30 answers

Kids Bathing with Friends

Ok, I wanted to see at what age you guys cut off taking showers/baths with their friends during sleepovers (same sex). My daughter is in 4th grade and I wasn't quite sure because it hasn't come up in a long time! They just went swimming so I just said they could if they left their bathing suits on since they are getting older. I don't have my daughter bathe with my son anymore, but I wasn't sure about her friend. Hmmm... they are both girls and all. I think I took a shower with my friend when I spent the night for awhile, but it seems a bit old. Anyway, I just wanted to see what all you guys think?

update- She's 9, I'm thinking it's too old, but wasn't sure.

update 2- Usually we don't have showers during sleepovers, but after swimming they were getting all the chlorine out of their hair and washing off sunscreen. The next morning we were all going to church and out to lunch, so I wanted them to clean up. Also, the friend sleeping over is her best friend from school.

What can I do next?

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I think it is a matter of up-bringing. First is the other parent okay with it? I was brought up a little more modest than most, so as an adult, I am rather uncomfortable at a gym with a set of boobs staring at me in the mirror, while other people are perfectly fine with it. I tend to think it is unfortunate that I am uncomfortable, but that is how I was raised.

I think if they are okay with it they are fine.

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at her age i think its more a matter of whether or not both girls are comfortable and how good of friends they are. after swimming and stuff like that, i would jump in the shower with good freinds of mine until i was 12-13. in all honesty, i have a friend that i have been friends with since kindergarten and i would jump in the shower with her now at 25 and still be totally comfortable because we have been friends for so long. If it was a relatively new friend, then i would steer clear, just because you never know how those kind of friend ships end up. in the end though, if she is comfortable and the friend is comfortable, no big deal. a boob is a boob and a finger is a finger. they are all just body parts and we all have them.

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I showed till the age of 10 with my siblings. LOL Hard life being in a big family but hey its really more of an issue because of societal norms. We are so hard pressed on nudity being so repressed. I dont think 9 yr old girls care ( i didnt at 9) that they had seperate or together showers. It is again only 2 kids, why should they shower together? Is it really going to waste that much water?

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i will still shower with my sisters (like during holidays when all 6 kids are home with our spouses & kids! yikes!) & there are friends who i would shower with if needed, in high school us girls would shower together because we would all be getting ready for whatever competition & we were in a hurry! if both girls are okay with it, i don't think it's a big deal at all

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a little too old. with bathing suits on, okay, but that would be it for me

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I showed till the age of 10 with my siblings. LOL Hard life being in a big family but hey its really more of an issue because of societal norms. We are so hard pressed on nudity being so repressed. I dont think 9 yr old girls care ( i didnt at 9) that they had seperate or together showers. It is again only 2 kids, why should they shower together? Is it really going to waste that much water?

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at her age i think its more a matter of whether or not both girls are comfortable and how good of friends they are. after swimming and stuff like that, i would jump in the shower with good freinds of mine until i was 12-13. in all honesty, i have a friend that i have been friends with since kindergarten and i would jump in the shower with her now at 25 and still be totally comfortable because we have been friends for so long. If it was a relatively new friend, then i would steer clear, just because you never know how those kind of friend ships end up. in the end though, if she is comfortable and the friend is comfortable, no big deal. a boob is a boob and a finger is a finger. they are all just body parts and we all have them.

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That would be around the age of 10-11 right? I think it's time for seperate showers.

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I don't know. I think it's kind of a matter of when they become body conscious. I remember skinny dipping with my friend at 12 in her pool when I spent nights and her grandma, who lived with them, would tease us about seeing out butts shining in the moonlight. We didn't think there was anything wrong with it.
Girls take showers after gym class.
My daughter and I had a swim membership and women changed in front of people. There was only a small area for private changing plus the bathroom, otherwise, women just peeled off their suits and dried off and got dressed.
There's something to be said for modesty, for sure, but I don't think you should make them feel like they're doing something wrong if they see each other naked.
I had a big jacuzzi tub and the kids liked getting in it with their bathing suits. It was fun for them so that's a good option.
If you think they should have separate showers, just say so.
I just wouldn't make a big fuss about it being because there's something wrong with being naked.

