Showering with daughter

SarahMarieSarahMarie Registered Users Posts: 901
How old is too old for a girl to take showers with her dad? My boyfriend's daughter is 8, going into the third grade, and can take showers on her own, but always wants someone to help her. Sometimes she still wants to play in the bath and needs help washing her hair. I remember taking showers on my own when I was her age. She can take a shower on her own, but doesn't always do the best job washing the shampoo out of her hair or wash all of her body completely. This whole issue wasn't really a problem until recently because we would always stay at his mom's when he had his daughter.

Now, she is over at the apartment every other weekend. If there is time, I can usually convince her she needs to get a shower and manage to get her in there. My boyfriend also tries, but is just not as concerned with it and sometimes I struggle to even get her in the shower in the first place (boyfriend isn't much help sometimes!). It's hard for me to help her sometimes because I am not her mom. I help her get the water started and remind her to wash everywhere and rinse off well, but she still sometimes needs more reminding or help with the rinsing. I have known her since she was in the kindergarten and 5 years old, but I feel that I should respect her privacy, and to be honest I feel uncomfortable helping her when she is naked. She is at that age where sometimes she is modest, and other times she is not.

Today, she refused to take a bath or shower. My boyfriend ended up getting in the shower with her and washing her hair and making sure she washed herself in the shower. He was wearing shorts, so he wasn't naked or anything like that. I know he was still slightly uncomfortable being with her in the shower, but we were in a hurry. Does anyone have any comments or suggestions about this situation? I know someone posted something about this a long time ago, but I couldn't find it or even remember if it was the same situation.
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Comments

  • ScarletScarlet Registered Users Posts: 3,125 Curl Neophyte
    I think eight is too old to be showering with her dad. I unfortunately don't have any ideas on how to break her out of this.
    The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics - Thomas Sowell
  • SigiSigi Registered Users Posts: 2,379
    Hmmm, I think as long as he is covered up it's not as big of a deal. But since puberty is right around the corner, maybe it is time that she start learning to take care of hygiene now instead of later.

    My son just turned 5 and I am starting to cover up around him more.
  • SarahMarieSarahMarie Registered Users Posts: 901
    Neither of us walk around uncovered in front of her. He hasn't been naked in front of her since I have been dating him at least. She is the one who is naked. He asked me just a minute ago what I thought about him getting in the shower with her today. I don't think it will happen much in the future, but like I mentioned, she is always calling out for him to come help her.
  • BefrizzledBefrizzled Registered Users Posts: 3,854
    Disclaimer: I have no children. However, I did date someone for 2 years who had a daughter who will be 10 this year. I spent a whole lot of time thinking about stuff like this, so this is purely opinion based on those experiences.

    I think a lot of it is that she just knows she can get her way. I don't know how much of it could just be attention-seeking from dad now that there's another girl in his life. But she knows if she refuses, he'll come take care of her. I think in order to remedy it, you two need to buckle down and prepare for some fits. She's old enough to know how to take care of herself. Refusing to do it shouldn't be rewarded with help, she should be punished for that. Also, maybe try to get her to shower/take a bath before bed at night so there's no struggle and give-in in the morning when you have to head out the door.
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  • mayimmayim Registered Users Posts: 2,301
    i like befrizzled's response. 2nd it for sure.

    m
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  • WileE-DeadWileE-Dead Banned Banned Users Posts: 24,963 Curl Neophyte
    mayim wrote:
    i like befrizzled's response. 2nd it for sure.

    m
    yep...

    on another note..befrizzled I didn't know you weren't w/ your bf anymore :?
  • JoyForeverJoyForever Registered Users Posts: 1,628
    I agree with Befrizzled, too.

    However, I also remember taking showers when I was around that age and having trouble with making sure I had all the shampoo out of my long hair. My mom or one of my older sisters would often, at my request, come into the bathroom when I was almost done showering, and check my hair to see if it was rinsed completely. Although I can't remember any particular instances, my dad probably did a few times, as well. They weren't actually in the shower with me, though.

    Maybe if she really does have trouble with that, as I did, he could try it that way. But I have a feeling Befrizzled is right, and even if that is part of it, there's most likely the getting-attention thing as well.
    Previously Joy4ever.
    Changed because the "number in place of a word" thing was bugging my no-longer-14-year-old self.
  • MunchyMunchy Registered Users Posts: 5,206 Curl Novice
    Yep, I think befrizzled is right. I remember having a hard time with my hair too, but my mom would often help me wash it in the sink (if I couldn't do it myself) on Sunday nights and we would braid it and leave it for the week.
  • BefrizzledBefrizzled Registered Users Posts: 3,854
    mayim wrote:
    i like befrizzled's response. 2nd it for sure.

    m
    yep...

    on another note..befrizzled I didn't know you weren't w/ your bf anymore :?

