A mom writes in looking for advice: When does it become inappropriate for a child to shower with his or her dad? In this case, the mom is referring to her four-year-old daughter who still showers with her father.
Over on the Mamas Uncut Facebook page, our robust community of moms is always having a conversation about topics that matter. We like to highlight those conversations from time to time. Important mom questions. Thoughtful mom answers. Let’s hear from the community!
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A member of the community asks:
“At what age does it become inappropriate for a daughter to shower with their father? My little one will be 4 soon and she still showers with her father. I was just curious around what age we should no longer allow it. She prefers showers over baths. I work long days so he’s usually home before she needs to be in bed, so he’s always the one to shower her.”
Let’s turn to the community and see what they think!
“She’s *been* too old.”
“I have a 4-year-old great granddaughter, she knows the difference between boys and girls. I would say 3 years ago.”
“It does seem inappropriate especially if dad is nude.”
“Never appropriate with the opposite sex parent.”
“Why is everyone saying it’s inappropriate? Because he’s showering with his DAUGHTER? If it was with his son would anyone care? My ex still showers with our daughter occasionally, and she’s 4 in October. Personally, I will stop it when she starts noticing the difference between boys and girls. So far she hasn’t said anything. I also shower with both my children, and my son is 2.”
“Geeeessshhh… It’s her dad for God’s sake!! My husband has never showered with any of our daughters but he does shower and bathe them. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. My daughter knows the difference between and boy and a girl and she knew since she was 3.”
Whatever Is Most Comfortable for Your Family
“When my son was four, I would leave the door open, him inside, me dressed outside. But I agree what is comfortable for you. When she starts asking questions, I would stop it.”
“For my daughter, she stopped showering with her dad when she started asking questions about the differences between their bodies. I think she was 3/4 at time.”
“For all that say it’s wrong and inappropriate, it shows that there is more wrong with you and your mindset. So start asking yourselves why you find it offensive. I would stop once she starts questioning the differences. Her father isn’t doing anything wrong. In fact, it’s recommended for bonding.”
Consider Phasing It Out
“I would agree with the few that said to slowly stop. Once they notice the difference between boys and girls probably ween back from it?”
“If she starts asking about why they have different parts, it’s time for some privacy. I’d say 4 is a good age for kids to start learning how to bathe themselves. With supervision, of course, but no need to be physically in the shower at that age.”
The Mamas Uncut community seems pretty split on this one. About half of the responses say that the OP’s daughter should stop showering with her dad now, with many going as far as to say she should never have been showering with him in the first place. However, an almost equal amount of people responded that it is not inappropriate.
Even among those who think that the behavior is OK, though, most urge the OP to consider changing that behavior soon.
We think, as always, that it’s about what works best for your family. There is nothing wrong with a father showering with his daughter, especially when the daughter prefers showers and it is often the father’s responsibility to bathe her. That said, now might be a good time to have the conversation about transitioning away from that behavior, as it will need to stop sometime.
We wish you the best of luck, mama, and hope this advice was helpful!
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