Newest Members
susanhepp, Breathe, georgetwo, frozen45, lilac
12291 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
Guillermo (37), illbedat (26), Mike58 (56), Mnovit (38), Mongo (24), pwdasw (64), Raymond Sean (38), yesac76 (38)
Who's Online
1 registered (1 invisible), 19 Guests and 3 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12291 Members
73 Forums
63229 Topics
442156 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#389420 - 03/15/12 10:11 PM bathing boundaries?
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3322
Loc: somewhere in Africa
What are the appropriate boundaries?
I need some help with understanding this… at what age or stage of development should parents stop bathing their children?

I don’t know if I’ve ever been aware of a discussion about this but just seem to sense that at some point in my childhood some lines were crossed. I know I was very careful to excuse myself from both my daughters’ and son’s bath times well before they entered puberty. I think they must have been no more than 8-9 at the time.

But when I was a boy, I remember being bathed with a brother. First with my next younger brother who was not quite 3 years younger. Then later with a baby brother. That means I must have been at least 10 ½ or maybe as old as 11 or 12 1/2. And I know that I was an “early bloomer” that looked pretty fully mature by the age of 11… so that leads me to believe that it was probably past the time that my parents should have had a “hands-off” policy. And of course this was well after the step-father started messing with me at 5 ½ and right in the thick of the bullying and abuse at middle school and scouts.

I remember the baby’s tiny slippery body between my legs and being told to hold him securely so he wouldn’t slide down in the water. And it felt weird – like nothing I’d ever remembered. And the water wasn’t deep enough to cover me up... And I can’t remember if anything else happened more than them being in the same room and seeing me but I know I was embarrassed and now my panic symptoms start to kick in when I think about it. I’m guessing that I probably got an erection and was yelled at and punished for that… (actually, I’m pretty sure that’s what happened!)

I am pretty sure that I never touched any of my little brothers inappropriately but that may have been what it looked like at that time... I was way too scared and guilt-ridden to have done anything of my own volition. I know that by the time we moved when I was 13, the parents were out of the picture when it came to my bathing – but I don’t remember if I kicked up a fuss or they just backed down on their own… but major emotional conflict about it!

lee

_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


Top
#389423 - 03/15/12 11:12 PM Re: bathing boundaries? [Re: traveler]
Avery46 Offline


Registered: 09/23/10
Posts: 1243
Loc: USA
Lee,

I took lots of courage to write what you wrote. I believe millions of men experienced what you wrote about.

I was the oldest so, I experienced this as well. I was the main caregiver for my own children and any contact with them sexually was very "odd" which I believe is ok. I think the "oddness" was a good thing - a feeling that I paid attention to. This "odd" feeling, I believe is our natural God given sense to be careful.

I believe parents need to be parents for all of their children and NOT have their older children take care of the younger children. I believe this makes for messy boundaries.

I am not sure there is an exact "age" for stopping bathing but, age 8 is a good marker.

Anyway, I relate to what your saying.

Peace,
Avery

_________________________
aka DJsport

Top
#389425 - 03/15/12 11:33 PM Re: bathing boundaries? [Re: traveler]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3601
Loc: South-East Europe
Hey Lee,
probably age 8-9 is right as you've already stated. We as children used to talk that time for self bathing begins at latest since first glimpse of body hair. I as kid used to bath sometimes together with brother and with sister too, and we enjoy it. But around 6 or 7 we as kids didn't want to be bathed anymore by our parents not because of some shame but more because we like to felt in-dependable and capable of doing it on our own. And my parents didn't cross the line and they let us free. They supported us and talked to us openly about our bodies without any shame, and we were always comfortable. Actually mum was extremely warm person and she did that almost by herself.
For me it is more question of developing mutual understanding and support than artificially making boundaries. For example when I've had very aching erection at 7 and I was confused I talked to mum and I've felt comfortable to ask her for help and she would explained me what happened.
Till today I've felt that my dad was too absent in teaching us let say important things and I would never asked him same thing as kid because he seems always uncomfortable...

_________________________
My story

Top
#389426 - 03/15/12 11:45 PM Re: bathing boundaries? [Re: traveler]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6819
Loc: USA
Lee,

I remember that my mother still bathed me for a couple of weeks after the terribly abusive experience in the scout camp. I was 12. She called my penis "Your thing" or "IT". I guess the word "penis" was dirty. After the terrible abuse, she told me that IT was blue. She wondered why IT was blue*. I told her I didn't know. I had experienced some terrible things. I was shocked and I guess she was too. That was the last time she ever bathed me. Of course she didn't know anything about what had happened.

