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We just started taking my daughter to swim lessons at our Y. I take her one day and my husband takes her another. We've been told since she's age 6 she has to use the grown up womens locker rooms and showers before coming into the pool. The problem is when my husband takes her since he obviously can't go into the locker room. Pool director told him he has to drop her off at the door. The problem is this Y is a labrynthe -- in the locker room there are several turns to find your way to the shower and then several more to the pool. And the next opportunity my husband has to see her after he would drop her off is to go upstairs down a long hall to a viewing balcony over the pool. So something could be wrong for several minutes before he'd know. So my husband said, who is supervising my daughter from the time I drop her at the door to the time she gets throught locker room and showers into the pool? And the director told him, "at age 6 we want them to start learning independence and be able to do this themselves."

I am freaking out! This seems like a crazy disconnect. Does this not seem weird to leave a 6 year old alone to negotiate a public locker room and showers? What if she falls and gets hurt? Who is responsible for helping her?

I think we are just the first dad and daughter situation to question this. The director told my husband that my daughter can't use the preschool locker room becasue "some of the 8 and 9 year old girls have been going in there wanting to use it." Well yeah, because it's full of friendly moms and maybe even some of those 8 and 9 years olds aren't comfortable in the grown up locker room on their own either.

Ok -- give me your feedback please!!!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by frand
And the director told him, "at age 6 we want them to start learning independence and be able to do this themselves."
:

I don't understand what place the YMCA's "wants" have in your decision about what's best for your daughter. My guess is absolutely none. I think I'd be inclined to point this out to the director.

I'd insist on her using the preschool locker room. It's flat out not safe: There's not only the possibility of her getting hurt with no one around to help, but also the possibility of some freak lurking in there, waiting for someone to come wandering through. (And, then, there's also the possibility of her just getting scared). If she can't be with her dad, she needs to be with other responsible, trustworthy, adults.

Is there someone higher up the food chain who you can take this to? It sounds as though the pool director is just repeating the party line... maybe his/her superiors would be more understanding. Or maybe they'd at least see that they need to consider other alternatives - like a family locker room.
 

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If it were my child I would not feel safe with her alone. I would either use a family locker room, or if that isn't an option I would bring her with a swimsuit under her clothes, have her take off her shorts or wrap on the pool deck, and then afterwards towel her off and help her change in the car. Why aren't YMCAs more kid-friendly?
 

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How odd...if that is what "they" want then how come our YMCA has a family locker room? I've not been in it since my Ds was 1 when we took swim there? At the VERY least, they should provide her an escort to the pool..VERY least.

Honestly, I don't think anything 'terrible' would happen in such a big/busy place, but she could get lost or scared.
 

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Maybe I'm missing something- 8 & 9 yr old girls use the pre-school locker room, yet your 6 yr old DD has to go thru the adults locker room??

I'd be looking for the next person in charge to speak with as well. Alternatively, is there another place for your DD to take swimming lessons?
 

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How rude of them!! ITA with Arduinna. It's not up to them to force your child to "independence".

I would launch a complaint, and then take my kids swimming elsewhere.

This topic has come up many times before on this board. Seems to vary from one Y to another.
 

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Would it be possible for her to have a "buddy" in her swimming class, another little girl who would stick with her in the locker room and help make sure things go okay?
 

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I frequently see confused little girls in the Y locker room looking for their daddies. I see it more as a comfort issue than a safety one, because the women in the room tend to look out for these girls (e.g., direct them to the shower or pool, help them find their dad in the lobby), not that that makes it any less of a concern.

Can't your dh just take her into the men's? Who can tell a six-year-old from a five-year-old?

FWIW, our Y's policy is for children over eight, not six.
 

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My 5 1/2 year old has swim lessions twice a week at an indoor public pool. They have the same rule - at age 6 - he must use the mens/boys locker room. Luckily, both my DH and I take turns taking him to his lessons, so he is very familiar with both locker rooms. When he turns 6, I won't have any issues with him going into the locker room by himself while I wait outside for him because he is so familiar and comfortable with the place.

