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What Age Do You Think is Appropriate for a Kid to Use a Rest Stop Alone?

Posted by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 10:55 AM
  • 346 Replies
2 moms liked this

7 Is WAY Too Young to Use a Highway Rest Stop Bathroom Alone

Posted by Mary Fischer

men's roomOk, I have a confession to make. My son is almost 7 years old, and I still bring him into the ladies room with me when we're out in public and he needs to go to the bathroom. I just don't feel right about letting him wander into the men's room -- particularly if we're traveling.

Since we live in Connecticut and have so many wonderful destinations and attractions nearby in surrounding states, we take a ton of road trips. And while we do our best to go away as a family whenever we can, there have been a few occasions where it's been just me and my son on the road.

And even though he's more than old enough to understand that men and women typically use separate restrooms for a reason, you couldn't pay me enough money to send him into a highway rest stop men's bathroom all by himself. Not even if I were standing guard right outside the door.

Maybe I'm overprotective. Maybe I'm really neurotic. Or maybe I read so many horror stories about horrible people who do horrible things to innocent kids and it makes me a bit more nervous than other moms with boys the same age.

Whatever the case, I know on the off chance that something did happen to him in a rest stop bathroom, I'd never be able to forgive myself for allowing him to enter it alone. And aside from something bad happening, simply thinking about him standing there doing his business with a bunch of random dudes around really just gives me the heebie jeebies.

And you know what? I may never be ready to let him go in there alone. Honestly, I can't imagine feeling any different five years from now, even though he'll be almost 12 years old at that point. In fact, the idea of sending him in as a pre-pubescent boy almost terrifies me even more than sending him in alone now.

I guess once he enters his teens, maybe I'll be ok with it?

Gah. The poor kid. He'll probably start hating family road trips simply because I'm such an embarrassment to him.

What age do you think is appropriate for letting a kid use a highway rest stop alone?

by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 10:55 AM
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by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 10:58 AM
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About six. By then, they can handle the bathroom on their own without me having to keep an eye on them. They know the drill, go in, go in the closest stall, go to the bathroom, wash your hands, come out. I stand outside the mens room and if they need help or don't feel comfortable, they know to yell and I will hear them. If they took more than a few minutes, I would go in. 

by Bronze Member on Feb. 15, 2013 at 11:02 AM
6 moms liked this
My kids are 6 & 9 & dh will still go in with them. If dh is not around, I will stand outside of the bathroom door(which is usually open). I just get a little nervous when I know tuere are other ppl in'd just never know.....
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by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 11:03 AM
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No way. I dont like using rest stops alone myself. My kids wont go alone either. Too dangerous IMO.
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by Bronze Member on Feb. 15, 2013 at 11:03 AM
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I don't use highway rest stops...they freak me out. 

by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 11:33 AM
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When they've been taught and can reliably use safety and self defence techniques.

by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 6:01 PM
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I just cring when I hear of people that let their children go to a reststop bathroom when they are not in their teens. Even now my daughter is 13 and I still get out of the car and, if I don't have to go, stand outside the door.  To many cases of snatch and grabs.  Just recently there was a case of a young woman who was snatched out of her car! They found the window broke and the car still running.  They found her dead, famous case, mourners came to pay their respect and they were in a line around the really.....get up and go with them!

by Bronze Member on Feb. 15, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Not sure lol I'm just now potty training my little guy so We shouldn't have to deal with that for a while! If we are traveling anywhere it's as a family unless SO is going somewhere on a trip for work and DS and I usually go visit my mom during that time. There aren't any rest stops on the way though, it's always a gas stations I stop at on the way. Maybe try teaching your son to use the stalls instead of the urinals so others aren't looking at him?

by Barb on Feb. 15, 2013 at 7:43 PM
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For a highway rest stop, this is different than a restaurant bathroom, for example- I'd be extra cautious and say maybe by 8 they could go in by themselves. I'd stand there with my foot in the door though.

by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 7:44 PM
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by Barb on Feb. 15, 2013 at 8:06 PM
6 moms liked this


Quoting RLT2:


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