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Old 11-28-2007, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My two SD's are 8 and 6. Their mom and I get along ok, but I will qualify that with the fact that we don't inteact much. We're different on a lot of planes and our thought processes don't mix.

Well, over Thanksgiving the SD's went to take a shower, and I assumed that they knew how to shower alone. SD8 did ok, but SD6 poured about a third (really!) of the shampoo in her hair and it was quite the ordeal rinsing it out - her hair is very long as the girls are not allowed (yes, that is the term that their mom and they use) to cut their hair except for a once a year trim.

From that ordeal, it came to DP's and my attention that the SD's still shower with thier mom, and they aren't showeing/bathing alone at all.

For the 6 year old, not so concerend, but for the 8 year old I am - I guess to me, by 8 alot of kids want a little privacy and many are uncomfortable with seeing mom naked. Also, I feel that its really important for a kid to eventually learn some self care, and also learn healthy boundaries.

But at the same point, I know that every family is different. I will not approach the SD's mom about this - not my place, but DH is thinking about chatting with her about it. At the same time, was just curious about what other people thought.

Thanks!
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Old 11-28-2007, 01:18 PM
 
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i would not expect a 6 year old to be able o shower unassisted. my son is 6 and he takes bathes, sometimes with me, sometimes just with me sitting by the tub or he and his step brothers bath together, dss # 1 is 5, dss #2 is almost 7 and I would not expect them to wash their hair and all that alone. i dont think there is anything wrong with their mom bathing with them.
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Old 11-28-2007, 01:25 PM
 
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Our 7-year-old has been showering on his own since he was about 5, but sometimes he still wants a bath. For a while it was showers at his mother's place, and baths over here (at his insistence), so could could get alone time with Daddy.
3yo still does baths, but is getting more independent about it and even attempts to wash her own hair.

So, I guess it varies a lot. I would think, though, that since they have such long hair that might be tricky and they might need help with that. And 8 doesn't strike me as necessarily too old to see a same-sex parent naked. Depends on the kid.

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Old 11-28-2007, 01:46 PM
 
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No, I wouldn't be worried. Some families are very comfortable with naked bodies and I'm very supportive of that kind of openness. If it were the father, then the 8yo would be too old, but the same sex mother is fine until her own body starts to change in my book.

Lisa

I want to add that I think being comfortable with bodies/nakedness is a great way to guard against body image issues later on.

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Old 11-28-2007, 02:36 PM
 
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i would look to the 8 yo for a lead ... is the 8 yo upset about not showering alone, embarasses to show with mom or sis, annoyed her mom won't let her have privacy ... and so on .....

or is the 8 yo ok with it?

or even -- is it the 8yos doing ... ie the mom has left the door open to shower with me or shower alone and the 8 yo is chooseing to shower with mom (maybe cuz sis does?)

if the 8 yo isn't bothered, and is growing in independance in general -- even if not in each area -- I would not be bothered .....

even if the 8 yo was bathing / showering "alone" I would not expect it to be "alone" as in how a 15 year old does it -- my 8 yo DN still needs help, verbal reminders, an adult peeking in frequently to keep him on task and not flooding the bathroom ..... and it sounds like the girls have hair that would require help washing and rinsing too ...........

and if the mom is a single mom, it may be just how she gets both girls showered each day along with working and dinner and everything else she has to do .. yk?

I would not -- in absence of other red flags int eh girls -- worry about it

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Old 11-28-2007, 02:39 PM
 
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I wouldn't butt in. If the kids aren't coming to you saying they are uncomfortable, leave well enough alone IMO. Butting into other people's harmless parenting practices over such things as learning indepedence and other subjective murky territory is a recipe for trouble IMO.
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Old 11-28-2007, 04:31 PM
 
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My 5yo stepdaughter started showering "alone" at our house this summer. My husband or I sit in the bathroom the whole time, and when she is done washing, we do her hair. We also remind her all the "parts" that need to be washed, and peek in occasionally to check that she isn't just in there bathing Barbie or something. And once or more a week she gets a bath so we make sure she gets thoroughly clean and have the opportunity to notice anything that could be a potential health concern.

You might offer supervised showers like that at your house so that if the 8yo DOES want more privacy, she knows there is another option.

Overall, I wouldn't be concerned for the same reasons the pps mentioned.

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Old 11-28-2007, 11:36 PM
 
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My dd (10) would love to shower with me if I'd let her. She still needs help washing her hair-- this is an ongoing bewilderment in our house, but that's how it is. I don't think it's unusual, but your dh might speak to the mom about encouraging them to be more independent.

