When to Stop Bathing With Your Children, According to Psychologists
Bathing with your child can be a wonderful bonding opportunity, with 84% of parents agreeing that it is some of the best quality time they get with their children. Some of us will always cherish the memory of bathing our kids for the very first time, watching their curious eyes and noticing how much they enjoy being in the water. Psychologists say this practice is critical for our babies’ cognitive and emotional development and that there is a time we should leave it behind.
Bathing with your kids can have several benefits.
It can be a bonding opportunity for children and parents alike, as they learn a lot by watching and copying their parents. Bathing your baby teaches them the importance of touch, and it’s another way to give them the feeling of skin-to-skin contact. It also provides a positive and calming interaction between all parties involved.
Living in this era, where our phones have become mere accessories that we’re glued to most of the time, the hands-on nature of bath time makes way for time off technology. 64% of parents said they don’t use their phones during bath time, making this event the perfect time to connect with your child.
Bathing with your children can be a great opportunity to teach them important lessons about their bodies and the world around them. Here are some things you can discuss during bath time:
- Positive body image: When children see their parents being comfortable in their own skin, it can help them develop a positive body image. Avoid making negative comments about your own body or your children’s bodies, and instead, use positive language to describe them.
- Anatomy and gender differences: Bath time is a perfect opportunity to teach your children about the different parts of the body and their physical and biological functions. You can use this time to discuss gender differences and help your children understand that everyone’s bodies are unique.
- Changes in the body: As children grow up, their bodies will undergo many changes. Bath time can be a great time to introduce this idea and help your children understand that change is a natural part of life.
- Science topics: Bath time can also be a fun way to introduce your children to science concepts. You can use toys and bubbles to spark their curiosity and teach them about things like density, buoyancy, and surface tension.
What’s the right age to stop bathing with your children?
Although there is no clear answer to this question, it’s important for parents to be aware and take cues from their children. If they start commenting or feeling uncomfortable around their parents when they are naked, then parents should stop changing or bathing in front of them. Medical experts believe that as long as nudity is within the home, not traumatic to the child, and of consent, then adults bathing with children is fine.
Dr. Beyer, a psychologist, advises parents to stop showering and bathing with their children once they start school — around the age of 5 or 6. He suggests that we can help them transition to bathing on their own by supervising them at first. This way, they can gain a sense of autonomy and learn important hygiene skills.
According to experts, this is an appropriate age to stop bathing with our kids because they need more privacy and personal space as they grow and develop. This helps them establish healthy boundaries and independence. Bathing with our children past this age may interfere with their ability to develop these skills and may even cause them discomfort.