when should kids be able to bathe themselves without our help?

Jolene - posted on 09/11/2012 ( 94 moms have responded )

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I have an 8 year old daughter, who when she is home, is independent enough to bathe herself, she doesn't need my help when it comes to bath time, however when she visit her dad, her dad and stepmother, washes her, not giving her any independent. When do we allow our kids to do things on their own? She is smart, she's not slow.

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Jodi - posted on 09/15/2012

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The ONLY reason many fathers end up feeling uncomfortable bathing their daughters is because society (ie. people like you) impose their views on them and MAKE them feel that way by insinuating it is a sexual thing. And don't deny it. By suggesting that it is okay for dads to bathe their sons and not their daughters, you are making it sexual.

Bekah - posted on 09/13/2012

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Talk to your ex and find out why he is not giving her the independence that she wants.



How often does her dad get her?

This is why I ask ... My 16 year old son sees his dad every other weekend. Because of that it is hard for him to see that his son is growing up. It's kind of like time is going slower for him because he doesn't see him that much. My son is learning to drive but my ex isn't interested in helping him because he didn't feel he was old enough yet (they start drivers ed at 14 yrs 9 months where I live). He has had a much harder time with giving my son his independence. He doesn't allow him to be home alone at all (even though at my house my son has actually babysat his younger siblings). I have talked with my ex about it but he hasn't been willing to give on it at all so I just keep doing what I do at my house, letting him drive and giving him the independence and at some point (probably when my son goes to college) my ex is going to realize his baby is all grown up :-)



Good luck.

Jodi - posted on 09/13/2012

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And I'm sorry I am so angry about this, but I see it so much on this site - women who treat the fathers of their children like they are shit on the bottom of their shoes. And assuming this sort of thing is simply another example of that.

Kayleen - posted on 09/13/2012

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Curious to why a dad s uncomfortable to wash his daughter? Seems like unless he is a perv he should be enjoying the bonding of bath time... My husband gives our daughters ages 3 and almost 1 daddy car washes (quick showers) and also sit down baths where he washes rinses, race float toys and chit chat about school or daddy's job.. It's all personal choices I guess but I see nothing wrong with it... Your child should be able to voice her opinion at dads house... And is she uncomfortable if so tell her to speak out... Dad might not get a lot of time so he chooses to use every minute... And if that be the case wtg dad

Michelle - posted on 09/13/2012

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I agree Wendy, however if this girl hasn't expressed this discomfort to either her Dad or her Stepmom to be such alarmists and nearly accusing them of some sort of sexual inappropriateness is not just uncalled for, it's disturbing. As if some can't fathom that a Father bathing his daughter at 8 could be purely innocent. The best thing the Mom could do is to teach her daughter to use her own voice and make her boundaries clear, if she needs to be present for her daughter to talk to them about it then be there to support her. However it's something she needs to learn to do to protect herself from abuse from others. I just think some people need to put the brakes on and realize that every family is different and just because some fathers are uncomfortable with bathing their daughters at an earlier age doesn't make this Dad some kind of deviant. It sounds more like a question of them not understanding the level of capability and independence, even the way the Mom has phrased the question this is evident.

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Michelle - posted on 09/17/2012

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**********Mod Warning************



Can we please keep to the topic or I will have to lock the thread.



The OP was asking about what is the appropriate age for children to gain the independence of being able to wash themselves. It was about nudity.



Michelle,

WtCoM Mod.

Xaviera - posted on 09/17/2012

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Well in my house my daughter sees nakedness a lot and there is nothing wrong with it she is three and she was nude bottom for a while when I was potty training her. I want her to be comfortable with her body but she know when there is company she has to wear clothes

Michelle - posted on 09/16/2012

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"Just so you all know in real life lots of kids do get abused by there (sic) fathers and there (sic) mothers."



This question was originally about an 8 year old girl needing her independence and privacy and became about something else entirely. I don't think it is very productive to post in such a condescending tone. It goes without saying we all know that Mothers and Fathers sometimes abuse their children.



I don't even understand the argument anymore. We all agree that if the child is expressing a need for their privacy this needs to be respected, and if she needs support from her Mom to get this message across to her Dad and Step-Mother then that is her duty as her Mom. And yes I agree this kind of self-care skill needs to be taught.