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Old 11-29-2007, 02:52 AM
 
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I am not a step parent b ut I wouldnt worry about it. 8yo are still little kids IMO. I am sure her mother is not sexually abusing them in any way. My 7yo neice doesn't know how to wash her own hair very well yet either.
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Old 11-29-2007, 06:37 AM
 
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yes, i would be concerned. what is the custody split like first of all?
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Old 11-29-2007, 11:23 AM
 
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My 7 year old still needs help washing her hair sometimes.

I've known people who are comfortable showering with their children (same sex- don't know about other) at just about any age. I think it's more of a comfortable with nudity issue than a possible molestation issue, unless she says otherwise.

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Old 11-29-2007, 12:54 PM
 
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My 9 yo, 4 yo, and 2 yo shower with me. Sometimes my 9 yo showers alone, sometimes she begs to shower with me, sometimes she has to go alone because there is no room. There is nothing wrong with it.

And I'm not sure about others, but.. my 9 yo does not require privacy at all from me yet. She will happily prance about naked, and walk in on me in the bathroom. She doesn't bat an eye. She tends to be a tiny bit more modest around her step father, but not much.

9 is still pretty young IMO. All kids mature that way differently.

The same rule applies. You go by the childs comfort level. For instance, my dd came to tell me that her step mother was trying to get her to shower with her and that she was not comfortable with that. She wasn't comfortable with seeing her naked, or situations like that. It kept happening and I did have to step in and tell my ex dh and his wife that she was uncomfortable with that and they needed to respect her wishes. If she felt the same way about showering with me, I'd expect her to stop jumping in and crowding my shower.

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Old 11-29-2007, 01:20 PM
 
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momsadvice

excately WHY do you say this

Quote:
yes, i would be concerned.
I am intrested in what, in the OP, concerns you ??

Aimee

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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Old 11-29-2007, 02:19 PM
 
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I wouldn't be concerned. My 5 yr old no longer showers with me - though he tries to, He doesn't always need help washing his hair, but 9 times out of 10, he does.

If the 8 yr old doesn't have a problem with it, than why does it matter? Modesty is great and all, but an 8 yr old is still little!
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Old 11-29-2007, 02:23 PM
 
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My 8 year old and I still shower together all the time. She's the one that initiates it. She is fiercely independent in many, many respects but she still needed my help washing her hair until about a year ago. And I think she likes the company in the shower.
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Old 11-29-2007, 02:29 PM
 
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I would not be concerned about the showering with mom.

Has the 8 yr old said anything that makes you think maybe she is uncomfortable with it, but doesn't know how to approach her mom about it? If not, I would assume she is fine with it and leave it alone.
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Old 11-29-2007, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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MommaAimee....

I guess I wasn't sure if DH and I should be concerned at all...the only expirience I've had with this issue was with DD7, who at 6 really wanted to learn to shower on her own (and everything else ) and for the last 6months to a year kept expressing that she would like her privacy while she showers/goes to the bathroom/etc. NP, the only thing I helped her with was her hair up until a little while ago and now she's pretty good with it (I will say that her hair is alot shorter than the SD;s)

So, with the SD's situation, I (erronerously) thought that an 8 yr old would be well on the way to doing her own personal care, based on the situation with my own daughter. Yes, I know that it's dangerous trap to compare children, and that was my mistake.

the other thing for me is that, honestly, even if the girls were uncomfortable with showering with thier mother, I don't know that it would matter.

Example: SD8 wanted to get her hair cut. DH (not me!) took her for a trim (about 1-2inches of very split ends were taken off) and it caused a really big issue (2 weeks of phone calls and emails), because thier mom (in her words) "wants her little girls to have long hair" and she "didn't care if SD8 wanted to get her hair cut" and that stuff was her descision to make. To this day (almost 2 years later) every time I brush their hair, or make a comment (and not a passive agressive one) about how long thier hair is (a complimentary one!) they say "we're not allowed to get our hair cut". I have a feeling that SD got in trouble for the whole incident by something that she said a while back.

Also, when thier mom chose to meet, move in with, marry and move (thus changing school districts, child care and moving away from grandparents that cared for them every day) in the timeframe of 7 months she kept telling us that the girls were "perfectly fine" with it, even though their behaviour and thier words were telling us otherwise when they were at our house (my older SD really regressed, did poorly in school when she used to do wonderfully, starting having uncontrollable crying spells when she never used to, etc)


So, for me the showering kinda raised something for me because of my own expirence with DD (and growing up) and of course I know that all families are different etc, but I was just going on what I know (which is what alot of do!) and also on SD's mom's history of things. I guess it's just in the context of past expirences with the SD's mom that I thought it was odd.

