Most women would not mind a toddler going into the ladies' room with mom, but eventually boys must begin using the men's room alone. Like other steps in their development and maturation, this is an important one.
Yet, it is a dangerous world we live in. We cannot protect our children 100% from every danger they will face in their young lives. However, there are some things we can do to lessen the likelihood of abuse and make it more difficult for the perverts. Here are some precautions to take which may prevent them from being molested:
- Teach your children in a matter-of-fact way that there are bad people int he world who may wish to do them harm. Do not use a shrill, "danger" voice, just a firm matter-of-fact, teaching voice.
- Children should be taught early that there are places on their body which are "private" and which should not be seen nor handled by anyone.
- Prepare them ahead of time to be aware of others who are in the men's room with them.
- If they feel uncomfortable at all, they should get their business done as soon as possible and leave immediately, even without washing their hands. (Carry some hand sanitizer.)
- Teach them to scream at the top of their lungs and fight like a wildcat if someone tries to touch them. Let them practice screaming when no one is around or into a pillow. It's time to raise some tough kids in the world in which we live. (Girls, too!)
- Tell them to let you know if they encounter someone who made them feel uncomfortable.
- Stand outside the door within earshot.
- It they are fearful, reassure them you will stay right there and will come if they call.
- Always ask them when they come out if there were any problems. You may be able to tell by their reaction whether or not there was a problem even if they lie about it out of shame or fear.