This thread could have been answered in one simple statement but so many made reference to abuse and labeling the behaviour of a parent helping their child of 8 years old to bathe (which obvious doesn't include their genitals) as sick and wrong. If it makes you uncomfortable okay, I get it. But to call it wrong you are making a judgement based on exactly what? Calling it sexual, I really don't understand. It is not incestual for a Father or Mother to help their 8 year old child bathe. It's a little care taking, washing their hair, their back and talking about their day. Are you suggesting a Father is going to somehow be aroused by helping his daughter to bathe?! Because that is called pedophilia when you are talking about an 8 year old child and gender has nothing to do with it. Pedophiles are attracted to children whether or not they are the same or opposite sex.



Like I said I understand some just may not be comfortable without really identifying why and I think that's usually because somewhere along the way they got this message from somewhere.

Jodi - posted on 09/16/2012

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Honestly Brenda? You can't call people names on this site - it is a violation of the rules, so I would suggest you remove where you called me a moron before you get an admin warning and have the post removed again.



I never said we get in the shower with our 7 year old. You need to learn to read properly. However, I will say that she sometimes sees people in the house naked/getting dressed. It's not that big a deal.

Brenda - posted on 09/16/2012

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I never said the father was doing anything wrong. I said that jodi was saying that everyone was accusing him of abuse because we didnt agree that he or his wife should be bathing his daughter. I never once said he was abusing her. i said when they get to a certain age its not right for parents to be bathing there kids. Just so you all know in real life lots of kids do get abused by there fathers and there mothers.

Brenda - posted on 09/16/2012

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I was talking about u not about the bathing since you brought it upthat you showered and your husband showered with your daughter.

Brenda - posted on 09/16/2012

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actually in one of her posts she did say her daughter said she was uncomfortable

Michelle - posted on 09/16/2012

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Back in the comments section near the beginning of the comments section the Mom does talk about her daughter complaining about her privacy and independence. Though there is no mention that the daughter expressed this to her Dad or Stepmother which is why I felt it was wrong of people to judge them of any wrong doing. Your response is refreshing after reading so many posts that seem to turn it into something sick and wrong.

Catherine - posted on 09/15/2012

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The original poster never said her daughter was uncomfortable with her father or stepmother bathing her. I think the mother was uncomfortable with the idea and threw the question out looking for a general answer about when kids are bathing independently. It doesn't say anything about the father and stepmother washing her privates either. I see absolutely nothing wrong with them washing her back or her hair. The child should be encouraged and empowered to ask for privacy. But, not because her father is doing anything wrong. Kids grow up faster than we parents realize sometimes. My daughter is 9 and bathes/showers independently, but sometimes I still do her hair or her back! We talk a lot during that time and she still likes me around! Even at nine, she is sometimes in too much of a hurry to do the greatest job. I wouldn't have a problem with my husband washing her back or hair either! He's the guy that would give his life to protect her! My daughter is very modest, but is not paranoid about her body.

Jodi - posted on 09/15/2012

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Um, how is a parent showing their penis or vagina by bathing their 8 year old? No-one has ever suggested that they should bathe WITH their children when they are 8.... :\ Maybe we are talking apples and oranges this entire thread, and your idea of bathing a child includes actually getting in the tub with them.

Brenda - posted on 09/15/2012

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Its sick because i think it is inappropriate for a child to see there mother or fathers penis or vagina at the age of eight or over. Whos the sick one.

Jodi - posted on 09/15/2012

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I think you missed the point. You are making it sexual about a parent helping a child bathe. THAT is what is sick.

Jodi - posted on 09/15/2012

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Fine. That's a personal thing. So don't impose that "personal thing" on others.



"If a mother says it is not different then they are lying to themselves."

That's imposing YOUR view of the world on everyone else. Because of course mothers are lying to themselves if they don't agree with you.

Brenda - posted on 09/15/2012

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It is sexual. Im not denying it. I dont think it is right and i said that. Just like i dont think that a mother should get in a shower with there eight year old boys either. At certain age a child should not be seeing there parents private parts. So yes it is sexual.

Brenda - posted on 09/15/2012

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Its a personal thing with me. Thats just how i feel. I Want my kids to be independent and i also feel that at a certain age kids should be taught to do things for themselves. What other people do in there own homes is there business . I was just giving my own feelings on the subject..

