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#1 of 11 Old 07-17-2002, 08:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My dd (8mo) has always bathed with either me or her daddy, recently she has become very curious about his penis. This really bothers dh, he is getting leery of even bathing with dd anymore.

The real problem is sexual molestation runs deeply on both sides of our family. I was molested by my step-dad, my mom was molested by her dad. My FIL is in prison for trying to rape his daughter, and my dh was molested by a cousin. Just to scratch the surface.

Anyway, dh doesn't want anyone to think anything funny is going on. We don't even talk about this with his family, my mom is cool with it and thinks it is wonderful that he is willing to bathe with our dd. I want to make it clear that I am in no way worried about dh's relationship with dd....it is pure, nothing else I don't want dh to get too embarrassed and stop having that time with his baby. What should I tell him?

Are there other dads out there that bathe with their kids (daughters in peticular), how do you deal with questions? BTW: my dd is also very curious about my pubic area too, I just move her hand away and tell her that is mommy's private parts....she is so young I know she doesn't understand, but it's a start


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#2 of 11 Old 07-17-2002, 08:40 PM
 
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We 3 bathe together. We don't share that with the world. Dd's parents figured out I get into the tub with her but not more...anyway, Dd shows interest in his penis, but no more than in the little blue dolphin water toy. He stays real casual and actually, she makes much less of a fuss over his penis than the dolphin.

Yes she has also discovered my privates. The first time I put on a skirt for summer, she pulled it up and started grabbing, standing, and sticking her face real close. I wanted her to learn she shouldn't just do that but didn't want to act like she'd found anything bad.

I said that Mommy wears underpants instead of a diaper, and some day you will too, and moved. Another time she caught me with nothing on. I made no sudden moves but again, casually, moved her away.
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#3 of 11 Old 07-17-2002, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your comment...I would love it if we all 3 could fit in the tub....but my dh and I are just too fat for that So we take turns......

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#4 of 11 Old 07-17-2002, 08:58 PM
 
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my dd & dh have bathed togther since birth & still do (she's 4 yrs.) she was curious about his penis as well as my own private area. we don't make an issue of it just explain. dad's a boy & has a penis and your a girl who has a vagina like mama. we walk around naked in front of her too. i8'm really trying to let her know bodies are bodies & to help her feel comfortable w/ her own. hope this is making sense. she was always curious & it doesn't even faze her now. when she tries to touch i let her know she needs to ask & that it's my body. me & my dh were never molested & it, as far as i know, doesn't have a history in our family. i am sure this is very challenging for you both. i think if you don't make a big deal out of it and act like its very natural to be naked & bath togethrer she'll see it as normal. but do expect questions from her and curious hands. i'm not an expert at all this is just my opinion & experience. i just really want my daughter to be comfortable & confident w/ her own body & to know that all bodies are different. good luck& follow your instincts!! -katie-
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#5 of 11 Old 07-17-2002, 08:59 PM
 
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When our dd was little she also bathed sometimes with her dad. Mostly I think it was showers though (more popular in our house). I think he may have been a little worried also in the back of his mind. But, I didn't run around telling people (not that there was anything to hide, but I didn't see what purpose it would serve) and I was very matter of fact about it.

She did express some curiousity about how our bodies are different from hers but there is nothing sexual about that.
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#6 of 11 Old 07-17-2002, 09:56 PM
 
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I am sympathetic for your dh. My dh never showers or bathes with ds because he just doesn't feel comfortable, although ds sees him dressing and has started pointing and asking questions (ds is 2-1/2yo). I shower with ds and he has never yet showed any curiosity about my privates (although he points and laughs at my breasts ).

While I think shared baths and casual nudity in the family are quite healthy, some people prefer more modesty. If your dh wants more separation for his own comfort or peace of mind, I have heard of dads who wear swim trunks in the bath with their dd's. If dd finds the change fascinating, you can start to talk about how sometimes people feel private about their bodies and like to keep parts of them covered. Or you can just say, we're trying something new! Aren't those cool trunks dad has?

