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to want 8 year boys to get changed in the MALE changing room?

(284 Posts)
ParisFrog Wed 23-Sep-09 10:22:24

I got to a small gym. Several times a woman has brought 3 lads (aged 8 - 10) into the women's changing room for them to get changed. AIBU for this to really annoy me?

The boys have just finished karate - surely they are old enough to get changed by themselves in the men's? She doesn't physically change their clothes for them - just sits there whilst they get changed (and also climb over the lockers and generally wander around the room)

FYI - The changing rooms are small with no cubicles. I can't get there earlier (I work) or later (I'll miss my training) to get changed.

She isn't the only women to do this - another brings in her 2 younger boys (about 5 I guess) just for them to put their shoes on!

Am thinking of complaining to the reception - would you?

Morloth Wed 23-Sep-09 10:24:18

The rule at our gym is 7+ so if they are older than that I think it is OK to mention it to reception.

seeker Wed 23-Sep-09 10:24:24

Yes I would - about the 8 to 10 year olds. And I think about the using changing room for putting shoes on, regardless of age, unless there's nowhere to sit anywhere else.

tinatutor Wed 23-Sep-09 10:25:29

yes, I think I would. 8 yr old boys (let alone 10!!) are old enough to go into male changing rooms especially if there are 3 of them!

8 is too old to be seen other naked women. I'd be uncomfortable too.

OrmIrian Wed 23-Sep-09 10:26:03

It wouldn't bother me that they were there as long as they don't point and stare hmm But it's a bit silly that she doesn't feel safe letting them wait for her somewhere else.

IdrisTheDragon Wed 23-Sep-09 10:26:48

In our local swimming pool boys need to go in the male changing room when they are 8 so I think YANBU and should mention it to the staff there.

YANBU you have to draw the line somewhere - if they're old enough to dress themselves and they're in a group then there's no reason for them to be in the womens changing room, she's being overprotective.

hanaflowerhatestheDM Wed 23-Sep-09 10:28:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Seeline Wed 23-Sep-09 10:28:26

My son is nearly 8 and I would not send him into a mens changing area on his own. I would not feel at all comfortable with this. In the same way I still take him into ladies public toilets with me, unless his dad is there too. If the gym provides classes for children it should provide family-friendly changing facilities.

DoNotPressTheRedButton Wed 23-Sep-09 10:29:41

I'dmention it to reception but also be aware if there is anywhere for family changing etc- if I go anywhere with ds1 (and ds3 to a lesser extent but it doesn't take a Phd to work it out) and no adult to take him in I am at a loss- do I take a 9 year old in with me or what, giving he has no visible SN whatsoever and a need for constant supervision as he has unpredictable episodes related to an SN.

We did used to use a family changing troom at the pool, but note verywhre has one I know.

I did try to send him into the loo to change whilst I changed a younger ds on my lap, but some utter twat came in, shouted 'You're not fucking disabled so you cant use this room' (older kids @12) and smashed his head agaionst the cistern- unsurpsingly he won't go any mroe.

(We did track down the kids as I had seen them leave the toilet but their aoprents swore that they ahd been with them all the time- bastards)

So anyway do comlain yes, but it's worth being a bit aware of what the options are for anyone with additional needs any how likely that would be to be a factor.

duchesse Wed 23-Sep-09 10:31:14

3 lads of that age are perfectly old enough to go in the men's imo. YANBU, they certainly should not be in the ladies' when people are changing after swimming, having showers etc...

legspinner Wed 23-Sep-09 10:31:40

Agree with seeline, and my DS (aged 8) will not go into the male changing room by himself anyway. Fortunately there are family changing rooms at our local pool so it solves that problem. Perhaps the gym should have them too.

Dophus Wed 23-Sep-09 10:34:15

8-10 is possibly a prblem but it woulddn't bother me personally.

YABU if taking the 5yo bothers you.

Stigaloid Wed 23-Sep-09 10:35:50

Seeline - can i ask why you would not be happy for an 8 year old boy to change in a male changing room?