Jodi - posted on 09/15/2012

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And at four she was showering WITH her father, now she just has her dad help her sometimes. So yes, it's different. Nothing wrong with either scenario.

Jodi - posted on 09/15/2012

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"What that i taught my kids to be independent or that i think parents shouldnt be bathing there older kids. Thats my opion and im not going to change it. I think it is wrong."



Fine, that is your opinion. It would probably totally freak you out that my daughter would shower WITH her dad sometimes until she was about 4. Why? Because there is nothing wrong with it. She showered with me until she was about 4 too. No difference. Oh, except for the fact that she realised daddy has a penis. But we also have teenage boys in the house. She knows boys and men have a penis anyway - it's not like she hasn't accidentally walked in on them peeing or showering before. Or perhaps I shouldn't be allowing her to know about that stuff yet either.

Michelle - posted on 09/15/2012

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We'll just have to agree to disagree on that point. And no I'm not lying to myself. My Husband, the Father of my child, when he looks at our children, clothed, or naked as they were when they were born, sees his little girl (7) and little boy (6). Children, not adolescents, no where near puberty. He is comfortable because they are our children. Other than washing our daughters hair we don't bath them anymore but simply because we dont need to, not because we think there is anything wrong with it.

Brenda - posted on 09/15/2012

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What that i taught my kids to be independent or that i think parents shouldnt be bathing there older kids. Thats my opion and im not going to change it. I think it is wrong.

Jodi - posted on 09/15/2012

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Um, no, that was a pretty generalised comment Brenda. It also isn't necessarily about children being independent. My daughter is 7 and can totally wash herself (needs help with her hair), but that doesn't mean she doesn't like her daddy helping her sometimes.

Brenda - posted on 09/15/2012

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The mother said she was uncomfortable with it. So if the child is uncomfortable with it then it doesnt matter. Im sorry i guess i taught my kids to be more independent. My four year old son knows how to clean himself. i go in and wash his hair but his body i taught him how to do it.

Brenda - posted on 09/15/2012

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I said that because it was a eight year old who the mother said was uncomfortable with it. if she is uncomfortable with it then its wrong to bath the child. I dont think a eight year old girl or boy should be bathed by either parent. It is different if a father is bathing his son or if he is bathing his daughter. If a mother says it is not different then they are lying to themselves. Im sorry but i cant understand a father even being comfortable bathing there daughter at that age. I certaintly wouldnt be bathing my son at that age. They are not babies they are young children and they should be bathing themselves.

Michelle - posted on 09/15/2012

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Brenda if you read back you said in response to someone else's comment "...I so agree, it would be one thing if it was a boy, but bathing an 8 year old girl is really not good. Especially if the Father is doing it". I think this was what triggered the response and personally I disagree with that you. The only point to be made in this case was this particular girl is ready to bathe herself and wants her privacy no one disagrees on that point. Just many people are now generalizing and suggesting no parent should be helping their 8 year old child bath and that something must be wrong if they are. I don't think we should make a child feel ashamed of something that for them is still innocent and comfortable, that is just as likely to make them susceptible to abuse because now they will be confused about their own feelings and instincts. People, not just you, were overgeneralizing an not just speaking to this situation where the girl obviously expressed her discomfort.

Brenda - posted on 09/15/2012

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I agree that no one should assume that thats what is going on if a father is bathing there child. I never said that . I dont think he is abusing his child but the mother said the daughter feels uncomfortable with them bathing her. That was my concern. If she feels uncomfortable then it should be stopped. If she doesnt feel comfortable telling them then the mother should step in and tell them.

Jodi - posted on 09/15/2012

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It's not the same as going to an uncle's house. Just sayin'.



My only objection is the way people assume that IF a father participates in a girl's bathtime, it is seen from a place of assumption about sexual abuse. That's what I have an issue with.

Brenda - posted on 09/15/2012

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really because the one mother was saying everyone was accusing the father of child abuse just because they said it wasnt appropriate to bath a child at that age. Unless im missing something she said it more then once and she said it to me. Im sorry but i wasnt accusing anyone of child abuse i just think a child should be bathing themselves at eight. Whether it is a boy or a girl or whether its the mom or the father who are giving the bath to the child. They should know how to bath themselves at that age.