Anyway, IT worked well enough to be married and have 2 kids. IT didn't remain blue.

It wasn't until 2 years after the bathing incident that I experienced puberty. She had some very wrong ideas about my sexuality. She said: "You'll be my boy until IT gets down to your knees". I have to admit that IT's still not there. frown By her definition I would still be "her boy". Perhaps she was referring to my height at that time. I was probably 5 feet tall. come to think of it, IT's still a good way off.

Isn't it astonishing how parents can be so blind?

Puffer

* In retrospect it seems that temporary blueness in an organ might have been an indication that I endured some stuff that had temporarily cut off circulation to my "thing".






Edited by pufferfish (03/15/12 11:50 PM)

Top
#389468 - 03/16/12 09:50 AM Re: bathing boundaries? [Re: pufferfish]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3322
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Yeah, Allen,
i am constantly amazed at how determinedly blind some parents can be. that was my mom. step-father, on the other hand, probly knew why i was primed to respond - and had to blame it on me being a little queer pervert so as not to let mom in on his little secret - which i am beginning to think he even kept secret from himself...

i read your story and can't even imagine how you could grow up, marry and have kids after that... Isn't it astonishing how resilient some kids/survivors can be? Glad you made it!
and thanks for the reply,
lee

_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


Top
#389469 - 03/16/12 09:52 AM Re: bathing boundaries? [Re: traveler]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2572
We stopped bathing our kids as soon as they were old enough to do it themselves.

Prime example, my daughter is 4. She's now able to do most of it herself. Sure not as thorough as us, but we let her do as much for herself as we can now. Same with my son. He's been bathing and showering himself since about 4 or 5.


Top
#389494 - 03/16/12 01:30 PM Re: bathing boundaries? [Re: JustScott]
lapchinj Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/07/11
Posts: 1170
Loc: New York
Peace,Rainbows & Healing


Edited by lapchinj (03/16/13 05:14 PM)
_________________________

Stick around, It will get better....

Top
#389567 - 03/17/12 06:17 AM Re: bathing boundaries? [Re: lapchinj]
mike13 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/02/11
Posts: 419
Loc: California USA
I like how you put that Jeff, let your wife ask LOL. Much safer that way. Congrads on being a great father Mike


Top
#389627 - 03/17/12 09:35 PM Re: bathing boundaries? [Re: mike13]
Anomalous Offline
Greeter Coordinator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 03/07/10
Posts: 1341
Hi Lee,

I am sorry to hear that your boundaries were violated in that way.

Kids typically prefer to start bathing wihtout any parent intervention somewhere between 6-9. Usually by age nine, kids do not want their parents in the bathroom, even for a "safety check." They prefer just a knock on the door and a brief "are you ok?"

To have a parent force you to bathe wiht your younger sibling and then punish you for something that was not under your control (erection) is heinous. It sends many mixed messages and has the potential to cause you to be afraid of your own body or, worse, to be afraid around your younger sibling.

YOU DID NOTHING WRONG!!!!!!!

I hope you know that you did nothing wrong and that you were not interested in your younger sibling.

But your parents were very wrong for not only putting you in that position, but for yelling at you and for punishing you.


Be gentle and kind to yourself.




Anomalous

_________________________
Acceptance on someone else's terms is worse than rejection.

Top
#389634 - 03/17/12 11:13 PM Re: bathing boundaries? [Re: Anomalous]
lapchinj Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/07/11
Posts: 1170
Loc: New York
Peace,Rainbows & Healing


Edited by lapchinj (03/16/13 05:14 PM)
_________________________

Stick around, It will get better....

Top
#389680 - 03/18/12 09:14 AM Re: bathing boundaries? [Re: traveler]
TheTwoOfUs Offline


Registered: 11/03/11
Posts: 149
Loc: USA
Hi Traveler,

I'm usually VERY leery about posting within the CSA parts of the forums here, so I will address this post strictly as a parent (I have five children myself), and see if the answer helps your question/understanding any.

My first one was 'cut loose' to bathe himself when he was about seven. At about age 5 he was safe enough in a bath tub that we could run the water, let him get in it, and supervise only from a distance. Meaning neither me or my wife needed to be in the room with him every second - he was able to take the (already soaped up washcloth we gave him) and wash himself over. Sure, not a completely thorough wash - but he was doing it himself, with only verbal cues and reminders to remember to wash his neck or under his arms.

