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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 (341-346):
by on Feb. 19, 2013 at 2:56 AM
At a highway rest stop?? About 30.
by on Feb. 19, 2013 at 3:00 AM

This is so scary...I'm glad I had girls so it wasn't a problem...us women always use the bathroom together!

by on Feb. 19, 2013 at 1:41 PM

My son is also 7 and I still take him to the ladies room with me in public.  If his dad isn't with me that it the only option, not because I don't trust him, but you never know what kind of perv might be hanging out in there.  He has told me before that he doesn't like going to the girl's bathroom because he is a boy but I don't want to explain the reason why because I don't want to scare him.  Unfortunately that is the kind of world we live in. 

by on Feb. 20, 2013 at 8:36 PM

You can't be too careful.,  I remember the story several years ago, a woman waited outside  a public restroom for her little boy and after a time she got worried and either went in or had someone else go.  Her son was dead.  She remembered a man coming out earlier while her son was in the bathroom. 

by on Feb. 20, 2013 at 8:59 PM

Can't say that I blame you. When you are a single mother traveling alone with your son it is terrifying. I can't remember how old my son was. You will know when you feel comfortable. It is better to err on the side of caution .

by Member on Feb. 20, 2013 at 9:01 PM
Never! Lol but seriously tho... Rest stops are super dangerous. I don't like letting my almost 6yo use the bathroom at Walmart alone.. Yikes for reststops!!
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