How to Teach Boys to Use Public Restrooms: 9 Steps - MakeSureHow
Edit Article

The women's restroom is the safest place for your son.

Public restrooms are germ-infected places, yet children often see nothing wrong with crawling all over the floor and running their hands on the toilet seat someone just sat on. Even a relatively laid back parent can get icked out. Unfortunately, when you gotta go, you gotta go, so teach your son the best practices for using public restrooms.


  1. 1
    Take him into the bathroom with you so that you can supervise. As boys get older, they'll start to resist this idea, wanting to use the men's restroom, but it's safest for you to take him into the women's, according to the San Diego County District Attorney's Office.
  2. 2
    Use the large stall. Wait for it if you have to. That way, you can be in there with him to offer your assistance.
  3. 3
    Help him decide whether to sit or stand. Little boys will want to stand, but sometimes public toilets are higher than the one at home. Assure him that it's okay to sit sometimes and help him get into place.
  4. 4
    Correct any gross behaviors. If you catch him doing something that's avoidable and a little gross, remind him of what others do in the toilet and ask him if he really wants to be sticking his face in there.
  5. 5
    Teach him to clean up messes. Dribbles happen, but the next person in line doesn't want to clean up after your son. Show him how he can use the toilet paper to wipe up any pee that ended up outside the bowl.
  6. 6
    Look together for the flush mechanism. Flushing is the important last step of using the potty, but it's sometimes hard to find out how to flush a different toilet. If you do it together, there won't be as many problems.
  7. 7
    Wash hands thoroughly. Use soap to get rid of any germs. Lift him up if you have to.
  8. 8
    Demonstrate using paper towels to turn off faucets and open doors. People use unclean hands to turn on faucets and open doors. Covering your hand with a paper towel can prevent the transfer of germs. Though your child may not be big enough to turn on the faucets or open the doors himself, model this behavior for the future.
  9. 9
    Follow up with antibacterial hand gel outside of the bathroom. This will hopefully kill anything you missed.


  • After your son has had a lot of public restroom practice with you, he may be ready to try out the men's room. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that he should be at least four years old. If he's getting ready to use the men's room by himself, discuss the private areas of his body and how to tell you if anyone tries to touch them when you're not there. Always stay just outside the bathroom door so that you can come to his aid if necessary.Few public restrooms for women have urinals. Dad or another male family member or friend is going to have to take urinal duty when your son is old enough.

Article Info

Categories: Education and Communications

Did this article help you?


an Author!

Write an Article