Michelle - posted on 09/15/2012

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I don't think I ever really completely abondoned the point. I said in nearly every response that when the child or adult expresses discomfort this practice needs to stop.

Brenda - posted on 09/15/2012

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I think thats why everyone was saying that the father shouldnt be bathing her was because the mother had said she was feeling uncomfortable. It was one mother turning it into something else and was putting everyone else down.

Roxanna - posted on 09/15/2012

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Ladies, let's get back to the original point. The eight year old child is uncomfortable with her Father and Stepmother bathing her. That is the point.

Jolene, as long as she does a good job in the shower and she is independant and responsible enough to take care of her hygiene, she should be left alone. A dialouge with the Dad and SM is in order.



Personally, my dad stopped bathing me at 5 because he felt I was getting to big, but we continued to bond in other areas. My Mother on the other hand was completely obsessive about checking my body to the point where I never got any privacy from her even as an adult! Was this because she was a sexual deviant, no, it was because she wanted to catch me with a mark on my body to see if I was having sex!

This translated to my being very encouraging to my girls to bathe themselves, Ley, my oldest was on her own after she was six, but since I shared a house with my roomate and her children, I stayed in the bathroom while she bathed, but the curtain was closed. When I moved in with my insignificant other, and father of my youngest, I lingered in her room to make sure he would not go in, because he liked "checking in" on her. Abby, my youngest didn't and still doesn't want to grow up, but I have told her time and time again she is too old for me to see her naked, and her body is private. Do I occassionally help her with her hair, yes, it's down to her butt!

It is all a personal choice, but your child, Jolene, needs to be able to express herself...good luck!

Michelle - posted on 09/15/2012

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As for the Uncle question

A) yes, because my brother is not a pedophile and sees my daughter for what she is, his little neice, who is a little girl not a sexual creature and the most he'd be doing is washing her hair like we do

B) No, because my daughter is at a stage where she wouldn't be comfortable with her Uncle seeing her nude but is still ok with us. And No because I don't think my brother would be comfortable.

Michelle - posted on 09/15/2012

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No one said it was necessary, just that people shouldn't impose their idea of right and wrong when it pertains to families they don't even know. We all agree that if the child or parent is uncomfortable then it needs to stop, isnt that what really matters? We should be teaching our children about listening to their own gut instincts not some arbitrary age that for them is just a #. I don't bathe my kids anymore, other than washing my daughters hair who is almost 8. We are working on her learning though, she isn't opposed to me doing or uncomfortable but likes exercising her independence more and more. My son is 6 and does everything himself in the shower but his hair is short

Michelle - posted on 09/15/2012

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Brenda I have no issue discussing and disagreeing. My main point is if the child or the parents is uncomfortable then it needs to stop. Period. End of story. If the child is 8 and takes comfort in having their back washed by Mom or Dad I think it's wrong to label that behaviour as somehow sick or wrong. I think people are getting a certain image in their head when they hear this father is bathing his 8 year old daughter and are jumping to conclusions without real justification. Whether or not it's Father/Daughter Mother/Daughter, Mother/Son or Father/Son is insignificant, abuse doesn't only happen to girls or with opposite genders. The main thing is we need to teach our children about boundaries, good touching, and bad touching and how to speak up for themselves. If we instill shame about something that was innocent and didn't bother them I think this would only lead to more confusion and shame. What happened to you never should have and I understand that it makes this an even more loaded topic. But rest assured as a Mom I know how to protect my children.

Brenda - posted on 09/15/2012

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I find it alarming that so many people think its necessary to bath your eight year old child. I would think most parents would have taught there kids how to bath themselves at eight. I think thats all everyone is saying. I wonder if your eight year old was going to another family members house would you be ok if there uncle was bathing them. Most guys wouldnt even feel comfortable bathing a girl at this age but whatever.

Brenda - posted on 09/15/2012

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Im not suspecting him of child abuse. I just think parents shouldnt be bathing there kids when they get a certain age. The last time i checked this was a cite for parents to ask other parents for the advice and thats what we are doing if you dont like what you are hearing then maybe you shouldnt come on here. Another thing coming from a mother who has been abused as a child its called protecting your kids.

