Life

Ask Fiona: Should they be bathing together?

Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine offers her perspective on family dramas, emotional issues and dysfunctional relationships

Splashing about in the bath and getting clean at the same time should just be innocent fun

I was a bit surprised when my son-in-law told me that he and my granddaughter often have fun in the bath together.

She is four and is clearly very close to her father, but this seems a bit odd to me.

Am I being over anxious?

I can't help but worry that this may lead to abuse, but they all seem so happy together and my daughter dotes on her husband.

I don't want to anger or upset her by voicing concerns, but I can't help but worry.

T. Y.

FIONA SAYS: We hear so much in the media now about child abuse that I can understand your concerns.

In your email, you don't seem to think there is any kind of abuse going on, but are just concerned that the practice of them sharing a bath may lead to it.

Splashing about in the bath and getting clean at the same time should just be innocent fun and I think it's rather sad that we are forced to worry about it being sexualised.

At four, your granddaughter is a little young to be responsible for getting herself clean.

I don't think your son-in-law would have mentioned it so casually if there were anything to be concerned about.

Nonetheless, try and raise the issue with your daughter the next time bath time is mentioned.

The time will come soon enough when your granddaughter will make it clear she wants to bath by herself as children grow up so fast.

If your son-in-law tries to continue after that, it would be worrying, so if you have any further concerns, consider calling NSPCC Child Protection Helpline on 0808 800 5000.

If you have a problem you can email me, Fiona Caine, at help@askfiona.net

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