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I think it is a matter of up-bringing. First is the other parent okay with it? I was brought up a little more modest than most, so as an adult, I am rather uncomfortable at a gym with a set of boobs staring at me in the mirror, while other people are perfectly fine with it. I tend to think it is unfortunate that I am uncomfortable, but that is how I was raised.

I think if they are okay with it they are fine.

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Too old. Many girls even go through puberty at 9.

I agree...TOO OLD! In this day w/sexual exploration and overload I feel your only inviting trouble. Either between the two of them or being accused of something. For your protection I wouldn't allow it. Not much harm can come from them showering apart if all they are trying to do is rinse off chlorine. But you open the door to other situations if you allow it! I guess Im just paranoid! I would definatley consult w/the other parents becuz they may say no right off the bat then you're not the bad guy!

I would go with comfort level and maybe check with the parents of the other child and ask about their comfort level with bathing together just so that everyone is on the same page and clear. I bathed with my best friend up until middle school when we had sleep overs and I never minded and she didn't seem to mind either but both of us had siblings that we showered with at home so it was never uncomfortable. Other friends never even asked if I wanted to share a bath with them probably due to being uncomfortable with the idea which was also fine. Then again in my house we've always been pretty comfortable...my youngest sister is almost 12 years younger and until she hit puberty she used to take showers with either me or my sister...otherwise somebody got a cold shower and neither of us minded.

i would say no, not necessarily because the girls are too old but because i don't like the idea of my little one showering or being supervised showering with an adult that is not me.

I don't remember EVER bathing or showing w/ another person. I am sure that as a child I may have (I have a sister just 18 months younger). I don't like the idea. Once when watching my nephew who is 1 month younger than my daughter (they are only 3 right now), my husband thought it was ok to let them bath together and I said no because I knew my youngest sister would not be ok with it (I wasn't either but she would have flipped!). We have a niece that thinks it is ok to bath/shower with our daughter and I defiately do not agree.

Anyway, I think if you are ok with it AND the other parent is ok with it AND bot girls are ok with it it is ok until they are of school age. I think that once they start school they are too old to bath together.

My son bathed with his friends, both sexes till he was 6, she 7 and her bro 5. Now my son 7 and she 8 are all about privacy so they don't even consider it. He will still jump in the tub with the little bro. I think it really depends on the kid. Easy enough to say, showering together or seperate? No big deal whatever makes the kids comfortable.

Gosh I can remember taking baths with my bestfriend who was also my neighbor till we were in about 4th grade I am pretty sure it stopped right around that time...I know she got her period in 5th grade and I know it was before that...

I have three boys 10-8-5... for the most part there isn't enough room for my two older boys to shower together so I do make them shower alone (same goes for friends sleeping over) if I had a large shower I'd probably let them all shower together, for me it is like being in the gym... I want them to be comfortable with them selves and their bodies, but I think it would probably be near by so that I'd know that they were behaving...

I do have my 5 yo shower with his older brothers often so that they can help him get his shower, it's just easier for us as a family. I've also had the older boys help their younger cousin (also 5) in the shower, we call it shower buddies, but I'm always near by.

I really liked the swimsuit idea! I think I'd let them do that as often as they wanted to at any age... I grew up on a lake and we had an out door shower that made it easy for anyone to get cleaned up after swimming.

I don't understand why people are so paranoid about this. In South Louisiana where I grew up, kids bathed together all the time-- cousins, friends, siblings, etc... If there were several cousins over, just run a big bath and stick them all in! When I was about 9 or 10, my best friend moved in to my house b/c of family problems; we always bathed together. There were 5 people in my house and one bathroom, so it was just practical. We never thought a single thing about it being inappropriate or whatever. Obviously when they hit puberty, that is when this starts to change-- that is when I wanted my privacy in the bath. Now that I have my own kids (girls), we are always in the bathroom together. It is perfectly natural. Society makes this taboo. As for the people who think that bathing with a friend can turn you lesbian, that is straight up DUMB. Sorry, but it is.

I would say go with child's comfort level. At that age they can tell you if it's OK with them or not. I remember having sleepovers and taking bubble baths with my friend in 5th and 6th grade (10-11, maybe almost 12 yrs). I was starting to get a little self conscious, but it was not a big deal.

