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Avatar universal

Is it appropriate for my 10 year old daughter to be fully bathed by her father?

My daughter just told me that her father insists on bathing her from head to toe every time she visits him.  She begs him to let her do it herself and he gets mad at her and demands to do it so he can be sure she is "clean." She is developing breasts as well as pubic hair and is EXTREMELY modest and embarressed to let me see her body.  When I asked her if he has accidentaly touched her "down there" she got defensive and said "NO."  She can't look at me when I talk to her about this and she crawls into a shell and gets very quiet. Her twin brother is also showing signs of puberty and he told me their dad never bathes him.  She sleeps with her dad and her brother doesn't.  She begs me to not make her go to her dad's house because she always said there's nothing to do and she'll miss me.  Now I know why she doesn't want to go.  She doesn't want me to be mad at her dad and she doesn't want me to say anything to him cause he'll get mad.  They were supposed to go to his house tomorrow 12/28 through 1/2/07 and I refuse to let them go with him.  I have contacted Child Protective Services and Friend of the Court and wasn't given any advice/feedback/answers or opinions.  I'd like to think I am being overly protective and that nothing invasive or sick has happened to my daughter but my gut tells me otherwise.  I am bringing her in tomorrow for an examination to see if there has been any penetration.  Other than the steps I've taken, is there anything I can or should do to help and protect my children? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
19 Responses
112359 tn?1226870683
If she is capable of bathing herself and is embarrased by it then yes it would seem inappropriate for him to be bathing her. Some 10 year olds are not so developed nor self conscious and it might not be an issue for them.

If your gut is telling you there's something wrong then be sure to let the pediatrician know when you take her in. What concerns me is that while your daughter says their father insists on bathing her even though she doesn't want him to, your son says he doesn't ever bathe him even though they're the same age. That inconsistency is far more troubling to me than just the idea of a 10 year old getting bathed by her father.

I think the doctor who examines her and discusses this with you will be your best source of information on how to proceed. Obviously someone is going to have to talk to the father and you must be sure that your daughter understands she is not in trouble, she was right to tell you. She is scared he'll be angry and he probably will be, so she needs to understand that he is at fault for not respecting her bounderies and for making her feel so uncomfortable.

Be sure to document everything the kids have said on the issue and everything you do about it, and the dates. Hopefully you'll never need it, but you may find in the future that a journal about all this is extremely important. And don't lose the journal even if this particular issue gets resolved quickly, in case something else happens in the future. Good luck, I hope this is just an issue of pre-teen privacy and nothing more.
Avatar universal
As a clinical social worker who deals with issues like this on a daily basis, I think you're doing the right thing by looking into this further.  It's very unusual that he insists on bathing her, particularly if she doesn't want him to.  And it seems like she is more than capable of bathing herself anyway.  Calling child protective services was a good start, now it's up to them to investigate.  Also, taking her to a pediatrician is a good idea also, however if penetration never occured, it would be difficult to tell if she has been sexually abused simply from a physical exam.  I would reccomend taking her to see a child psychologist or clinical social worker who is used to working with children around these issues.  It may take a few sessions before anything comes out and it is also generally reccomended if your daughter speaks with the clinician alone.  I always invite parents in for the first session, after that, i find children are more liekly to open up if parents are not around for a number of reasons.  After session is over, I always invite parents back in to discuss what was talked about that day (depending on age of child).  Your pediatrician should be able to refer you to someone.
Avatar universal
My daughter is 6 years old.  She fully showers by herself.  I only help her with water temperature, and do periodic checks to make sure she has cleaned herself properly.  What does your ex say when you ask him why he physically bathes your daughter?  Reminding her to wash properly is one thing, doing it for her is another.  Also, does she want to sleep with him?  Is this a behavior she does with you at home?  I would find it very odd if she is independent at home with you, but dependent at your ex's house.  You have done the right thing by calling CPS and not forcing her to go to his house.  Try not to question whether or not you are doing the right thing.  Like you said, you have a motherly instinct, and it is telling you that something is not right.
Avatar universal
I want to hug you both!  How awful, what you have gone through.  If it makes you feel any better, you sound like a wonderful mother. You have been taken advantage of by your ex and his family.  Have you and your daughter talked to a counselor?  I highly recommend you do.  Things may come out at first that your daughter doesn't want to deal with, but it needs to come out, so she CAN deal with it.  Or do you belong to a church?  That is another option of a place to turn for guidance.  Please keep us posted as to new developments with your situation.  I will say a prayer for you and your children's safety.
173939 tn?1333221450
You are a great mother! My goodness, the picture just turned dark when I read about your ex-husband`s intrusion. If he ever reacts angry because now your daughter is not coming to his place anymore, please find a way to protect her. Wishing you best of luck.
13167 tn?1327197724
Why did you wait until your second post to mention your ex is a violent felon?

It isn't your "gut" telling you something is wrong,  its the raw facts of this story - this is SO CLEAR to me this girl is being abused.

He may not actually be having actual sex with her,  but it's totally abusive and weird to bathe a 10 year old against her wishes.  Especially is he's a violent sex offender.

Re-read your posts,  and get her out of there!!  Call a lawyer,  and get this awful situation changed,  before she is damaged further.
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