I hear the fear in his cry as soon as I turn the water on. He’s terrified of taking a bath or shower. He’s never liked it since the day he was born. He loves swimming in the pool, splashing around at the waterpark, but the bathtub is off limits in his mind.
I get him undressed and let him sit next to the tub while I hop in to show him that it’s okay. Slowly but surely he let’s me take him into the bathtub with me. It takes a while, but by holding him close to my chest, he is comforted and calmed. He lets me wash his body and slowly let the water fall down his back.
He’s nearly two years old now and he still can only bathe if I am with him. I’m his comfort and it’s a special time for us. We splash around, play with toys, and with each bath, he gets more and more comfortable in the water.
On some days my two daughters join in and we bathe as a family. We laugh together and tell stories about our day. This is natural to us. This is our normal — and there’s nothing wrong with it. We’ve always been a very open family. I’ll get dressed in front of my children, go to the bathroom in front of them, breastfeed in front of them, and not once have they thought anything of it. Of course they’ve asked about different body parts and I’ve told them the correct term for each. We’ve had conversations about how we keep our hands to ourselves and how our bodies belong to ourselves.
In a society that wants to sexualize everything that we do, it’s time that we teach our children that not everything in life is meant to be sexual. It’s a fine line, but I believe the more open we are with our children about our bodies, the better off they are trying to decipher when they need to protect themselves and their bodies.
Do you shower with your children?
Uh oh! Please try again later.