HTH
-Sue
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#7 of 11 Old 07-17-2002, 11:58 PM
 
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I just wanted to say, the value of nudity aside, your dh should do what he feels comfortable with. With that kind of family history, I can totally understand if he'd rather wear trunks or spend special close time with her in other ways. There are lots of ways to be close like that aside from being naked in the tub. Do what feels right, so the moment can be enjoyed for what it is, daddy-daughter special time together.
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#8 of 11 Old 07-18-2002, 11:56 AM
 
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We're very comfortable with our bodies, and as a result, so is our daughter. As far as she is concerned, a penis or vulva is no more interesting than a foot or an elbow. I think that when adults react uncomfortably, though, that is interpreted by children, whether it's someone who never undresses in front of anyone and is uncomfortable being seen naked, or someone who is uncomfortable answering a child's questions. Sometimes (almost always?) it is not what you say, but the manner in which you say it.

Children usually develop a sense of modesty around 6 or so, but until then, they're all curious and our responses and reactions inform them both factually and emotionally. Is the bathroom door left open and your child wanders in-and-out freely while you shower and bathe, or do you close the door and grab a towel and shreik when she walks in? What messages do these things send about your bodies and hers? Do you respond matter-of-factly to questions or do you get flustered and evasive?

If it makes your partner very uncomfortable and anxious, then he should stop. Better to avoid the situation (for now) than to unintentionally telegraph his discomfort to her. Just curiously, if she were a boy would he feel this way?

OTOH, I know that there are many women who were abused as children and struggled with the decision to breastfeed, ultimately coming to the conclusion that they would not allow the abuser to effect their children as well.

Not feeling too coherent today. Those are my random thoughts for now!
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#9 of 11 Old 07-18-2002, 03:09 PM
 
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Dh and I take turns taking baths with ds, he is almost 3. Ds is curious about the fact that I have no penis, and continues to ask where it is : Anyway...he shows interest in our bodies, because he's checkin' out the world. We talk about how mommy's a girl and has a vagina, he and daddy are boys and have penis' and from there ds starts to name his playmates; who's a girl and has a vagina, who's a boy and has a penis.
I wanted to respond because you're dd is ONLY 8 months old, she is enjoying a warm bath, feeling comfortable with her daddy, checkin' out her safe, secure world. I agree with other posts that dh should do what he feels comfortable with; bath, no bath, trunks, no trunks, and the rest of the world does not need to know what your lovely family is doing.
IMHO
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#10 of 11 Old 07-18-2002, 03:57 PM
 
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We always had "bath time with Daddy" for dd. When she was 18 months or so she became intrigued with his penis, reaching for etc. But like it was said above, she was no more interested in that then other bath toys. Dh, who is super modest, wasn't totally comfortable with her grabbing, so now (she's 3.5 now) he sits right next to the tub and plays with her. Or dd loves to play swimming pool and they both throw on their suits and get in. I believe that dh needs to do what he is comfortable with. There is no history, to my knowledge, of sexual abuse on either of our sides, but I don't want to make dh bath naked with dd if he isn't comfortable just to prove my point of the joy of nudity (dh and I are total polar opposites). To each thier own.
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#11 of 11 Old 07-18-2002, 10:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all so much....there are a lot of good thoughts here and I really appriciate them. Dh and I will talk about this again, I will have him read all the posts, then make his own decision.

I guess the ironic thing is that there was a lot of nudity going on in my house when I was very young...my mom was very much into the "naturalist" lifestyle (although she was clothed more than not) and she was with a man who was very much like that. At that time nothing was sexual about it. Then her and that man broke up and she got together with Randy, whom she married and he was the one who molested me. We were never nude around him, I had grown into my own sense of modesty at that time.

My dh's family is "not like that", it seems like everything is taboo in their family...

It just makes me so mad that in our society we worry more about what other people think than what is good for our own family/children.

I am so glad to have the support of a wonderful group of mammas/pappas like you all..

Thank you so much!

Rachel
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