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

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
Replies (221-230):
by on Feb. 16, 2013 at 8:08 PM
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by on Feb. 16, 2013 at 8:10 PM
I think if more moms were like you a lot of tragedies would be avoided. I'm the same way. My son is only 4 but he won't be using a public restroom alone fore many more years. Better safe than sorry. Keep being overprotective to some extent. Our children are the most important thing in our worlds and we need to take care of them.
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by on Feb. 16, 2013 at 8:12 PM

yeah for real, your never to old to play it safe. Women and children need to be the most cautious. And I think every decison case by case and trust your gut. 

by Kristyn on Feb. 16, 2013 at 8:16 PM
I would not send my children to a rest stop restroom alone!
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by on Feb. 16, 2013 at 8:21 PM
Idk i figure 6or7yr seems fine i never really thought about it & my boy is 6 & will be 7 this year.
Usually if he has to use the bathroom when we're at the store or something i go to, i guess its out of habit because i pee a lot lol.
So obviously i just take him with me but he uses his own stall. If i didn't have to use the bathroom id probably just stand outside :)
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by on Feb. 16, 2013 at 8:23 PM

When they are old enough to have a concealed carry permit. As a mom of little girls who comes across many boys in the ladies' room, I'm happy to see that. Our last trip that we stopped at a new service station and upon my exit which was a longer trip as I and all three of my blessings had to go, well we met a boy about 8 in the wash area. We all exited the door together and he walks up to waiting dad and says I don't think that was the right bathroom you sent me to. Dad of course smiles and plays it off but I looked at him and said, I do not blame you. In today's world, I'd never send my child to a public restroom without me. As they age, I'm sure I'll have to accept it more. As for a highway rest stop, never. I'll wait for the family room when they get to an age of embarrassment. I'll go in with them, canvas and exit to wait at the door. 

by on Feb. 16, 2013 at 8:29 PM
1 mom liked this

It's not a matter of men looking at their penis like these other ladies think. It's the fact that young boys are getting raped in public restrooms. They are held up by a gun or some other weapon and told if they scream or anything they get killed, so they don't scream. Parents don't know until it's too late. Therefore, my boys will not be going into stalls by themselves for a very long time. I just don't know when I'll be comfortable with it but it won't be anytime soon.

by on Feb. 16, 2013 at 8:30 PM

My Great grandson already thinks that I have to many rules, but this is one that Iwill not give in too. You have to go in with GG. There are too many bad people out there.  He keeps telling me that he is a big boy now, I' am 5. just tell him he will always be GG's baby.

by on Feb. 16, 2013 at 8:34 PM
I didn't let my son out of my sight to go into the restroom alone until he was in his early teens and I thought he was big enough to handle things on his own. There are too many horror stories about restrooms so I completely understand.
by on Feb. 16, 2013 at 8:34 PM
My son is 6 and I'm so scare to let him go by himself, I have a friend who got molested as a child in a public restroom, so until he doesn't become a teen he won't be going by himself, he better go with me or behind the buches:)
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