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Brothers and sisters bathing together

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
The parent thread brought this to mind.

When do you think is "too old" for a brother and sister to bathe together?

My mom, for example, thought it was inappropriate the other day that DD said something about DS's "penis" and talked about pooping and butts in the bathtub the other day. (She is 3, he is 5.)

*I* have spoken to my kids using proper names for their body parts since day 1. Preschool kids think talking about bathroom stuff is funny. I'd much rather she limit this talk to the bathtub than public, in front of others.

DS has not come right out and said it, but there's times he puts off taking a bath until the younger 2 are done. I wonder sometimes if it's really about wanting to watch XYZ cartoon (we have DVR, can pause and record) or if it is actually about wanting to bathe alone. (ANd then is that because of the crowded tub or modesty? )

I've always figured when they are old enough to initiate wanting privacy, that's when they're too old to bathe together. (meaning EITHER ONE and the other one simply needs to learn to respect the other's wish.)
I'm questioning now if maybe the older two should be separated?
post #2 of 22
My children still bathe together - they are 5.5yo b/g. Every so often I might hear them mention penis or vagina (like you kicked my penis), but they have a blast playing in the water. Occasionally they want to bathe alone but for my daughter it is because she likes to spread out and be a mermaid and my son likes to sometimes take a shower. Usually they want to be together and I figure I will read their cues and know when to separate them. The times they've bathed separately, they still run into another room naked, together, to get dressed.

I mentioned they were in the tub to a neighbor and she was appalled...for a while I questioned myself.
post #3 of 22
We stopped when ds reached about 7 1/2 and dd was 4 1/2 -- it wasn't so much modesty as it was that we ran out of room in the tub. Both are relatively tall kids, dd likes to splash and ds doesn't like to be splashed.

Now that ds is nearing 9, he's a bit more modest. So, I would ask the kids if they want to bathe alone or together. When one says alone, then it's time to do alone.
post #4 of 22
My kids are about the same age as yours, OP, and they all bathe together. 5.5 year old DS, 3.5 year old DD1, 1.5 year old DD2. Right now there isn't any modesty (as evidenced by how often they streak around the house naked!) and they prefer to bathe together. They all know the proper names for their genitals, and for them it's just another body part.

I've told DS that soon it will be time for him to start learning to take a shower. Probably in another year or so (or sooner, if he wishes) he'll stop taking a bath with the others. This doesn't have to do with age or gender, but more the fact that by then #4 will be in the tub too and it will just be too crowded.
post #5 of 22
I figure when they want privacy, they'll initiate. Almost 7 yr old DD still bathes with her brothers , 5&3 (we have a big tub). The only time we ever had an issue, was one when of her friends had told her that boys shouldn't see her naked. I explained that different families do things differently, and as long as she doesn't mind brothers and dads are OK. They've been happily splashing together with no problem.
post #6 of 22
We go back and forth. There are times when my 6 yo dd wants to bathe alone but that is typically because she wants to play alone. Most of the time she bathes with her 4 yo brother. It sure is faster!

When she requests to bathe alone, I always honor it. I also let my ds know that if he wants to bathe alone, he can anytime.
post #7 of 22
I think that it's time to stop when one of them wants to stop. If both kids are happy with bathing together, it's fine with me.
post #8 of 22
If one of them doesn't want to anymore, then it's time to stop.
post #9 of 22
I remember feeling uncomfortable about bathing with my sister around 6/7, but I didn't feel comfortable bringing it up to my mom. I would initiate a conversation with you son.
post #10 of 22
We started limiting it when dd hit 5 (her brother is 3.) That's when we started introducing the idea of modesty, ie. changing in your room with the door closed, closing the door when going potty, etc.

She's 5.5 now and they still do bathe together every now and then, but for the most part, I give her her bath while dh gives ds his bath (two bathrooms!)

