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s/o boys too old for women's room


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I can't tell the age of these kids from photos, there's no adult nearby to gauge their size. I'd be uncomfortable in front of all of them.  I wouldn't let my own children see the opposite gender parent nude after age 3, and I think the guideline is 6 months old for foster children (as that's the limit to having their crib in the same room as an adult).

 

I'm not sure I'd care about a boy up to age 6 in the locker room, and maybe age 8 in a restroom unless there were very obvious special needs.

 

If a ten year old boy came in the locker room, that would be completely inappropriate.  Most boys enter puberty at age 9 or 10 now.  Unless there are significant special needs they should be capable of changing on their own at that point, and if parents are really that afraid of locker rooms, perhaps the parents should get treatment for anxiety disorder or choose a smaller facility with smaller, open-door locker rooms.

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You know, I've been thinking about this, and generally, I'm not comfortable with any boy over toddler aged being in the ladies' room.  However, I get it that kids up to 4, 5 and maybe even 6 might have to come in at times.  I can tolerate it, as long as they are not peaking under stalls and/or staring.  That said, I don't like being naked in a roomful of women, either, and it's probably one of the reasons I don't like going to the pool and having to change.  I really just don't want anyone seeing my fat rolls and other imperfections, not even with a glance.    I really wish all pools would have private changing rooms rather than so many toilets.

Edited by Serenade
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I was thinking that, too. None of those boys would bother me-but anyone who looks old enough to not require a daily nap would bother my 11 yr old. A boy she KNOWS...and she'd probably die of embarrassment on the spot. I remember having to change and go through open showers after PE in 7th grade, and that it was basically torture because I was so aware of my body at the time as a late developer. In 20/20 hindsight, I suspect the early developers were just as nervous and found it just as hard.

This has been my concern with this whole question. Most adults will likely not feel threatened or embarrassed by the presence of pre-pubertal boys, but same age girls may feel very, very uncomfortable if they have to change our in the open where everyone can see. My twelve year old is very self-conscious and finds it difficult to change even around girls, she would be petrified and mortified if there were boys older than toddler age.

 

Fortunately our local pool has excellent family changing facilities--a big room with a shower, benches, and lockers and at least four (maybe five, can't remember; it has always been enough) separate changing rooms with their own showers. My kids generally all rinse off at the group shower, then those who want privacy go into the smaller rooms to change and I sit on the bench to help the younger ones. I don't swim (chlorine gives me hives) so I've never dealt with changing there myself but I've also never seen adults or older kids changing in the open--the expectation is that they will use the rooms. The staff locker room is off of the family changing room so both women and men walk through to get to it.

Edited by maize
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Yeah, I assumed the OP meant getting fully changed in front of these boys. I voted no way because I wouldn't get changed in front of anyone. I don't want to see women getting changed, either.

 

That said, if they were just in the room? I would still think it was odd and assume the mother was a helicopter parent unless it was clear there were reasons the boys were there. First impressions and all. But in reality I'd probably be in and out of a room like so fast I wouldn't notice.

 

Same here.  I'm discreet so it does not matter who is in there.

 

I wouldn't consider it odd.  I'd assume that for some reason the kid doesn't do well alone.  Maybe he is autistic or whatever.   Or maybe the parent is nervous. 

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I was thinking that, too. None of those boys would bother me-but anyone who looks old enough to not require a daily nap would bother my 11 yr old. A boy she KNOWS...and she'd probably die of embarrassment on the spot. I remember having to change and go through open showers after PE in 7th grade, and that it was basically torture because I was so aware of my body at the time as a late developer. In 20/20 hindsight, I suspect the early developers were just as nervous and found it just as hard.

 

Geesh that IS torture.  We never had to do that. 

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Geesh that IS torture. We never had to do that.

Old school building-and a 7-12 school! We actually had separate girl's and boy's PE instructors, and two gyms, with the smaller, older one referred to as the "girls' gym". And locker rooms that were horrid for girls going through puberty. I'm sure that there were a lot of girls who were overweight, flat, or just plain hated their bodies, too, but I felt like Skipper in the land of Barbie.

