When is it OK to send your child off to the public toilet by themselves?
A mum has shared with us that she was seriously debating allowing her five-year-old son to go to the toilet alone.
She wrote, “My five year old is fiercely independent and wants to do everything by himself. But now he is making a huge fuss every time I make him come with me to the ladies bathroom if we’re out and about.
“He begs to go in to the mens’ bathroom by himself but I never let him. We do often use the parents room but he still asks to go alone. I feel really uncomfortable about this! At what age would you let your son use the men’s toilet by themselves?”
What mums think
Many mums agreed that he was too young to go on his own. I must admit even as a grown adult I HATE using the public toilets.
My youngest is ten and I always make him go with his dad or wait if possible.
A couple of mums said just to be honest with him and let him know why it is not a good idea.
“Just talk to him directly and openly! Say that as much as you want him to be independent and how proud you are he is such a strong person, going to the toilet on his own is not safe, and that you both need to stay together to make sure nothing bad happens to him.”
Many agreed kids are not old enough until in their teens and they aware of the dangers.
One mum added, “Once he has a black belt in Karate!”
What the experts say
Parenting expert Jo Ryan from support service Babybliss said the age of when a child should go into a public toilet alone is a ‘tough question’.
‘It depends on the child really,’ she said.
‘I think six is too young. I’m not sure if I’d want them to go in a public toilet on their own,’ Ryan explained.
‘Some boys want to do that at that age, you have to judge the child and whether it is a safe environment. Toilets are always an unknown.
‘For me, I don‘t think I would let them go in on their own, I would want to take them with me. It’s usually when they are a bit older -around 7 or 8 – that they want to go in alone,’ Ryan said.
She recommended that parents make use of parenting rooms more often.
At what age would you let your kids use a public toilet alone? Tell us in the comments below.
We invited our members to give their views in our facebook discussion – check out all the comments below.We may get commissions for purchases made using links in this post. Learn more.