    Sorry about the guano.. We broke up about a month ago once we arrived at our road trip destination, at his parents house. We were on really good terms the next few days while I was there, in love and happier than before--we broke up because there was a lot of pressure to figure everything out right away (religion, long distance relationship, etc.) that it was just overshadowing everything good about it. So with the pressure gone and being free to just be happy if we wanted to, things were looking fine until recently. We're both miserable apart, we're not sure how to be together, and it's just a whole lot of misery. We did air our grievances the other day though, a lot on my end had to do with his daughter and the way she fit into it all, how he'd handle situations, things like that--thus the lots of thinking I've done on the issue. You can PM me if you'd like more details. I don't really talk tooooo much about it with people I know here, so I'm happy to if anyone is curious. :wink:

    ETA: Here being IRL, at home, not here on the board. :wink:
    Under construction.
  • MunchyMunchy Registered Users Posts: 5,206 Curl Novice
    Befrizzled, adjusting to being "stepmom" is VERY difficult. I hope you both have reached some kind of happiness or at least are on the road to it.
  • BefrizzledBefrizzled Registered Users Posts: 3,854
    Munchy wrote:
    Befrizzled, adjusting to being "stepmom" is VERY difficult. I hope you both have reached some kind of happiness or at least are on the road to it.

    I was extraordinarily unhappy with the way he eased me into her life. I felt there should have been discussions, first between him and her, about how I'm NOT a replacement for her mother (she would say things that clearly showed that she was worried about that), how he doesn't love her any less, asked what she thinks of me, talk to her about it, things like that. THEN, I could take her out for a walk or to the mall and talk to her about me and her, having already taken cues from him on their conversation about what her concerns were. None of this happened, and she clearly had issues with me--not me personally, but me as the new girl. I had a hard time with telling him all of this, deciding what my place was to tell him how to handle it, and the other night, he found out how much I struggled with it and said I was right.

    We're broken up now with no solid sign of getting back together, so I'm not sure any of it is my place anymore, which is a relief on one hand, sad on the other. If we do end up back together, I've learned that I need to better communicate my concerns about the situation with is daughter.
    Under construction.
  • MunchyMunchy Registered Users Posts: 5,206 Curl Novice
    In that aspect, I was very lucky to have started dating my husband when his kids were very young. They didn't have the capacity to understand what was going on, but his daughter definitely did (and still does) assert that he is her daddy when I tell him I love him in front of her. In the same respect she often claims me when she feels threatened that someone else will "take me away."
    It is such a huge decision to be part of someone with a child's life. It took a lot of effort on my part, and while I'm happy about our life, I sometimes wish that it was just us, or that my husband could experience having children for the first time with me.
    Anyway, I'm glad that you at least are able to examine your relationship and see exactly where the problems lay. That's the first step, and a hard one.
  • roseannadanaroseannadana Registered Users Posts: 5,633 Curl Connoisseur
    She is certainly old enough to bath and shower by herself. It sounds like she's just exerting a little control of the situation. I would either let her do it alone or not at all. If she is afraid of getting soap in her eyes or doesn't do a good job of rinsing, get her some swim goggles.

    I was born to be a pessimist. My blood type is B Negative.
  • medussamedussa Registered Users Posts: 12,993
    I still bathe my son and wash his privates, as well as his hair.

    I guess I'm babying him too much, according to this thread.

    He will be 8 in late July.
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Registered Users Posts: 31,259 Curl Connoisseur
    medussa wrote:
    I still bathe my son and wash his privates, as well as his hair.

    I guess I'm babying him too much, according to this thread.

    He will be 8 in late July.


    8 is far too old to have mommy washing the privates. My 7 year old boy has been taking showers all on his own for about 2 years now, and prior to that, I was only helping wash his hair. I let kids wash their own privates around age 2 or so.
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Registered Users Posts: 31,259 Curl Connoisseur
    Today, she refused to take a bath or shower. My boyfriend ended up getting in the shower with her and washing her hair and making sure she washed herself in the shower. He was wearing shorts, so he wasn't naked or anything like that. I know he was still slightly uncomfortable being with her in the shower, but we were in a hurry. Does anyone have any comments or suggestions about this situation? I know someone posted something about this a long time ago, but I couldn't find it or even remember if it was the same situation.


    It is hard for an 8 year old girl to wash her own hair, especially if it's long. My 9 year old daughter really just started doing her own hair around age 8. What really helped was changing out the shower head to a hand-held unit that could be positioned at different heights, so she is able to get the shower head closer to her head, or even use it as a hand-held, to make for easier rinsing. Suggest to your boyfriend to get a new shower head.

