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QUESTION: Should my boyfriend be helping his 8 year old daughter bathe?
“My boyfriend and I have two daughters (each from previous relationships). His daughter (she’s eight, turning 9) lives with her mom and visits us weekly. My daughter lives with us and visits her dad weekly as well. When bathing my daughter (she’s 6), her dad and I give her privacy in the bathroom as well as changing in and out of her clothes. The only time we’ll come in is when she needs help with shampooing her hair. When my boyfriend bathes his daughter, she tends to ask him for help a lot when changing & bathing.
At home, she’s totally capable of doing that herself just fine, but when she’s with us, it’s different. I’ve mentioned to him that she’s at an age now where she should have more privacy when it comes to baths here; she doesn’t want to do it alone. I don’t want to overstep because I’m not her bio mother, but I would like some advice or tips on how to go about the situation or if I should just leave it at that.”
The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.
“If she doesn’t hide and feel uncomfortable yet, don’t push it. She will start to cover up and turn away when she feels like she needs privacy. My daughter didn’t start wanting privacy until closer to 10. Be careful that you don’t make her feel ashamed of being comfortable. Protecting them is a balancing act, for sure.”
“My dad still helped and bathed me around the age of 8 and on occasion up until age 10 or so if he was working late I would ask him to come read to me or talk to me whilst I was in the bath as I missed him. I’ve grown up fine and there was nothing weird about it. My dad was actually the person I went to when I started my periods too and he took me for my first bras etc – I just didn’t have that bond with my mum even though my parents were still together. I don’t see anything wrong in it. I think it’s shameful the world has become so bad that a father washing his daughter is even being perceived as something other than innocent.”
“I used to help my son up until he was 10. I would hold the sprayer, make sure he didn’t miss any spots, and made sure he was rinsed all the way. It’s only weird if you make it weird. When he decided it was awkward for mom to see him naked, he started doing it on his own.”
“Stay out of it. Not your kid. Not your place to say anything. When she wants privacy she will let him know. She probably wants as much time as she can get with him and it’s weird that you find a problem with it. Also how do you know that mom doesn’t help her at her house? Also it is very telling that you refer to mom’s house as “home” meaning you don’t consider your house her home as well…”
“How do you know she doesn’t need help at her moms house? It’s her dad. She’s a CHILD. She is allowed to feel COMFORTABLE with HER PARENT helping her in a bath. If he is inappropriate about it then I get it- but if that were the case why do you have YOUR six year old around him? Let’s quit sexualizing men being fathers!”
“That is her father, she’s still a child and needs help bathing. I don’t see why any parent would see more into that then simply a father doing his job. At that age she’s not developed. I think that her still wanting daddy to help is a for sure sign that she’s just a child and still needs help.”
“Definitely sounds like you want to control the situation or make him feel bad. She is 8! Still a little girl. I say do what you want with your own and let him parent his the way he sees fit.”
“If the child and father are comfortable, leave it alone! She is his child. Nothing wrong with him helping her.”
“These are precious care moments. I dont think that should he taken away. There’s nothing sinister to it so leave it be”
“Let him raise his daughter his way, she’s a unique individual. Don’t compare her like that to others.”
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