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Do you leave your child alone when you go to the restroom? - Page 2

post #21 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by OakBerry View Post
My 6 year old ds comes with me into the bathroom no matter where we are, unless there is somebody to watch him.
Yeah that. No way would I leave my 6 year old at a table in a restaurant by himself.
post #22 of 97
I would't leave my kids alone in a restarunt yet (almost 5yo twins, 3.5yo dd, obviously not the baby). I can't imagine being comfortable with it. I only just this week left them in the restroom with me (not in the stall) while I went *very* quckly. Before that, everyone came in. We went out a few times this week though since my parents were in town, so I had the girls go first and then wait outside my stall together while I went quckly.
post #23 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by SquishyBuggles View Post
No, never.
:
post #24 of 97
Nope, not yet.
post #25 of 97
No, I don't think I would. I go before we sit down, or I just don't go. I left nearly-5 yo DD at a table at the ski resort restaurant while I got in line to order, but I could see her and talk to her the whole time, and with the layout, she couldn't leave nor be taken out without walking by me. I also don't make her come in the stall. I think I've even left DS asleep in the stroller, brakes on, outside the stall when the bathroom isn't crowded. If I can hear if someone's talking to them and see their legs and the wheels of the stroller, I figure it's okay. That's my comfort level though.
post #26 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnviroBecca View Post
The thread about letting kids go to the restroom got me wondering about this: Let's say you're the only adult with your child in a restaurant, and you need to go to the restroom. Do you leave your child sitting alone at the table?

My son just turned 4, and I've done this 3 times in the past few months, with no negative consequences. Once we were at a familiar local diner where he and the waitress are pals. Once we were in a crowded Panera in a suburb we rarely visit, seated at least 50 feet from the restroom with several barriers between. Once we were in a very homey family restaurant, in a totally unfamiliar place on a road trip, at the table right outside the restroom.

The odd thing is, my son normally hates to be alone and therefore wants to go everywhere with me. But it seems that when he's settled in a restaurant, either eating or drawing while he waits for the food, because there are other people within sight he doesn't feel he's being left alone.

I certainly would rather have privacy in the restroom than cram him into a stall with me. In a place like Panera where you choose your own table, I like having someone "guard" the table while I'm gone rather than leave a bunch of our stuff unattended to "mark our territory".

If you don't do this, why not?
And you honestly think that is okay? Wow.
post #27 of 97
Thread Starter 
Most of you are not answering my question WHY NOT? What is it that you think would happen to a child left by himself for 3 minutes in a room with other restaurant patrons and staff?

Concerns about hot food and choking make sense to me. I don't think of them as really likely problems, given my son's coordination and sensibleness plus the likelihood that someone would help him, but these are possibilities that I did worry about while I was in the bathroom. I don't see them as any more likely in a restaurant than at home, though, and at home I'll sometimes go to another room or even another floor while he's eating.

We eat in restaurants embarrassingly often, and he knows how to behave, so I'm not concerned that he'll cause a ruckus in just a few minutes.

He's not the wandering kind. Each time, I told him to stay at the table, but I also pointed out exactly how to get to the restroom in case of emergency.

I did think the situation at Panera was highly questionable. That time I tried to get him to come with me, we argued until I was about to wet my pants, and I gave up because he was making sense ("I am not spilling. I will be careful. If anybody asks, I'll tell them you are coming right back.") and I wasn't ("But you can't sit at a table and eat bread ALL ALONE!"). My main concern was not that he would come to any harm, but that somebody would freak out at me.

