+
upworthy
Family

Mother of four shares why she showers with her kids, sparking a debate among parents

How old is too old to bathe with children?

parenting, showering with kids, kids,
Representative Image from Canva

A mom of four sparked a debate after sharing that she still showers with her kids.

Seems like few things take up more debates than showers these days. When to do it, how often to do it, which snacks are best while doing it (yes, that last one is real).

But when you add parenting into the mix, there’s even more potential for controversy.

Take for instance, Australia-based mom of four, Bronte Towns, who recently went viral after sharing why she showers with her children, all of whom are under seven years old.

In her video’s caption, Towns explained that she was a proponent of family showering because it’s a “natural way” to teach her kids about their own bodies, as well as “bodily autonomy, personal boundaries & consent.”


For one thing, Towns says that the “safe environment” of the shared shower invites her children to ask “innocent, curious questions” they might not otherwise feel comfortable asking.

“So many questions pop up naturally when you shower together. We normalize open conversations in the shower, there’s no silly questions, nothing too awkward to ask, etc.,” she wrote.

Plus, it gives her the opportunity to “role model & monitor body hygiene practices,” along with offering a view of a normal, everyday body, rather than the “stigmatised version most of our kids see all over advertising or online,” she added.

Though Town never specified which of her children she shared showers with (a seemingly intentional move, as it was also written in her caption), some viewers shared concerns over whether or not this was age appropriate behavior, especially for her eldest son.

“Your son is way too old to be seeing you naked,” one viewer wrote.

Others seem to take umbrage with Town’s opinion, regardless of which kid she may or may not be showering with."

"Nope…totally inappropriate."

“You can have literally all these conversations without taking a shower with your kids.”

“I’m sorry but this is very strange once the child is past the age of like 3 or 4.”

“Some things are just meant to be private. No one, and I mean NO ONE outside the walls of your home needed to know this. The amount of oversharing is insane & inappropriate.”

“I’m so glad I never saw my mom naked 🤮 that would have made for a very awkward disturbing relationship. I would never ever ever want to see either of my parents naked, nor would I want my 2 daughters to see me naked. Please don’t normalize this.”

Still, others found this completely normal. Healthy, even. One person commented, “I showered with my mom growing up and was often in the same room as she changed up until I was a teen, I never had the thought of it being ‘weird’ or ‘gross’ until I saw post like these with people being judgmental in the comments, it’s so normal! and knowing what cellulite, stretch marks and sagging skin looked like at a young age made me feel so much more comfortable in my body when I started to see these things. Mom had this and she’s still beautiful and so am I!”

Another added, “My daughter is almost two and takes a shower with Dad almost every night since she was a newborn. Gives mom a break and it’s a great bonding experience. When will we stop? When our daughter wants to.”

It’s worth noting that attitudes about nudity differ among cultures. For example, it’s completely customary in Finland for families to go to the sauna together, naked. For many Finnish families, it’s a Christmas Eve tradition. In Germany, there are not only nude beaches, but nude, or “naturist,” parks. Even in Asia, where views about nudity tend to lean more conservative, Thailand has nude hotels. So it’s worth noting that being unable to separate nudity from sexuality is in some aspects purely an American characteristic, forged by centuries of puritanism.

But still, challenges of Western society aside, there are notable boundaries that parents should probably stick to. So what do the experts have to say about it?

In an interview with Fatherly, Dr. Richard Beyer, a licensed psychologist in Arcadia, California, said that the”general rule of thumb” would be when they reach school age, or around 5 or 6 years old.

Dr. Wendy Lane, a child abuse pediatrician at the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital, added that children will will most likely naturally transition, and, in the name of respecting boundaries parents “should always stop if the child asks to stop.” Basically, if they’re uncomfortable, don’t force them. Also a good general rule of thumb.

Parents may not all stand behind Towns' relaxed rules around nudity, but it’s hard not to agree that teaching kids consent, autonomy and boundaries is important.

