to think that its not unusual for a 7yr old to be 'self-conscious about their body?

(31 Posts)
iProcrastinate Fri 01-Apr-16 18:36:17

To cut a long story as short as I can - DD is 7 and has recently started to become aware of her own body and nudity.

We live alone, just the two of us and have since she was a tiny baby, I have sole custody and her dad visits every few months - we don't have formal arrangements, I've always said he can visit whenever he wants, DD is happy with his visiting schedule and likes seeing him.

I've never made a fuss over nudity, never drawn attention to it when she is dressing or bathing, until a few months ago she wasn't bothered by it and would happily change/bathe infront of anyone, but recently she has decided that she would rather not be seen by people (other than me) when she is naked, I thought fair enough she is a growing girl and her privacy and feelings need respecting.

Her dad was not impressed, challenged me over it and said that when he and his fiancée visit they will be bathing her etc as they like to do that, and if she has a problem with it then it is my fault, and I have 'done something to her' to make her 'paranoid'.

AIBU to think that becoming conscious over their body is normal for a growing child? And not unusual for a 7yr old? I'm not sure if I'm more worried about his accusation or the thought that I've not handled this right and made her uncomfortable sad

Peppapogstillonaloop Fri 01-Apr-16 18:38:49

My 6 year old isn't there yet but I would have said it's probably pretty normal. The idea that he would force her to let them bathe her because they like doing it is the most alarming thing to come out of your post I thought...is he usually controlling?

SirChenjin Fri 01-Apr-16 18:38:52

As long as you're relaxed about your own body and don't project any narrow views on body image ideals then no, I think it's perfectly normal for some children to feel they want some privacy.

HPsauciness Fri 01-Apr-16 18:39:25

I have one child who is very unembarassable (not a word) and one that was self-conscious about sitting on the potty and used to shut the door! Both brought up in the same environment. Your dd is moving on in how she wants to be treated, hopefully she will feel able to speak up when you are not there.

WhenTheDragonsCame Fri 01-Apr-16 18:40:26

My DD2 is 7 and she has become more like this. Her 5 year old sister will take her clothes off anywhere but DD2 gets quite embarrassed now.

Coldtoeswarmheart Fri 01-Apr-16 18:41:31

DS is 7 and is beginning to want some privacy, particularly around the toilet. I wouldn't dream of disrespecting that. So I think she's about the right age to be able to say who sees her naked, surely?

iProcrastinate Fri 01-Apr-16 18:46:11

ExH was always a bit of a bully to me, I don't take it anymore as I'm stronger, but his usual reaction to being contradicted is to find someone to blame for it.

DD is confident and sometimes a little too outspoken and will happily tell him how she feels, but he will laugh it off. IMO he treats her younger than her age but that might just be my perception - he does act like he would rather she was a cute little baby still rather than a child with opinions.

I'm relaxed about my body around her (Id rather parts of it were smaller but who wouldn't) - at the same time I wouldn't answer the door naked lol!

Chocolatteaddict1 Fri 01-Apr-16 18:47:11

It's weird that he is insisting on bathing her. She isn't a toy for them to gawp at in the bath. I'd be concerned that he feels that he has the right to see his dd naked against her wishes. What is that teaching her? This would really fuck me off and I'd tell him to go swivel

Does he visit her at your house?

Cacofonix Fri 01-Apr-16 18:47:24

Very normal IMO. My DD who is about to be 8 has been like this for about 6 months. She is very aware about changing for swimming and only comfortable with me, DH, her younger sister and grandmothers seeing her naked. We don't make a thing about being naked - she sees me and DH in the buff. I think you need to have a chat about this with her dad.

molyholy Fri 01-Apr-16 18:48:13

Yes. Sounds about the right age. My dd, who was 7 in December, I would say within the last 2-3 months, does want privacy. Won't get undressed or dressed in front of grandad/dad/cousin. I totally respect her wishes, as does my dh (her dad) and as should everybody else.

kissmelittleass Fri 01-Apr-16 18:49:53

My dd also 7 is the same she will only get changed or be seen in the bath by me with the last few months.

mudandmayhem01 Fri 01-Apr-16 18:51:50

I haven't seen ds naked since he was 8. I have to promise not to look if he needs a towel etc whilst in the bath. My DD is 12 is still comfortable about wandering around in the nip. I respect both of their wishes.

GeorgeTheThird Fri 01-Apr-16 18:52:27

He needs to respect her wishes, not impose his own upon her.

Natsku Fri 01-Apr-16 18:55:48

Quite normal I think, my OH's little sister is 7 and she doesn't want to be seen by anyone except for her parents, for instance she wears a swimming costume when taking a shower with my DD at sleepovers.

CheeseAndOnionWalkers Fri 01-Apr-16 19:13:01

Normal- our school separates boys and girls changing from y3.

My son asks me to look away if I happen to be in the vicinity of him being nude. At 7, he was definitely changing in a different cubicle in the family changing area of swimming to me and his dad.

AppleSetsSail Fri 01-Apr-16 19:14:28

This is one area where you should unfailingly follow the child's lead. Whether it's unusual or not is hardly the point (and I don't think it is) - it's her preference so he should respect it.

rollmeover Fri 01-Apr-16 19:20:50

My 5 year old didn't want to get changed in the communal bit at swimming today and I totally respected that! (Though I was a bit sad about it!)

Like you we are fairly easy going about nudity with no hang ups so I think it's just her time. Next week she might change her mind and be happy in the communal area as well, you know what 5 year olds are like, but I am totally determined to respect any position she has on her own body.

readyforno2 Fri 01-Apr-16 19:26:34

Why would they bath a 7yo?
He needs to respect her boundaries and understand that his dd is growing up.

Picturesofmatchstickmen Fri 01-Apr-16 19:28:33

Dd2 (10) still strips off in front of DH and I and doesn't seem to care who sees her, I have to remind her to shut curtains etc, her older sister was getting changed behind closed doors at age 3. children should feel they have control over their bodies and what happens, my dgm used to say when I was a kid "don't be so silly nobody's interested in looking at what you've got" and I used to hate it, I've always respected my kids right to privacy

ijustwannadance Fri 01-Apr-16 19:29:57

Firstly, why the hell would he need to bathe a 7 year old?
Secondly, this is about him completely disrespecting his DD's feelings and wishes for privacy.
You have done nothing wrong and neither has your DD. He will do damage if he tries to force her to do something she is no longer comfortable with.

Booboostwo Fri 01-Apr-16 19:56:41

Seems perfectly normal to me on her part. Your ex's response though is deeply troubling. It is important for her to feel in control of her body. Her father wrestling that control from her may have a serious impact on her self-image and how she views sexual relationships in the future.

luckySwallow13 Fri 01-Apr-16 19:57:57

Yea but weird he insists on bathing her after you've said she wants privacy. And with his fiancé ?!? I'm sure there are other activities to partake In while spending time with his daughter .

zoomtothespoon Fri 01-Apr-16 19:59:51

Her dad doesn't have a right to see her naked, just because he likes bathing her.

She needs her privacy to be respected.

If I were you I would pack a swim suit for her to wear if he wants to bathe her- I think his reaction to that would be most telling and guide me on how to act going forward.

BombadierFritz Fri 01-Apr-16 20:04:58

How did this come up as an issue? I do agree with you, and his insistence is the disturbing part.

DrCoconut Fri 01-Apr-16 20:05:50

The fiancée thing is weird. I'm not suggesting it's particularly sinister but I wouldn't want to see someone else's child naked. And surely a 7 yo doesn't need to be bathed as such, in general at least?

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