We are definitely at a crossroads. My son is starting to enjoy more independence, and so am I. He can do most things on his own. And lately, he’s been asking if he can go into the men’s room by himself when we’re out in public. He’s 5 1/2, which is teetering on the edge of being too old to go in the ladies room with me. But he’s still young enough to not be totally safe in a men’s room by himself. So every time we go into a public restroom, I’m faced with a choice.
I’ve started to let him go in the men’s room, on his own, if we are in a super safe place, and it has one stall, no back exit, and he is in my eyeline the whole time. But normally, I take him into the ladies’ room, where he’s starting to get a bit uncomfortable, especially because three kids and a mom in even the biggest stall is uncomfortable.
Additionally, at home we practice privacy, and I don’t enter the bathroom unless he asks for help, and he gives me privacy as well. So for him to go into a public restroom stall is a bit weird at this point.
On the other hand, I’d rather keep him where I can keep him safe!
What do you do with kids of the opposite gender in public bathrooms?