Since you take her one of those days - perhaps you could "walk through" what she must do if you aren't there? Also, does she have a buddy from one of her classes, whose mom could supervise her for the short time she will be in there?

Another idea - some public pools have "family changing rooms" which are basically small locker rooms (have changing area & shower). Is something like that available? Good luck. I wish I could be more help.
 

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I've seen this issue come up several times on parenting boards, always regarding the Y. I cannot believe the Y, a "family-friendly" place, would have such irresponsible policies.

There is no way in H*** I would let a 6yo go into a locker-room alone. I think the youngest I'd allow that is 12yo. I'm pretty far from that right now, as my dd is only 19 months. But 12 seems reasonable... 6? Not a chance.

If something unthinkable were to happen to a child forced to be in the locker room without a parent, will the Y be taking full responsibility? Will the Y pay in a lawsuit? Will they pay medical bills and therapy bills for the child? Will they then change their stupid policy?

Friggin' Y. If our local Y has such policies, we won't be using them.
 

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There's no way I'd let a 6 year old go alone through a locker room. I'd definitely talk to the higher-ups, and if you don't get anywhere with them, just bring her dressed for swimming. It's a pain, but worth it for the peace of mind. She'll let you know when she's ready to go to the locker room alone, and it's not up to the Y to decide that for you.
 

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I don't know. I have more of a "work with the system" than "fight against the system" when it comes to this particular issue. I don't believe it is appropriate for an 11 year old girl to be in a men's locker room, nor do I believe it's okay for an 11 year old boy to be in a women's locker room. (I am referring to the poster who said she wouldn't allow her child under 12 to go into a locker room alone). What I do see is that many public facilities are featuring family bathrooms, family changing rooms, etc. Wouldn't it make more sense to lobby for something like that?
 

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cmd, I did not say anything about letting an 11yo girl into a men's locker room or an 11yo boy into a women's locker room. That is not what I advocate at all.

I agree with you about family dressing rooms. The problem is that they usually only have 1 or 2 of those. So a LONG line forms, and people end up late for their lessons. Maybe instead of 2 large locker rooms, one for each gender, they should just build a bunch of individual, private locker rooms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for all your feedback--it's nice to hear my concerns are shared. I too can't envision letting my daughter alone in a public restroom right now, let alone a locker room. I think for the interim he's just going to walk her through the men's locker room. I'm going to try to reach someone higher up the chain of command there too and work on enlightening them about the liability they are opening themselves to with a policy like this, as well as the risk to a child. I just found it so arrogant when someone who doesn't even know her presumed to tell us that he wants her to be able to do this on her own! Thanks again!
 

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My stepson used the men's locker room alone before and after swim class the summer he turned 6. I think it's kinda bizarre to think sexual predators are going to lurk in what are, after all, public places, even if people are naked. It sounds like this is more of an issue of the child getting lost than anything else. But since the Y is terrified of litigation, just spook the director with the specter of Chester the Molestor hiding inside the soap dispenser. Because it is totally ridiculous to expect a child that young to manage all those twists and turns by herself.
 

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I am a mama to boys...
I have two birth boys that are ages 5 & 3...
There is a sign posted in the restroom of our local pool that we attend that states when they are over the age of 5, the must start using the restroom/locker room of the same gender....
My thoughts....BULLS*$T!!!! Isn't going to happen!
My 5 year old is starting to ask "why" he can't use the boy's bathroom like he does when he is with his dad...I simply explain that if I can't see you I can't keep you safe....that is my explanation to my children and to the pool staff...

I have had words with them...I told them to kick me out...go ahead...I won;t stop taking my 5 year old in the ladies restroom until he is in 1st grade...GET OVER IT!!!
They haven't said anything to me since!!!!

:LOL

Good day to all of you mama's
 
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