21 Aug 2014
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Moms Talk: Boys and Public Restroom Dilemmas

This week we’re discussing a problematic issue for many mothers of young boys: When can they go to a public bathroom alone? Do you drag your 9-year-old son into the women’s room for safety’s sake?

Moms Talk: Boys and Public Restroom Dilemmas

Oh, this is a tough one, moms.

I have an almost-six-year-old boy, and I would rather walk across a bed of hot coals or eat a canned biscuit than let that child go into a public men’s room alone.

But the thing is, he’s getting bigger-- and ladies are starting to give us wary glances when we shuffle through the women’s room door in Target together. I shrug those glances off, because to me they are very much preferable to the agony of waiting outside the men’s room door knowing Jack's inside.

Maybe I’m overprotective. Actually, I am overprotective, and I’m fine with that. Because I can’t stop running this story through my head when I imagine my tiny boy in a men’s room alone.

I place a high value on my peace of mind, and for now, if braving disapproving stares in the women’s room is the price to pay, count me in.

After all, what alternatives do we have?*

We certainly don’t let them out of our sight while we’re in a public place, so why in the world should we have to send our little boys into a room with strange men inside and close the door?

When they’re somewhere with us, and we have to go, do we make them stand outside and wait for us?

My answer to these questions is a vehement NO.

However, I know very well that there comes an age when it really isn’t appropriate to take your son into the women’s room anymore. And what I’d like to ask you moms is this: When is it?

When that time comes, what exactly do you do? Do you escort them to the men’s room door and stand right outside? Do you, God forbid, peek inside first?

Speak out Parents:

What about you? Does your son go to the restroom with you in public places? What do you do with your older sons? Please weigh in!

Side Note: The author would like to take this opportunity to publicly express her undying gratitude to public establishments offering family restrooms to patrons. 

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