For many parents, bathing with their children is a natural part of their nighttime routine, especially if they are short on time or only have one bathroom. When children get older, though, it may be weird or abnormal to bathe with your child, and in some places, it may even be illegal.
Is it normal for a 10 year-old boy to take showers with his mother? This really depends on your individual child and his needs, but for most 10 year-old boys, bathing with their mother (or father) is not considered normal.
If you still have questions on if this is a normal thing for a 10 year-old boy to do, check out what the experts have to say about children bathing with their parents.
When Can Kids Bathe Alone?
If your children are getting older and you are wondering when you should leave them alone in the tub, you are not alone. Many parents wonder this as their child matures.
Children should be supervised in the bathtub for the first three or four years of life, and maybe even longer. Some kids want privacy in the bath as early as five or six years of age, and others ask for company until they are 10 years-old or older. While you should respect your child’s wishes for privacy, you should not put them in a situation where the could be in danger.
You should never leave a child younger than four years of age alone in a tub. You can be in another room, as long as you can see and hear your child from where you are. This will give them some privacy without leaving them alone. Even some older children are not ready to be left alone.
There is a risk of drowning for children, even older ones, who are left alone in the bathtub. This is why many experts urge parents to wait until their child is at least 8 years-old before leaving them alone in the bathtub. If you think your child is ready for a private bath before then, take precautions:
- Place a nonslip mat in the tub
- Remind your child that playing on the tub is dangerous and could get him hurt
- Remind your child not to fill the tub too much. Keep the water low to be safe
- Do not allow your child to lock the bathroom door
You should never allow children to bathe alone if they cannot completely clean themselves properly. This means they should clean all private areas, wash their hair, and rinse thoroughly. They should also be able to let the water out of the tub and get out of the bath safely. Your child’s level of maturity should be considered.
When Can Kids Shower?
While you may be able to let your child bathe alone, showering is a whole new ordeal. Most kids don’t ask about showering until they are in elementary school, and older in age, because baths can be fun. If your child is asking about showering, though, you can allow them to do so if you think they are capable.
Showering can be safer, as it can reduce the risk of drowning, but it can increase the risk of slipping and falling. If you think your child is ready to shower, remember to follow the above safety tips and to add in:
- A bath mat outside of the tub to keep the floor dry
- A shower curtain or door that works properly and show your child how to use it
- Keep a towels nearby for kids to use in case they get water in their eyes
Again, make sure your child can properly bathe and dry off, as well as turn off the water and safely exit the bathtub, before allowing them to shower or shower alone. Children should be mature enough to handle this responsibility.
Is It Normal for Parents to Shower With Their Kids?
Many parents bathe with their children, either because it is convenient or because they want to teach their kids the proper way to wash themselves. It is important to remember, though, that kids do start to notice physical differences between the sexes as early as two years of age. That means that you should be prepared to talk to your children about these things if you are going to bathe with them.
Additionally, you should remember to be safe. Kids are slippery in water, and they have a high risk of falling. Trying to catch a soaped up child while you are also wet and soapy may be difficult. That could lead to accidents.
By the time kids are five, they begin to understand what is a private act, and many start to associate nudity with privacy. That means that they may be uncomfortable with bathing with anyone, especially their parents, and their feelings should be respected. Teaching kids they have control over their bodies is a way to protect them from sexual predators, and that education begins at home.
When Should Parents Stop Bathing With Their Kids?
While your child may not be ready to bathe behind closed doors, they can still bathe without you in the bathtub with them. If your child expresses a need for privacy, that should always be respected.
If your 10 year-old son has not expressed a need for privacy, there are other factors to consider:
1. Your comfortability If you need privacy, then it’s time to shower alone.
2. Stop at a certain age. For most, stopping co-showers with their children happens when the child starts school. It is a way to show their children they are maturing and growing, and able to have more control over their own lives and bodies.
3. Stop when it becomes too hard. If showers are straining with your child, you both need more “me time” and should shower alone. 4.) While it may not be illegal to bathe with your kids, it can be considered indecent by some agencies, which can lead to investigations by the authorities.
Every parent and child is different, but showering with a 10 year-old child is what would be considered out of the “norm” based on all of these guidelines.
If your child is disabled and needs more help than those who are not, it would be natural and normal for you to be in the bathroom with them, but bathing with them could be harmful and put them in danger. If your child needs more supervision, it would be best to do it while sitting beside the bathtub, not it in with him.
Ways to Respect Your Child’s Privacy
If your child has expressed a need for privacy, it should be respected, even if you cannot allow them to be 100 percent alone in a bathtub or shower. Other than not showering with your 10 year-old son, you can give them privacy in other ways. These will be particularly important if you feel that your child is not mature enough to shower totally alone.
- Knock when entering the bathroom or your child’s room to give them time to be decent.
- Accept and encourage new freedoms. Don’t make them feel bad for wanting more privacy.
- Expect your child to inconsistent. Sometimes they will be more aware of their own bodies than others, and that is part of the growing and learning process.
- Talk to your child. Find out what they want and need from you so you can create rules together.
Keep in mind that while your child may be aware of his body, he may not be aware of yours. You are his parent, after all, and he is used to you being an emotional support over a physical being. If you find that he is not giving you the same privacy he asks for, remind him that you need privacy, too, so that you can both start to get more comfortable doing things alone.