I am divorced with 2 boys and my significant other has a girl. My boys are 11 and 7, and she is 7. What brought me here is me not understanding certain things such as, my significant other asks me to tell my 11 year old to put a shirt on because he's in front of or around his daughter.

I don't agree this is necessary. Boys go around with no shirts all the time... my significant others response, "it doesn't matter she's not your daughter."

I don't understand, please shed some light.

  • Where is this happening? I think this should be an instance of "my house, my rules". – user7953 Oct 23 '17 at 23:21
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    I would argue that telling these kids to "put a shirt on because he's around my daughter" at this age may very well cause psychological harm. It is generally accepted in society (in the West, anyway) that men can walk around shirtless in many situations (while jogging, while playing sports on a hot day, etc.). These kids could well develop a psychological hang-up around changing in a locker room, etc. and become uncomfortable with their own bodies. Not a good thing to burden them with.Additionally, 7-11 year olds of any gender shouldn't be worrying too much about this to begin with ... – AndreiROM Oct 24 '17 at 19:09

It can be appropriate in some cultures, and in others it can be inappropriate. That isn't really the issue here.

The challenge is that you and your partner have a conflict in your approach to parenting that needs to be resolved. You are both right in your own way, but until you have agreement and one approach, this conflict will continue, and will make bringing up your 3 kids consistently very difficult.

So you'll need to have an honest discussion about why your partner thinks it is not okay, and why you think it is okay, and work through the compromise position, as obviously at least one of you will need to bend a little.

In my culture all three would be quite happy topless or naked at that age, but you have to ask yourself, to make your partner happy maybe it is worthwhile to get them to wear shirts. Or perhaps your partner's approach is because of some worry, and you can allay that fear.

So communication - as ever, that's the key.

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    Any time my wife and I have differing points of view we will default to the more restrictive one until we can work it out between us. In this case: have the boys put shirts on. – NotMe Nov 7 '17 at 16:31

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