One reason I started this thread was to assess the likelihood of somebody freaking out at me. Looks like it's high.
post #28 of 97
At 4, probably only in the situation where we were comfortable and peolple knew us. Mostly because at 4 no one (well, most no ones) is going to complain about opposite sex child in restroom. HOwever, my DS is now 9. NOt only is he incredibly uncomfortable in the ladies room, but others are uncomfortable as well. So at this point yes, he would stay at the table in a restaurant, and outside of the ladies room anywhere else. I think we started that routine at about 6 or so. I am frequently out with DS and DD and without DH, so this has become routine. I can't say that I like it, but it seems to be part of the deal of having a boy child. I am confident that he would know how to react should someone approach him, and I am also aware that the probability for something like that actually happening well nigh zero.
post #29 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnviroBecca View Post
Most of you are not answering my question WHY NOT? What is it that you think would happen to a child left by himself for 3 minutes in a room with other restaurant patrons and staff?.
Aside from the obvious choking and spilling dangers, which may not even be an issue depending on the situation, I am mostly concerned about other customers harassing my daughter. We have some of the agressively nosy type of stranger around here, who would loudly start interrogating dd, and possibly telling her that I'm a bad mother for leaving her alone, and maybe (remote possibility) even try to drag her to management to report that she's been left alone. Or, she could encounter the type of person who likes to try to feed other people's kids completely innapropriate foods. There are just a lot of possible scenarios that would be uncomfortable for dd.

If I can either see or hear what's going on, or if I'm in a quiet restaurant where I'm familiar and comfortable with the staff, I would consider leaving dd alone for a moment.
post #30 of 97
No, I wouldn't, even if we knew all the waitstaff. I don't think I'd feel comfortable with that for at least a few more years. But I'm usually out with both kids at the same time. It's a pain getting DD and the baby up to go to the bathroom, so I make a point of stopping by on my way in the place. That way, we don't have our meal interrupted by any of us needing to go.
post #31 of 97
My child is a bit younger, just turned 3 in October, and I would not. I just don't think it's in her best interest, as her mother, for me to leave her unattended for any period of time. Just last she was here at my office and we went to the cafeteria for lunch. I needed to get a knife. I started to walk away from her to get it and turned back to get her. It is a crowded place, accessable by anyone. I don't think it is safe for my child to be left unattended, so, that's why not for me.
post #32 of 97
nope, I can't see doing that. Why not take the kid with you?

I honestly can't see my kids letting me get away with that, anyhow. Even when DH is with us, as soon as I stand up to go to the restroom, suddenly every single child has to pee as well :

The only thing I can think of was when we were at a burger king (just me and the kids) and my older two were at the top of the playstructure (in a separate room of the restaurant) and my 3rd had to go to the bathroom right then. He was starting to go in his pants, so I grabbed my youngest (baby at that time) and asked the employee who was cleaning tables to keep an eye on my older two kids. It would have taken a long time to get them to come down, get shoes on, etc., and I didn't have spare clothes. The bathroom was fairly small, I did stand there at the door holding it open so I could clearly see the play area at all times.

That's to the extent which I can imagine being comfortable with at this point (and I'm pretty much not over-protective or paranoid)
post #33 of 97
I wouldn't leave my 4 yo dd alone in a restaurant for two reasons: 1. She might walk away from the table and not be able to find her way back. 2. Someone might bother or abduct her. I know the abduction scenario is really unlikely, but it's possible and I'd never forgive myself if someone walked off with her. The story of Adam Walsh is always in the back of my mind. He was 6 when he was abducted in from a department store. His mom was nearby in another section of the store.
post #34 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnviroBecca View Post
Most of you are not answering my question WHY NOT? What is it that you think would happen to a child left by himself for 3 minutes in a room with other restaurant patrons and staff?
I wouldn't do it for a couple reasons-- the first is that I would be concerned that some kind of situation would develop in the restaurant that my child couldn't handle alone (nosy stranger, fire, someone knocking into our table and spilling our food, none of these things individually are all that likely, any one of them could be a big deal for a 4 y.o.). The second is that I would worry that there would be a line for the bathroom or another problem that caused me to be away longer than I expected, and my child or a concerned adult might be concerned about my absence.

I guess I don't understand why this is a recurring issue-- couldn't you go to the bathroom before you order, so your child could come along without having to leave his food?

You mention a concern that someone will freak out at you-- if I were you, I would be much more concerned that someone would freak out about your child being alone while you are gone, leaving him to deal with it alone. I would also look into whether or not it's legal to leave a child alone in a public place like that.

