My eldest is 9 and when we are out and he needs to use the toilet I take him to the doorway of the men's toilets and let him go in. After a little while I call out "Everything ok in there?" and as long as he says "Yes" I am ok. I never let him know why I am escorting him to the door. At big shopping centres I take the kids to a disabled toilet if the men's toilets are too big to check on him from the doorway.
Unfortunately it is the cases of the horrific rapes of children in toilets that have ruined it for the rest of us. There are plenty of ways to teach kids independence, but letting them go into a toilet block on their own at a park or beach is not a risk I'm willing to take. I never let on to my kids about why I'm being cautious with that as I don't want to scare them. I'll just continue to escort them and gradually give more independence when I feel the time is right.
My eldest is 9 and I still won't let him go on his own. It's just a risk I'm not willing to take.
I'm not sure.
I have 3 boys and the youngest is still in a pram.
I take all 3 of them into the disabled toilets if a parents toilet isn't available.
Alternatively if the 2 older boys want to go by themself, I let them go into the disabled loo.
One thing that I was note in these types of threads, is the fear that parents have about strangers harming their children, when statistics tell us, that children are most likely to be harmed by someone known to them.
So whilst many parents are uncomfortable with letting their child walk/ride to school/the shops or in this instance, use public toilets, what measures are you taking to make sure they are protected from the people they know? Do you let them use the bathroom unsupervised at a friends house (or even your own home) when an adult can still easily take advantage? Do you let them play in another part of the house without supervision where the same thing could happen?
I'm not meaning to be snarky or argumentative, nor am I trying to suggest that people you know are predatory. It's just that people seem to fear strangers more than they fear those known to them, when that is not statistically the way we should think. Food for thought?
And I let my kids ride around the streets and ride to school. I'm not overly protective. They don't fear public places. But public toilets are just different for me.
I don't think (for me anyway) they are the same risk factor as going to the toilet at a friends place.
I can be told as much logic as people like. I've never told my girls they need to be afraid of them. I've just asked that they let me go with them. Also in case there's no paper in them, or they are disgusting. Many reasons why I might take them.
In answer to your questions no I will not/did not allow my children to go to the toilet unsupervised in a friend's home UNLESS all adults (and teenage children) were present and within my view. Same goes for playing unsupervised in other people's homes.
I was with DS1 (and will be with DS2 and eventually DS3) the mum who said no to my child sleeping over at other people's homes. However my home had an open door and I was happy for any children to come and stay over. My home was filled with DS1's friends every weekend until he moved out of home. I regularly had anywhere up to 10 kids staying over. He did stay at other homes 2-3 times when he was in his mid teens (14-15) but used to come home and say he'd rather have his friends at our house.
I also had and am beginning to have conversations with my children (DS2 is 3) about personal space and body safety. This includes ANYONE touching him - that means me, his father and big brother as well.
Two police officers told me a few years ago never, ever let a boy got into a public bathroom alone, especially at a shopping centre. It's not an urban legend, I've seen several things this year on the police reports just in my local area. One guy hiding in the bathroom of a David Jones, who was arrested just a month or two ago.
I don't know what age for my Ds but maybe 11 or 12. Not sure will depend when he's that age. I don't care if it's overprotective, I wouldn't take the risk.
As I was leaving a man I can only describe as weird came striding in and just stood there looking around while I grabbed my stuff and baby and ran out.
I've never really used a parents room (for feeding) since.
Off topic but there are some really strange people in the world.
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