Couple disagrees on kids bathing together

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Ask Amy Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist. ...

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, they shower or bathe separately. However, there are times when I just want to get showers done and I have them shower together. 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 because he thinks it is inappropriate. My husband thinks I should defer to him on this issue since it is important to him, but I am having a hard time seeing his side of things. 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 have another suggestion for the granddaughter of "Too Much Contact," who is bothered by her parents' daily phone calls. Back in the olden days of the 1980s and '90s, my mother would speak to her parents at a set day and time each week. Every Sunday evening at 9 p.m. (after we kids were in bed), the phone would ring, and my mother would have a nice long chat with her folks for 30 or 40 minutes. This system worked for them for more than 20 years.

-- Eavesdropping Granddaughter

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DEAR EAVESDROPPING: Scheduling calls is a great idea because everyone involved can count on it.

Sunday was the day I always spoke with my mother. We talked at other times, too, but I hold special memories of our Sunday calls because they were long, lingering and meandered from topic to topic.

I also love the image of a young girl eavesdropping on her mother's chats with her own parents. I think it's a great opportunity for a kid to witness this loving generational dynamic.

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