At What Age is Bathroom Privacy ESSENTIAL?

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012 by from Mom, Myself, & I

bathroom privacy man on the toilet

Nearly any mom site or blog that you happen across in your internet surfing lifetime will include a joke, an article, a blog post, or a reference in general to the lack of privacy that mothers get in the bathroom.

Maybe pregnancy care is so invasive as a way to prepare women for the fact that their private life is about to end.  Completely.

As children grow up however, is it safe to say that the need for bathroom privacy increases?

Obviously, your 5 or 6 year old likely doesn’t mind you assisting them with a bath or with getting dressed.  And you definitely don’t want to leave them alone in the bathtub. 

But what about your 9 or 10 year old?  Many girls today begin developing at 9 or 10 years old.

In my experience raising daughters, the need for privacy in the bathroom is one that tends to develop naturally, alongside your children.  Unfortunately, even though they may not want you to burst in on them while they are in the bathroom – they will STILL burst in on you.

Does it ever become inappropriate for a child to see their parent naked?  And does this happen more quickly with opposite sex parents than it does with same sex parents?

In our home, once the girls reached a certain age they became modest around their dad.  And they quit barging in the bathroom to talk to him when he was using the toilet.  We didn’t have to make a point of teaching them to do this, it just progressed naturally.  I have also ALWAYS wanted to be sure that we didn’t treat nudity like some sort of taboo or sin in my house.  My 5 year old still walks around naked all the time, relishing in the laughs and giggles she gets from showing us her adorably pudgy butt.  But my older girls do not.

I find it funny, that I have had to teach myself to KNOCK on the door when they are in the bathroom or changing in their rooms, because their modesty has developed.  Even though I say, “It’s just me, mom,” I have to remember to respect the fact that they don’t wish for me to interrupt their privacy. 

And in return, I can finally ask that they don’t interrupt mine.                                    

For your family, what is the age where privacy becomes essential for both parents and children?  Any tips for other moms struggling with this same issue?

What do you think? At What Age is Bathroom Privacy ESSENTIAL?

Stef DanielAuthor

Stef Daniel is the 40ish year old, experienced (meaning crazy already) mother of count ‘em…4 daughters (yes, she takes prayers) who have taught her nearly E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G she needs to know about raising kids and staying sane. She hails from a small town in Georgia where she lives with her family in a red tin roofed house (w ... More

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4 comments

  1. I think every individual is going to feel differently about this. I can’t remember when we didn’t let our boys see us naked anymore. I think it was around 7 or 8. It’s funny because my oldest (19yrs) will run around with his butt showing, but my second (17yrs) has only shown his butt once. I don’t show anything. But I do walk around in the middle of the night in my underwear. I figure it’s no different than a bathing suit. As for my daughter, she’s only 9 months, so we’ll see later on how it all works with her. :)

  2. Avatar of ErinF ErinF says:

    I agree with the policy of not treating nudity as a taboo or a sin in the home; women especially get enough body-shaming in society, and I think it’s important to curb that. We were pretty open and comfortable with each other as a family growing up (though my father was a bit more modest in a house full of women), and developed our own boundaries naturally as we grew up. I think it was a very healthy approach.

  3. Avatar of Dustie Dustie says:

    What is privacy? My 5 year old boy still wants to sit on the toilet and talk while he poos and I am in the shower. My husband is a whole other story! I have no privacy.

  4. Avatar of youngmom92 youngmom92 says:

    My mother has never had a sense of at what age she or her sons should start or stop doing something. They are 12-and-a-half year old twins and still watch her getting dressed, barge in on her while she showers, ask for help in the bathtub and ask her to wipe their butt. You heard me right, they want her to wipe their butt after they use the toilet. One has autism, the other has ADD and ADHD. As you can see, they are very dependent on her and they don’t know any life skills they need when they reach the point when they can’t live with her. She was 32 when they were born. I’m not sure if her age affected their mental problems, but she acts like they don’t have any. Maybe she is lazy, maybe she doesn’t care, but she should have taught them a long time ago about privacy, manners, and other important life skills. As far as other people, I think it depends on what the parents and the children are comfortable with and how aware the children are about nudity and what’s ok/what’s not ok. I still don’t like anyone seeing me naked or barging in on me while I’m in the bathroom. If I’m not seeing the doctor for a medical reason, or it’s time for my boyfriend and I to "get close," I’m never ok with it.

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