Care and Feeding

I’m Very Creeped Out by What My Preteen Grandchildren Still Do Together

Their parents think this is all fine.

Two children sit in a bathtub, and one blows bubbles at the other.
Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by coscaron/iStock/Getty Images Plus.

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Dear Care and Feeding,

My granddaughter is 12-years-old and my grandson is 9-years-old.

They have slept in their parents’ bed from babyhood until now and are continuing. They also are still showering together. The parents think this is all fine. Am I wrong in being concerned?

—Creeped-Out Grandmother

Dear Creeped-Out Grandmother,

Yikes, now I’m a creeped-out advice columnist.

For starters, I can’t count the number of times my daughters slept in my bed or the number of times they shared a bathtub. The difference is that it ended when my kids were 6 and 3, and they weren’t at the point when they were nearing (or in the middle of) adolescence.

Your grandkids are at the age when their bodies are changing and their hormones are starting to kick in, and being naked in the shower together could create some troubling issues in the near and distant future. Not to mention, will this pattern continue until they are 17 and 14? When is enough enough?

I think you should pull the parents aside and inform them how wildly inappropriate it is to have siblings nearing puberty engage in this sort of activity. In doing so, you should also employ the help of other family members and any facts or reputable research you can find online, so they realize how damaging this is.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to the parents to change their ways. Hopefully your team of loved ones will be effective in making that happen for the sake of your grandkids.


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