Melodie - posted on 09/15/2012

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Even if the father or stepmother are not predators, they are not thinking of the best interests of the child. An 8 year old should be bathing them selves and they should say how much privacy they want. A lot of kids need to have their hair washed if you want it clean. Use the sink or leaning over the tub while the child is dressed. I assume the mother has the main custody. Unless there is a special occasion, let the mom deal with cleanliness levels and the father could let the child bathe alone. I am disturbed that an 8 year old needs help in the tub. I do not see a problem with sitting in the bathroom and talking to the child while they bathe, if the child is okay with it. Basically an 8 year old should be washing their own body, obviously the back and hair are harder, but they need to learn to take care of themselves.

Michelle - posted on 09/15/2012

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I don't know what's more alarming or disturbing the fact that so many label the father as some kind of deviant perv for helping his 8 year old daughter bath herself or the fact that some seem to think it would be "one thing if it were a boy....." Right because sexual abuse never happens with the same sex care giver/parent/trusted adult. Just WOW!!



For the record I'm not saying it's bad if it's a boy, I see no difference, it all comes down to the comfort level and the child and the parent.

Jodi - posted on 09/14/2012

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And yet another person suspecting a father of sexual abuse just because he bathes/helps bathe a DAUGHTER. No-one said he washes her vagina FFS. Maybe he just helps wash her hair or her back? You people have sick minds.

Brenda - posted on 09/14/2012

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Thankyou for that comment. I so agree with you. It would be one thing if it was a boy but bathing a eight year old girl is really not good. Especially if the father is doing it.

Brenda - posted on 09/14/2012

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My son is four and he baths himself. I go in and wash his hair and make sure his ears are good but he does everything else. However my two oldest step kids who are ten and eleven have the help of there mom when they go to her place every second weekend. I personally think its crazy to be bathing your kids at that age but what can you do when they are at the other parents house.

Patsy - posted on 09/14/2012

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This is not about abuse or sexuality. It is simply about her growing up a little. Talk to them, explaining you are not implying anything improper. It is just she is old enough to want to wash herself. I have a nine yr old girl. Last year she actually wanted me in the bathroom. Now she does not! So I try to spend a little time in her room right before she goes to bed just talking.

[deleted account]

My 5yr old can wash herself. She may need a little help from time to time but for the most part she does just fine. I do help my 10yr old, but that is a whole different situation because he has autism.

If your daughter just doesn't like that she doesn't have any privacy that is one thing, it sucks but not much you can do about that one. But, if it makes her uncomfortable then you should talk to your ex about it.

Miriam - posted on 09/14/2012

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my son is eight years old and he bathes himself but i still wash his hair. thinking always of abuse is very exagerated i think.

Xaviera - posted on 09/14/2012

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When my oldest daughter was four and was nothing her. She made a statement as I was washing her privates that mommy that feels good. That my dear was the last day I bathe her. But at eight no one should be touching that body but her. I don't feel comfortable with that.

Jodi - posted on 09/13/2012

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In YOUR opinion it isn't okay. That is simply YOUR moral values.



My husband helped my daughter shower last night. I have no problem with it and neither does she. Since WHEN are your moral values applicable to everyone? What makes YOU so much more right in this respect?



Sorry, but jumping to conclusions about fathers and daughters is absolutely abhorrent. Do you REALLY think that if a little girl is washed by her father, she will think it is ok for any male to do it? Give your daughters some credit. They aren't THAT stupid. It's her FATHER!!!

Ajanae - posted on 09/13/2012

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Im not sayn that he is abusing his daughter but once your child gets a certain age its not ok to do certain things because thats the society we now live in period mothers fathers sis bro step parents even the neighbor is suspect thats just it. N it becomes very suspect when she says she doesnt like it n they disreguard her feelings. My daughter is 2 n me and my husband have fun bathing her 2gether as it is like family bonding but wen she hits 8 yrs old her dad should have no desire to c her washing up there r many other ways to bond with ur childn those are the ages where u explain to ur kid whats right and whats not . Is it ok for a brother or uncle to bathe ur daughter at 8 yrs old their still a relative . everybody household is diffrent n whether its not sexual it just doesnt sit comfortable with me for any man to wash my daughter up because that gives her the impression that its ok to b washed by any man especially if their related to her

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