A mother who has banned her husband from bathing his daughters caused controversy last month when her post went viral on social media.
The outspoken Queensland mama explained her reasoning in a Facebook post, which quickly attracted the attention of news outlets across the world.
The anonymous mother wrote:
“So hubby is upset with me because I have told him that I don’t [want him to] wash our two daughters in the bath or shower. I just don’t feel comfortable for a man to do this”.
She went on to explain:
“I have said I don’t have any issues with him bathing our son as well, he’s a boy. I just believe that girls should be getting washed by their mothers and boys get the same from their fathers. It’s just got to do with the fact that mum and daughters have the same parts, same goes for men and their sons”.
Mother Bans Father From Bathing Daughter
Understandably, the woman’s husband was reportedly upset about the ban. She said: “Hubby thinks I think ill of him but it’s always been this way for me”.
The post was picked up by the Daily Mail, who shared the content without naming the mother in question. Critics were quick to criticise the ban, and many questioned what the poster expected single parents to do.
Others defended her husband, claiming she was treating him like a sex offender, simply because he wanted to play an active role as a dad.
“You have more than a few screws loose, you shouldn’t even be thinking like that, putting your partner in the same category as a child sex predator”, one commenter wrote.
Others, however, congratulated the poster on her caution. One commenter said: “I say good on her. I did the same thing when my daughter was born and that was in 1982”.
Some commenters wondered whether this blanket ban applied to nappy changes too. And one commenter pointed out there were plenty of examples of men molesting boys, and women abusing girls, so the gendered ban could be seen as arbitrary.
This is an important point because the ban only seems to apply to his daughters. The mama is more than happy to allow her husband to bathe her son, which seems to ignore the fact that boys can be abused, too.
The internet was quick to pass judgement on the anonymous poster, but it is important to remember we might not have heard the whole story.
Sometimes, survivors of sexual abuse might feel uncomfortable with the idea of anyone else bathing their children, or changing their nappies. In some cases this can even apply to the other parent.
Without having experienced this yourself, it is impossible to know how it could affect your life and the way you care for your own children.
We know in nine out of ten cases of child sexual abuse, the perpetrator is known to the child. ‘Stranger Danger’ has fallen out of favour. Now we are increasingly aware sexual predators might be much closer to home.
With this in mind, it is important to be vigilant about your child’s safety. It is also important to talk to your children about the underpants rule.
The book My Underpants Rule is a great resource for parents who are looking for a fun way to explain the rule.
The underpants rule focuses on a simple fact: your private parts should be kept private.
It’s important to open a dialogue with your kids, so they can come to you for advice if they need to. Teaching them the correct names for their body parts and teaching them about the underpants rule can help keep your children safe.
You should also, of course, be mindful of who bathes or dresses your children. But that doesn’t mean you need to ban your partner from bathing his kids; he isn’t a potential abuser simply because he is male.
What do you think?
Should parents be able to bathe their kids of the opposite sex?
As a parent, I am only too keen to have a helping hand at bath time. It’s a big yes from me.
I want my partner to be fully involved in family life. The more nappies he changes, the more bath times he does, and the more stories he reads, the better.