cut off is 8, DS has been changing on his own for since his 8th birthday, we had a few rude comments before and I simply said 'hes allowed' and ignored. But even if the cut off point was 6 and she thought he looked 8/9 she should not have confronted him and made him feel uncomfotable, she should raise it with someone who works there.

GreatDuckCookery Fri 16-Mar-18 17:41:25

The woman was out of order. Cheeky cow. She shouldn't have said what she did to your DS but if she had to say something it should have been to your mum.

It's 8 at our swimming pool too.

HisBetterHalf Fri 16-Mar-18 17:41:30

he's 7 for gods sake, whats the womans problem

GreatDuckCookery Fri 16-Mar-18 17:43:11

Sorry nephew not Ds.

LaContessaDiPlump Fri 16-Mar-18 17:43:43

Teach him to say 'I identify as female' with a steely stare. They will have to let him stay in the ladies and will be bigots if they push it any further.

demirose87 Fri 16-Mar-18 17:46:34

A 7 year old boy shouldn't be in the women's showers, I think it's too old. The woman should not have told him off though, she should have taken it up with your mum.
They should just have communal showers like the ones in my local, you shower in your costume before getting dressed in a private cubicle.

Jaxhog Fri 16-Mar-18 17:47:59

Teach him to say 'I identify as female' with a steely stare. They will have to let him stay in the ladies and will be bigots if they push it any further.
I like it!

Seriously though, unless its against the pool rules or he's a strapping 6 foot 7 year old, I don't see the problem. The woman was very rude to tell the boy off, and certainly without talking to his grandma first.

ILookedintheWater Fri 16-Mar-18 17:49:51

The woman was in the wrong, not your nephew or his GM.
Children are children. Some are boys and some are girls, but really at 7 it is madness to start segregating by sex. Showering shouldn't have been a problem either.
If a naked 7YO boy is a problem, then so is a 3YO one..... they are both prepubescent children.

UrgentScurryfunge Fri 16-Mar-18 17:50:24

8 is a common age limit for using the opposite sex changing rooms. I suppose it's standard that pools deem them old enough to go in the water without direct supervision and therefore old enough to change themselves and most children won't be far into puberty at that point.

I certainly wouldn't trust my 7 year old to go into the mens on his own and emerge within a sensible time frame having correctly put his clothing on. I still have to regularly tell him to correct his clothes (it looks like he's dyslexic and is not the most co-ordinated and organised child.

Fortunately our pool does have a changing village zone too, but that's an issue for triggering my claustrophobia so still a PITA for supervising the changing of two children of the opposite sex.

Doubletrouble99 Fri 16-Mar-18 17:51:40

Surely your nephew had his trunks on and the woman had her costume on too? What's the problem?

TinklyLittleLaugh Fri 16-Mar-18 17:52:05

Daft old boot


ikeepaforkinmypurse Fri 16-Mar-18 17:52:53

the woman is an idiot. Everyone should use cubicles anyway, and not prounce around naked - it's very unpleasant for everybody to see that.
If you are happy to show yourself, you can't complain that a child is in the same room. Total bellend

I do insist on my kids showering after the pool, the chemicals are quite harsh and it's healthier to rinse that off.

Gileswithachainsaw Fri 16-Mar-18 17:53:17

If a naked 7YO boy is a problem, then so is a 3YO one..... they are both prepubescent children
But the ones in there might not be. Remember them. The girls who the room is actualky for?

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