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Dad taking daughter to public toilets

(25 Posts)
jollyfrenchy Sun 24-Apr-16 22:53:29

Dh is taking DD to a music concert, it's a long way from home and a long time out, so she's bound to need the loo several times while out.

She's 8 so perfectly capable of going to the loo on her own, but very nervous of public toilets as a) she gets scared she'll get locked in or someone will walk in on her because she hasn't locked it properly and b) she hates the noise of the handdryers. So usually when we're out I or her big sister go with her and just stand by her cubicle door then she's fine.

Clearly DH can't go in the ladies with her. I think she may freak out at having to go in on her own, especially when there will be big queues no doubt and the handdryers will be going off all the time she'll be queuing. But it's a bit wierd if he takes her in the men's isn't it when there are blokes using urinals?

I suppose he may have to look for the disabled loos and take her there.... Any thoughts?

AgentProvocateur Sun 24-Apr-16 23:12:15

By 8, she should be going on her own, with your DH standing outside. Can you have a few practice runs where you go to a shopping centre or something and let her go in alone?

jollyfrenchy Sun 24-Apr-16 23:46:35

Yes, we could do, it's just that it's not that she doesn't know how to go on her own, she does in places she's familiar with, but in this setting I think she'll freak out. It's a big music venue, which is going to be very crowded, it's in the evening so adults attending are potentially going to be drinking, people are going to be loud and excited, and there are bound to be long queues for the ladies so she'd be waiting on her own without dad for some considerable time.

Herewegoagainfolks Sun 24-Apr-16 23:51:14

When my DD was little my DH used to just take her I to the men's but 8 yo is too old for that.

She'll have to decide whether her desire to go to the concert trumps her fear of public loos.

I would suggest lots of practicing.

Also if they get there early and go to the loo immediately on arrival or go midway through the concert there won't be the same queues as at the end.

How does she manage at school where presumably a number of the same issues exist?

AliMonkey Sun 24-Apr-16 23:58:55

My BIL was a SAHD until my niece was 4 and now works PT so still spends more time with DN than DSis. Until she was old enough to be happy to go on her own (around 8 - she too was scared of getting locked in having got locked in when about 4), he used to take her to the ladies if there wasn't a unisex toilet. He got some comments occasionally but mostly was accepted as a dad doing the right thing for his DD.

UmbongoUnchained Sun 24-Apr-16 23:59:36

Oh bless her. I'm in my 20's and still get nervous going to public toilets! Maybe see if there is a disabled toilet that he can stand right outside the door or go in with her?

HirplesWithHaggis Mon 25-Apr-16 00:09:02

You cannot use a disabled loo. Forget that idea right now.

mushroomsontoast Mon 25-Apr-16 00:10:15

Either disabled loos or he could queue with her for the ladies and then stand right outside while she's in there? Or if she'd really nervous he'll just have to brazen it out and go in with her. It's not like there's anything to see in the ladies loo, and it would be pretty obvious why he's in there.

UmbongoUnchained Mon 25-Apr-16 00:12:10

Why can't she use a disabled loo?

AndNowItsSeven Mon 25-Apr-16 00:16:47

Of course he can take her in the disabled toilet. I am disabled and need to use the disabled toilets. I feel I have priority not exclusive use.

UmbongoUnchained Mon 25-Apr-16 00:18:26

I also have to use the disable loo, andnow.

I really don't see why anyone would care that a little girl needed to use it.

Adarajames Mon 25-Apr-16 01:12:30

A large venue is likely to have a family loo these days I'd've thought? Or wait in q with her, and sure can ask woman by you to keep an eye when she's past door and Dad can't go any further

jollyfrenchy Mon 25-Apr-16 10:09:48

Only the issue about getting locked in/walked in on applies at school, no hand-dryers, no queues, no drunk adults, no strangers, and I think what she usually does is goes with her friend at breaktime so her friend can stand outside and hold the door closed. I did say she does go on her own in places she is familiar with.