ZM
post #35 of 97
Henry is incredibly reliable, I could probably have him babysit the two littles if I had an emergency (turned 5 in December), and I wouldn't leave him at a table by himself, no way, no how. The reasons are:

-He's still 5. I don't care how reliable and mature he is, and he totally is, I've never met a kid like him, he's still FIVE. Out of nowhere, he will randomly do things that don't even make sense to him, much less to me. Last week, he pushed the cat into the bathtub that was full of water. And this is the kindest kid ever. He had no explanation for why, it was just irresistible to him at the moment. It is unfair to him to expect him to have the ability to keep himself safe for that long, with no one looking after him. If something happened, he would blame himself forever. Who knows what awesome thing could happen to prod him to lose his focus and prompt him to think, "Just this one time, I'll just step outside/talk to this person/look out the window..."

-People suck. There are some people who look for vulnerable kids, that's all there is to it. It's rare, but it exists. I'd rather have him walk with me to the bathroom and eliminate that one time he's exposed.

-What if something happened to me? Again, a small risk, but one that is simple to eliminate.

Mainly, it's the first reason that weighs the most heavily in my decision, although I've never really thought about it until now. I mean, the kid is FIVE. Teenagers make really stupid decisions. Hell, *I* make stupid decisions, and I'm almost 30 years older than he is. There's plenty of time for him to be on his own, there will be a time very, very soon when he will refuse to come into the bathroom with me, or it will be socially inappropriate. Why rush it?
post #36 of 97
It's never occurred to me to leave my four-year-old when I went to the restroom. He always comes with me and into the stall with me. As for why not, well, first of all, if I get up to do anything, he'd want to come with me anyway, he just always does. And he IS a wanderer so if he did manage to let me go to the bathroom, he'd be likely to get interested in whatever and just roam around the restaurant. And to some extent, I would worry about other patrons freaking out that I left him there alone.
post #37 of 97
I agree with daniedb, when my son was 4 he was pretty responsible and not the sort to go running off. But once he did run off, and totally freaked me out. I was complacent because he had never, ever done that in the past.

Plus, I also know that the abduction scenario is not likely, but why present an opportunity by leaving a small child alone. At age 6, it's not likely that my ds would go off with a stranger. He knows about "stranger danger" and such.
At age 4, if somebody offered him a toy, he'd follow, I'm sure.
post #38 of 97
Interesting thread, thanks EB for starting it. It's not something I do now (DD is only 2 & 2/3) but it is something I think about often. DD was EC'd from 6 weeks and a grad by 18 months, she has [I]much[/I better bladder control than me and now I'm pregnant I need to go at least 5 times for each time she goes. She gets (understandably) incredibly cranky about always being dragged into the cubicle with me so while I don't see any other solution at this point, I do often wonder at what age I'll start leaving her for a moment. I can see that there are situations (such as local cafe/restaurant where we know the staff etc) where I probably will leave her as young as 4 and maybe even a little younger but others where I'll insist she comes with me at least to outside the cubicle for much much longer.
post #39 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnviroBecca View Post
The thread about letting kids go to the restroom got me wondering about this: Let's say you're the only adult with your child in a restaurant, and you need to go to the restroom. Do you leave your child sitting alone at the table?

My son just turned 4, and I've done this 3 times in the past few months, with no negative consequences. Once we were at a familiar local diner where he and the waitress are pals. Once we were in a crowded Panera in a suburb we rarely visit, seated at least 50 feet from the restroom with several barriers between. Once we were in a very homey family restaurant, in a totally unfamiliar place on a road trip, at the table right outside the restroom.

The odd thing is, my son normally hates to be alone and therefore wants to go everywhere with me. But it seems that when he's settled in a restaurant, either eating or drawing while he waits for the food, because there are other people within sight he doesn't feel he's being left alone.

I certainly would rather have privacy in the restroom than cram him into a stall with me. In a place like Panera where you choose your own table, I like having someone "guard" the table while I'm gone rather than leave a bunch of our stuff unattended to "mark our territory".

If you don't do this, why not?
When mine were this age, I would not do it in a mall food court (too easy for kids to wander and get lost), but would have no problem with it in a small restaurant or cafe where we knew the staff and the staff knew us.
post #40 of 97
Definitely not. Especially in the Panera setting you described. Not only would I be afraid of a pedophile or whatever trying to take him, I would also be afraid that a waiter/waitress or another diner might see him sitting alone and make a big issue about it when I returned.

Honestly, I'm finding it hard to understand why any parent would leave their 4-year-old at a table alone in a busy restaurant while they go to a remote bathroom.
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