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When did you start sending your DS into the gents on his own, rather than into the Ladies with you?

(27 Posts)
sameagain Sat 25-Oct-08 21:51:47

That's it really.

DS1 is 7 and tall for his age. I took my 2 boys to a football match today (which still has surprisingly few women)Vast majority of toliets gents, in line with demand, and it seemed a bit odd to make him walk past them all to go to the ladies, but not at all right to send him into the crowded gents on his own.

PhantomOfTheChocolateCake Sat 25-Oct-08 21:52:49

What about the disabled toilet (as long as there's no one waiting for them)?

NCbirdy Sat 25-Oct-08 21:58:36

I have exactly the same problem, my ds is a similar age to yours. I think I will change when he asks to go in to the mens (ie when he finds it odd to go into the ladies) and then I will hover nervously outside the door keeping a very close on eye on who goes in, how long they stay in - pehaps take mug shots as they arrive and get them to provide me name and address details.....

Ok maybe that is a bit too far but I do not feel comfortable about it yet! I have used disabled toilets for him in the past but I feel guilty about it (even though I have never yet caused any person to wait for the facilities)!

I guess that doesn't help much does it hmm grin sorry!

bozza Sat 25-Oct-08 21:59:59

Problem with hovering outside is if you also need to use the toilet or have a DD who needs to.

NCbirdy Sat 25-Oct-08 22:03:51

That could never happen - I could never walk away and leave a young child alone in a public toilet... I am still not helping am I? blush I can see I am going to be one of those embarrasing mothers who trys to keep their plb (precious little boy) as young as possible as long as possible!

PortAndDemon Sat 25-Oct-08 22:09:13

DS is three and already asks to go into the men's -- there are howls of "But that's for girls... I need to go in the boys..." any time I heartlessly drag him into the Ladies. Sigh...

cat64 Sat 25-Oct-08 22:15:31

Message withdrawn

PhantomOfTheChocolateCake Sat 25-Oct-08 22:17:58

Ds is 9, he comes in with me and sits by the sinks. If he needs the loo he goes into the ladies unless there are other children going into the gents. It work for now.

FeelingOld Sat 25-Oct-08 22:21:02

I have a similar problem, my son is 8 and i am single mum so he has to come in ladies with me and my daughter. I will let him go in gents alone if its somewhere not too busy and i too hover outside but if its a busy place i drag him in the ladies but i can see the look of disapproval on the womens faces who see me taking him in there. He moans but i dont see any other choice.

PhantomOfTheChocolateCake Sat 25-Oct-08 22:25:50

In some places they have family or childrens toilets. These are a really good idea. I don't like ds using the disabled toliets unless there's no one waiting and I have no choice.

bozza Sun 26-Oct-08 13:59:39

Well NCB then he would have to come in with you on those occasions. This is how it goes with me when I am out with my 7yo DS and 4yo DD. I cannot hover outside the gents if DD needs the ladies so either DS goes on his own and I am as quick as poss but unlikely to be as quick as him or he comes in the laides with me.

NCbirdy Sun 26-Oct-08 21:02:14

Lukily for me ds is still taken for a girl most times anyway so I get away without any disapproving stares grin

snowleopard Sun 26-Oct-08 21:05:23

I think using the disabled toilet is OK as long as you are quick and no one's around who might need it. After all you have a reason to need the extra space if you are helping a child.

bozza Sun 26-Oct-08 21:22:13

You are not really helping a child of that age though are you. Just protecting them. Both my children (7 and 4) are pretty independent toilet wise at home. When DS comes in the ladies he goes in his own cubicle.

roisin Sun 26-Oct-08 21:31:23

dss started going in the gents on their own when they were 3. At first I would choose somewhere reliably very clean and safe. I couldn't imagine the reaction from them if I dragged them into the ladies when they were 7 shock

I was rather embarrassed once when ds2 was coming out of the loos followed by an elderly gentleman saying "Excuse me young man, I think you have forgotten to wash your hands." grin blush

bozza Sun 26-Oct-08 21:49:12

With DS I let him have the choice. As often as not he doesn't need to go and just waits outside.

NCbirdy Sun 26-Oct-08 21:49:14

My ds uses his own cubicle, I am trying to keep him safe not scar him for life!

I have to say I am not quite sure about the distinction between helping and protecting though, I don't see the two as being mutually exclusive.

I cannot imagine letting a child as young as three use a public toilet alone TBH I find that extremley shocking.

bozza Sun 26-Oct-08 21:53:06

Well I think we vary on that one. My 4yo DD still usually shares a cubicle with me. Not always at the local baths. DS always goes in his own or in the gents. I just took "help" to mean actually physically assist with the toileting process - wipe bottoms, supervise handwashing (DD needs lifting up to reach the taps) rather than ensuring that there is not cottaging or bogeymen going on.

Eve Sun 26-Oct-08 21:54:43

for DS 9 if its not busy, then he can go to gents and I hoover outside.

If its a busy location.. for example at airport today, he comes to ladies... but under duress.. he puts his hood up and tackles going into it like an undercover SAS mission so no-one can see him!!!

QuintessentialShadows Sun 26-Oct-08 21:56:14

Since he started Reception. If he can handle being alone in toilets in school, he should be ok.

NCbirdy Sun 26-Oct-08 21:56:46

no, I think I would have serious trouble if I offered to help in that way! I do mean watching out for the statistically unlikley bogeyman!

I would be happy to share with a 4yo, but not a 7yo unless there were extenuating circumtances!

colacubes Sun 26-Oct-08 22:07:24

The statistacally unlikely bogeyman was unfortunatley present a my local asda a few years ago, a young child was left at age 4 to go to the toilet, 5 mins later her big brother was sent to find her, and she had been subjected to absolute hell.

So not so unlikely! My opinion is dont drop your guard for one minute because that is what they are counting on. My ds was allowed in a male toilet alone at age 9, i was present outside the door and I would literally give him as long as it took to widdle and get out, or I would have gone in and got him, no fear!

DoubleToilandTroubleBluff Sun 26-Oct-08 22:17:01

DS's are 5 and 8 they go into the gents alone togehter.
If DS2 is alone he comes in with me.

NCbirdy Sun 26-Oct-08 22:19:55

I know cola, unfotunatley I know too well that statistically unlikley means absolutly nothing in reality because it dosn't matter a damn how unlikely it was if it did happen to you or yours.

cory Mon 27-Oct-08 09:06:50

Sooner or later they're going to have to go in on their own though. Let's face it, there is an in-between age when boys are both young enough to be at risk themselves and old enough to be able to constitute a risk themselves. Not sure I'd be happy with 13yos in the ladies tbh.

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