Mom Doesn’t Want Her 7-Year-Old Using Public Bathrooms Alone, Asks If She’s Being Paranoid

Being a parent can be extremely stressful. Aside from getting all the basics right—providing food and shelter, doing homework together, spending quality time together—you also have to worry about their health and safety. Your family’s safety is paramount, there’s no doubt about that. However, while some parents have a very realistic approach when it comes to issues like that, others might give in to their panic and paranoia just a bit too much. It’s up for debate where the line between the two approaches actually lies.

Recently, a mom went viral on the popular Mumsnet forum after asking whether she was unreasonable not to let her 7-year-old son use public men’s restrooms on his own. Instead, she always takes him with her into the women’s bathroom. This is because she’s scared that someone suspicious might want to harm him. Her post sparked a heated discussion on the forum and in the media about whether or not her approach was a rational one. Scroll down to see what people on both sides of the fence thought.

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It is completely natural to want to protect your kids. However, you also don’t want to stunt their sense of independence

Image credits: Yanapi Senaud (not the actual picture)

A mom turned to the internet for their verdict on whether she was being unreasonable not to let her son use the men’s public toilets alone

Image credits: FlyingPi

Image credits: Ketut Subiyanto (not the actual photo)

There usually isn’t a clear-cut answer when tackling delicate questions like this. The author of the viral Mumsnet post shared that she’s not quite sure how to explain to her son that she won’t let him use the men’s public toilets because she’s scared for his safety. At the same time, she also noted that she’s already taught him about important concepts like personal space and consent.

On the one hand, there were people who read the mom’s story and thought that she was being overly paranoid. Some internet users even asked her at what age it would finally be appropriate for her son to use the bathroom on his own.

Sooner or later, she’ll have to get used to the idea that she won’t be able to take care of him every time he needs to use the toilet in public.

On the other hand, some parents said that they share the same worries as the mom. Again, the safety of your family is paramount. However, beyond teaching your child to be more aware of strangers, and to stand near the bathroom door until they’re finished, are there really any other practical steps that parents can take to keep them completely safe?

The mom was worried that someone might harm her son if he’s all on his own

Image credits: Juan Marin (not the actual picture)

Having conversations about safety, personal space, and consent is never easy. However, it’s very important. Psychiatrist Raheel Karim told Popsugar that parents ought to teach their children to “always ask permission—regardless of whether they are hugging a friend or playing with someone else’s toys, asking permission reinforces the importance of choice.”

However, just talking about this isn’t enough: parents have to model this type of behavior as well, and lead by example.

It’s also vital that you teach your children the power of the word ‘no.’ They have to understand that if they tell someone ‘no’ that others should respect this.

“Rather than ordering your child to hug or kiss family members goodbye, give them a choice. Affection should not be forced, and if your child only feels comfortable with a high five, handshake, or simply saying ‘goodbye,’ you should accept this,” Dr. Karim said.

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Some parents reading the story completely disagreed with the mom. Here’s what they had to say

Meanwhile, some other readers shared some friendly advice and revealed what they do

There were also some internet users who supported the mom and had the same worries as her

The post Mom Doesn’t Want Her 7-Year-Old Using Public Bathrooms Alone, Asks If She’s Being Paranoid first appeared on Bored Panda.


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