 

I admit, one reason why I have such a visceral reaction to the idea of sending DD to school for middle school is because PE was just horrible.

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Old school building-and a 7-12 school! We actually had separate girl's and boy's PE instructors, and two gyms, with the smaller, older one referred to as the "girls' gym". And locker rooms that were horrid for girls going through puberty. I'm sure that there were a lot of girls who were overweight, flat, or just plain hated their bodies, too, but I felt like Skipper in the land of Barbie.

 

I admit, one reason why I have such a visceral reaction to the idea of sending DD to school for middle school is because PE was just horrible.

 

We did not shower for PE ever when I was in school.  We did have to change, but that can be done very quickly and discreetly.

 

I can't even recall breaking a sweat in gym class.  I always thought it was a pointless class.  And it is a very sucky experience when one isn't very athletic.  In high school it got a tad better because I could opt to do stuff like power walking (just walk around the track).  But basketball when you are 5 feet tall is sucky on any planet.

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Are some of them the same child at different ages? Or brothers? Just curious. The pics are so little so I wasn't sure.

 

Yes.

Click and they should enlarge.

 

One is of DS at an age when he was physically unable to undress from a wet swimsuit, so I'm alarmed that some people are bothered that he'd have to be in the dressing room with me.

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I didn't vote because it would depend on too many circumstances, such as:

 

  • Whether or not there was another option for boys who truly cannot manage on their own.  If there's a family changing room reasonably available, I do not see why anyone would not use it.
  • Whether the females in the room had the option to go behind a privacy curtain.  In my rec center, there is no such option.
  • How the boy acted, and specifically where his eyes were going while in the locker room.
  • Whether female classmates would feel comfortable with him in there.
  • Whether he was old enough to feel uncomfortable there himself.

I agree that this decision should be made assuming there will be girl peers in there, unless the parent knows there will not.  Girls are getting very mixed messages if we tell them they have to tolerate being seen naked by boys of similar age or older.  I don't think most people here would approve of co-ed skinny dipping or naked recess, so why would we apply different criteria to locker rooms, unless compelled by necessity?  (And needing to get done quick is not "necessity" in my opinion.)

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Yes.

Click and they should enlarge.

 

One is of DS at an age when he was physically unable to undress from a wet swimsuit, so I'm alarmed that some people are bothered that he'd have to be in the dressing room with me.

Was he over 4? Between 5-independent, the facility provides a family changing room for you to use if you were to be swimming with AndyJoy. It doesn't matter what he looks like or what you want. It's about the privacy and consent of the other people using the changing room.

 

My friend's 11-12 year old could pass for 8. Should she bring him to a room that allowed 8 and under if he *looks* 8?

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Yes.

Click and they should enlarge.

 

One is of DS at an age when he was physically unable to undress from a wet swimsuit, so I'm alarmed that some people are bothered that he'd have to be in the dressing room with me.

 

For the record (since I was an active participant in the other thread), I am not bothered if a child needs to be in a dressing room with his own mom.  I have a family member who is disabled who will likely need to be in a changing room with his mom or some caretaker for the rest of his life.  The expectation that they not be in a women's locker/shower room has nothing to do with me feeling bothered that he'd need help from his own mom.  I mean, if I saw any mom going into a family bathroom with older boys/kids I would not think anything of it at all, no being bothered, no second thoughts.

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FYI the boys pictured are as young as 4 and as old as 7. They're getting similar numbers of votes.

 

I would be  100% comfortable with photos of those boys in any restroom or changing  room!

:P

 

I don't think votes based on tiny photos mean anything at all.

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Wait, what are we talking about?  Full nudity in front of those boys?  Or just a changing area where you could go behind a curtain to get naked?

I am talking about full nudity. Who really cares if there is no chance of them seeing anything. Locker rooms that I am familiar with do not have privacy. For that, you would need to take up bathroom stalls which is frowned upon. It sounds like some people have locker rooms that allow for more privacy, but that is not anything I am familiar with, and I have been in a whole lot of locker rooms. Generally, there are rows of lockers with benches.

