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When to let him "go"

When should I start letting my son go to the men's room on his own? Or letting him wait outside for me? He is just about 5 and can handle wiping and hand washing but I still don't feel comfortable. When did you start letting your boys go on their own and how did you decide when he was ready?


Asked by Nicoles2LilRams at 2:37 PM on Mar. 20, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (13)
  • My son is currently 5. I don't feel comfortable with letting him go in public restrooms alone. We do not live in a dangerous city by any means but it is a rather large city and I'm not nearly comfortable with the idea yet. Too many things can happen inside a restroom, and I'm not one to be overprotective about things. I'm not sure what age I will feel safe with letting him go alone, for now he doesn't object to the ladies room with me and no one has ever been appalled that he's in there so we'll keep it that way for awhile. I guess when he starts objecting, or some lady comments on him being too old, I'll know? I'm the same gender as my mom and I wasn't going in public restrooms alone till I was about 11, and I was ok with that. I know 11 is too old for my DS, but I consider 5 way too young.

    Answer by ba13ygrl1987 at 2:57 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • I would never let my five year old son go into a public restroom alone. Maybe around age 7.

    Answer by buzymamaof3 at 2:45 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • I don't have a son, but when my dh has Ela out, he doesn't let her go in the ladies room alone, she is 4. I don't think I would be comfortable with a boy til he was 7 or 8. Better to be a little overprotective than to have something happen to him.

    Answer by elasmimi at 3:04 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • My boys are 9 and 7, and I STILL won't let them go into a PUBLIC men's bathroom by themselves!! We use the family/unisex bathrooms or I take them in the woman's bathroom with me. They have autism, and while they are high-functioning, they do not possess the "stranger danger" skills yet!!

    My husband is almost always with us when we go to amusement parks, beaches, sporting events, etc., so he can certainly take them with him, otherwise I pull the "A (autism) card" if anyone gives me the "evil eye!" :o)

    Answer by LoriKeet at 4:07 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • If he goes to the bathroom at school by himself then he can wait outside the ladies room door for you. Children are a lot smarter than we give them credit for.

    Answer by normasue2 at 2:42 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • I think you could try letting him go on his own and see how he does. If he can handle everything then tell him something about him being a big boy and if he is good/does a good job, reward him. =]

    Good luck!

    Answer by kimandeverrett at 2:46 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • My son is almost 6 and I'm not anywhere close to letting him use a public restroom alone. I'll think about it when he's 8.

    Answer by slw123 at 3:47 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • We started around 5 1/2 with our son. We started in places we visited often that didn't have a lot of people around (restaurants mostly). Then around 6 1/2 we started allowing him into places that were more busy. He's 9 now and I don't even think twice about it. He walks across busy stores to find a bathroom.
    The girls, too. I don't go in with them unless I have to go to the bathroom, too. Even my almost 5yo can use the bathroom on her own many places (depends on how the sinks are set up whether she can wash her hands or not). She usually goes with her older sisters (who are 10 and 8) and has since she was 3 and they were 6 and 8.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 4:44 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • I would not until much older. But I also worked at rape crisis and have a very scewed view of what does happen. So while unlikely, I stick to paranoid. And bathrooms are a big target. At least from personal knowledge in my area. I wouldn't say it is better or worse I stick to an adult going with him. I see it as when he is ten he can with us around. Right now I have become aware of using cell phones to take pictures to share of people using the tiolet. There is a market for sick things. Many places we visit have a family bathroom for families and disabled persons. I have been known to do that. Maybe it is paranoid thinking and a hazzard of past experience - but I'll wait.

    Answer by frogdawg at 4:55 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • I think 5 is too young. I would not even begin thinking of doing so until he was at least 8 or 9.

    Answer by Peajewel at 5:13 PM on Mar. 20, 2011