My son is 2 so a long way off as yet but am interested in other parents thoughts on such things as i know it will one day be a bridge i too will have to cross.

sarah293 Wed 23-Sep-09 10:40:46

Message withdrawn

ParisFrog Wed 23-Sep-09 10:44:06

The 5 year old doesn't bother me as such... it just seems strange to bring him into a female changing room to put his shoes on when there are chairs in the reception area.

No family changing area unfortunately (and no space for one to be opened - it's a small gym in the centre of a large city).

Last time the 3 boys came in I also found 2 lads (approx. 12 years old) drinking out of the taps in the shower area....when I pointed out they were in the female changing room they left pretty sharpish looking embarrassed...I think they'd just followed the other lads in assuming it was the men's!

If a child is SN then it's be different (I'm afraid I have little experience with SN so don't want to comment). But as the boys were getting changed by themselves with no help from the woman I assumed they'd be capable of doing it in the men's.

Seeline Wed 23-Sep-09 10:45:52

I don't think 8 is old enough to be left with no-one you know in that sort of environment. I don't know about other peoples children, but I know my son is too trusting of strangers, and would believe anything he was told by anyone. If I was changing in the ladies, I would not know whether he was still in the changing rooms, whether he had left and whether he left alone. I could not go in and check. On a selfish basis - it would take him hours to change himself after swimming for example, whereas if he is with me I can keep nagging grin

meltedmarsbars Wed 23-Sep-09 10:46:30

My ds (8) would not want to go into the mens on his own. He has only just started to go to the mens loos on his own, but he'll only go if I wait outside.

MaryBS Wed 23-Sep-09 10:46:48

I would not be happy for an 8yo boy or girl to be changing on his/her own in any changing room, male or female. Perhaps I'm overprotective, but it seems to me to be just the sort of place which would attract perverts (note I am not saying all people who use changing rooms are perverts!) Family changing rooms sound much more sensible!

ParisFrog Wed 23-Sep-09 10:48:56

On a slightly other topic, I know a woman who complained to the reception because a woman came out of the shower naked and walked to her locker front of this woman's DD! We were a bit hmm trying to think how we were supposed to get showered and changed without exposing various bits of our bodies...

seeker Wed 23-Sep-09 10:51:46

So when are people happy to let their boys go into the men's changing room? 21?

A 'pervert" is hardly likely to be able to have his wicked way with them in a communal changing room, now is he?

And what about women who would rather not be observed by beady 8-10 year old eyes?

TheInvisibleManDidIt Wed 23-Sep-09 10:52:47

DS1 who's 9 goes into the mens changing room by himself at our gym. Ds2 is 7 and no way would I let him.

Not because he can't dress himself or anything- he's fine with that, but he'd muck around, probably drop his clothes on the floor and end up soaked. If I let him go in with ds1 they'd end up arguing or sneaking back to the pool.

randomtask Wed 23-Sep-09 10:53:13

It doesn't bother me but then DSS (aged 8) comes in the ladies loos with me if we're on our own and somewhere I can't sit right outside/be sure he's safe. He's also not very confident so normally chooses to come in with me. Obviously if DH is there, he goes with him.

Our swimming pool has mixed changing rooms so it's not an issue but would I be willing for him to go in a mens changing room not knowing who was there and what was happening? Hell no. I probably would be if he had an older sibling though.


However, the kids climbing about etc is not acceptable and DSS would never dream of doing that. I also wouldn't take DSS into a changing room to put his shoes on.

TBH, it makes me feel slightly uncomfortable on other peoples behalves taking DSS in with me but, I'd rather that than somebody being able to harm my child...

ThingOne Wed 23-Sep-09 10:53:34

The rule is from eight at my local pool.

seeker Wed 23-Sep-09 10:55:40

You say

"here are your clothes - go and get changed. Wait for me here if you're finished before I am. Don't wander off or I won't be able to find you"

We're talking about 8 year olds - since when have 8 year olds needed help to get changed?

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