Social Question

KatawaGrey's avatar

Fathers, did/do you ever take your young daughters into public bathrooms with you?

Asked by KatawaGrey (21433points) April 6th, 2010

When in public restrooms, I will sometimes see mothers or grandmothers with their very young sons, no older than four years old. I am never bothered by this and I don’t know any other women who are. What I’m wondering is if fathers do the same thing. So, jelly fathers, do you take your very young daughters into public bathrooms with you? Male jellies, do you see this at all and if so, how do you feel when you see a little girl in the men’s room?

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39 Answers

Cruiser's avatar

I have 2 boys that have seen the inside of many woman’s rest rooms but is has been a while. And I don’t envy the dads who have to schlep their daughters through men’s rooms as I have yet to see one I am comfortable using myself let alone plopping a daughter down on those toilet. Unfun!

DarkScribe's avatar

Nope – I would not consider it – not for a moment. I have raised five daughters and I’ll take them into the women’s restroom if necessary, but never the mens. I have done so on a number of occasion. Loud voice. “Father with small girl coming in!” and away I would go. The womens uses stalls for all functions – the mens doesn’t.

Likeradar's avatar

@DarkScribe How do you handle the women who are assuredly (and I think rightfully) pissed off at a grown man in the women’s room?

DarkScribe's avatar

@Likeradar How do you handle the women who are assuredly (and I think rightfully) pissed off at a grown man in the women’s room?

With a big grin. I have never had a problem – often it generated into a discussion regarding the lack of facilities for fathers. It was not a regular thing – emergencies only – and I would wait for awhile and stop any woman going in, then announce my intention. It is little different to a male cleaner going into a womans rest room – that is quite common.

rangerr's avatar

@DarkScribe Now, that’s one I’ve never seen.
My dad would send me in and stand by the door. That’s about it. I became very stranger-friendly because of that. I can’t button my pants!

My birth dad would take me in the men’s restroom with him and make me stand by the door or sinks.

filmfann's avatar

No. Mens Rooms are filthy. My wife always dealt with it.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Likeradar I disagree that they are rightfully so

DarkScribe's avatar

In those days the seventies – on campus it was a “thing” for women to invade mens restrooms. I can recall the first time it happened to me. Quite a shock. Germaine Greer was renowned for it.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@filmfann: What if you are out with your daughter by yourself? A six or seven year old child could handle going to bathroom by herself but what about a four year old? She’s old enough to be out of diapers but young enough so that she still needs supervision.

On a similar note, men, how would you feel seeing a woman bringing her young son into the men’s room?

@Simone_De_Beauvoir: I quite agree. In this day and age, people do not trust men to be around a young girl which I find preposterous so I think these women who have a problem with it should just suck it up. I certainly wouldn’t send my kid into a public restroom unless he/she was old enough to handle it. I’d rather see a father take his young daughter into the women’s room than just send her in by herself.

DarkScribe's avatar

@KatawaGrey I’d rather see a father take his young daughter into the women’s room than just send her in by herself.

It isn’t just capability – it is nervousness. Three and four year old girls like a parent near by.

earthduzt's avatar

yes all the time…I’m a single dad and so definately I take my 5 year old daughter into the restroom with me.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@KatawaGrey As you know, Alex and I don’t care for gender norms and expectations so we don’t really pay any attention to this ‘issue’ – Alexey is almost 4, he goes to the women’s bathroom with me or to the men’s bathroom with Alex and it really is all about which of the two of us want to pee as well.

earthduzt's avatar

If my daughter needs to go potty I will take her into the womans restroom because I will not have her sit on the men’s toilet lol…and most women I have run into in there do not mind…in fact Ive had a couple of them help me out as far as helping her lol

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir: Unfortunately, a lot of people still do hold these nasty stereotypes about gender. Personally, I would have no problem with my daughter going into the men’s room but a lot of people have this idea that most men can’t be trusted around a young girl.

Also, to the guys who think the women’s rooms in public places are clean are sadly mistaken…

Strauss's avatar

Not since she was young enough that I needed to use the changing station.

casheroo's avatar

I only have little boys, but they always come into the ladies room with me. If we’re out at the mall or something, my husband will sometimes take our oldest into the bathroom with him..only if he needs a diaper change. Once he starts using the toilet, I’m willing to bet my husband will make him stand and pee. Or, I’ll take him into the ladies room.
If I had a girl, we’d do what we had to do. Sometimes a husband goes out with just the kids, he has to keep an eye on them..I’d be upset if he sent our child in alone.

Also, I really wouldn’t care if bathrooms were unisex, but men are gross so I wouldn’t like that haha. But really, we go into a stall and do our business, why would it matter if a guy is in there? Perfect strangers are also in there, just of the same sex.

tranquilsea's avatar

Not that it happened often as I was the one who was usually out with the kids when they were young but I know my hubby took my daughter into the woman’s washroom when he had to with a warning at the door.

earthduzt's avatar

@KatawaGrey haha well maybe not so clean but cleaner than most men’s restrooms I’ve been in….Either way I will not let her touch any toilets with her hands and I always wipe the seat for her before she sits down…woman or mens restroom it doesnt matter…its a bonus if the have those paper seat covers!

netgrrl's avatar

I agree with @DarkScribe – if need be, my husband would take the girls into the ladies bathroom, announcing his presence loudly as he was going in. Since women use stalls, he said he never say anything interesting. :) And he used to tell other men that ladies rooms were a palace compared to mens rooms.