    I also agree that she could be using showers to get daddy-attention. It would be more appropriate if he helped her wash her hair in the sink, rather than getting in the shower with her.
  • fraufrau Registered Users Posts: 6,130 Curl Neophyte
    my daughter didn't start washing her own hair until she was in college.
  • CynaminbearCynaminbear Registered Users Posts: 4,476 Curl Connoisseur
    medussa wrote:
    I still bathe my son and wash his privates, as well as his hair.

    I guess I'm babying him too much, according to this thread.

    He will be 8 in late July.
    You're not babying him too much at all. Our society sexualizes EVERYTHING! apparently. Some kids need help longer than other kids, just as some don't need help earlier.

    As to the OP, if the daughter truly needs help, there isn't anything wrong with dad helping her out. If she's trying to control the home, that's another story. Compromise is possible, as mentioned by Joy4ever. He can stay in the bathroom and talk to her, remind her to make sure she washes X or rinses X, then check her hair for her.
    If she's trying to get more attention from him, then he needs to examine how much time he spends with her, just her. Not shared time with all 3 of you. Maybe she needs some Daddy dates to know she's important to him. As she becomes more trusting of his love for her she'll stop the attention-grabbing behavior.
    There's no such thing as global warming. Chuck Norris was cold so he turned up the sun.
  • Aries_jbAries_jb Registered Users Posts: 1,556
    Maybe her dad could help her wash her hair in the sink, then let her shower by herself and remind her to wash thoroughly?
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  • SarahMarieSarahMarie Registered Users Posts: 901
    She does love attention, but in that respect, she is just like me. :wink: I absolutely love her to death and we have gotten along great since day one. She was old enough to know that I am not trying to replace her mom, and I always encourage her dad to spend more time with her (when we're all together and when it's just the two of them). I don't think that her wanting help in the shower is for attention from dad. It may be that she just wants attention period, but she usually yells for me when she wants or needs something. I play with her in the mornings and we make breakfast together, etc.

    To her, it's not at all a problem. I don't think it's a problem yet, but she's a very intelligent girl and we're not far from a point where it definitely will be inappropriate for dad to bathe her. More than anything it was my boyfriend who was semi uncomfortable helping her in the shower this morning. As I mentioned, he doesn't usually actually get in the shower with her and I feel that this is totally fine. He does just make sure the shampoo is out of her hair and all that good stuff.

    RedCatWaves, I think having a different shower head would be wonderful and really help. Come to think of it, we had one like this when I was younger, and I know it really helped me rinse out my own hair. Unfortunately, I don't think I can convince my boyfriend to change the shower head. My sister got me this really nice shower thing for my birthday a couple of years ago and he STILL refuses to put it in the shower because he knows it just won't be as good. :roll: (He said the same thing about the featherbed which he absolutely will NOT give up for anything now!)
  • yagottaloveyacurlsyagottaloveyacurls Registered Users Posts: 5,766 Curl Connoisseur
    medussa wrote:
    I still bathe my son and wash his privates, as well as his hair.

    I guess I'm babying him too much, according to this thread.

    He will be 8 in late July.
    You're not babying him too much at all. Our society sexualizes EVERYTHING! apparently. Some kids need help longer than other kids, just as some don't need help earlier.

    Man, no kidding! :? I totally agree with your post.
    As to the OP, if the daughter truly needs help, there isn't anything wrong with dad helping her out. If she's trying to control the home, that's another story. Compromise is possible, as mentioned by Joy4ever. He can stay in the bathroom and talk to her, remind her to make sure she washes X or rinses X, then check her hair for her.
    If she's trying to get more attention from him, then he needs to examine how much time he spends with her, just her. Not shared time with all 3 of you. Maybe she needs some Daddy dates to know she's important to him. As she becomes more trusting of his love for her she'll stop the attention-grabbing behavior.

    Great advice!
  • yagottaloveyacurlsyagottaloveyacurls Registered Users Posts: 5,766 Curl Connoisseur
    SarahMarie wrote:
    I absolutely love her to death and we have gotten along great since day one. She was old enough to know that I am not trying to replace her mom, and I always encourage her dad to spend more time with her (when we're all together and when it's just the two of them).

    That is so refreshing. She's a lucky girl.. :)
  • internetchickinternetchick Registered Users Posts: 6,191
    Yeah, that's too old. When we were young we didn't clean our hair that well, so my dad would have us lay on the kitchen counter and wash our hair in the sink. He'd use the spray nozzle :lol: I don't bathe my son(he's 8 ), but early on I had him bathing himself while I directed him so that he knew how to get himself clean well before it was time for him to shower alone. My daughter is 5 and I help her with her hair, but that's it. I still wash my 3 year old.
  • gggg Registered Users Posts: 1,865
    Yeah, that's too old. When we were young we didn't clean our hair that well, so my dad would have us lay on the kitchen counter and wash our hair in the sink. He'd use the spray nozzle :lol: I don't bathe my son(he's 8 ), but early on I had him bathing himself while I directed him so that he knew how to get himself clean well before it was time for him to shower alone. My daughter is 5 and I help her with her hair, but that's it. I still wash my 3 year old.

