Ask Amy: Should siblings bathe together?

FresnoApril 26, 2014 

Dear Amy: Is there a particular age that a child should stop showering with a sibling of the opposite sex? I have a 9-year-old girl and 6-year-old boy. The majority of the time, probably 85% to 90%, they shower or bathe separately. However, there are times when I just want to get showers done and I have them shower together in my larger shower.

Other times they may ask to shower/bathe together, although this is probably only every few months. When together, they tend to just act silly or play with random bath toys while shampooing and washing up. They don't grab at each other, nor do they talk about their body parts.

My thought is that showering together will just naturally stop, most likely when my daughter hits puberty or when she feels her body is changing. My husband, however, is vehemently opposed to the kids continuing to shower together.

My husband thinks I should defer to him on this issue.

What do you think?

— Tired mom

Dear Mom: My instinct about showering/bathing is aligned with yours: It will naturally stop when your daughter hits puberty and starts feeling strongly about body privacy.

However, I agree with your husband that because this is important to him, you should defer to him.

He has instincts, too, and they should be respected. After all, he is the only person in the room who used to be a little boy.

Dear Amy: I'm responding to "Carpool Mom," whose 14-year-old son's childhood friend now seems to ignore him during their carpool rides to school.

This was so familiar for me. I met my best friend in third grade. She was new to school; our teacher got us together, and we were inseparable for about four years.

Once we were in junior high, she wanted to be different from me. She wanted to start smoking and hung out with a different crowd.

We carpooled for about the first half of the year but then decided to get to school on our own.

— Former carpool kid

Dear Former: It can be quite painful for a parent to watch her child be ignored or treated badly by a friend, but childhood friendships do have a natural course and they do break down, often when kids reach middle school age.

 

You can contact Amy Dickinson via email at askamy@tribune.com, follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.

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