Big Kids

Mum can't decide when to allow her child go it alone, and we're asking you the same question

Mum-of-two Claire, from South England, has been blogging on Life, Love and Dirty Dishes, about parenting for some time now, sharing tips and tricks.

But this time around, she's stuck in a bind, and wants to know when it is appropriate to allow your child to go it alone…

In essence, it sounds simple, but in reality with the workings of the modern world, it's a major question that no one person can answer correctly. 

After spotting the same question pop up over time, and her eldest son reaching the age of eight, Claire found herself pondering the same predicament. 

"With my eldest rapidly approaching the grand old age of eight, it’s something that is on my mind a lot."

"So when is the right age for children to go it alone in changing rooms?  It’s a complex issue."

Being a mum of two boys, it's an especially tough one for Claire as she takes the boys swimming every weekend. 

With her eldest son, Harry, he is of an age where he would rather use the men's changing room, (in the case of no family rooms), but she's naturally worried for various reasons. 

Claire explains that safety is her main priority, writing: "The obvious issue and the one I don’t really like to think about [is safeguarding]."

"In reality, when I take my son for his lesson it is all families there for the same reason, so that chance of there being an unsavoury person in the men’s changing rooms is unlikely.  However I can’t rule out the risk completely."

While some have argued that once children are at school-going age they should be prepared enough to go it alone considering that they prep for physical education in school. 

Nonetheless, they do garner the aid of teachers and assistants while in school, but Claire also remembers that changing into a T-shirt and shorts is very different from drying out of a swim suit. 

But the most important question is; Is your child ready?

We would be firm believers that allowing your child to go it alone shouldn't be defined by a certain age group. It should depend on the readiness and maturity of your child; mums do know best.

Some children are more aware than others, some are more responsible, not daring to leave a room without every single belonging intact. 

However, this mum-of-two also poses a counter-question, giving us some serious food for thought: "The issue seems to be less about if the children are ready to go it alone, and more about being with the opposite sex."

"Is the question not ‘when is the right age for children to go it alone in changing rooms’, but rather ‘when should children stop going into the opposite gender changing rooms?’ My son is not looking at the other girls and thinking about their bodies."

"He’s thinking about ninjas and what he can have for a snack."

Is this mum right – are we completely over-thinking this? Are we sexualising children from a young age? Let us know what you think. 

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