He would call for us when he was ready to have his hair washed. He was afraid of anything going in his eyes, so you can imagine things like washing hair at 5 with that fear, he would seek mom and dad's safety for.

By age 6 he had learned how to turn the tap on in the tub enough to lean his head back for the hair washing and we took on an even more 'distant supervision' role - mainly just wandering past the door once every few minutes to make sure he didn't turn the water on and let the tub fill too much. (He once decided he was going to make it a swimming pool. We had water all over the upstairs...)

He started doing showers instead of baths by the time he was 7. This was about when he figured out dad did showers, not bath tub baths. He asked once why the water never turned off if I went in to bathe, mom explained the difference between shower and bath, and H--- decided he wanted to try it like a 'big boy'.

We cut him loose completely at that point. So, age 7. My second eldest was completely cut loose by age 6. The next two were cut loose all between 6 and 7 as well. My youngest is 7, and has been bathing on her own for just about a year as well.

I would say on average anywhere from age 6 to age 8 is a reasonable period in which the children can become bathing independant. Eleven, twelve years old is completely inappropriate!

Here's what I would tell you - as a parent - in summary :

1.) If the child is acting nervous/uneasy/self conscious about you being present during their bathing, it's probably time to try them on their own and see if they can do it.

2.) If the child is asking/telling you repeatedly, over and over and over, that they can do it themselves - they probably can, and it's time to try them on their own.

3.) If the child appears to be getting mostly independant with skin washing while being bathed, it's time to try them on their own with it.

I hope this helps.

_________________________
Matthew

Adapt. Overcome. Survive.

Top
#389686 - 03/18/12 11:01 AM Re: bathing boundaries? [Re: TheTwoOfUs]
lapchinj Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/07/11
Posts: 1170
Loc: New York
Peace,Rainbows & Healing


Edited by lapchinj (03/16/13 05:15 PM)
_________________________

Stick around, It will get better....

Top
#389693 - 03/18/12 11:34 AM Re: bathing boundaries? [Re: lapchinj]
TheTwoOfUs Offline


Registered: 11/03/11
Posts: 149
Loc: USA
My wife and I operated a little differently. When the children were infants and small toddlers (1-3yrs old), we both took turns bathing them. But as I said, I have 5, we don't have a couple kids, we have a litter. =)

Anyway. Once the children reached an age where they were starting to recognize that there's differences between boys and girls (my middle girl used to complain that she didn't have a 'firehose' and would ask if 'mommy's belly forgot to give her one' - cute, but it demonstrates the age-appropriateness of what i'm talking about)--

Anyhow. Once they started to realize there were physical differences between girls and boys, at that point, we split them up. Mom handled the girl's bathing, and Dad handled the boys' bathing, until they got to the point of distant supervision, which only required an occassinoal walk-by to ensure no flooding, drowning, etc. After that it's just a matter of time until the kids are able to go it completely solo.

I will say that in my childhood (remember that I had two wonderful parents that I am immensely grateful for) - we never did the sibling-bathing. I am one of four children myself, but we were never bathed together, even when really young.

Along that vein - my mate and I never allowed that with our own children, either.

I am not saying it is 'wrong'. I do know some families who do bathe their same-gendered children together when very young. But for myself and my wife, we just felt it wasn't right for us to do, so we didn't do it.

Sometimes the best thing you can do when trying to tell if a child is 'ready' for something or not, is to listen to your gut, and that can be tricky. Sometimes the gut feeling is just a small twinge, other times it's a bellowing drill sergeant 1mm away from your face.

But try to listen to your gut as much as possible. USUALLY, it is right. Remember that all animals have some natural instincts into rearing their young - fathers as well as mothers - and while every set of parents might rear their young differently - so long as you pay attention to your children's responses, activities, and your gut... the combination SHOULD be okay.

And when in doubt about something - ask around with other parents. =) Kids certainly don't come with field manuals! It's a sink or swim thing until you get the hang of it. And there's certainly no shame in asking other parents' opinions if you're unsure about something. I did a lot of that when my kids were real little.. It helped, I learned quite a few tactics and tips that I would never have come up with on my own.

