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Girls in boys changing room- how to approach this

(62 Posts)
BerriTerri Sun 25-Nov-18 09:39:19

My 9 yr old is very aware he should not go in the girls changing/ toilets. He knows as his sister is a Rainbow and we have had a few gentle chats. since he was 7 he has changed and toileted alone when we are out.

He goes to a ballet class at a large place and he has been indignant two girls, he guesses around 7 and 9, are often in the boys changing room plus their mum. Obviously I don’t go in there myself. With the busy corridor I hadn’t noticed as I sit round the corner usually.
He reckons they go in there because it’s quiet (he’s the one of very few boys and there’s a lot of girls). Of course he may be wrong and there’s SN or other issues involved. The odd mum goes in to help a younger boy later on, but this doesn’t bother him. Girls his own age do. I can see his point as he changes from loose boxers to pants under a leotard (he generally hates pants but boxers are uncomfortable with a leotard).
I’m inclined to support him, as I’ve openly told him he can’t go in his sister’s/ mums space for years. How would you do it tactfully? Try to catch mum at the door for a quiet word? Ask the dance school? To say what, only parents? Children outside? I know younger boys may need help dressing and I don’t want to make that awkward. He doesn’t feel threatened as such by mothers/ carers in anyway, it’s a combination I guess of being a bit rule-bound, wanting fairness and already getting a bit of giggling about being a boy doing ballet and being sensitive to girls near his age giggling a lot at boys. I don’t know if they actually change in there or stay with a sibling as he bolts out when he sees them or goes into the toilet cubicle apparently. I just would like to ask gently the boys space is respected, without opening a whole can of worms that seems closed...

BerriTerri Sun 25-Nov-18 09:40:40

I’ve only name changed as I post a lot about his sisters SN and people know me under it in rl, I just wanted to talk about this anonymously in case I sound stupid!

garethsouthgatesmrs Sun 25-Nov-18 09:42:42

YANBU I would approach the dance school about it. They can confirm whether or not there is a specific reason for this. If not they can put out a general request for people to use the appropriate changing facilities and maybe have a quiet word with the specific parent.

Underpressureidiot Sun 25-Nov-18 09:44:30

If it was the other way round I’m sure people would be very vocal. Boys deserve privacy just as much as girls. Ask the teacher if it’s possible girls stay out of the boys room as your son is starting to feel very uncomfortable changing his underwear.

HamiltonCork Sun 25-Nov-18 09:46:23

Complain to the teacher.

BertrandRussell Sun 25-Nov-18 09:47:16

I would start by talking to the dance school. Of course they shouldn't be in there. Why are you being so tentative about it?

treaclesoda Sun 25-Nov-18 09:47:37

I'd maybe start by asking the venue to emphasise that it's boys in the boys and girls in the girls, unless a small child needs a parent to help.

I agree that boys need their privacy in the same way that girls do.

BerriTerri Sun 25-Nov-18 09:49:24

I’m aware that an outright heavy handed ban on females could cause upset as almost all carers attending are female, the younger boys often need help. I don’t want to be an arsehole

MrsStrowman Sun 25-Nov-18 09:50:07

Is it because some parents have a boy and a girl in the class and have to help both at once? I'd talk to the school, in the meantime maybe he wears pants on ballet days so he doesn't have to change them, not saying that's suitable long term might just help him feel comfortable until this is resolved

MrsStrowman Sun 25-Nov-18 09:51:01

I agree it's fine for a parent to pop in and help a child, but the children should be in their own sex changing room

formerbabe Sun 25-Nov-18 09:52:18

That's ridiculous...a mum and daughters in the mens confused They should be in the rude and entitled.

If it was me, I'd send my son in and tell him if they're in there to come straight out and tell me. I'd then go in and say in my nicest voice 'excuse me ladies, my son needs this changing room to get changed in privacy...could you go into the ladies? Thanks!'

