As parents, you would have come across several issues that you need a specific answer to. Parenthood brings up so many doubts, fears, and dilemmas, that one is constantly searching for answers. When to stop breastfeeding? When to let kids start sleeping alone? When is it all right for kids to play by themselves in another room? When to start weaning? And, another million-dollar question – when to stop bathing with children? A routine that many families indulge in and absolutely love, bathing with children is a popular activity that parents will later wish to stop, but may not know when or how to. While there is no suggested age, to stop bathing with children is a personal choice, and is dependent on a few other factors. Read on to find out more about when to stop showering with kids.
When Should You Stop Bathing With Your Child?
Privacy is a concept that must be introduced to children at a decent age, especially when they start going to school. Kids must know that there are certain aspects of their life that are private, and no one else must be privy to them. There is no clear answer to the question of when to stop showering with kids. Medical experts, practitioners, and psychologists believe that as long as nudity is within the home, non-sexualized, not traumatic to the child, and of consent, then adults bathing with children is fine. However, there may be instances when your kids will start wanting some privacy. Read on to find out when to stop showering with kids:
1. When Children Start Feeling Uncomfortable
Taking cues from children is very helpful. When children start commenting and feeling awkward and uncomfortable around parents when they are naked, then the parents must refrain from changing or bathing in front of them. Sometimes, girls are fine seeing their mothers in the nude, but not their fathers. It is vice versa with boys, too.
2. When Parents Themselves Feel Uncomfortable
The feeling of awkwardness is mutual. Parents may start feeling uncomfortable being naked in front of their children, too. If you as a parent feel that being naked in front of your eight-year-old or 10-year-old is embarrassing, then you can encourage her to shower on her own, and stop bathing with her.
3. When Children Start Asking Questions
Sometimes, children start giggling, and ask questions about your private parts. Children may also make comments about the body parts of their parents, as they look different from theirs. Boys will have questions to ask their mothers, about why their private parts look different, and girls will ask the same questions to their fathers. It is appropriate to answer their questions, and then stop showering with them.
4. When Children Are Ready to Go to School
At school, children are safeguarded by the staff who work with them. They will also make friends who would be leading different lifestyles than theirs. Many of their peers may have never showered with their parents, and if your kids happen to reveal this to them, it could lead to a lot of queries. When kids start school, they also need to know that they have to safeguard themselves from being vulnerable. It is important to educate children about their body parts, and that no stranger, or person other than their parents, is allowed to look at them.
5. The Situation of the Family
Each family is different. Every parent must take into account what is right for their child and their family. The situation must be well-assessed, and everyone involved must be in agreement with the decision made. Some families do not indulge in activities such as bathing with the kids, and that works well for them. Families who are comfortable with nudity and showering with kids must teach their children the importance of their body (their own and their parents’). It is important to instil confidence in them to love their bodies, and teach them about consent and respect. These lessons are lifelong, and need not be limited to just showering or bathing.
There is no prescribed or suggested age to stop bathing with your children. The main criteria are the family and their feelings towards the issue. It is obvious that a teenager would not want to share a bath with her parents. But, if your budding adolescent or preschooler wants to bathe on her own, then you, as a parent, can and should encourage her to do so.