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#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.

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

Registered: 06/07/11
Posts: 1169
Loc: New York
Peace,Rainbows & Healing


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

Stick around, It will get better....

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#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.

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#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


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

Registered: 06/07/11
Posts: 1169
Loc: New York
Peace,Rainbows & Healing


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

Stick around, It will get better....

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#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


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#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

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

Registered: 06/07/11
Posts: 1169
Loc: New York
Peace,Rainbows & Healing


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

Stick around, It will get better....

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