January 24, 2010,
D.B. asks from Warren, MI on January 20, 2010
Age When Its No Longer OK to Shower with Mom and Dad
My son will be 5 in February. I still find it easier to let him jump in the shower with me than to just give him a bath on his own (I'm also 7 1/2 months pregnant so leaning over the tub to bath him is a nightmare). Hubby takes him in the shower with him, but because he works midnights, he sometimes doesn't jump in the shower until 10:00 p.m. (waaay to late for son to shower). Hubby is happy to help out and give him a bath but sometimes its just faster for me to take him in the shower with me (in and out in 15 minutes vs 1/2 hour of son alone in bathtub playing).
So the question is, when does a little boy get too old to shower with mom. My son isn't asking any kind of body part questions or showing any signs that he's uncomfortable with it, so I see no reason to stop. Hubby, on the other hand, says I'm creating the next Norman Bates. LOL
So What Happened?™
Thanx so much ladies. I was already kinda thinking that he should probably be on his own but you know how hard it is for the moms to let go (especially with the 1st born) LOL. I was talking more with hubby, who informed me that he's already showed our son how to wash himself, hair/toes/privates/etc. He was surprised that I didn't know (and that junior wasn't doing it already himself with me in there). Guess he just knew mom would be happy to take care of it for him. So I guess the moral of the story is he'll be flying solo SOON. I'm already stressing about him slipping and cracking his scull open, but I know that when I've showered with him, he sits on the floor for most of the shower while I wash up so he doesn't fall. I will just encourage him to do that ALOT.
As for the bath time, I'm all for letting him play most of the time, but when I look up and realize its almost 8:00 and he still hasn't washed up, its a little too late at night to be hanging out playing for 1/2 an hour. Otherwise, if I'm on top of things, I'm happy to let him play because its a good chance to relax while he's occupied.
C.B. answers from Detroit on January 24, 2010
I think it's WAYYYYYY past time. When he was a baby,or toddler okay I can see sharing a shower. But at five...no. I can appreciate that at 7 mos. preggers it's difficult. So maybe he should learn how to shower in the a.m.? Or if bath tub/shower isn't conducive right now until the baby is born, how about baby wipes? Quick, easy, efficient.
D.M. answers from Houston on January 21, 2010
As long as everyone is comfortable, there is nothing wrong with what you are doing. My daughter, who is now 22, would shower with me occasionally until she was 9. My 5 year old son is capable (for the most part) of bathing himself, and does so most nights, but showers with his dad whenever he can, and once in a blue moon with me. If you don't make a big deal out of it, neither will they. Because I never made my daughter feel ashamed of her body, she never really had any of the body image issues her other friends had. It made puberty so much easier! After all, how can you have respect for something you are ashamed of?
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K.W. answers from Dallas on January 20, 2010
Well I'm in a similar situation with a 5 YO boy, and I've started just letting him take a shower himself, in my shower too or in my big bathtub. My boys think it is a HUGE treat. My little one (2 1/2) still strips down at our glass shower door some mornings and wants to hop in with me, and I let him, but the bigger one usually doesn't anymore. And since we have a glass door, there is little privacy, so I ask the boys (both) to give mommy a little privacy. They're so impulsive and don't think anything about just barging in, so sometimes I just turn my back and ask politely for a little privacy until I have on a robe, or am out of the shower. Just don't make a big deal out of it and ease into the transition. I know that my oldest knows differences because we've always been honest, but we don't dwell on them and just say that is how we are made. Maybe let him shower first, and you can go in afterwards once he's dressed and maybe watching a tv show or doing some other activity that'll give you some privacy.
Hope that helps a little!
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S.K. answers from Detroit on January 21, 2010
This is a cultural issue more than anything. The US culture is generally quite prudish about nudity. I lived in Japan for almost 10 years. My first 2 children were born there.
In Japan there are public baths and hotsprings, where people bathe (no swimsuits allowed). They are divided by men and women. But children can go in with either parent, generally until the age of 9 or 10, depending a bit on how old they look. Then some hotsprings have special family baths that you can reserve so that your whole family can bathe together.
My son who will be 5 in April, was already noticing body differences at the age of 2 1/2. I just answered him very matter of factly and didn't make a big deal about it. He is very curious about everything.
There is really nothing wrong or perverted about showering and bathing with your children. As long as you and your child are comfortable with it, I wouldn't worry about it.
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N.M. answers from San Francisco on January 20, 2010
We stopped putting the kids in the shower with us when they were about 3 or 4. I don't have time to give them a full bath with playtime either. What we've done is get one of those handheld shower heads and stand the child up in the bathtub with the curtain half closed. I get them wet, then they can hold the showerhead for me while I lather them up (before they learned to lather themselves), and then I hold it for the rinsing. I don't have to get on my knees and lean over the tub anymore, and very little water spashes out if you do it right, and we're all done in about five minutes. It's been great!
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E.J. answers from Detroit on January 21, 2010
I have three children. I remember trying to figure this out as well. At the time I subscribed to Parenting magazine. There was an article that suggests that parents should not let their children, of the opposite sex shower, bathe, or see them naked after pre-school age (4-5). If your son is not asking questions or does not seem bothered by it, you are probably not scarring him for life. But perhaps after the baby comes and it is easier for you to maneuver the bathtime routine that may be a good time to phase out the joint showers. Hope this helps.
V.E. answers from Lansing on January 21, 2010
If he likes showering with you, he will love showering by himself. Turn the shower on for him, have him jump in and shower away. You can give him toys to play with in the shower or those soaps that look and act like paint but wash right off. He'll have a great time and will be so proud and feel so big showering by himself.
L.W. answers from Detroit on January 21, 2010
Let him shower by himself, with you outside of the shower for support. Boys (with their short hair) are easy...just make sure you remove razors, etc. from the shower first. Also remove any shampoos, conditioners, special soaps ($$$)that you DO NOT want him to turn into a science project while he is playing in there ;) Coach him through what he needs to wash and how to get the soap all the way out of his hair. He will LOVE the independence!
S.H. answers from Huntsville on January 21, 2010
In my opinion, he's too old. You say it's faster for him to just shower with you, but what's wrong with him being in the tub for 1/2 hour? It would give him time to play and learn with different bath toys, and you've got 1/2 hour to relax or do something else without him hanging all over you! lol
My daughter will be 4 next month and she loves to play in the tub. I love it because I know she'll be right there in the tub for a while so I can get some things done.
A.H. answers from Detroit on January 21, 2010
I agree with Denise. If you make a big deal out of nudity, then it becomes an issue. I try to make my son feel comfortable in his skin and around my hubby and myself. Obviously, we tell him there is a time and place for being in your 'birthday suit', so he seems to understand. As soon as you know your son is old enough to handle himself in the shower safely, or with you sitting in the bathroom for assistance, then you are golden. :)
(But I feel that comes from seeing how we handle ourselves in the shower, meaning we don't 'play' in there.)
My little guy is also 5 years old. He prefers the bath, but will go into the shower if he can squirt us with the shower head. I do feel it's a good practice to help them feel comfortable and to teach them that it can be a bit slippery in there if they are not too careful.
So he showers more with Dad, and not as often with me (but I take super hot showers~ Dad doesn't.). But we do not have an odd schedule, either.