If they didn't comply, I'd make a complaint.

BerriTerri Sun 25-Nov-18 09:52:37

It’s an hour journey each way, I’m not really comfortable with giving him the message he must change his ways when I’m pretty vocal in front of him about his sisters right to female space. He could just change in a toilet which would resolve it, but I’m inclined to support him having a changing room.

BerriTerri Sun 25-Nov-18 09:54:20

I guess the can of worms I see is
- parent of opposite sex not being able to help kids
-a complaint about the lack of any policy so far in gender. It’s been just a normal, relaxed environment without stressful debate

formerbabe Sun 25-Nov-18 09:54:24

The thing is if it was a dad with his daughters or a mum with her sons, I'd understand the confusion of perhaps not knowing what's appropriate or where to change. But, a mum and two daughters...It's pretty bloody obvious they shouldn't be in the men's.

BerriTerri Sun 25-Nov-18 09:54:56

He’s reasonable adamant there is no boy, but I’m quite open to him being wrong on that...

mysteryfairy Sun 25-Nov-18 09:54:57

I don't think mums should be in there to help little boys - the normal is for very young children to go in the changing room that matches their accompanying parents sex. You wouldn't expect a dad to be in the girls changing room.

Underpressureidiot Sun 25-Nov-18 09:55:31

You’re being a bit weak here OP sorry. Like you say you defend his sisters right to same sex spaces but why aren’t you doing it for him?? You can’t seriously be considering letting him change in a loo. A parent helping their son is different to children his own age being in there. It’s a Male changing room - remind them of that!!!

notsorighteousthesedays Sun 25-Nov-18 10:02:20

You are right but I take your point about potential awkwardness. However the woman and girls are not respecting the boys'right to privacy which is wrong. Don't be embarrassed just mention to the teacher (email/pm/phone) before the next lesson. It's her job and she/he will sort it.

AlexanderHamilton Sun 25-Nov-18 10:05:04

I don't think mums should be in there to help little boys

Due to a shortage of licensed male chaperones it’s very likely there will be femal chaperones in the changing rooms when they do shows so that shouldn’t be an issue really.

But it is unacceptable to have girls over the age of 5 in there. I would definately speak to the dance school owner. I have two performing children with asd and Ds in particular struggles with crowded noisy spaces but I would have found an alternative solution such as changing in the toilets rather than use the opposite sex changing room.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Sun 25-Nov-18 10:11:09

Our gym club has just set up a really good system.

There are three changing rooms - one is for female gymnasts only, one is for male gymnasts only and one is for “parents helping”.

No parents are allowed in the gymnasts only Ione.

Problems had arisen because the classes quickly move through the age groups and so you had 4 year olds getting changed afterwards needing help at the same time as 10 year olds were getting changed before their classes.

Rufusthebewilderedreindeer Sun 25-Nov-18 10:15:09


As others have said i would approach the dance school

It would be fairly simple to exclude girls and allow women if that was the issue, and an area for parents to help sounds great if there is room

garethsouthgatesmrs Sun 25-Nov-18 10:56:31

if a child needs help then the are probably quite young so should go into the ladies with their mum.

in this case though the child isnt even a boy so its ridiculous

ForalltheSaints Sun 25-Nov-18 11:08:25

Personally I would suggest approaching the dance school, on the grounds that having quite properly said your son should not go in the girl's changing rooms, the same should apply in reverse unless there is a very good reason.

PhilomenaButterfly Sun 25-Nov-18 11:13:33

I can imagine that it would make your DS very uncomfortable. DD hated getting changed for PE in front of the boys last year when she was 10. Now they change in separate classrooms. The teacher needs to enforce the rules that children get changed in their own sex changing rooms.

Mammylamb Sun 25-Nov-18 11:14:56

Your son inbu!! I would complain to the dance school. Perhaps also stand outside the room and shoo away (politely) any women / girls trying to go in the boys changing room

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