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I know this will likely depend on different cultures. I am looking for that input.

Both my wife and I shower with our son - not all 3 a once, but one or the other accompanies him. Someone recently expressed the feeling (not a strong conviction) that it would be more appropriate for same sex showering to extend to this age and even beyond, but that Mother/Son showering didn't seem like a good idea after 5 or 6.

I had never even considered the notion that there might be something inappropriate in such co-showering. I recall my brother and I showering with my Dad until we were old enough to remember doing so - maybe 6 or 7. It never felt weird. But I have no recollections of bathing with my mother even though I know that I did so - so it must have stopped at an earlier age.

Am I in the minority? Should Mom/son co-showering be restricted/phased out sooner than Dad/son?


I don't believe this is a duplicate of When should parents stop changing clothes in front of children? because I am trying to learn more about whether the genders involved would affect the age at which it would be inappropriate to shower together. Also, showering has a proximity and physical component that changing clothes or simply being naked doesn't.

  • Not a duplicate, but related https://parenting.stackexchange.com/questions/21617/. – Becuzz May 9 '18 at 14:21
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    I think this is very culture dependent. If everyone is comfortable there is no reason it should be an issue. If kids become more independent and self-sufficient then the need stops. – Batavia May 9 '18 at 14:24
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    Though it's not an exact duplicate, it is the same principle. – anongoodnurse May 9 '18 at 14:52
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    @anongoodnurse - in my question I am trying to learn more about whether the genders involved would affect the age at which it would be inappropriate to shower together. Also, showering has a proximity and physical component that changing clothes or simply being naked doesn't. I hope we can leave this up to get input for this. – That Idiot May 9 '18 at 15:03
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I think you're making this much more complicated than it really is.

Don't worry about showering with your children, no matter what their gender. Your children will answer your question for you by phasing out co-showering on their own once they start getting a feeling for their privacy, provided you give them the opportunity to shower alone.

For some anecdotal evidence, my boys stopped wanting to shower with mom slightly before wanting to shower with me, but the time differential was fairly small (a few months) and I'm not sure it signified anything.

Personally, I don't think gender is relevant in determining the age at which it becomes inappropriate for parents to shower with their children. People who think it matters are, in my mind, arguing from faulty premises, because they see something sexual in young children showering with their parents where there clearly isn't, and they discount the possibility of men being attracted to boys (or women to girls).

What decides it for me is whether the parents try to extend the co-showering beyond the point in time when the children would like to try doing it alone, because at that time it becomes an unwarranted invasion of and a roadblock for your child's developing sense of intimacy and privacy.

So... simply start asking your son whether he wants to shower alone or whether he'd like to do it together with (either one of) you.

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