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When Should I Stop Showering with My Toddler?

When Should I Stop Showering with My Toddler?

My oldest just turned four, and among other realizations with this fun age, I’ve come to find out that I’m probably getting very close to the point of needing to re-evaluate a few situations in our household. He’s becoming much more aware of his surroundings and asking more and more questions as the days go by. Watching non-age appropriate television shows with him in the room isn’t quite as doable anymore as he begins to better understand. And another dilemma I’ve come across is when should I stop allowing him to shower with me?

A few times a month, he’ll hop in the shower with me while I get washed up, despite the fact that he takes a nightly bath. It’s a good use of time, he has fun toys in there, and I don’t have to worry about rushing to get out. To some, it may come as a complete shock that I’m just now starting to think about my now four-year-old no longer being able to shower with me. I know many who have never showered with their kids for various reasons, and others who put a stop to it long before the age of four. But there may be others more in my same boat where it hasn’t needed to be re-evaluated until a little later on. Schylling Tiger Tribe Bath Stories - Pirate Schylling Tiger Tribe Bath Stories - Pirate

I’m all about having straightforward conversations with my kids. I think openness and feeling safe to ask questions are extremely important for a healthy relationship between children and parents. So during these past few months, when more questions have been asked and my son has become more aware, I’ve used these instances as teaching moments. But I think we’re to the point that it's time to begin a shift to my teaching moments into more privacy and appropriate behavior based teaching, rather than anatomy. Ultimately there is no clear answer here, just when it seems like it’s time. Each situation is different for every family and every member in each family! I remember when my mom told me I could no longer take showers with my older sister. I was devastated and so confused! The fact that I remember this probably puts me around age five, meaning she was twelve. So it makes sense that my mom would want to give my sister more privacy. But of course, for my young self, it just led to a lot of questions. So I want to be sure to keep in mind the confusion I experienced while managing changes with my own children. I don’t need to explain everything, just enough so that they understand and aren’t confused by my decisions.

I imagine, in a couple of years, this same debate will come up with my husband and daughter as she gets older and understands more too. As for same-sex co-showering, I have no idea when my cutoff will be. I doubt it has much longer of a lifespan than opposite-sex co-showering, but I guess I’ll know when that time comes, kind of the same way I got a feeling this time around. It’s funny how parenting sometimes just works that way. It’s almost never a straightforward, cut-and-dry answer; but after a lot of practice, you’re able to work out an answer that fits perfectly for your family’s needs at the time. Anyway, do what you feel is best for you and your children. And whether you’re solo or in there with a toddler or two, happy showering!

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