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Mum sparks debate after refusing to let seven-year-old son go to men's toilet on his own

Dominic Smithers

Published 
| Last updated 

Mum sparks debate after refusing to let seven-year-old son go to men's toilet on his own

Featured Image Credit: Colin Underhill/MBI/Alamy

A mum has kicked off a massive debate after saying she doesn't let her son go in the men's toilets.

Trying to keep children safe is a tough job, so parents are always looking out for potential dangers in life.

And one woman said that she won't allow her seven-year-old boy to go in the gents' loos by himself.

Instead, she takes him into the women's toilets with her.

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Writing on Mumsnet, the unnamed mum explained that she doesn't want him to 'see grown men using urinals' and is worried about him being approached by 'someone dodgy'.

She only lets him use one public toilet by himself, and that's because she knows there's 'never anyone about'.

"I'm sure this has been discussed before," she wrote. "When we're out and my boy needs the toilet, I make him come into the Ladies with me.

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The mum won't let her son use men's toilets alone. Credit: Alex Segre/Alamy
The mum won't let her son use men's toilets alone. Credit: Alex Segre/Alamy

"Problem is, he's starting to complain about it and wants to go in the Gents on his own. I have let him do this in one particular place where there's never anyone about, so I knew he wouldn't encounter anyone at the urinals.

"I'm always honest with him but I don't quite know how to explain why I'm not letting him do this anywhere else, like at the swimming pool/gym toilets."

The mum's comments sparked a huge debate, with not everyone agreeing with her 'paranoia'.

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"At what point will you allow him to go to the gents? A special outing on his 18th birthday?" asked one user.

Another commented to say that it's unlikely her son would come across any kind of 'dodgy' people in the toilets.

"I don't think most men's toilets are full of predators who hang out there all day waiting to pounce on a kid," they said.

Replying to some of the criticisms, the mum who shared the post said that it will eventually be his decision to go into the men's.

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Instead she takes him to the women's toilets. Credit: Streets Ahea/ Den Reader/Alamy
Instead she takes him to the women's toilets. Credit: Streets Ahea/ Den Reader/Alamy

"At some point he just won't agree to go in the ladies, hopefully by then he'll be ready to handle any bad situations," she said.

Others, however, could see where the woman was coming from.

Offering some sympathy, one parent said they had a similar experience with their child.

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"My anxieties about public loos with my just 9-year-old when he goes in alone are often about losing him - I'm thinking of the busy motorway service stations we stop at pretty often," they said.

"I've let him go alone there once with strict instructions of where to meet me (me and my daughter had to use the loo as well). He took ages and I got in such a panic, I was imagining someone abducting him, it was so busy anyone could be lost in a crowd, just horrible...

"Most public loos are fine I think and he uses them alone no problem, but I really wish they'd have more family loos in busy/big places."

Topics: Parenting

Dominic Smithers
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