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No Boys Allowed in Bathroom With 13-Year-Old Girl/Children Need Thank You Reminders
Q: Hello, I have a question in reference to a subject where my wife and I disagree. We have a teenage daughter, 13 years old, who has developed and grown into a young woman. How long should her 6-year-old nephew be allowed to sit in the bathroom with her, while she is taking a bath?
I feel that the boy is at a vulnerable age and should not see his aunt naked, especially while she is cleaning her privates.
A: It's hard to imagine a 13-year-old girl wanting a boy around when she bathes. By age 5, I typically recommend that there be no observation of nudity between the sexes. Even the 6-year-old boy needs privacy from his teenage aunt, although a teen girl or boy can change the diapers of preschoolers of either sex. There really isn't an exact time for the need for privacy, but as soon as the sexes are separated in school bathrooms, I considerate it time to separate them at home, as well.
It makes it easier for kids to follow the school rules if home rules are similar. Considering that there is a strong public reaction of abuse to any children's sexual touching, it's better to encourage kids to stay safe and modest. Teaching children some privacy about their sexuality does no harm, and sexual exposure does no apparent good.
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Q: I am a grandparent of three lovely children: two grandsons, one 17 and one 11, and a granddaughter, 14. My question is that we never get a thank-you card for birthday, Valentine or Christmas gifts. Should I bring this up with my grandchildren, so they learn to at least acknowledge their gifts? My daughters were taught to do this. Should I talk to their parents or just stop giving gifts?
Sometimes I feel that we really are not appreciated.
A: Although young children need thank-you note reminders, by the teen years, sometimes they learn to take responsibility for these on their own. The children of this generation have become accustomed to quantities of material possessions and sometimes assume entitlement. At least that is a frequent complaint. I hear it from parents who work very hard but they are also often very generous about giving their children almost anything. Teens are also in the habit of using technology for their communication and rarely write actual letters.
Please don't stop giving your grandchildren gifts as long as you can afford to do so. Don't sacrifice your own comforts and be sure not to give too much. I'm sure the children do appreciate the gifts and love you, too. Perhaps, you could talk to their parents about your concern without being overly dramatic about the problem. These children would benefit from some reminders to write thank-you notes, even in this age of technology. Being gracious and appreciative are qualities that enhance every person's life.
Maybe sending an e-mail message to your kids, indicating how much thank-you notes would mean to you, would be enough for them to encourage their children to learn that wonderful habit of expressing appreciation. Perhaps, the children will even learn to tell you more often that you mean so much to them.
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Dr. Sylvia B. Rimm is the director of the Family Achievement Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, a clinical professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and the author of many books on parenting. More information on raising kids is available at www.sylviarimm.com. Please send questions to: Sylvia B. Rimm on Raising Kids, P.O. Box 32, Watertown, WI 53094 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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