And knowing that every family is different, I asked - to get another perspective, because there are many different perspectives, and I thank everyone for sharing their POV on the issue. I really try to butt out of the whole dynamic...I like my SD's alot, but having opinions on stuff is an exercise in futility - I have no real say, and DH doesn't talk to thier mom about much other than the schedule and even if he did, she doesn't care what he thinks at all. And, also, I don't want to be critical of another's parenting - heck, someone could have a field day critiquing me

The Sd's mom and I have just a very different approach - and it's hard to reconcile that in my head sometimes, and I admit I ask questions because I need a reality check.
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Old 11-30-2007, 12:50 PM
 
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as lonmg as you now feel more at ease -- that at least there are no red flags, even if it is something you disagree with, or find odd, as a fellow parent.

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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Old 11-30-2007, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Nah, no red flags.

Although I'm sure the world will have it way and DD1 will want to shower with me unitl she's 9
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Old 11-30-2007, 05:16 PM
 
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When my SS was 6, 7, and 8, he refused to wear underwear, slept naked and walked around naked a lot. Dh walks around in his boxers and I just wear bra and thong. I guess we're really comfortable with that level of nudity, whereas SS's mother is a very traditional woman and she finds it uncomfortable. She despaired that her son wouldn't wear undies; he said it was "because it chaffes down there".

Suddenly, at 9, he asked for boxers, and wouldn't let me come tuck him in unless he was under the blankets. Now he wants a full length robe like DH to walk around the apartment. I honestly think there's a point where some kids develop a need for privacy on their own. We just followed his cue and gave him what he instinctively asked for.
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Old 11-30-2007, 05:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sdm1024 View Post
Example: SD8 wanted to get her hair cut. DH (not me!) took her for a trim (about 1-2inches of very split ends were taken off) and it caused a really big issue (2 weeks of phone calls and emails), because thier mom (in her words) "wants her little girls to have long hair" and she "didn't care if SD8 wanted to get her hair cut" and that stuff was her descision to make. To this day (almost 2 years later) every time I brush their hair, or make a comment (and not a passive agressive one) about how long thier hair is (a complimentary one!) they say "we're not allowed to get our hair cut". I have a feeling that SD got in trouble for the whole incident by something that she said a while back.
Totally OT, but wanted to comment on this. Its pretty common at that age, in a blended family, for the children to get a bit passive aggressive and dramatic with things at times. Causing conflict gives them a bit of control. The "I'm not allowed to cut my hair." comments sound very much like things my 9 yo dd has said. And she doesn't say it because their father or I drill things into them, but rather because they know it will bother the person they are telling it to.

Its harmless really, and as they get older there will be more of it. You kinda have to learn what to tune out a bit and what to be concerned about.

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Old 11-30-2007, 06:34 PM
 
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DSD is barely 9, and she showers by herself but we have to turn the water on for her. She doesn't usually wash her hair at our house unless we tell her to - and I don't think little kids need to wash hair very often anyway.

At 6, she only took baths and DH would wash her hair if it needed washing (apparently I do it wrong )

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Old 11-30-2007, 06:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lisa49 View Post
No, I wouldn't be worried. Some families are very comfortable with naked bodies and I'm very supportive of that kind of openness. If it were the father, then the 8yo would be too old, but the same sex mother is fine until her own body starts to change in my book.

Lisa

I want to add that I think being comfortable with bodies/nakedness is a great way to guard against body image issues later on.
I agree word for word.
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Old 11-30-2007, 06:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Nature View Post
Totally OT, but wanted to comment on this. Its pretty common at that age, in a blended family, for the children to get a bit passive aggressive and dramatic with things at times. Causing conflict gives them a bit of control. The "I'm not allowed to cut my hair." comments sound very much like things my 9 yo dd has said. And she doesn't say it because their father or I drill things into them, but rather because they know it will bother the person they are telling it to.

Its harmless really, and as they get older there will be more of it. You kinda have to learn what to tune out a bit and what to be concerned about.
Yep I was thinking the same thing. DD#1 will tell people stuff in a very dramatic tone that is simply not true. That I know to not be true. "My daddy said x, y, z" or "my mommy does blah." *sigh*
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