“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#1 Apr 27, 2014
Dear Amy: Is there a particular age that a child should stop showering with a sibling of the opposite sex? I have a 9-year-old girl and 6-year-old boy. The majority of the time, probably 85 percent to 90 percent, they shower or bathe separately. However, there are times when I just want to get showers done and I have them shower together in my larger shower.

Other times they may ask to shower/bathe together, although this is probably only every few months. When together, they tend to just act silly or play with random bath toys while shampooing and washing up. They don't grab at each other, nor do they talk about their body parts.

My thought is that showering together will just naturally stop, most likely when my daughter hits puberty or when she feels her body is changing. My husband, however, is vehemently opposed to the kids continuing to shower together because they are of the opposite gender, and he thinks it is inappropriate.

My husband thinks I should defer to him on this issue since it is important to him, but I am having a hard time seeing his side of things.

What do you think? Tired Mom

Dear Mom: My instinct about showering/bathing is aligned with yours: It will naturally stop when your daughter hits puberty and starts feeling strongly about body privacy.

However, I agree with your husband that because this is important to him, you should defer to him.

He has instincts, too, and they should be respected. After all, he is the only person in the room who used to be a little boy.

Dear Amy: I have another suggestion for the granddaughter of "Too Much Contact," who is bothered by her parents' daily phone calls.

Back in the olden days of the 1980s and '90s, my mother would speak to her parents at a set day and time each week. Every Sunday evening at 9 p.m.(after we kids were in bed), the phone would ring, and my mother would have a nice long chat with her folks for 30 or 40 minutes.

I found out later that my grandmother would keep a notepad by the phone and jot down topics that she wanted to cover during their conversations to make sure nothing was left out. This system worked for them for more than 20 years. Eavesdropping Granddaughter

Dear Eavesdropping: Scheduling calls is a great idea because everyone involved can count on it.

Sunday was the day I always spoke with my mother. We talked at other times, too, but I hold special memories of our Sunday calls because they were long, lingering and meandered from topic to topic (I should have had a notepad on hand).

I also love the image of a young girl eavesdropping on her mother's chats with her own parents. I think it's a great opportunity for a kid to witness this loving generational dynamic.

Dear Amy: I'm responding to "Carpool Mom," whose 14-year-old son's childhood friend now seems to ignore him during their carpool rides to school.

This was so familiar for me. I met my best friend in third grade. She was new to school; our teacher got us together, and we were inseparable for about four years.

Once we were in junior high, she wanted to be different from me. She wanted to start smoking and hung out with a different crowd.

We carpooled for about the first half of the year but then decided to get to school on our own.

I was lucky because my parents let me make that decision and never questioned it.

Years later we reconnected through social media, and I am happy that she is doing well. It just goes to show that people do grow and change. Former Carpool Kid

Dear Former: It can be quite painful for a parent to watch her child be ignored or treated badly by a friend, but childhood friendships do have a natural course and they do break down, often when kids reach middle school age and start to move in separate social circles..

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#2 Apr 27, 2014
I am pretty laid back about child rearing things but I agree that i age 9 is time to stop the boy /girl shower thing.
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

#3 Apr 27, 2014
1: I bathed with my bro all the time when we were young. But 9 is way too old for the girl to still be doing it.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#4 Apr 27, 2014
L1: I side with the dad in this instance. Plus, the addition of it being important to him need to be acknowledged as Amy said.

L2: Daily contact when you have kids is too much. Setting a time is a good compromise. Most people would understand wanting to do this b/c running a household with young children is demanding on its own.

L3: It's a time of teaching for the parents. Showing kids that you can make new friends and perhaps reconnect later. Parents have to quit fixing everything in their child's life.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#5 Apr 27, 2014
(Hey guys, she is doing the opposite of man-bashing.)
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#6 Apr 27, 2014
PEllen wrote:
(Hey guys, she is doing the opposite of man-bashing.)
Yes, glad you pointed that out. In this instance, I'm on the dad's side. I was raised to think "modesty." I don't see the harm in little kids seeing each other naked from time to time or even taking baths together. I bet families with numerous children have this happen often just in the scheme of getting stuff done and kids liking to take off while you're trying to dress them and so on. Older kids help diaper the babies and so on. And little kids watch the older ones use the toilet as a way of getting the idea for toilet training purposes. But the lw's situation is not accidental and 9 years old is certainly an age where a child should have some modesty and should not be bathing with a sibling of the opposite sex. By that age, I was not even bathing with my year older sister in the bathroom with me. The only time we were in the bathroom together by that age was fighting over who could get to the sink to brush her teeth first or use the mirror to do her hair. I recall not even wanting my dad to take me to the bathroom when I was 6 years old and couldn't walk because I had polio. Yes, by 6 I had learned modesty. But I do recognize that not every family teaches their kids to do the same thing at the same age as my parents did.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#7 Apr 27, 2014
LW1: Showering together, regardless of gender should stop when the children are old enough to wash themselves.

LW2: Didn't original lw say she tried that already?
pde

Bothell, WA

#8 Apr 27, 2014
Pippa wrote:
<quoted text>
But I do recognize that not every family teaches their kids to do the same thing at the same age as my parents did.
And for most kids, it's not even about teaching, it's an aspect of normal development.

Over the past year, my kid started to refuse to go into any woman's washroom with me (which is kind of annoying since he still can't pull open the heavy metal doors that a lot of places put on restrooms so I have to stand outside the men's room and listen for him to shout for me to push the exterior door open) and doesn't want us to come into the bathroom while he's showering. He's 7.
Kuuipo

Salinas, CA

#9 Apr 27, 2014
pde wrote:
<quoted text>
And for most kids, it's not even about teaching, it's an aspect of normal development.
Over the past year, my kid started to refuse to go into any woman's washroom with me (which is kind of annoying since he still can't pull open the heavy metal doors that a lot of places put on restrooms so I have to stand outside the men's room and listen for him to shout for me to push the exterior door open) and doesn't want us to come into the bathroom while he's showering. He's 7.
I agree that every child develops a sense of personal modesty on his/her own. I think it's a good thing that LW's children are close to each other, but I have to take the dad's side because his discomfort should be acknowledged and honored.
Kuuipo

Salinas, CA

#10 Apr 27, 2014
pde wrote:
<quoted text>
And for most kids, it's not even about teaching, it's an aspect of normal development.
Over the past year, my kid started to refuse to go into any woman's washroom with me (which is kind of annoying since he still can't pull open the heavy metal doors that a lot of places put on restrooms so I have to stand outside the men's room and listen for him to shout for me to push the exterior door open) and doesn't want us to come into the bathroom while he's showering. He's 7.
My post disappeared!

I agree that most if not all kids develop a sense of personal modesty on their own.

And I agree that the dad's feelings should take precedence in this case.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#11 Apr 28, 2014
PEllen wrote:
(Hey guys, she is doing the opposite of man-bashing.)
Personally, I never thought she really man-bashed. Sometimes, it's just stupid answers.

Since: Jun 09

Saint Petersburg, FL

#12 Apr 28, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
LW1: Showering together, regardless of gender should stop when the children are old enough to wash themselves.
I agree.

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