How do I get my 4 year old to leave me alone while Im in the bathroom/shower?

Amber - posted on 12/16/2009 ( 17 moms have responded )

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My son has a habit of walking in the bathroom when I am in there either using the restroom, or taking a shower. I keep telling him to stop and that it is not OK, and he just says "WHY?" I don't feel right locking the door in case something happens and he or my husband needs to get to me right away. SO any suggestions??

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Lizet - posted on 12/24/2009

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how about hanging signs by the door knob like green and red light like the traffic lights. that can be understood by 4 yr olds and it will be like a game for him. juat try :)

Tammie - posted on 12/21/2009

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Tell him why! On his terms, of coarse. Mommy needs time for just mommy and no one else...not even daddy. And s and boys can't watch each other in the shower and on the potty after a certain age. And teach him to knock before he enters any door. That in and of itself will save you a lot of trouble and probably some very embarassing moments. Hope that helps.

Donna - posted on 12/20/2009

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i have 3 kids that are 10,9,and 8 and they still do it ! but they knock then without waiting for an answer they come in . they are learning now becaue they are beconing modest that i do it to them so they can see why they shouldnt do it to me lol

Krissi - posted on 12/20/2009

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My older kids are 15 and 10- both girls. They still manage to find me when I'm in the bathroom. You will get your privacy back when they leave for college! LOL!

Sylvia - posted on 12/20/2009

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Wow, y'all are seriously uptight ;^) I mean, I have a girl, not a boy, so maybe that makes a difference, but I can't imagine getting upset about a family member seeing me pee!

I did eventually manage to teach my daughter that it's not polite to walk in on other people -- when the bathroom door is closed, you knock and wait to be invited before you go in -- and that when you're using the washroom at someone else's house, you need to close the door. But, honestly, until she was five or so and started to develop a sense of privacy on her own, nothing I said about people wanting privacy in the washroom ever seemed to make any sense to her -- I would end up saying "because they just do, honey!" which is always a sure sign you're not getting through ;^).

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Lock the door! If something happens your husband could pick the lock and get in there so don't worry. Your son needs to learn that you need your privacy.

Tara - posted on 12/19/2009

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I would have a talk with him. Keep it very simple & to his level, but let him know that when people are in some places, such as the bathroom, they need some alone time. If he needs your help, he can knock on the door & let you know. Always let him know to knock on a closed door. . .I am open with my children & my girls will come into the bathroom to talk to me . . you know shower curtains, etc, are closed. . . I still help them with things if needed & they ask (such as hair) (which is never usually with my older girls now (13 & 12) but very occassionally i help my son & always help my little girl. . . but we can still do this, while respecting privacy.

Patricia - posted on 12/18/2009

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I told my son the cold truth. I said girls have breasts and vaginas and boys have a penis and that these are private. Then I explained that those are bad touching areas and that no one needs to be looking at them unless we are helping you wash up, or if you hurt your penis and I or a doctor has to look at it. I first tried some ideas that friends gave but he still barges on in but after telling him straight out why it is inapropriate I don't have that problem any more.

Kathleen - posted on 12/17/2009

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It's normal and doesnt stop. Mine is 7 and has just started learning to knock but only about 10% of the time. he also likes to leave the door open when he is using it because thats when he likes to "talk" teh most.

Simone - posted on 12/17/2009

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The "Do Not Disturb" sign sounds like a very good idea. You could tell him that he can use the sign, too, when he is using the bathroom, but ONLY if he gives you your privacy when you put the sign up! Good Luck :-)

Heidi - posted on 12/17/2009

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Well im gonna steal some of these ideas.. We just recently moved. Now we have 2 bathrooms. And my son is forever runnin into "my" bathroom while were in there to go potty. Hes almost 5. He never did it before we moved and had 2 bathrooms.So im not sure if its the whole 2 bathroom thing or what.. But im gonna try the "Do Not Disturb" sign because he can read :)

Nichole - posted on 12/16/2009

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If you cannot lock the door, use a "Do Not Disturb" sign, like in a hotel. Of course your four-year-old isn't going to read the sign, but just the presence of the sign will catch his attention and if you reinforce the fact that when it's on the door Mommy needs to be alone, he'll get it. If it's not working, you might make a game out of it... if he respects your privacy you'll allow him to have a special treat, like look up coloring book pages on Nick Junior, or a cookie.

Toni - posted on 12/16/2009

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Good luck. My eight year old still does it. I just try to show her how I don't walk in on her so she should have the same respect.

Sue - posted on 12/16/2009

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Practice showing him how you can close the door but you are still close. Have him talk to you from the other side of the door...give him something to do and let him do it while you are in the bathroom....like see how fast he can go to his room and get his shoes and make it a counting game, count loud enough he can hear you and see if he can make it back before you get out. Remember, fun...then you will not be bothered as much and you both can make it a game.

Michelle - posted on 12/16/2009

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I was going to say that privacy has to to earned and taught. My kids 6 and 2.5 always walk into the bathroom on me. If they want to have privacy then they have to earn it by giving you privacy.

Rosie - posted on 12/16/2009

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Privacy that's a big one. My son still does that and he is six. My daughter is 4 and she has gotten better at it. If he goes to the bathroom on his own, try going in the next time while he's on the potty. Then tell him immediately you will give him his privacy and walk out. Make privacy a big word. Do that several times over the next few days and have your husband do the same thing. When he ask why tell him it is the polite thing to do. Tell him it gets stinky in there and anything else you can think of that would make him not want to be in there. I hope that helps you. It works with my daughter but my son still comes in. He does leave now when I ask him to. My best friend has a 12 year old and just told us at girls night that he had just stopped coming in on her. I don't know what she did to discourage him. Good luck to you :-)

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