Question: I have a 2 year old daughter who loves to take showers with her Daddy. At what age does it become inappropriate for a little girl to shower with her father? Nancy
Answer: The answer is it becomes inappropriate when either Dad or child start to feel uncomfortable with the situation. Showering with Dad is perfectly all right at this age. In a few months, your daughter may begin to notice Dad has body parts that are different than hers. Be prepared to answer her questions and give the correct names of the body parts. Dad may even want to think of his response should your daughter want to touch his private parts. That will present a perfect opportunity to explain to your daughter where a person may and may not touch another person. Usually, a good answer, that explains the concept of “private” in concrete terms, is anything that is covered by a bathing suit is “private”. We do not “play with” or “tickle” another person on those places.
The time to stop showering together will always be relative to beliefs about nudity and attitudes about our bodies. Each family is different. Some people are not comfortable around nudity at any age while others don’t have a second thought about it. Some signals that things are changing are: if Dad begins to feel self conscious, if your daughter begins to show a little embarrassment, or if your daughter’s behavior becomes overly silly and preoccupied with the nudity. But as long as it seems natural and easy, it is.
Karen Deerwester, Ed.S.