|My kids used the accompanying parent's gender restroom until they started elementary school. At that point they were both so "indoctrinated" by the absolute rule at their school about going into the other gender restroom that I couldn't make them use it outside of school either.
When my friend's sons were about 5 and 8 and were objecting to going into a women's restroom with her, she told them, "Your school has bathrooms for boys and for girls. Here, there are bathrooms for men and kids, and for women and kids. Kids are supposed to go with their grownup into the right bathroom for that grownup. It's perfectly okay." They seemed to buy that.
ETA: My brother says that he felt comfortable using men's rooms by himself after first grade because he'd become accustomed to using a public restroom without adult supervision. For home-schoolers, I guess this point would be reached a little later.
|Ask some adult men about the harrowing stories of the things they got to see in the men's public bathroom when they were children.
I don't deny that anyone's ever seen anything horrible in a men's room. But after someone made a comment like this in a similar discussion a few years ago, I asked approximately 20 men about their childhood experiences with men's rooms. Not one of them could think of a harrowing story involving other men's restroom behavior other than grossness like peeing into the floor drain. Their only harrowing restroom stories were about needing help (soap dispenser exploded on them, no toilet paper, zipper jammed, etc.) and not being able to get it because they felt uncomfortable asking strangers.
And it's not that these are men with sheltered childhoods. In one case, what reminded me to ask the guy about restrooms was that he was telling me how, as a kindergartner on the school bus, he watched 8th-grade boys smoking joints and exhaling into each other's mouths and wondered what the heck was going on!
|Most of them agree that they would prefer their wives take their boys into the bathroom with them for as long as the boy will tolerate it.
Most fathers of boys that I know, if they have a preference, prefer that their male children use the male restroom when possible because that's "correct" and prepares them for independence. When I've heard a dad suggest that a toilet-trained boy be taken to the ladies' room, it's either because he thinks it will be cleaner (I wish!
) or because he's busy eating and the mom is finished.