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Was he over 4? Between 5-independent, the facility provides a family changing room for you to use if you were to be swimming with AndyJoy. It doesn't matter what he looks like or what you want. It's about the privacy and consent of the other people using the changing room.

 

My friend's 11-12 year old could pass for 8. Should she bring him to a room that allowed 8 and under if he *looks* 8?

 

Some facilities don't provide decent spaces or any spaces at all. I mentioned the utility closet I was invited to change with my 4 yo ds in at a pool above. It was a mop, a bucket, a folding chair and just enough room for the three of us to stand. That's not equitable. And many options are pretty bad.

 

And it goes the other way too - if a facility allows 4 yos and a kid looks 6 or 7 (and that's pretty common!) then should they not be allowed or be harassed?

 

What if someone is uncomfortable with breastfeeding in the changing room? Or with male infants? Or a male 2 yo? Or with anyone of a different race? What if they're not comfortable with Muslim women in the changing room? At some point, you have to say, you're not allowed to tell someone else what to do just because you're uncomfortable. There has to be a line *somewhere*.

 

In the other thread, I thought the OP should say something. A child that your best guess is 10 yo and neurotypical... I think the line is before that for sure. As long as it's done politely.

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I am talking about full nudity. Who really cares if there is no chance of them seeing anything. Locker rooms that I am familiar with do not have privacy. For that, you would need to take up bathroom stalls which is frowned upon. It sounds like some people have locker rooms that allow for more privacy, but that is not anything I am familiar with, and I have been in a whole lot of locker rooms. Generally, there are rows of lockers with benches.

Open showers and open locker area with benches is what I have seen too. The only closed off areas are the toilet stalls.

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Some facilities don't provide decent spaces or any spaces at all. I mentioned the utility closet I was invited to change with my 4 yo ds in at a pool above. It was a mop, a bucket, a folding chair and just enough room for the three of us to stand. That's not equitable. And many options are pretty bad.

 

And it goes the other way too - if a facility allows 4 yos and a kid looks 6 or 7 (and that's pretty common!) then should they not be allowed or be harassed?

 

What if someone is uncomfortable with breastfeeding in the changing room? Or with male infants? Or a male 2 yo? Or with anyone of a different race? What if they're not comfortable with Muslim women in the changing room? At some point, you have to say, you're not allowed to tell someone else what to do just because you're uncomfortable. There has to be a line *somewhere*.

 

In the other thread, I thought the OP should say something. A child that your best guess is 10 yo and neurotypical... I think the line is before that for sure. As long as it's done politely.

In the other post, there was an established line: women and children 4 and under. It shouldn't be up to me to decide that line is ridiculous and violate someone's privacy who's undressed based on the posted rule.

 

If you're breastfeeding a 5 year old, do it somewhere else. People who have an issue with any males, even infants, are provided notice that there may be male children 4 and under. They can decide for themselves whether to undress. Violating a posted rule takes away the other person's right to choose who sees her naked.

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Every time this topic comes up, I flash back to yesteryear when I had a friend we often did things with. My ds was 5. Her older ds was 10. At the pool, my ds went to the locker room and changed himself after swimming. When we were at the zoo or a restaurant, my ds took himself to the men's room. Hers went into the locker room with her to change. He was only allowed in the women's restroom. He was absolutely humiliated every single time/ blushed furiously, stared at the floor, shuffled his feet. It was quite obvious he didn't want to be there. I think he was 12 before she allowed him to go into the men's room.

 

With my kids being heavy into swimming, I have known a lot of boys who have to change from a wet suit. The vast majority of 5 yo boys are perfectly capable of changing on their own. I'd go so far as to say a normal 5 yo can handle it. If they can't, it is because they have never been given the opportunity to learn. Yes, they do sometimes take too long. They sometimes get in trouble that wouldn't happen if mom was right there. Same is true for all ages. My girls also used the locker room alone at 5. My experience is that the older kids tend to be even worse! I will admit that it is nice being able to go in and hurry the girls up.