    This is exactly how my mother washed my hair until I was about 10 years old. Once I was tall enough to bend over the sink well it was still washed in the sink. Maybe you could wash her hair separately like this. I actually didn't start taking showers until I was in college. Before that I always took baths. Maybe taking a bath instead of a shower would be easier for her.
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  • ZinniaZinnia Registered Users Posts: 7,339
    bump...

    SarahMarie,

    Is daughter now showering by herself? Did you find a solution?
    Life shrinks or expands according to one's courage. Anais Nin
  • MephistoMephisto Registered Users Posts: 555
    This isn't rocket science. At 8, if she cannot wash the shampoo out of her hair thoroughly, you send her back in until she does.

    When she repeatedly has to go back in to do it, she'll learn rather quickly and no longer need help. The frustration of repeatedly going back into the shower over and over and over will soon wear on her and she will do what is necessary to ensure she doesn't have to do it again.

    Also, there is no "refusing" to take a shower when told to get one.

    My SO had her two showering by themselves at 5. Mine took a little longer (6YO for my oldest) and I am currently working on my youngest (now 6).

    He didn't "want to do it" either, but I just told him that I'm not anymore. He knew how to wash his own body inside of 5 minutes and by the second shower is able to lather up his own hair. Here we are 4 (or so) showers in and other than figuring out how to position his hands and head so that he can rinse while getting as little water in his face as possible, we're just about there.

    This is often not recognized as another situation where the parent simply has to say "no" and not cater to the child's manipulations any longer. It works.
    The good people do is interred with their bones. Their mistakes live on forever...
  • M2LRM2LR Registered Users Posts: 8,630 Curl Connoisseur
    My son was taking showers by himself before his sister was born, and he was just over 4. It's a bit easier to rinse in a shower than it is a bath, and I agree with Meph that you just send them back in until they are done. With my son, we'd be in the same room, and I remember telling him that we needed to check before he got out to make sure all the soap was gone.

    Now, after his sister was born, they started taking baths together. He will be 5 and the only thing we really help with is washing his hair/rinsing it.

    I think that 8 is too old for this girl to have someone IN the shower with her. My other issue is that she refuses to take showers unless someone is in there with her. This girl is working it...she knows what she needs to do to get her way...that bothers me more than the showering thing does...she's 8 years old.

    Medussa, I don't think that you're "babying' your son at all.
    :rambo:
  • CurlyGina2CurlyGina2 Registered Users Posts: 1,048
    at the age of 7 and 8, my father only came in while I was in the bath for a few times that I got soap in my eyes and could not calm down to get it out. I don't think I actually took a shower until I was 10 or so.
  • curlytwirlycurlytwirly Registered Users Posts: 360
    i dont have any kids but i do think she is too old to be showering with someone...even if it has nothing to do with sexuality, she is still too old.

    when i was about her age i would shower with my cousin every once in a while (he was 5 yrs old) but i would leave my underwear on...he started asking me why i had to wear my underwear and i would sort of explain it to him and so he started wearing his underwear too so we finally stopped showering together. what i am getting at is that i was uncomfortable with it, and he began feeling like he could shower by himself so i am surprised your daughter is so dependant on someone else. i felt too old at that age to ever need help from an older person...i showered with my cousin cause i felt like he was really young and it didn't matter.
  • MephistoMephisto Registered Users Posts: 555
    It's not surprising to me. It depends on the circumstances with parenting style after a divorce. While there are bigger issues with my ex that would take forever to explain, she instills no discipline, no self-sufficiency, teaches them nothing, and makes them fearful of everything.

    Bottom line is, your children will act like babies as long as you treat them like babies. This is why my children didn't know how to tie their shoes until well after most other children do... this is why my youngest is still made to wear pull-ups while at his mothers... HE'S SIX FRIGGIN YEARS OLD (and doesn't pee the bed except on rare occasions, but she is so lazy that she'd rather have him wearing diapers than help him advance to a new, higher level of childhood)... I taught him not to drink water or juices after dinnertime - only milk, and he hasn't had an "accident" in months here with me. It's why neither of them learn how to wash themselves (sometimes even so much as wipe their own mouths) - it's alarming that an 8YO will walk around oblivious to the fact that he has food and stuff wrapped around his cheeks almost to his ears until I say, "hey, wipe your mouth correctly." They don't have to pick up after themselves (toys, clothes, clear the table) when with mom so when I get them, they have to be reminded, but they then do it. They don't dress themselves at their mothers, they do here.

    The list goes on.

    When at moms... they act like helpless babies.

    When at dads... with a little reminding, they start acting like responsible little boys. They will only do so if trained and taught to do so. That is the bottom line.
    The good people do is interred with their bones. Their mistakes live on forever...

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