I went swimming at the Y.M.C.A. Later, in the men’s locker room, a father walked in with his daughter. Occasionally, this happens with babies or toddlers, but the girl was 7 or 8. He put her in a shower stall while he showered, and left her there while he shaved and flossed. Then he brought her to the lockers, where they changed. I was appalled. What do you make of this?
This question appeared in the Sunday NYTimes and it truly raised questions for me.
I have often thought about this dilemma especially when I see kids out for the day with their dads.
Interestingly, I don’t always think about this when I see kids with their moms!
But back to dad and the “Y” locker room. This scene raises concerns for me…granted, I have not visited a men’s locker room but the women’s locker room is certainly an experience. Some women walk around naked, others cover-up as best they can…they usually do not spend any unnecessary time in the locker room…shower, change, pack up and leave. When young children are with their moms, from my observations, they get changed and leave in fairly short order most of the time.
For me, it seems this dad took entirely too much time while his daughter was hanging out in the men’s locker room.
My own “yuk” feeling is coming to the surface here. Exposing children to other naked adults, personally, makes me uncomfortable. I would have to think of another way of doing my toilette if I were in a similar situation.
- What do you do when your opposite-sex child has to use a public restroom?
- At what age should children be allowed to use the public restroom by themselves?
- What public restrooms would make you think twice about letting your child use it without accompaniment?
- More importantly…what do you teach them ahead of time to “protect” them.?
- Do you teach your boys the same as you teach your girls?
- Is this more of a “Dad Dilemma” than a “Mom Moment”?
Like I said, I used the “YUK” feeling factor to help me in these situations.
My feeling is by 7 or 8 years of age many kids have been in some type of locker room situation at school but “Y” locker rooms of the opposite sex seem to be an altogether different story.
It would be interesting to hear other responses to this issue and how parents deal with this common life situation.