For same sex friends, I would let them do whatever they feel comfortable with. I think its a mistake to make your girl too self-conscious about being naked with a female friend, because there might be times in her life she will need to change or shower with other girls (e.g. gym class, summer camp, etc.). I would just leave it up to them ... tell them to shower, but leave the details (together or one after the other) to them.

NO
Too old.
Not a family member.

I too don't usually allow showers at sleepovers, but I understand about after swimming. Not together. Their bodies are about to start changing, and my 9 year old is VERY curious about what is going to happen to her and what is already happening to her friends. On another note, this is a good opportunity to discuss who is allowed to see her without her clothes on, showering, etc.... Try to make the lines clear, not fuzzy. You will be helping her in any situation she could find herself in later and not be sure what to do.

No. Too old. In my family, even siblings didn't bathe together after 4 yrs old.

I think she is too old. on a different note I know a lot of high school girls and a LOT of them went through a stage of exploration with same sex partners in the 6th grade. (not actually having sex but other things) Just something to be aware of. Most of them grew out of it, but some of them didn't and are in a same sex relationship now as sophmores. Your daughter may not be interested in that kind of exploration but her friends may and may put her in a situation that she finds uncomfortable.

I would think by the time they are old enough to have a sleepover with a friend (not a cousin or something) then they are probably too old to shower together. I know my 4th grader started developing some at that age, so I wouldn't think they would feel comfortable with showering together. Just have them use separate bathrooms so no one is left out. My 8 year old just had a sleepover with his friend and both needed a shower, so we sent the friend upstairs to the kids bathroom and had my son shower in our bathroom so they were both done at about the same time but each had some privacy.

I would lean towards the safe side and say that the kids are too old. Also, I don't remember bathing at any sleep-overs - too busy having fun!

What would be the purpose of them showering or bathing together? why can
t one go in the the other? my kids never bathed at someone else's house when they did a sleep over nor did any kids bathe her when they spent the night. Girls do take showers after gym class in seperate stahls, Certain things are private. J.

They are girls. What's wrong with seeing each other naked? I'm 30 & would still jump in The shower with a good friend if I had to. Why make a big deal over nothing? If they are comfortable with it, then let it be. It's not like they are taking baths with a bunch of boys.

Too old they should bathe privately!

bathing suits/ yes and with supervision

naked? no!! kids that age need clear boundaries on safe behavior - a girl that age needs to know it is not appropriate or safe to be naked around another person be it another adult or child

Dear Lanie:

Sometime in the very near future the kids won't want to shower together, probably a matter of weeks to months. I've found kids get shy before a parent could say shower apart. As soon as their bodies start changing they'll be wanting lots of privacy.

L. F., mom of a 14-year-old daughter

When I was a kid, a friend of mine and I would jump in the bath together after swimming, but always with our bathing suits on. I cant remember how long we did that, but I'm sure it was for awhile. Her mom would also let us take toys in there, so we would play too. It was all innocent and I'm sure probably lasted until we were 10 or so. Her uncle had a pool, so we were always over there swimming.

It would depend on the child's parent.

I had sleep overs for my daughter this summer at our house, and she is 7.

I told the Moms.. to make sure their child is bathed, BEFORE coming over to drop them off at my house.
OR... I also told them... IF their child needs to shower while at my house.. ."Is it okay with you?" and "If so, do you want your child to shower/bathe alone or is it okay that she and the girls all shower together???"

I simply asked the child's Mom.
AND I also asked my Daughter, how SHE felt, if that scenario occurred.

Ultimately, you need to get the "Okay" from the child's parents.
Each family has their own 'rules' about showering/ages/what they think is appropriate or not/cultural differences etc.

It is up to the child's parent/Mom.
If you do not clear it with them first... then possible conflict can arise.
So just avoid that... and ask the Mom(s) of the child, first.

When my daughter is at her friend's house for swimming... after the Mom has them shower. Which she asks me first, if it is okay. THEN she has the girls shower, with their bathing suits on.... if together. But ultimately, they do it separately. It is just that Mom, respecting my daughter's "privacy" and Mine, as her Mom.

all the best,
Susan

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