I travel a lot, but even when I am in my hometown I just can't help but feel kinda violated when a mother brings in a male child to the ladies restroom. Today I went to the town mall, (and there was a boy had to be in at least second grade) came in the women's restroom with his mother and sister (I'm guessing). I get this bad feeling like it's not right. Like my privacy has been put in jeopardy. Is there and age limit to child/parent restroom visits? Should I say something? Can I say something? Should I feel this way? Does anyone else feel this way? Thanks!
Posts: 16 | Registered: Sep 2002
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In all honesty, children do not sexualize people the way adults do. And I doubt you're in any danger from a supervised, male child.
Mothers generally don't have a choice in public facilities, save leaving their children alone where they ARE in danger, from other adults.
(Obviously, if you're talking a teenager, it's a different story.)
And no, to my knowledge there is no legal age limits. Could you say something? Yeah, but I wouldn't expect a positive reception.
Might also want to remember that not everyone is heterosexual, so to some degree, even gendered adult bathrooms are a bit of a delusion when it comes to thinking gender segregation affords lack of sexual peeking, privacy, or what have you. And since people of all genders can be violent, it doesn't guarantee physical safety, either.
There's this one McDonalds that we always stop at on trips to visit my parents that always makes me laugh. They put the baby change station in the large stall in the women's bathroom. That's not really out of the ordinary. However, what is funny is the little pull down seat that they put in for toddlers. I mean, it's a great idea -- you can bring your little one in and snap him or her into this seat so that they can't run around or crawl on the floor or peak under the door. What makes it hilarious is the fact that the seat is positioned directly across from the toilet (which is taller than the regular toilets), which puts the kid just about on eye level with the toilet seat. That just always makes me laugh when I go into that bathroom.
That had nothing to do with the question, but I had to share.
I have seen fathers take their daughters into the men's room. At first I was concerned but now I know why they don't want to leave their daughters unescorted. Get used to it. Parents will take their young children to the restroom of whatever sex the parent is. It is just a normal caution these days.
------------------ I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
You absolutely CAN say something ... You can write a letter to this mall and suggest that they make a family washroom. Malls in Ontario have just started doing this in the last few years, and we even have rooms for mothers to breastfeed in private, if they chose to. As Miz S mentioned, parents just don't have a choice anymore ... If i were that parent, I'd have done the exact same thing, and i'd expect my partner to do the same if we had a daughter. My child's safety will trump the possibility of a stranger being a little uncomfortable 110% of the time.
I did a clinical rotation in a family play/support centre and they had a family washroom there. It worked well. I never heard any complaints about anyone being uncomfortable.
Anyway ... Didn't mean to gang up on your or anything (I hope you didn't take it that way ... !) ... I just wanted to point out that you CAN have a say in this, and it would be a great way to advocate for a family washroom to be made available to parents.
[This message has been edited by LilBlueSmurf (edited 09-20-2005).]
My mom brought my younger brother into the ladies' room with us all the time. Why? Because she's a single mother with two girls and a boy and there was no way in HELL she was either going to leave her youngest child waiting outside alone, or send him into a washroom with strange men by himself. She wasn't okay with leaving him waiting and he wasn't okay with going alone.
You could definitely lobby for family washrooms, I totally wish they had those when I was little.
Have family restrooms been around long? I remember being brought to the restroom many a time and always being told "Don't look around the corner." Being a kid, of course I looked...right at the urinal a rather aged man was using. I really appreciate male genetalia now, but at six, it's scarey/gross!
It's not quite on topic, but i wanted to share my experience and say I am SO asking about family restrooms in malls, for the kids' sake!
Don't any of you people have a family rest rooms where you live? It One Rest room with a adult toilet and a kids one they have a changing table for babys and the room is big enough to have about 5 people in it. Man and women can go in there with there kids so the don't have to take them in the girls or boys room.
------------------ As you get older life gets harder
I remember having my younger brother with me and my mom to the ladies bathroom when he was little.
When I'm a parent myself, I will take my son should I have one with me to the ladies room. I'm not going to leave him out of the washroom to be himself. No way. My partner feels the same way. He will his daughter with him to the men's bathroom if I'm not around to take her to the ladies one.
I have seen family washrooms ie, beaches, McDonalds, and aquatic centres (Pools) and malls. But not every place. It should be done everywhere, i agree. I will take my kids to the family washroom if there's one for sure.
This kind of amuses me, because I saw a single parent bringing her son into the women's bathroom at Wal-mart. The kid was apparently old enough to read, and got freaked out. He yelled "I'm not going into the girls' bathroom!!" and then ran out and stood against a wall. The kid looked pretty freaked out. His mom just laughed and told him to "get back in here. You look like a girl anyway." Amusingly, she was right. The kid had unusually pretty braided hair.
Posts: 407 | From: Georgia | Registered: Aug 2004
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I don't get embarrassed by this, they are just little boys! And I don't invite them into the stall while I am peeing/pooping anyway, so what is the big deal?!?
Posts: 11 | From: Florida | Registered: Nov 2005
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May I be frank? You MUST have access to the news in your country no? And, you must have some sense of the danger that children are in with all the crimes against them, ie paedophiles, rapists, murderers, kidnappers, no?
WHY would you think that a child in a PUBLIC restroom is a violation of you? Have you paid for the use of that restroom? Is it your own private rest room? If you want to have private wee's then rent a hotel room and use the private loo in that.
PUBLIC facilities are just that... public. You take the good with the bad. You are no more entitled to a private wee in the public loo then you are a private lift on a public bus.
I think a mum that would leave her child unattended outside a public loo would be being negligent and I would really pray for that child that no harm would come to him.
I don't mean to sound harsh, but I live in London and it would be criminal to leave a child unattended outside of a loo. I also hope you don't feel like I'm being too personal, but it is a might immature, to my mind, to feel this way in today's world.
Just be thankful that she has the option to keep her child protected by bringing him with her in the unfortunate circumstance of having to use the public loo. I, personally, HATE using public toilets and would only resort to such in the most dire circumstance. Think of it from her perspective... leave the child outside where he could have any number of horrific things come to him, or bring him in a public toilet where he can contract any number of diseases and things (they aren't what i would call clean...). It really seems a difficult choice all around.
Anyway, just my two pence...
Posts: 2 | From: London, England | Registered: Nov 2005
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