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When is it inappropriate to take your other-gendered child into the swim changing rooms?

(68 Posts)
Thinkstoomuch Fri 29-Aug-08 21:12:53

Twice in the last few weeks I've been stripping off in the general bit of the changing rooms and then have noticed what I think of as quite old boys in there with their mums. In both cases the boys were probably 8 or 9 and they were just hanging around having been swimming, got themselves dressed in the male changing rooms and then joined their mums in the female changing rooms. Maybe it was because their mums didn't want them running around unsupervised while they got dressed.

It made me feel a bit uncomfortable and put a towel round myself instead of letting it all hang out as I'd usually do. Is this my hang-up or is that not a bit old?

lulalullabye Fri 29-Aug-08 21:13:42

our gym says 8 is the cut off.

SqueakyPop Fri 29-Aug-08 21:14:45

The pools around here have family changing rooms. In fact, all their cubicles are unisex, but there are large rooms in addition.

crokky Fri 29-Aug-08 21:15:17

cut off is 8 at my pool

think they can be asked to behave more appropriately though - I've had little boys staring at me.

lollipopz Fri 29-Aug-08 21:15:17

I work in a health club and our cut off is 7 x

hewlettsdaughter Fri 29-Aug-08 21:15:53

I stopped taking my ds into the women's changing rooms at our local pool when he was 8.

Blandmum Fri 29-Aug-08 21:16:44

Cut off is 8 where I go, and ds started going to the men's changing room at about 7.5

Thinkstoomuch Fri 29-Aug-08 21:22:10

I had absolutely no idea there were rules about it! Haven't seen anything about it at my pool. I'm sure these boys were at least 8. Isn't it weird the mums didn't think about the issue? They weren't staring or anything. Maybe I'm being too uptight and it's actually good for them to be comfortable around nude women??

MingMingtheWonderPet Fri 29-Aug-08 21:22:58

Martianbishop, (and others) So do you let DS go into the male changing rooms on his own?
DS is just 7, but as he is so tall that I don't really feel i can continue to take him into the female changing rooms with me. However I don't really feel comforatble with letting him in the male changing rooms on his own.

Blandmum Fri 29-Aug-08 21:26:00

I have to. My dh was too ill to take him in alone, and has now died. If ds didn't become independent, we would have to stop swimming, as there are no family changing rooms.

ds was also prompting me to go into the boys changing rooms.

initially he went in with my mate's older boys, but he manages qute well on his own. And I'm not worried about paedophiles in this context

MingMingtheWonderPet Fri 29-Aug-08 21:30:40

I think DS would probably forget which locker he had used!
Gonna have to go there in the end. He does use the male toliets at the swimming pool i fhe needs to go after we are all changed, so I guess the next logical step is to use the changing rooms.

slavemum Fri 29-Aug-08 21:32:12

my gym's cut off is 8, but my 2 dss, 6 & 8 still come in changing room with me.

I don't feel happy letting them into a changing room full of strangers to shower and change themselves.

and neither of them pay any attention to other women changing. They get dressed then ist and watch the tv while I get ready.

Blandmum Fri 29-Aug-08 21:32:32

You'll be amazed at how well they cope. Ds doesn't lock away is clothes.....he has them in a bag in the changing room, but not locked away

I figure that no-one is going to nick his stuff! smile and he doesn't have valuables as he is only 8 smile

MingMingtheWonderPet Fri 29-Aug-08 21:33:56

You're right, nobody would want to nick DS's smelly socks either!

MrsSprat Fri 29-Aug-08 21:35:31

hmm, by the same token, do any dads take their daughters swimming, on their own? I expect the answer is yes, but I never really thought about it before and I'm sure DH would take mucho persuading before he ever did.

CissyCharlton Fri 29-Aug-08 21:35:43

My gym is 8 as well. DS1 is aged 6 but looks much older, at least aged 9. He's simply not mature enough to go into the changing rooms himself atm yet I feel as if I should explain to people that he is only 6. You may find that a lot of the boys you think are too old to go into the changing rooms are in fact much younger.

Blandmum Fri 29-Aug-08 21:37:00

when dh was well enough, he did take the kids swimming on his own, and when dd was 8 she was changing on her own in the women's changing room.

She also wanted to do that, by that age

Blandmum Fri 29-Aug-08 21:39:33

I think that both of mine were helped by the fact that they used to go swimming at infants school and had been getting changed without me from the age of 5!

ds regularly used to win the sticker for 'The first to be changed' which given that he is dyspraxic is somewhat miraculous! grin

LackaDAISYcal Fri 29-Aug-08 21:39:39

Our local pool has signs up saying seven years old, but they do have family changing rooms in the middle of the two changing areas so you can each go through the separate changing rooms and meet there. The locker area is communal.

bagofhammers Fri 29-Aug-08 21:56:00

Our local pool has 7 as the cut off. I think most adult women aren't bothered to much but I've noticed that girls often are. My ds is only 4 so goes in the womens when he is with me. He is the only child in his swimming class of 12 4,5 and 6yo who finds a locker, puts his clothes in, puts his swimmers on, locks the locker,swims, then comes back, showers, unlocks the locker, gets dried and dressed, checks the locker is empty and we leave. Everyone else has everything done by their mothers, even holding their pants out for them to step into and fastening their shoes. Some of these boys are 6 and will be in the mens changing room by themselves in less than 12 months.

Jux Fri 29-Aug-08 22:00:04

DH takes dd swimming. She started using the women's changing rooms on her own when she was 8. I wouldn't feel happy about boys that age being around when I got changed (if I went that isgrin).

MingMingtheWonderPet Fri 29-Aug-08 22:00:18

MB - It's amazing what a sticker can do!

sphil Fri 29-Aug-08 22:04:57

I felt slightly uncomfortable about this for the first time this summer - DS1 is a tall 7. However, he's just started asking to go into male loos (I choose which ones!) so I think I'll encourage him to start using the male changing rooms. I'll have to wait about 20mins longer though...grin.

What are your views about children with special needs? DS2 is nearly 6, so I've got a bit of time yet - but would it be appropriate to take him in with me when he's 8 or 9 say? I can't imagine being able to let him go in on his own, unless he makes miraculous progress.

Clary Fri 29-Aug-08 22:11:52

At our pool 8yos have to go into the right gender changing room.

My DS1 is 9 now and it's fine. He just takes in his trunks and changes then meets me at the pool and vice versa. Doesn't need to bother with a locker imo (yes lol MB, who would nick his undies!)

I also feel slightly odd if a 9yo is in the ch room with me, tho i am used to it all hanging out really grin. More to the point I think it's really not OK with, for example, a 14yo girl, who might feel very uneasy.

dinasaw Sat 30-Aug-08 13:11:54

My two used the mens changing rooms by themselves from the age of 7 and mens toilets by themselves from a similar age.
I used to stand outside and wait for them, unless I was swimming. Then I would allow them to use their locker money in the sweet machines. If they weren't still changing by the time I had finished they were stood by the machine deciding on purchases or eating them.
On several occasions I have shouted through the doors to ask if they were ok. Failing that finding a man with a child to go and tell them I was waiting and to hurry up.

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