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parents bathing nude with children?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
My mother is alarmed to hear that my husband bathes/showers nude with our barely 4-year old daughter. I also bathe nude with her, and our 2-year old son. In our home we are not prude about nudity and up to now neither of us has seen any problem with this routine. It developed through our need for quick, painless, mess-free baths. Neither of us is comfortable bending over the tub to bathe our kids - especially me, now with a big baby belly - so we started getting into the bath/shower with them as babies, and have just continued out of habit. We are in the process of teaching the 4-year old her to bathe herself now, but still have a 2-year old son to bathe and a baby on the way. I am interested to hear opinions from this down-to-earth community... Is this acceptable? At what age do you think we should discontinue the practice of mixed-gender bathing? Should we divide the responsibilities along the lines of father/son and mother/daughter bathing? Or should we just not ever be nude in front of our kids? Thanks in advance for your feedback!
post #2 of 31
I think it's up to you and your kids and your comfort levels.

Dh and I both shower with our almost 4 year old. We don't anymore with our 8 year old because he'd rather do it alone. I think hiding and avoiding nudity turns it into a big deal.
post #3 of 31
As long as everyone involved is comfortable with it I don't see the problem with it.
post #4 of 31
I think it's completely acceptable and normal. My DH and I both shower w/ our DD, in fact we've done family showers where all 3 of us are in there.

I remember baths w/ my dad in the big tub in my parents bathroom that had whirlpool jets. I LOVED that and there was nothing shady or perverse about it.

I think it should probably stop when either the parent or the kid is uncomfortable. I'm guessing that would be somewhere in the 6-7 range, but that's totally a guess.

What exactly is your mom's concern? Does she think your DH will molest your DD? Is she worried that your dd shouldn't ever see a naked man? Personally, (assuming you trust your DH) I wouldn't worry about either.
post #5 of 31
I think that as long as no one in your family/home minds/is uncomfortable, it's fine.

I shower with my kids (6 yo ds and almost 5 yo dd) from time to time still, but not as often as I used to, mostly because they enjoy their bath time alone. My DH doesn't bathe with the kids at all - don't think he ever has (I have no idea as to why he hasn't) - we're all quite comfortable being naked in front of each other.

My kids also no longer bathe together, but mainly due to their inability to bathe together peacefully - the tub is too small for the both of them to play nice. LOL
post #6 of 31
Mixed gender family bathing not only is practiced widely amongst us wacky MDC families, it has been practiced for generation in Japan.

In the movie My Neighbor Totoro there is a scene where the family (dad and 2 daughters about 5yo and 10yo) takes a traditional bath together. (It's a great movie for kids and adults anyway if you want to see it.)
post #7 of 31
I don't like taking baths, but I do shower with my 6yo DD. Although my husband usually showers at the gym and not at home, he does use the bathroom in front of both DDs (4yo and 6yo). Like everyone else said, as long as everyone is comfortable with it
post #8 of 31
I think that discomfort about it can MAKE it a problem, but there is no inherent issue at all.

My father is really seriously uncrunchy at all, but I showered with him until I was maybe 7? It wasn't weird at all.
post #9 of 31
Thread Starter 
She is specifically concerned about child abuse/molestation. She has a background in childcare, early childhood education and psychology and as a result she is hyper-sensitive to this stuff, in my opinion, to the point of being an alarmist. I wouldn't worry at all about it, as I totally trust my husband (and my gut/intuition tells me nothing shady is going on!), but now I'm worried that my mom will call child protective services!
post #10 of 31
Another vote for totally normal. I stoped bathing with the kids when it got too crowded for me and both of them to all fit in the tub! It's been a couple years, but it was just easy & fun. DP had stopped quite some time before I did, but he is bigger and just doesn't enjoy baths as much (plus I'm with them more).