 

I will also go farther and say that physical age is not as important as mental age. There was one boy who came out of the pool and started stripping while running across the lobby. He hated being in wet clothes. He was probably 11. His mom laughingly caught him, wrapped a towel around him, and helped him get some clothes on in the lobby. (He was supposed to come get his clothes and go to the locker room.) No one was offended or cared that I could tell. If she were to take him into the women's locker room, I doubt that many would care. His mental age was more important than his physical age.

 

I am not sure exactly what/where it starts to make a difference. There really isn't an age. There is no set line. However, some type of guideline has to be put in or people like my friend (this was back when people had just started not allowing their boys to go on their own and rules were not usually in place) would push the limit way too far. (Btw, my girls would always wait until he was out in the lobby before they would go in to change.) If people hadn't gone overboard with taking their preteen boys in with them, you wouldn't be seeing these signs. Who knows, maybe this is the beginning of a new trend of only having a single dressing room for both sexes? I seriously doubt it though. Those of you who are taking older boys into the locker room, try to watch them objectively. Are they truly comfortable with being there? Are you getting the stink eye from others? Are the girls his age whispering and glancing over at you? If so, please think about your ds and what impact this might be having on him. The safety you think you are giving him might be doing him more harm than good. While it may be giving you peace of mind, it might be having the opposite results for him. I know that was the case for my friend.

Edited by Lolly
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I think many are forgetting an important factor. Many adults may be okay with these boys in the locker room, but what about tweens and teens. My daughter would be very uncomfortable with a boy near her age in there.

 

 

Exactly.  My girls would NOT want to be changing in front of any boys their age.  TBH, they don't even want to change in front of each other half the time.  Girls deserve respect for what they do and don't feel comfortable with.

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I'm not comfortable changing in front of other women.

 

(But I also said I don't care if the boys were there.)

Yep this is me. I don't care if there's boys in the room as I don't want a bunch of women seeing me either so I'm either in a shower cubicle or being extremely discreet.

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Old school building-and a 7-12 school! We actually had separate girl's and boy's PE instructors, and two gyms, with the smaller, older one referred to as the "girls' gym". And locker rooms that were horrid for girls going through puberty. I'm sure that there were a lot of girls who were overweight, flat, or just plain hated their bodies, too, but I felt like Skipper in the land of Barbie.

 

I admit, one reason why I have such a visceral reaction to the idea of sending DD to school for middle school is because PE was just horrible.

This. I don't agree with the forced co-showering required of middle school children even though I'm sure the majority of children are just in a hurry to get out of there and not looking at everyone else and regardless of if it's the same gender.

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Exactly.  My girls would NOT want to be changing in front of any boys their age.  TBH, they don't even want to change in front of each other half the time.  Girls deserve respect for what they do and don't feel comfortable with.

 

Would you say that there's an age floor at which you'd want to take that into account? E.g., if a 4yo girl doesn't want to change because there's a 4yo boy in the room, would you give that equal weight as a 7yo saying the same?

 

This is a really challenging issue for places that don't have family spaces available, in that we will have either girls who aren't comfortable using the facility or boys who aren't allowed to.

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I have not had this issue locally even though I have both boys and girls and we have weekly swim lessons weekly. Honestly, though if a four year old daughter of mine was uncomfortable I would hold up a beach towel for her to dress behind. That would respect her right to privacy and allow moms of boys to be able to help them. A large towel will cover up an entire four year old. Most four year olds aren't paying attention to stuff like that though an early bloomer might. Mother's pretty much always bring in toddlers and pre-schoolers and nobody cares. Elementary students do notice a difference and I don't think noticing a difference equates, agh they are horny. They just recognize differences and they are also much more likely to be embarrassed. It doesn't have to be sexual in nature to be embarrassed when someone de-pants you on the playground. 3 year olds tend to not care if they have pants on or not though.

