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KCOLLINS6
KCOLLINS6 asks:
Q:

my 5 yr old has recently become scared of going to the bathroom by himself(even in broad daylight at school).

In Topics: My child's growth and development, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Oct 19, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

It is hard to say exactly why your son feels afraid of going to the bathroom by himself now. He is only 5 years old and is still not yet capable of fully expressing himself verbally. It could be that he saw something on TV which scared him, he may have overheard a conversation about something related to children in the bathroom, or he may have heard a scary noise when going to the bathroom by himself at school.

On the other hand, 5 year old children should not be using public restrooms by themselves. A parent or older sibling should always accompany them in shared restrooms.  The school's policy may be different because it is not really considered a public restroom, so you may want to ask his teacher about this.

Please give your son some time and hopefully with your love and support he will start to feel more confident to go to the bathroom by himself again. If you would like to speak directly with one of our counselors, please call or e-mail our Hotline. We also have a wonderful website for parents, full of parenting information and ideas.
We hope you continue to reach out. Best wishes to you and your son!

Sincerely,

Cynthia, Counselor
Boys Town National Hotline
1-800-448-3000
hotline@boystown.org
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Additional Answers (2)

Christine Selna
Christine Selna writes:
I had a difficulty with this myself with one of my students a few years ago. There may have been something which scared him at some point when he was in the bathroom alone - this is something you may want to talk to him about as well to determine what has made him so scared. The best way to help him overcome this is to have him help you choose something that comforts him which he can take with him to the bathroom (even at school). It could be a sweatshirt, a small plastic toy which can be cleaned, or even something simple he can keep in his pocket. Slowly his fear should subside as he feels comfortable again, and soon he may start 'forgetting' to bring the comforting item with him.
> 60 days ago

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Rebecca1027
Rebecca1027 writes:
My son had the same problem, he would even leave the door open at home, and other family members houses...run in and run out...not even sure if he finished...hes 6 now and no longer does this, i guess it's just a phase...mine seemed to grow out of it.
> 60 days ago

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