When is a Boy Too Old to Use the Ladies Room?
Ladies, we've all seen it, and if you're a mom to a boy, you've certainly done it: take him with you into the women's bathroom when nature calls.
But how old is too old to be doing that?
I'm not a parent, but I can imagine how tough a decision it is.
One mall in Texas made headlines this week after posting a sign saying that boys over 6 should use the men's restroom, sparking a debate among parents across the country.
Some people agreed with the sign, saying that sometimes older boys in the restroom act inappropriately, either staring or even peeking their heads under neighboring stalls.
Others think the sign is ridiculous, and that it's not safe to send a young boy into a room full of men, where it's too easy for a predator to harm them.
I'm with them.
Sure, your 6-year-old might be perfectly capable of wiping his own behind, but what if some creeper was in there and decided to flash him? What if someone in there touched your child inappropriately? Would your child know what to do, or tell you what happened? What if it was even worse, and someone grabbed your child and ran off?
Maybe the likelihood of any of those 'what ifs' is minimal, but should any mother take that chance?
This is especially important for parents of special needs children, who might not even be able to communicate if something bad happened to them.
And what about fathers with little girls?
I remember once being at a football game, in line for the ladies room, when I saw a panicked-looking dad with his maybe 5-year-old daughter who clearly had to pee. He didn't want to take her into the men's room, but he felt weird about going into the women's room with her...so he asked me if I would take her in. Of course, I said yes.
But what if I wasn't me? What if the woman he asked wound up being some nut job who then disappeared into a hectic stadium bathroom with his daughter?
Would it have been a huge deal to see a man accompanying his daughter into the restroom? Are we all that immature?
I don't know about any of you girls, but I've used the men's room when the line for the women's was out of control and I just couldn't hold it. I walked in, didn't look around or try to see anyone's bits, did my business and left. I don't even know if the guys in there noticed. I feel the same way when I see a boy in the ladies' room. And maybe we should be just as understanding of the dads with young daughters.
It's also different for every child. Some 10-year-olds are more mature and independent than others, and then there are probably some 12-year-olds that shouldn't be left alone in a public bathroom!
What do you think? Have you ever had a bad experience with a little boy using the ladies' room while you were in there?