Boys Banned from Women’s Bathrooms?

boy in bathroom

We all know kids always have to go to the bathroom when we’re out in public. If your kids are anything like mine, they tend to go more when they’re out than when they’re home. It can be downright annoying, but it goes with the territory.

If you have little girls, you obviously bring them in with you when either one of you has to go. But, what if you have little boys? At what point do you send them into the men’s room alone? A sign posted outside a women’s bathroom at an Oklahoma mall is stirring debate about that very question. The sign reads, “Boys over 6 years of age please use Men’s restroom.”

I’m curious why the age of six is designated as the time when a little boy shouldn’t be allowed inside a bathroom with his mother. If a woman is alone with her son, I would think it would be common sense that she would bring her child inside the ladies’ room so he could use the toilet. Although kids can go to the bathroom by themselves, six seems a little too young to cut the cord. As long as the mother is watching her son, I don’t see the problem with a six year-old going into the ladies’ room with his mom.

If I were the mother of a little boy, I would be more worried about sending him into a men’s room alone with strangers than having him in the ladies’ room with me. Maybe I’ve seen too many news stories, but there are a lot of sick people in the world. You just never know what could happen. I would hope that mothers who saw this sign would go with their gut if they felt uncomfortable sending their sons into the men’s room alone. We all know about a mother’s intuition.

So, what’s the solution here? More “family bathrooms”? Maybe, if that’s what will make everyone happy. But, the likelihood of that happening everywhere is probably slim.


In the meantime, I don’t think we should have a sign dictate what we feel comfortable with when it comes to our kids and their safety. As mothers, we shouldn’t compromise our children’s safety to make other people feel better. In reality, we all know a little boy is not going to see anything through a stall door. What should concern us more is what could happen if we send him into a men’s room alone.

 What do you think? Should boys be banned from women’s bathrooms? Or are there better solutions?