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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 daughter and 6-year-old son. They shower or bathe separately the majority of the time. However, there are times when I just want to get showers done, so I have them shower together in my larger shower.

Other times they may ask to shower/bathe together, although this is 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 bodIES.

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 is vehemently opposed to the kids continuing to shower together because they are of the opposite gender, and he thinks it is inappropriate.

My husband thinks I should defer to him 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 stop when your daughter hits puberty and starts feeling strongly about body privacy.


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But 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. the phone would ring, and my mother would have a nice chat with her folks for 30 or 40 minutes.

I found out later that my grandmother would keep a notepad by the phone and jot down topics that she wanted to cover during their conversations to make sure nothing was left out. This system worked for them for more than 20 years.

Eavesdropping Granddaughter

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

Sunday was the day I 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. It's a great opportunity for a kid to witness this loving generational dynamic.

Send questions to askamy@tribune.com or Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611.