Doctors say a lot of us are showering more than we need to.

A few times in recent years, celebrities and social media influencers alike have made waves by sharing that they don't make their kids bathe every day. For some parents, that was totally par for the course, but for others, letting a child go more than a day without bathing was seen as a travesty.

Doctors have made it clear that kids don't need to bathe daily, with some going so far as to recommend against it when they are young to protect kids' delicate skin.

But what about grownups? Most of us don't take baths regularly as adults, but what's the ideal frequency for showering?

Keep ReadingShow less

A woman on a shopping spree.

One of the interesting quirks about wealth and class in America is that many people have a hard time determining their socioeconomic status accurately. A poll published by Business Insider found that some Americans earning less than $50,000 feel rich, while others earning more than $100,000 feel poor. Nearly half of Americans earning $100,000 or more identify as middle class.

The same poll found that only 13% of millionaires believe they are wealthy and 60% define themselves as middle class.

A TikTokker named Geneviève explained how this disconnect could happen by using her girlfriend as an example. Geneviève grew up in a low-income family and her girlfriend was raised by affluent parents, with a live-in nanny and a maid. However, the girlfriend always thought she was middle class.

Keep ReadingShow less
Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

Van Gogh never got to enjoy his own historic success as an artist (even though we've been able to imagine what that moment might have looked like). But it turns out that those of us who have appreciated his work have been missing out on some critical details for more than 100 years.

I'm not easily impressed, OK?

I know Van Gogh was a genius. If the point of this were "Van Gogh was a mad genius," I would not be sharing this with you.
Keep ReadingShow less
via Casey Kelley (used with permission) and Vince Fleming/Unsplash

Casey Kelley shares her thoughts on kids in travel sports.

Parents whose children participate in elite travel ball leagues can spend up to $12,000 annually on fees, equipment, hotel rooms and gas. One mother, Casey Kelley, from Alabama, has spoken out, saying that if parents spend all of that money and time, their children should get to play in games. Kelley's daughter plays on a club volleyball team.

The topic was inspired by a conversation she had with other volleyball parents who agreed that every kid should get a decent amount of playing time.

“I’ll tell you what I think. I think, if you’re paying to be there, so it's not like high school sports, I think everyone should have the opportunity to play because this is a developmental league ... and they’re there to develop and to learn,” she explained in a TikTok video.

Keep ReadingShow less

Trans man tells beautiful story about his mom.

Being transgender is not an easy thing. No one wakes up one day and decides they want to try on the opposite gender and by the next week they've completely transitioned. Trans people often explain that they realized they were assigned the wrong gender in early childhood but didn't have the language for what was happening until they were older.

Once they've come to terms with who they are and share it with others, they can lose friends, become isolated from family members, and sometimes lose their livelihood. Coming out as transgender even in today's more culturally aware world is not for the weak because it may suddenly feel like the weight of the world is upon you while you simultaneously have dwindling support.

In one man's story, he explains that one of his biggest fears was losing his mom's love, but instead she turned into his most supportive advocate.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

People are in love with the Tooth Fairy's clever letter to a young girl with a messy room

"The state of your room prevented us from performing a midnight retrieval."

The Tooth Fairy doesn't like messy rooms.

A father from Syracuse, New York, is getting a lot of cheers (and a few jeers) for a letter he wrote on behalf of the Tooth Fairy that he gave to his 10-year-old daughter. The message? Your room needs to be cleaner for us to give you any money.

The situation started after the girl’s parents forgot to help the Tooth Fairy out.

"We had forgotten to play the part of the tooth fairy, and when she woke up in the morning, she was disappointed," the father, who wanted to remain anonymous, told Newsweek. "Since we had been trying to get her to clean her room for a long time, it provided an opportunity to learn a light-hearted lesson."

So, the dad left the young girl a note from the Tooth Fairy on her official letterhead that claimed that her agents couldn’t “retrieve” her tooth on two separate occasions because her room was too messy.

Keep ReadingShow less