Grown Men Shouldn't Be Showering With Little Kids

showerheadAsk a group of parents when they stopped showering with their kids, and you're going to get answers that range from: "Wait, we have to stop?" to "OMG, I've never been naked in front of my kids, not EVER." But I've got news for former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. Ask a group of parents when they stopped letting strangers shower with their kids, and I'm willing to bet the answer will be more like: "I never started!"

Grown men don't shower with little boys. Heck, grown women don't shower with little boys. Or little girls. Not if they're not your own kid. And even then, there's an age when it all has to end.

Advertisement

This isn't just about Jerry Sandusky and the sex abuse charges against him.

If it was, if I really thought every person out there was a potential predator, I don't think I'd ever be able to leave my house. My kid would be in a bubble in her room.

More on Penn State Scandal: The Conversation Parents Need to Have After Sandusky Scandal

This is about raising a child and how to arm them for the real world. It's about Sandusky telling the world that he showered with kids who were not his own, kids who were well past the age when they still need help washing their hair, as if that's something perfectly acceptable.

There's an immense responsibility inherent in sharing your own naked body with a child. You're opening yourself up to questions, mostly innocent, based on the natural curiosity of childhood. But the way you answer could quite literally affect a child for the rest of his or her life. That's not a job I am willing to give away to someone, anyone, other than her father and me.

I'm trying to raise a child who is both unashamed of her body and aware that our bodies are our own and we all have the right to privacy.

More on Penn State Scandal: Dad's Powerful Penn State Game Protest Puts Victims in the Spotlight

I still shower with my 6-year-old daughter on increasingly rare occasions -- more because she's still having trouble getting that hair washed, and the best way to ensure it really gets clean is to hop in there every once in awhile. Her father, on the other hand, stopped quite awhile ago. We had no discussion; it just felt like it was "time." There's no magic number. For him to keep going past that point, for me to keep going much longer, feels like it goes against what we're trying to teach her about respecting her own body. Even with our own kid, whose diaper we changed, who still likes to run naked from the shower into the living room, with only a towel wrapped around her, we feel like we need to set a limit.

We know we aren't having untoward thoughts about our own kid. Which is what makes the idea of someone else being naked around her that much more disturbing. If we are uncomfortable with adult/child nudity with our OWN kid, how could a stranger possibly be comfortable being naked in front of her, with taking on the responsibility that it entails?

Are you still naked around your kids? Is there an age when you think it will end?

 

Image via stevendepolo/Flickr

Read More >