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You are the second person to make this assertion - that young boys can be 'damaged' by changing in the same room as girls. I'd really like to see some evidence for this - I doubt there is any.

It depends on the boy. Special needs often have different social understanding. My boys would be totally embarrassed to be in the women's locker room. Also, I would pay attention to how the other boys in the class treated him. Does he get picked on because of it? I'm blessed to be in a group where teasing isn't acceptable but in larger groups sometimes boys can be real bullies. It isn't right but I'd still want to protect my child from it.

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You are the second person to make this assertion - that young boys can be 'damaged' by changing in the same room as girls. I'd really like to see some evidence for this - I doubt there is any.

 

I think it's more that the severe mortification at your mother dragging you into the women's locker room when you're old enough to feel embarrassment at it will cause said child to require an extra therapy session or two where the child has to work on letting go of the anger and resentment based on this specific topic.

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You are the second person to make this assertion - that young boys can be 'damaged' by changing in the same room as girls. I'd really like to see some evidence for this - I doubt there is any.

 

eta:  totally misunderstood the question.

Edited by Ishki
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No I don't have stats, but yes I do think it's damaging to tell a half-grown neurotypical boy that he is not capable of taking care of his basic physical needs without his mommy watching over him.

 

I thought the question was whether seeing women without clothes could be damaging to a boy.

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I thought the question was whether seeing women without clothes could be damaging to a boy.

 

I was the first person to whom she said "better have a citation" or whatever, and I wasn't talking about the sight of the women being damaging to the boy.  I was talking about the effects of basically infantilizing school-aged kids.

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I was the first person to whom she said "better have a citation" or whatever, and I wasn't talking about the sight of the women being damaging to the boy.  I was talking about the effects of basically infantilizing school-aged kids.

 

Ah, ok.  I must have missed that.

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I think there is a difference between something being really sexual, and it being more on the side of an embarrasing faux pas.  Nudity in the wrong context, or just wrong clothes, can be embarrasing, being in another person's private space, and so on.  Many of those things are about whatever the particular social expectations are, but that doesn't mean they aren't real.  If someone I'm talking to stands half the distance my social programming thinks they should, I'll probably feel pretty uncomfortable or even threatened.

 

Having your privacy invaded doesn't have to be sexual to be disconcerting, and as a child being put in a position where you are essentially being forced to cross that kind of boundry would be very uncomfortable as well.

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Would you say that there's an age floor at which you'd want to take that into account? E.g., if a 4yo girl doesn't want to change because there's a 4yo boy in the room, would you give that equal weight as a 7yo saying the same?

 

This is a really challenging issue for places that don't have family spaces available, in that we will have either girls who aren't comfortable using the facility or boys who aren't allowed to.

Yes. I would hold up a towel or help her change in a toilet stall or the car or wait until we got home. Any child with the ability to tell me what the issue is. My DS has always been very reserved about his body. He clearly asked for and received privacy for dressing and such very early on. He would get mad if his towel fell and would try to grab anything to cover up even at home after bath. The DD one younger than he is loves to run around with no clothes, and we have to tell her to put something on if people are coming over.

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You are the second person to make this assertion - that young boys can be 'damaged' by changing in the same room as girls. I'd really like to see some evidence for this - I doubt there is any.

Honest truth, I haven't looked and don't really feel like looking. Feel free to search for yourself. You might find something on children who have been treated beneath their age/ability. I doubt you are going to find any studies that are isolated to locker room usage!

 

I know it is damaging to the child because it damages them socially. As in, the other kids ARE going to laugh at them or dislike them because he makes them feel uncomfortable (because he has seen them/his female peers naked). Is it a lasting damage? Probably not for most. But, it has the potential to be. I don't care if you are in a group where bullying isn't allowed. It is in the nature of the human child to make fun of and think less of those who are "different". By putting the child into a "different" group that is seen as being a baby, the other kids will notice. I have seen it more than once. Anecdotal? Yes. But also true.

 

I thought the question was whether seeing women without clothes could be damaging to a boy.

