Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How old is too old...

A little while back the girls were at a play thing with lots of other children.  They were both standing there, looking in the same direction.  As I followed their gaze, I noticed a little boy hanging out.  By "hanging out", I mean he was standing there with his little boy junk dangling in the breeze for all to see.

I quickly called their names.  They came to me without hesitation and I continued to distract them until little Freddie's twig and berries were tucked safely away.

As the girls get older, I am finding myself wondering more and more often "when are they too old _____?"

A few examples for the fill in the blank section:

to be in the bathroom when I an using the facilities?  Just to clarify, I don't let them in there with me now, and haven't since they became mobile, but it's still a valid question in my opinion.
to have Papa help with bathtime? 
to have Papa help them in the bathroom, assuming they get out of diapers at some point?

to have Papa help them get dressed?

I really have no idea as to the right answer.  Do they magically become aware, at some point, of the differences between Papas and Mamas?  Any advice from mothers and fathers out there?


This Daddy said...

That is a tough set of questions. I have a 5 yr old daughter and I still help with baths, I dont like for her to bust in the bathroom when Im in there, but I try not to get all crazy and loud and defensive about it. I dont like for her to bust in on her brothers either but again, I try not to block it off like that have alien parts either. I think the older they get, they girls may get to a point where it is "Daddy get out of here" and they make the choice, could be 6 yrs old, who knows.

Rhiannon said...

this is a good question. I dont bathe with my 3 yr old boy cause he just asks too many questions and he notices privates. but when i was growing up i slept in the same bed as my dad when i would go for visits and my mom would get so upset.

Wendal said...

I found myself in the same predicament when I went to pick up my daughters (6 & 4) from a playdate. The little boy, who is a former pre-school classmate of my 6 year old was in a t-shirt and nothing else and along with his little sister (4) and my daughters were all playing in the yard like "it aint no thing". During the walk back home I waited and waited and waited for either one of them to bring it up but neither did, choosing instead to talk about all the fun they had. So I let it be, and its never been brought up ever since then, so I chose to let it be. I figured that at this point in their lives there's no need to bring it up unless one of them had asked a question about it.

I think it all depends on their individual characters and maturity level when they see something like that and if its a good time or not to explain what they've just seen.

I occasionally will help scrub them in the bath, but long since made sure they never burst in on me when I'm using the bathroom.

Phil said...

It just takes paying a little extra attention to what makes your children uncomfortable. My 5yo needs more privacy here and there, and when she does she asks for it. My 3yo just doesn't care and still does a bit of "free-spirited" running around the house.

I like having the ability to be able to use the bathroom at home privately nowadays. "Me" time.

When we're out without the wife, I just do whatever I can. They still respect my privacy and face the other way. A couple of weeks ago, however, there was a pretty graphic penis picture on the stall door. I told them to face the door and close their eyes. They didn't listen. I think they'll be okay.

We just don't freak out about naked kids. I grew up with lots of brothers and sisters, and there's a point early on where you know as a kid to cover up. When my kids have seen little boys "drop trou" in the grass, we just casually redirect them the other way and we certainly don't flip out. Boys. So uncivilized.

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

I'm hoping this subject works itself out naturally at our house. At three, our girls can handle themselves in the bathroom, although I still wipe up the majority of the time (to make sure they get fully clean, and from a time perspective). I hope they'll be self-sufficient within the next year or so, before any "uncomfortable" might begin to enter the picture.

I remember taking swim lessons as a kid (at three and four years old), and my mom had a fit that the moms of little boys had them in the girls' locker room for changing. I'm sure she didn't say it to me, but I vividly remember her talking about it (maybe on the phone to her friends?).

At this age, I try not to make a big deal out of anything...if the girls ask questions, I will answer as correctly and age-appropriately as possible...but I think my mom made too big a deal of that issue, given my age.

Helene said...

Well, I have 3 boys so my daughter has already been educated on what boy parts look like.

We try to be casual about everything when they ask questions and so far, so good.

I don't let my boys see me naked any more because they stare at my boobs and it makes me feel weird. Typical males.

My husband generally doesn't undress in front of any of the kids, esp my daughter.

Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 said...

Having B/G twins, we've worked out our different parts and that we don't touch other people's private areas, but in terms of when I shouldn't help anymore? I've heard they'll let you know. They'll tell you that they want to do it themselves or that they need privacy. The Crazies will close the door to use the bathroom if they want "privacy." Either that, or they'll scream til they're blue in the face.

I was getting into the shower the other day and Matt got very interested in my boobs...he asked to touch them. I allowed it (because another fear is raising kids who are too uptight about this crap). He giggled and asked to touch the other one and the made a comment about my tush. Then he got all whacky and said, "I just wanna touch it all" which is when I realized that in some ways, you're all alike. LOL!

And in two weeks, he'll probably go screaming into his room when I emerge naked from the shower...good times.