I've used disabled toilets before when I had two take 2 or 3 small children in with me. As far as I'm aware there's no law that non-disabled people can't use disabled toilets.

gamerchick Mon 25-Apr-16 10:13:04

I would use the disabled toilets or get a lot of practise in.

Herewegoagainfolks Mon 25-Apr-16 10:16:51

Can you practice with her locking/unlocking a variety of loo doors? At 8 she will be perfectly capable to working all the various kinds without getting locked in.

Dealing with strangers in queues is more of an issue but again practice should help.

Can you role play here through some scenarios so that she can have some strategies in place?

FuzzyOwl Mon 25-Apr-16 10:18:14

Lots of toilets that used to be known as disabled are now relabelled as accessible anyway and they often double up as baby changing rooms. Perfectly acceptable to use. Otherwise could your DH stop a women who is going into the toilets and explain the situation? I am sure most will happily watch the door and look out for her and he will be outside anyway.

zzzzz Mon 25-Apr-16 10:23:07

If she is disabled use the disabled loos. If not either ask another mum to take her with theirs or take her to the gents.

pratiaalba Mon 25-Apr-16 10:26:50

Find a nice lady they're sitting by and ask her to take DD along when she goes?

Gillian1980 Mon 25-Apr-16 20:42:02

I'd either use the disabled loo - she's clearly very anxious which can be very debilitating, therefore I think its a valid option.

Or your dh can queue up with her for the ladies (assumung the queue will be out if the ladies and down a corridor/ thoroughfare etc) and once nearly there ask a nice looking lady if she would mind standing outside the cubicle. I'd do it if I could see a dad on his own needed a bit of help.

Gillian1980 Mon 25-Apr-16 20:44:48

Also, as I'm sure the concert will be insanely loud, get her some good earplugs. They will also help with hand drier noise.

jollyfrenchy Mon 25-Apr-16 22:17:47

Thanks Gillian, yes my husband has some motorbikers ear plugs for her to use as the music will definitely be too loud for her. Might take her earmuffs to wear over them as well!

MrsJayy Tue 26-Apr-16 12:41:03

The baby changing usually has a toilet in it she could use that but I think a few practise runs is the way to go .

BotBotticelli Tue 26-Apr-16 14:04:43

Find the "do not use the disabled loo" comments here very odd! In most places the baby change unit is in the disabled loo. So they are clearly not intended exclusively for people with disabilities.

Just go in the disabled loo and be quick about it!

zzzzz Tue 26-Apr-16 16:16:09

Find the "do not use the disabled loo" comments here very odd! In most places the baby change unit is in the disabled loo. So they are clearly not intended exclusively for people with disabilities.


Well it's a bit like using the ladies if you are a man and then saying "a lot of places have unisex toilets", when told to use the gents. HTH

missybct Tue 26-Apr-16 16:31:31

I'd try and ease the fear first, through explanation, repetition and practice in public places locally, and then perhaps less familiar public toilets. You could also explain to her gently that it's not really appropriate for Dad to take her to the toilet (due to urinals and that Dad can't go into the ladies), and that she wouldn't want to miss the concert because of a fear.

That isn't intended to sound harsh, but at the same time, giving into the fear implies that the fear shouldn't be addressed and it could end up in a longer lasting, more prevalent and ultimately more profound fear in her later years which will stop her going or doing things out of the ordinary because of said fear. Could also result in bladder/bowel problems if she's not going because of fear - a lot of people don't like going to the toilet at work (especially for a poo), but treating the fear as if everything else needs to be worked around it, implies it's a rational fear and will continue the cycle.

(the above is more long term look by the way!)

Taking her to the disabled loo's would be a good idea, but I'd save that for last resort - as in, don't factor it in, try to crack the association she has with public toilets first, and try not to mention it when practising - unless she is seriously distressed etc.

I was a young child who had a fear/phobia that escalated to epic proportions by my 20's, so I fully understand how your DD is feeling here btw, even though I've said address and be strict with the fear! flowers

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