Quote:
Originally Posted by meindhov View Post
She is specifically concerned about child abuse/molestation. She has a background in childcare, early childhood education and psychology and as a result she is hyper-sensitive to this stuff, in my opinion, to the point of being an alarmist. I wouldn't worry at all about it, as I totally trust my husband (and my gut/intuition tells me nothing shady is going on!), but now I'm worried that my mom will call child protective services!
If your mom actually contacted CPS over this, you have a MUCH larger problem than bathing!
post #11 of 31
I have a similar background to your mom - childcare, early childhood education, child development, and child psychology, and I don't think there is anything wrong with bathing with your children so long as everyone involved is comfortable with it. I understand being hypersensitive to abusive situations because of all the training we have to go through as a childcare worker, but this wouldn't raise any red flags for me. It's definitely normal.
post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by meindhov View Post
She is specifically concerned about child abuse/molestation. She has a background in childcare, early childhood education and psychology and as a result she is hyper-sensitive to this stuff, in my opinion, to the point of being an alarmist. I wouldn't worry at all about it, as I totally trust my husband (and my gut/intuition tells me nothing shady is going on!), but now I'm worried that my mom will call child protective services!
Quote:
Originally Posted by shesaidboom View Post
I have a similar background to your mom - childcare, early childhood education, child development, and child psychology, and I don't think there is anything wrong with bathing with your children so long as everyone involved is comfortable with it. I understand being hypersensitive to abusive situations because of all the training we have to go through as a childcare worker, but this wouldn't raise any red flags for me. It's definitely normal.

I have a background in elementary special ed and I understand being very vigilant about these issues in a setting where you are caring for others' kids (ie side hugs, never being in a closed room w/ a single child etc) But parents caring for their kids is a totally different setting w/ it's own set of "rules" and norms. Applying the rules and norms of a childcare/education setting to a family is silly and, IMO, unhealthy.
post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by meindhov View Post
She is specifically concerned about child abuse/molestation. She has a background in childcare, early childhood education and psychology and as a result she is hyper-sensitive to this stuff, in my opinion, to the point of being an alarmist. I wouldn't worry at all about it, as I totally trust my husband (and my gut/intuition tells me nothing shady is going on!), but now I'm worried that my mom will call child protective services!
I'm a childcare provider and I have a minor degree in child developement....and we bath with our kids. DD1 and DS both bathed with us until around age 5 or so, and now the baby bathes with us. I think your mom being alarmist doesn't have anything to do with her education, it's probably just one of her "things".
post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by meindhov View Post
She is specifically concerned about child abuse/molestation.
Concerned about what, though?

My dad bathed with us (me and my sister) until I was...6, maybe? I can't remember exactly - he gradually moved out of the tub, and she and I bathed together for a couple more years. I'm not even sure if I'd particularly remember it (we spent a lot of time with my dad as kids - he was awesome that way), except that we have a picture, which kept it in my memory. There was certainly nothing sexual going on, in any way.
post #15 of 31
I bathe with my daughter all the time...like the OP said it's just so much easier to be in the tub, and she gets a kick out of having the 'bubbles' in mummy's jetted tub. I recall having baths with my mom...I don't know how old I was when we stopped...when we stopped fitting in the tub I guess.
post #16 of 31
My children(even the baby) bathe with my DH, and sometimes all of us bathe together. I don't see the problem we're a family, jeez.
post #17 of 31
I would prefer to bathe alone but my kids seem to wiggle their way in anyway. My husband prefers to wear underwear or swim trunks on the rare occasions he bathes with the girls. I think it's fine as long as all are comfortable. Our oldest (DD7) seems to be wanting more autonomy and privacy so we are giving it to her accordingly. (though she still tries to weasel into my bath - what is with that? Why can't I bathe alone?)
post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by meindhov View Post
She is specifically concerned about child abuse/molestation. She has a background in childcare, early childhood education and psychology and as a result she is hyper-sensitive to this stuff, in my opinion, to the point of being an alarmist. I wouldn't worry at all about it, as I totally trust my husband (and my gut/intuition tells me nothing shady is going on!), but now I'm worried that my mom will call child protective services!
I'm sorry OP, but your moms issues w/ this are her issues, DH and I both have early childhood backgrounds and I've taken more psych classes for fun than most psych majors LOL! We both shower w/ DS and don't plan on stopping anytime soon. Will DH shower w/ our girls... that'll be up to him but I certainly will. Sometimes it's the only way we can get clean! I will say I prefer showering by myself... but that's only cause I can make the water hotter and take all the time I want... Showers w/ DS involve me letting him play w/ the shower head and I get cold! LOL

If she were to report you over this then you definitely have much bigger issues than coed family showers!

Oh and btw... I'm probably one of the least crunchy people on this board LOL
post #19 of 31
I bathed with my kids until their natural modesty kicked in. Dh is the breadwinner and not home a lot... he is seen naked by the kids mostly at the beach, camping out and at the hot springs. We treat it as a non-issue.
post #20 of 31
I never bathed with my parents that I can remember, but my sister and I always bathed together. It is perfectly normal in a lot of cultures to have family baths, where everyone is nude and bathing together! I would not worry about it, it is up to your family and your comfort level!
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