“Please. Boys over six years of age use the Men’s restroom. Thank you.”
This sign has been making the rounds on Facebook. And I have only one thing to say.
ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME!?!?!
Where’s the equally troubling, “Please. Girls over six years of age use the Women’s restroom. Thank you.” sign?
I would not send my six-year-old child—of either gender—into a bathroom alone.
Kids frequently need assistance in the bathroom. Maybe their pants are hard to button or they can’t reach the toilet paper. I am a staunch supporter of my children—actually all humans—washing their hands after using the facilities. I want to ensure they actually use soap, scrub, and rinse. Some children, like three of my four kids, are velcro to their parent’s side. Mine would have had an accident over going in a restroom without me.
And maybe, just maybe—I DON’T WANT MY CHILD IN A RESTROOM POTENTIALLY WITH ANYONE I DON’T KNOW. I understand there are good people in the world. I choose to believe there are more good people than bad. However, I’m unwilling to put my child in an avoidable situation that could end poorly.
Hang with me for a second here. I’m going to look at this from one side only—asking the boys to use the men’s restroom. Women’s restrooms have stalls—with doors and locks. Your son would be enclosed in said stall while taking care of business as should any other woman using the restroom. By the time hand washing occurs, everyone is fully clothed and ready to reenter a public space. I simply don’t understand the issue here. What does it matter if a person uses a stall with a door? I know I’m starting to tread into a sensitive area for some—but for me—a bathroom is a bathroom and if a person, regardless of gender, needs to use it, go for it (but that’s a whole other topic).
Men’s restrooms do not always have multiple stalls. The urinal may be enclosed somewhat or not at all. I wouldn’t send my daughter in alone. Again I ask—where’s the inverse sign of the posted one? Would the person who posted the sign be comfortable posting one about girls and women’s restrooms?
I understand locker rooms asking for a bit of separation or consideration—but only if there is a family option available. I would not send a small child into a locker room to change unsupervised—for their safety and my sanity! No child has ever decided to have a water balloon fight in a locker room while making a slip and slide out of wet towels—no chid of mine would dream of doing such a thing. It took all four of them to come up with that fun scenario.
Back to sending young children alone into a bathroom. Nope. Nada.
I’m keeping my kids with me until they’re ready. Deal with it.