No. It is being treated as a small child when you are not, not having your feelings taken into account, and being put into a situation that is completely unnecessary that makes you exceptionally uncomfortable when there is absolutely no rational reason behind it. Seeing nakedness has absolutely nothing to do with it. It is being treated as an infant when you are a perfectly capable young man.

Edited by Lolly
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No. It is being treated as a small child when you are not, not having your feelings taken into account, and being put into a situation that is completely unnecessary that makes you exceptionally uncomfortable when there is absolutely no rational reason behind it. Seeing nakedness has absolutely nothing to do with it. It is being treated as an infant when you are a perfectly capable young man.

 

Well that's what happens why I try to read posts and think while sick and on medication.  Makes much more sense now.

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My older girls are competitive swimmers and use the women's locker room to shower and change after practices/meets. They are both (at almost 13 & 11) very body conscious. They don't want to deal with boys over 3-5 being in the locker room while they're in various states of undress. And, frankly, they shouldn't have to do so, especially if the expectation is that opposite sex kids over 4 aren't allowed in the locker rooms.

 

I spend a lot of time teaching my kids (boys and girls) about body integrity and how they have the right, generally speaking, to say who sees them undressed and how/when. I just don't get trying to teach that lesson and at the same time tell them that in locker rooms with age limits for opposite gender kids that lesson doesn't apply because...why?

 

I asked all my older kids (2 boys: 9 & 14; 2 girls: 11 & 12) about this issue. They *all* said they'd be very uncomfortable showering and dressing in front of the opposite sex (ages 7+), especially if that group included their team mates or peers. We're actually pretty casual about nudity at home; though, my kids won't change in front of each other now. I think that's fine and appropriate.

 

To me, the issue isn't simply whether an adult female would be uncomfortable changing in front of an older male child. The more important issue to me is how my t(w)een girls feel about it. They and all girls deserve to feel comfortable in locker rooms where the expectation is that males above a posted age won't be present.

 

ETA: I saw the pictures of the boys last night, but was too busy at work to answer. My impression was that the boys were b/w 5 and 8. It was very difficult to tell, though, from head shots.

Edited by brehon
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My older girls are competitive swimmers and use the women's locker room to shower and change after practices/meets. They are both (at almost 13 & 11) very body conscious. They don't want to deal with boys over 3-5 being in the locker room while they're in various states of undress. And, frankly, they shouldn't have to do so, especially if the expectation is that opposite sex kids over 4 aren't allowed in the locker rooms.

 

I spend a lot of time teaching my kids (boys and girls) about body integrity and how they have the right, generally speaking, to say who sees them undressed and how/when. I just don't get trying to teach that lesson and at the same time tell them that in locker rooms with age limits for opposite gender kids that lesson doesn't apply because...why?

 

I asked all my older kids (2 boys: 9 & 14; 2 girls: 11 & 12) about this issue. They *all* said they'd be very uncomfortable showering and dressing in front of the opposite sex (ages 7+), especially if that group included their team mates or peers. We're actually pretty casual about nudity at home; though, my kids won't change in front of each other now. I think that's fine and appropriate.

 

To me, the issue isn't simply whether an adult female would be uncomfortable changing in front of an older male child. The more important issue to me is how my t(w)een girls feel about it. They and all girls deserve to feel comfortable in locker rooms where the expectation is that males above a posted age won't be present.

 

ETA: I saw the pictures of the boys last night, but was too busy at work to answer. My impression was that the boys were b/w 5 and 8. It was very difficult to tell, though, from head shots.

 

They were aged 4 to 7.5, exactly in that zone we seem to be trying to come to agreement about. You mentioned "opposite sex kids over 4" and then "ages 7+", and I think it's right in this gap that the issue arises--4yos who look older than they are, and 5 and 6yos who are not yet competent on their own.

I want girls to feel comfortable in the women's room, and to feel good about participating in athletics. They should be able to change without feeling like they have an unwelcome audience.