Also, part of me broke it up because they would make such a HUGE mess playing together and then start kicking each other and fighting (not enough space in the tub.)
post #11 of 22
growing up my bro and i were extremely naive kids. so i remember the last time we bathed together (huge round bathtub) he was 12 and i was 14. neither of us felt awkward. i remember the blast we had together. i think though soon after that bro discovered i was a 'girl' and we stopped.
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
Well, DS1 is starting to ask to bathe alone again. That is a request I always honor too. (last summer he went through a shower phase.) I think it's got more to do with space in the tub than modesty....then again, he told his sis to get out of the bathroom....

SO I think he is bringing it to an end on his own. Which is actually good because when Thing #4 is here there just won't be room in the tub! (though babies have usually bathed with me until PP AF shows up. usually by then that's when they're about big enough to start to enjoy playing with the others, and well, I've got an *eww* factor about sharing the tub at that time.)
post #13 of 22
"I think that it's time to stop when one of them wants to stop. If both kids are happy with bathing together, it's fine with me."

We are going to do some gender segregation when our foster-adopt placement happens, because I think DSS has probably got some strong opinions on the subject, but for right now the almost-6 ds and almost-4 dd are showing no trace of any kind of body shame, or even body awareness, really. They know the names for all the parts, but they just don't display any kind of sexual awareness. Some days I envy them that.
post #14 of 22
We stopped a few months ago (ds is 3, dd 1). But only because it was a full out war in the bathtub with kids screaming and water going everywhere.

Had that not have been the case, I would have continued until one of them requested to bath on their own.

I'd rather deal with the penis/vagina questions in house where explanations on body differences can be given by myself or dh rather than in elementary school from other possibly misguided child.
post #15 of 22
Eh? Not really a huge issue around here. DD is 8, and DS 1 is 20 months old. She loves helping him have a bath, especially if that means she gets to splash around as well. We are pretty open about nudity etc in our home, and privacy doesn't come up as an issue yet.

I'm sure it would horrify some people, but it works for us, and I think it teaches healthy attitudes and realities.

When DD is uncomfortable, or expresses that she is uncomfortable, we'll worry about things then.
post #16 of 22
My kids shower together when they want to - I figure as soon as someone is uncomfortable with it (or has no desire, for whatever reason), they'll stop.
post #17 of 22
When they start asking for privacy.

Right now, my 5-year old wants to bathe alone because he wants more room to play.
post #18 of 22
Mine are almost 10, 3 1/2 and 21m and they all bathe together. They love playing in there and will take hr long baths. My oldest will sometimes want to bathe alone so she can lay down and relax and I of course respect that, but she will say "hey guys wanna take a bath" and they all go running.

She isn't modest at all and they don't mention privates, but we have a open door "policy" (as in we never shut it, it just isn't something we think about).

I'm expecting soon she will quit wanting to bathe with the other two but until she does or reaches puberty I will let her, I guess I hadn't put much thought into it.
post #19 of 22
I think it's fine until one of the doesn't want to anymore -- either because of modesty OR because they just want the space/time alone.

My kids sometimes take baths together (at 7 and 4) and sometimes not. I leave it up to my 7 year old whether she wants to jump in with her brother or not . . . I know she isn't modest (she has no problem being naked around us, him, or friends), but sometimes, she prefers to have the space to herself, to play with her toys without his interference.
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
you know in that example of the 8 yo sister and baby brother I don't know why I think of that as less "questionalbe' than my own kids? Is it because I see a big sister taking care of a baby?

it's really more my MOM and her comments that got me wondering than ME....*I* say they're fine, leave 'em till somebody doesn't want to anymore.

But I've also got to be really proactive and make sure my oldest knows he does not HAVE to bathe with them and knows he can say he wants to wait (or go in 'my' tub/shower) and that he won't be in 'trouble' for that.

I can see him being one like a PP said who might think this is "expected" of him or that *I* want him to do it because it's faster or whatever, no matter what *he* wants....and he might not speak up, so thanks for that.
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