But yes, as far as the bathing - watch the kids - and go with the flow. When they start getting nervous/self-conscious about having a parent fully participating in their bathing, it usually means they're starting to recognize that they have private parts that aren't meant for public display.. and that's a pretty good time to test them out on self-bathing with distant supervision and then graduate them up to completely independant bathing if they do well.

And if they don't do well with the first try - assist a little - and then try them out again about a week or two later. Eventually they'll pick it up and be ready to go on their own from start to finish.

As far as being scared of children... I wish, I wish I had a magic answer that would help you with that. But all I can tell you is that your children love their mom and dad, and they are always, ALWAYS looking for signs that you love them and appreciate them and approve of them in return.

They nurse on milk as infants. When they reach toddler-hood, they nurse on mom and dad's signs of love and affection. I can certainly understand that there may be fear of them if you've never had a good example of how to handle them/raise them/etc.

But just try to remember, that especially when they're very young - their mom and dad hang the moon and turn the stars on in the sky for them. You are their whole world. Their sun rises and falls on mom and dad's love and approval.

I don't know if that helps any, and I apologize for carrying on. But I hope it does.

_________________________
Matthew

Adapt. Overcome. Survive.

Top
#389724 - 03/18/12 07:35 PM Re: bathing boundaries? [Re: TheTwoOfUs]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3322
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Thanks , everyone....
I guess my fam was more screwed up than even i used to think. Sounds like i did ok with my own kids, tho.
Anomalous - i needed to hear that - again!
lee

_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


Top
#389748 - 03/19/12 12:09 AM Re: bathing boundaries? [Re: TheTwoOfUs]
lapchinj Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/07/11
Posts: 1170
Loc: New York
Peace,Rainbows & Healing


Edited by lapchinj (03/16/13 05:15 PM)
_________________________

Stick around, It will get better....

Top
#391084 - 03/27/12 10:47 PM Re: bathing boundaries? [Re: traveler]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3322
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Originally Posted By: traveler
I am pretty sure that I never touched any of my little brothers inappropriately but that may have been what it looked like at that time... I was way too scared and guilt-ridden to have done anything of my own volition.


Last week i told this story to my T and was having a hard time getting it out - but when i got to the part in the above quote - i totally lost it!

Then i realized that i had been harboring that fear - that I had molested one or more of my younger brothers and it completely devastated me to think that it might have happened. i couldn't stand the thought that i might have become what i most detested and feared and hated. when i wrote this i was starting to consider that possibility but when i said the words out loud it hit me like a tidal wave of fear, guilt, anguish and self-loathing. I mean, there were so many things that i didn't remember until just recently. how do i know what i did or didn't do? I can't be sure. it's that "vampire myth" thing that you hear so often. I JUST DON"T KNOW!

It took a while to get back in control enuf to even speak. there is no proof either way.

BUT - i have come to the conclusion that the extremity of the fear and revulsion i felt is an indication that i DIDN"T do anything.

AND that the guilt i was feeling is part of that FALSE guilt that i am so prone to assume.

I KNOW my SELF - and i am not capable of doing that.

I believe in myself - that i would not just have refrained from molesting someone else ONLY out of fear or my inability to take independent action, as i said above. I believe that i did right and not wrong because i knew even then how hurtful the wrong things done to me were.

I believe that i was a stronger and a better person than the abusers even back then. AND I STILL AM A BETTER AND STRONGER PERSON THAN THEM EVEN TODAY!

Prevailing,
Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


Top
#391152 - 03/28/12 07:14 AM Re: bathing boundaries? [Re: traveler]
mike13 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/02/11
Posts: 419
Loc: California USA
Lee I am so proud of you for having the courage to face this. I could only guess just how many of us are delaying our recoveries becasue of fear. You took a major step in your recovery give yourself a great big hug. Way to go Lee!!!!! Mike

Top
#391164 - 03/28/12 09:44 AM Re: bathing boundaries? [Re: mike13]
lapchinj Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/07/11
Posts: 1170
Loc: New York
Peace,Rainbows & Healing


Edited by lapchinj (03/16/13 05:15 PM)
_________________________

Stick around, It will get better....

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >


Moderator:  ModTeam, TJ jeff 

I agree that my access and use of the MaleSurvivor discussion forums and chat room is subject to the terms of this Agreement. AND the sole discretion of MaleSurvivor.
I agree that my use of MaleSurvivor resources are AT-WILL, and that my posting privileges may be terminated at any time, and for any reason by MaleSurvivor.