Yet my DS couldn't manage on his own until he was 6, so he couldn't go at all to places without a family changing area. That meant that he didn't get to swim much. And he's not identifiably delayed at all, just less mature than a girl. And we've always been told he looks years older than he really is.

So in light of my experience with my son and the other thread (in which the policy IIRC was "5 and under" but the OP believed the boy to be 8ish), I'm wondering what is the most sensible policy to accommodate everyone.

 

 

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They were aged 4 to 7.5, exactly in that zone we seem to be trying to come to agreement about. You mentioned "opposite sex kids over 4" and then "ages 7+", and I think it's right in this gap that the issue arises--4yos who look older than they are, and 5 and 6yos who are not yet competent on their own.

I want girls to feel comfortable in the women's room, and to feel good about participating in athletics. They should be able to change without feeling like they have an unwelcome audience.

Yet my DS couldn't manage on his own until he was 6, so he couldn't go at all to places without a family changing area. That meant that he didn't get to swim much. And he's not identifiably delayed at all, just less mature than a girl. And we've always been told he looks years older than he really is.

So in light of my experience with my son and the other thread (in which the policy IIRC was "5 and under" but the OP believed the boy to be 8ish), I'm wondering what is the most sensible policy to accommodate everyone.

 

 

 

IMO the most sensible compromise is to have a separate area or room(s) for parents with children of the opposite sex, and for parents to use them when they have kids who fall into that gap.

 

I don't know how common family changing rooms are nowadays.  I know my rec center has enough.  The one in the other thread's OP had enough.  I am sure there are some places where there aren't enough.  I'm sure it takes a fair amount of time and money for such accommodations to be adjusted to meet demand.  If I was in a place where the family changing room was not a sufficient solution, I would probably towel off and use the restroom to change my kid (in a stall) or just take him home in his swimsuit.

 

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Sensible policy: buy a swim parka, put on sweats over wet suit and head out.

 

Or change in car.

 

Or Take him into women's restroom (usually no age posted there) after he is nondrippy/partially dry (the indoor pools I go to usually have a separate restroom in addition to the locker room/if warm enough to swim outside it is warm enough to change in car) and change in stall.

 

Or Ask lifeguards if it is okay for you to take him into lifeguard office/area to change. Or just ask where there is an area to help him change. Explain that he is too old to go into locker room with you, but that he cannot manage on his own.

 

Or Work at home on his ability to change out of a wet swim suit/practice it.

Edited by Lolly
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I also think that if there was no other reasonable option, parents would figure out a way to make it possible for most boys to change themselves - by buying easy on/off trunks and practicing at home.

Edited by SKL
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The city pools here do not have child care areas, and the only restroom is inside the locker room. The lifeguards' office has a large window overlooking the pool.

Our vehicle is not suitable for changing in. Sweats might work in cold weather and hopefully not ruin the booster seat, not okay in 100-degree weather.

 

Off to find out what a swim parka is. Keep suggestions coming.

 

ETA: A swim parka is a $70 coat?? Do y'all really buy that for five-year-olds who are casual swimmers?

Edited by whitehawk
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Would you say that there's an age floor at which you'd want to take that into account? E.g., if a 4yo girl doesn't want to change because there's a 4yo boy in the room, would you give that equal weight as a 7yo saying the same?

 

This is a really challenging issue for places that don't have family spaces available, in that we will have either girls who aren't comfortable using the facility or boys who aren't allowed to.

 

Yes, I would give it equal weight.  I think it's important to respect what a child is and isn't comfortable doing.  And yes... especially girls.

 

As a PP already noted in response to this, I would likely hold up a towel for the 4 year old girl in that case.

Edited by Mommy22alyns
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The city pools here do not have child care areas, and the only restroom is inside the locker room. The lifeguards' office has a large window overlooking the pool.

Our vehicle is not suitable for changing in. Sweats might work in cold weather and hopefully not ruin the booster seat, not okay in 100-degree weather.

 

Off to find out what a swim parka is. Keep suggestions coming.

 

ETA: A swim parka is a $70 coat?? Do y'all really buy that for five-year-olds who are casual swimmers?

