As my son approaches his eighth birthday, he is showing signs of wanting to be a ‘big kid’ in so many ways.
He wants to play Fortnite like his big cousins, he is reading alone at night and I notice how he cares more about the opinions of his peers. While he is many years from being a young adult, I do want to give him some autonomy where possible, with one exception; when he wants to use public toilets alone.
At this stage I take him into the ladies’ room with me or we use a disabled cubicle if its empty.
Toby rolls his eyes and comes along, but begs me to let him go into the mens’ room, as he would with his dad, but I just don’t feel it’s safe.
One of our local cafes has a unisex cubicle which is handy, but this option is few and far between in our area.
Further to the question of what to do with him when using public toilets, I recently noticed a sign in the ladies change room of a local council swimming pool requesting that boys who are older than five, DO NOT use the ladies communal change rooms but instead the disabled change room.
Personally, I feel that five is very young, and there would surely be few women offended by a five-year-old boy getting changed with the help of their mama.
Most of the parents I asked who use council pool facilities in our town, said they have either ignored this sign (and others like it), or simply don’t take their sons swimming without their male partner.