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AIBU?

AIBU not to explain why a 7yr old can't go in the gents?

477 replies

FlyingPi · 25/01/2023 23:42

I'm sure this has been discussed before. When we're out and my boy needs the toilet, I make him come into the Ladies with me. Problem is, he's starting to complain about it and wants to go in the Gents on his own. I have let him do this in one particular place where there's never anyone about, so I knew he wouldn't encounter anyone at the urinals. I'm always honest with him but I don't quite know how to explain why I'm not letting him do this anywhere else, like at the swimming pool/gym toilets.
He knows about the Pants rules and personal space and consent but I don't exactly want to spell out what I'm worried about. What do you tell your kids?

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

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MillicentTrilbyHiggins · 25/01/2023 23:44

Is he only just 7, or closer to 8? When will you let him go in the gents?

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FangedFrisbee · 25/01/2023 23:48

At what point will you allow him to go to the gents? A special outing on his 18th birthday?

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WandaWonder · 25/01/2023 23:48

My son went to the gents as by that age I did not think it was fair on other people using the ladies

Sure if there was genuine need/disability or whatever

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WhatAmIDoingWrong123 · 25/01/2023 23:50

You’re going to have to get comfortable with it sooner than later. He won’t be able to go into the ladies for that much longer.

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InTheFutilityRoomEatingBiscuits · 25/01/2023 23:50

I tell them they can go in the toilets based on the sex of the parent or adult they are with until they are either uncomfortable with that idea OR around 6-8 years old. I’d be starting them off with easier to navigate places at the younger end and ready for them to go into all loos and changing rooms alone/ with only adults of the same sex by their 8th birthday at the latest.

So I’d be sending them to the gents if out with you same as if out with a male adult.

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Ashleiigh · 25/01/2023 23:52

You can't let him go in the gents and stand outside?

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FlyingPi · 25/01/2023 23:53

He has just turned 7.
Obviously he's perfectly able to use a toilet himself, but the idea of him seeing grown men using urinals, or - even if it's a small chance - someone dodgy approaching him, worries me. We all know there are flashers and worse about, I saw them when I was a kid and so did most women I know.
At some point he just won't agree to go in the ladies, hopefully by then he'll be ready to handle any bad situations.

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antipodeancanary · 25/01/2023 23:55

Bananas. My boy went in the gents from being 5/6. Strong willed little git wouldn't have settled for anything less. I stood outside glaring at anyone I didn't like the look of. I timed him. I called out his name or even sent in random men to get him out. I would have gone in myself of course if he had been longer than a few minutes. But it was my problem, not his. I'm not creating a fear for him when none existed.

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autumnkate · 25/01/2023 23:56

i think 8 is probably the oldest I’d let mine in the Ladies but I do remember how scary it was to start letting him!

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Pixiedust1234 · 25/01/2023 23:57

Let him go to the gents and you stand outside. Tell him to scream if somebody stops him from leaving. Otherwise continue with your stranger danger teachings. Hes got to learn to go by himself at some point.

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StrawBeretMoose · 25/01/2023 23:59

I understand that you're worried, but why worry at the thought of him seeing grown men using urinals? That seems odd.

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autumnkate · 25/01/2023 23:59

In terms of what did i tell him about using the ladies- I just said he was too little to go in the mens on his own.

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DuplicateUserName · 25/01/2023 23:59

3 boys here.

I always told them to use a cubicle, like most of my friends who had boys also did 🤷

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daysleepers · 26/01/2023 00:00

I think he is more than capable of using the toilet on his own with knowing to come straight out.

I would let my boys use public toilets and I would just wait outside or keep eye on toilet door if we were sat in a restaurant. They would only be a couple of minutes so would know to go looking if they were much longer.

He goes school and uses the toilet when you aren't anywhere in the vicinity right? Just saying...

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Charliecatpaws · 26/01/2023 00:00

Should a 7 year old girl go into a gents toilet?

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InTheFutilityRoomEatingBiscuits · 26/01/2023 00:03

How do you manage at swimming? On their 8th birthday we were literally no longer allowed to accompany them into the changing area or watch the swimming lesson or be in the building! I appreciate that was out of the ordinary but my dc facing that situation had done a full year of solo changing with the school swimming lessons so was fine.

By 8-10 I wouldn’t be accompanying them to the loos. Eg in a restaurant they’d go and I’d stay at the table. Really heavy doors or high up hand dryers have been the worst issues.

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Daniella36 · 26/01/2023 00:05

I have asked DH, and I don't think most men's toilets are full of predators who hang out there all day waiting to pounce on a kid. Even if that were so, in a busy toilet, I'm sure someone would challenge this imaginary abuser as he made his move.

There is too much paranoia around these days. In some people's heads.

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avamiah · 26/01/2023 00:06

Ashleiigh · 25/01/2023 23:52

You can't let him go in the gents and stand outside?

Have I missed something ?
Are you being serious or joking ?

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fUNNYfACE36 · 26/01/2023 00:07

I challenge boys who look more than about 7 using the ladies.

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WandaWonder · 26/01/2023 00:08

avamiah · 26/01/2023 00:06

Have I missed something ?
Are you being serious or joking ?

I presume that to mean outside near the entrance door not the cubicle/urinal

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greenspaces4peace · 26/01/2023 00:08

op, in secondary school or anywhere really did you not see men/boys 4-5-6 abreast pissing in urinals?
they do it and they somehow are conditioned to not stare as it's impolite
it's not considered flashing.
and even if a young boy age 7 saw another man's penis in a bathroom setting what is your fear? that he'll be perverted? i don't get it. please explain.

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MillicentTrilbyHiggins · 26/01/2023 00:09

I'd start letting him use the gents, depending on the size of where you are.
Our local shopping centre has about 30 cubicles in the ladies, I assume the gents are a similar size so would have taken my DS in the ladies at that age. If I sent them in the men's and shouted from the entrance they wouldn't have heard me.
The smaller shopping centre/morrisons/pizza hut etc had more like 10 cubicles max and I could easily call through the open door and check on them.

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lifeinthehills · 26/01/2023 00:14

Talk to him about how to handle different situations. I called in after mine that I was just outside, so anyone inside knew someone was watching out.

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SlurpSlooChortle · 26/01/2023 00:16

@fUNNYfACE36
You challenge them? Why?

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Boringcookingquestion · 26/01/2023 00:18

I won’t be sending my sons into a public toilet alone when they are 8. If I had a daughter, I don’t think I’d want her going in the ladies alone either. It’s too young to be in a place with strangers and lockable cubicles.

I think I will just tell them they need to be with an adult in the toilet because not all adults are trustworthy… it’s just an extension of stranger danger really.

This is one of the reasons that I support more places introducing family toilets and gender neutral toilets (proper ones with floor to ceiling doors, obviously).

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