The lifeguard office could still work. Just take him to the far side of the room from the window and hold a towel up to block the view. In a hundred degree weather, just let him stand outside in his wet suit for a few minutes; he'll be dry!

 

A swim parka is a $70 coat. You buy an adult small and it lasts them until they are 13 or so. Then, you hand it off to another kid. I have yet to see one of these things wear out. In fact, I have 4 that I purchased...a long time ago...that are in almost new condition despite 13 years of wear. They are embroidered (with names) and the team changed its name so no one wants them. Not a bad value. It is different from a regular coat though. The lining wicks the water and the outer later keeps water from his booster. It is exceptionally good at keeping a wet kid warm. Under normal circumstances, no I would not buy one for a casual 5 yo swimmer. If I was concerned about him being cold because he was wet and unable to change out of his suit, it would be an option.

Edited by Lolly
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I also think that if there was no other reasonable option, parents would figure out a way to make it possible for most boys to change themselves - by buying easy on/off trunks and practicing at home.

 

This could be true. Also, the only problem most 5 yo boys are going to have with getting their suit off is the string on the suit being tied/knotted. Many of the boys ask for help getting it untied before going into the locker room. Sometimes, boys who can usually undo it have a day when it is particularly hard and come out for help. After mom has undone it, they go back in locker room to take the suit off.

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The city pools here do not have child care areas, and the only restroom is inside the locker room. The lifeguards' office has a large window overlooking the pool.

Our vehicle is not suitable for changing in. Sweats might work in cold weather and hopefully not ruin the booster seat, not okay in 100-degree weather.

 

Off to find out what a swim parka is. Keep suggestions coming.

 

ETA: A swim parka is a $70 coat?? Do y'all really buy that for five-year-olds who are casual swimmers?

 

100 degree weather?  Go outside and play (or walk home) and the suit will dry.  Or put a plastic bag under his rear on his booster seat.

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When my kids have had swim meets in the summer, they just climbed into the car afterwards in their wet suit.  Of course, by the time we got to the car, it wasn't that wet any more.

 

There were times in the summer when I wasn't sure my kids ever took their suits off unless they were changing into a different suit...

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They were aged 4 to 7.5, exactly in that zone we seem to be trying to come to agreement about. You mentioned "opposite sex kids over 4" and then "ages 7+", and I think it's right in this gap that the issue arises--4yos who look older than they are, and 5 and 6yos who are not yet competent on their own.

I want girls to feel comfortable in the women's room, and to feel good about participating in athletics. They should be able to change without feeling like they have an unwelcome audience.

Yet my DS couldn't manage on his own until he was 6, so he couldn't go at all to places without a family changing area. That meant that he didn't get to swim much. And he's not identifiably delayed at all, just less mature than a girl. And we've always been told he looks years older than he really is.

So in light of my experience with my son and the other thread (in which the policy IIRC was "5 and under" but the OP believed the boy to be 8ish), I'm wondering what is the most sensible policy to accommodate everyone.

 

 

Is this a real situation or you want a generalized answer to the world's problems. It sounds like your son is older now right?

 

 

Honestly, usually if you are polite and ask for help most people would help you solve it. I can't fathom in our small weekly group that we couldn't figure something out. We would probably let the boy go first if he was early or last if he was late or hold up some towels if it was uncomfortable for the girls. If they were five or six most of the time people wouldn't care. If someone did you could designate specific corner or aisle of lockers that was reserved girls only. Now in a constantly changing open swim in a public pool you couldn't do those specific things but also the larger the group the more probable there could be money gathered for family bathrooms, etc. Really, the variables are enormous.

 

In the OP that got this discussion going there were options. Someone just thought they could simply break the rules with no extra considerations taken towards others and one person responded angrily and then the first got defensive. Perhaps I just live in a strange part of the country but most people do try to help each other out. Sure some people are jerks and some people just seem like jerks because they made this one bad decision or are having a really tough day but most people in real life aren't out to make you miserable.

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