Having seen the inside of many mens rooms in my clubbing days, I have to agree with him.

Zen_Again's avatar

Of course. The alternative being I’d have to go into the women’s public bathroom which is unacceptable.

wilma's avatar

I always took my boys in the ladies room with me when they were young, no problem there were stalls for privacy.
I have also assisted young girls in the ladies room whose fathers were waiting nervously outside the door. In one case the dad was shouting through the door asking if she needed help. As I went in, I asked him if he would like for me to check on her, he said yes please. She was having trouble with her zipper and I helped her out and we then washed our hands all the while shouting to daddy what we were doing.

earthduzt's avatar

@wilma was that you helping me out? lol jk But I did have the same thing happen to me, the ladies room was packed so I was kind of feeling nervous going in there to help my daughter, and a woman helped me out made sure she was ok and they washed their hands and came out :)

wilma's avatar

@earthduzt It may have been! I have done that several times.
I try to let the dad know that I understand he is unsure of me as I am a stranger. We (the child and I) talk loud, so dad knows what’s going on and doesn’t get too anxious.

knitfroggy's avatar

My husband took our daughter into the men’s room if he had to, say if they were out somewhere with out me. I see nothing wrong with it.

robmandu's avatar

I’ve taken my 3–4 y.o. daughter into the men’s room… never the women’s.

My wife is adamant in her argument that women’s restrooms can often be far nastier than men’s. Urine on the seat is easily wiped off and sanitized. From what I hear, some women, on the other hand, have a difficult time finding the proper receptacles for the various kinds of paper-related waste they require. Disgusting.

That said, it definitely depends on the situation. I don’t think I’d ever take my daughter into the men’s room at a sporting event, for example. And if one of us finds our respective gender’s restroom unsuitable, we back out, hand the girl off, and try the other.

dpworkin's avatar

As a tiny baby, often. In some stores there were changing stands in the Men’s Room. After age 3, not so much if I could avoid it.

escapedone7's avatar

No. My dad took me in the mens room and men stand peeing at urinals. You can see everything. And its scary, when your little and not familiar with that, and I think the men weren’t happy with me either. Ladies use stalls for everything but have you been in a mens room? They stand and pee right there next to each other . awkward… and I wasn’t ready for seeing that just yet. I wish he had warned them first… and told me to close my eyes. sheesh. Hey, there are reasons I’m in therapy.

Likeradar's avatar

I thought more about my answer. I don’t love the idea of a grown man in the women’s room, watching me adjust my boobs and do my makeup and whatnot, and I admit a man in there would make me uncomfortable. But women’s rooms are a lot more private than men’s rooms, and hey, little girls have to pee too and it’s a good father that supervises his daughter. So I take back what I said about being rightfully pissed off.
Hooray for places with family restrooms!

escapedone7's avatar

The really awful thing about the memory is I was short little thing so my face was like, crotch high. All that was just above eye level. What an education.

By the way do you guys, like, stand there talking to each other while you pee? Are there rules? I’m thinking like ghostbusters. Don’t cross the streams. lol. OMG

dpworkin's avatar

Usually the protocol is to stand staring straight ahead without acknowledging that anyone else is there. When you get to the sink and start washing your hands, eyes can meet again, and people might chat.

filmfann's avatar

@escapedone7 It can be especially uncomfortable when the guy next to you is complaining about how badly it burns.

(I didn’t mention any names, @dpworkin )

escapedone7's avatar

Ha ha!!!!!! That’s funny as heck. We girls are known to pass toilet paper to each other under the stalls. Many times I have heard a voice on the other side ask “Do you have any paper in there?”

KatawaGrey's avatar

This is exactly why I think urinals should be in stalls!

robmandu's avatar

@escapedone7, yes, male restroom etiquette has certain rules. Many are considered inviolate.

Parading your daughter by the urinals – and indeed, having her close enough to see anything private at eye level – most certainly breaks the most cardinal of those rules:

In no way should a dude’s junk be casually visible to passerby. Especially lil kids.

So yes, I can understand the emotional scarring of your youth… because it never should have happened. On the occasions when I take my daughter into the men’s restroom, it’s usually deserted and if not, we’re hugging the opposite wall from the urinals. Indeed, I purposely keep my body positioned between hers and any other gents present as we proceed directly to a stall.

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes, a few times. My daughter really had very short hair when she was little.

robmandu's avatar

(more direct link the the MRE video)

escapedone7's avatar

@robmandu Ha ha ! That video is hilarious!

Zen_Again's avatar

@dpworkin @escapedone7 You forgot the proper men’s room etiquette of playing the ”is his bigger than mine?” game.

wilma's avatar

@Zen_Again could you elaborate on that for those of us who have never visited a men’s room?

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