Mom Feared Allowing Her Son To Go To Public Urinals Alone With Grown Men

When a concerned mother posted her question on an online forum about whether or not to allow her son (7) to use the public restroom alone, she wasn’t expecting such an overwhelming response.

Although the topic had likely been discussed before, the mom asked anyway— and soon racked up over 500 replies.

The Worry of a Cautious Mom

The worried mother expressed her fear of potentially sending her son into a dangerous situation. She wrote, “When we’re out, and my boy needs the toilet, I make him come into the ladies with me. Problem is, he’s starting to complain about it and wants to go in the gents on his own.”

She had previously let him use the gents’ toilets in a place where she knew that no one was around so he “wouldn’t encounter anyone at the urinals.”

“We all know there are flashers and worse about; I saw them when I was a kid, and so did most women I know,” she expressed her concerns.

Unfortunately, the mother wasn’t sure how to explain her feelings without directly warning him of potential predators. She spoke to him about personal space and consent but still worried someone “dodgy” would approach him.

She asked other parents for advice on handling this issue: “What do you tell your kids?”

Am I Being Unreasonable?

According to the polls on the forum, 74% of users thought the mother was being unreasonable. Some users accused her of being overly paranoid, while others shared her concerns and advised her to keep their children safe in public restrooms.

“At what point will you allow him to go to the gents? A special outing on his 18th birthday?” joked one.

“My son went to the gents as by that age, I did not think it was fair on other people using the ladies,” one person said.

“I understand that you’re worried, but why worry at the thought of him seeing grown men using urinals? That seems odd,” another replied.

“I won’t be sending my sons into a public toilet alone when they are 8. If I had a daughter, I don’t think I’d want her going in the ladies’ alone either. It’s too young to be in a place with strangers and lockable cubicles,” agreed one person.

READ NEXT: Dad Let His Son Take “Toy” To Show and Tell, Not Knowing What It Really Was

Stranger Danger

To understand why there is such an air of apprehension about the topic, we need to look at the issue of stranger danger, which has perpetuated fear among parents in the United States.

A single lapse in judgment can lead to a traumatic experience for a child. Instances of inappropriate behavior, verbal harassment, or even physical assault by strangers are not unheard of.

According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), of all sexual abuse cases reported to law enforcement, only 7% of juveniles didn’t know the perpetrator. Unfortunately, it’s not only strangers we need to look out for, as acquaintances (59%) and family members (34%) are responsible for the rest of the cases. That being said, we never know what’s around the corner.

This article She Won’t Let Her Son Use The Gents was produced by TPR Teaching. Source.


I'm an Irish tutor and founder of TPR Teaching. I started teaching in 2016 and have since taught in the UK, Spain, and online.

I love learning new things about the English language and how to teach it better. I'm always trying to improve my knowledge, so I can better meet the needs of others!

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