Family

DEBATE: Is it OK for children to bath with their grandparents?

What do you think?

A mum has sparked a debate after posting a question on Mumsnet on whether your mum-in-law should get in the bath while they’re cleaning their grandchild.

The mother – who goes by the username BornFreeButinChains - spoke about her own experience with her in laws being affectionate with their grandchild and her mother-in-law bathing with her 4-year-old daughter. She wrote on Mumsnet: "I can’t think why any grown woman would want to get into the bath with a 4 year old. It doesn't matter that it’s Mil (mother in law) - if my own DM (mum) had done this I would be asking her - why.

"I think there is a difference between being in the bath and DC (dear children) coming along wondering what you’re doing etc. But as a granny if I needed to wash with young dc (dear children) there [sic] it’s more likely I would forgo my wash until later or have a quick shower.

"Maybe I am mad maybe it’s very common? They feed DC (dear children) off their own forks in spite of being OTT about dirt and cleanliness - it’s like a religion for mil (mum in law) - but very happy to feed dc (dear children) off fork shortly after illness. Very smooshy with them kissing on lips – Fil (father in law) is very very physical with them - lying down on grass in summer with DD (dear daughter) on top of him after playing.

Do you feel comfortable with your parents or in laws bathing your children? (Credit: Getty Images)

She continued: "FOR THE RECORD if I felt anything else was going on of course I would stop them going but my family are just not this physical...DF (dear father) would give bear hug at greeting and that’s it. I really struggle with it - but keep telling myself it’s OK they are loving GP (grand parents) - but having a bath with DD (dear daughter)? Why> why on earth would you want or need to do that?"

The mumsnet user later pointed out that she knows they’re a close family as she remembers seeing lots of pictures of her husband as a toddler and his little sister laid on top of him. However, her family are just not as affectionate as her husbands.

She also pointed out the last time her father in law picked her daughter up: "[It was] all good - swung her round a bit - then DD (dear daughter) started loads of kisses on lips and FIL (father in law) was joking around going Ummm umm and dd (dear daughter) didn't stop - it got uncomfortable."

Do you agree with the mum who has asked for advice (Credit: Getty Images)

After posting her question lots of other users offered their advice. Some people completely understood where she was coming from, one person wrote: "To be honest, I'm with you. On the one hand, I know there's officially nothing wrong with it and wouldn't suggest there was out loud, but the things you describe would creep me out a bit and makes me think "just, why?" as well."

Someone else wrote: "This would creep me out too whether or not they are playing innocently. Wouldn't want anyone else bathing with my kids at all."

Another person stated: "I wouldn't want in-laws or my own parents bathing with my kids. Parents' role, I think."

How would you raise this issue? (Credit: Getty Images)

However, someone else didn’t understand what the fuss was about and argued: "I really don't see what your issue is tbh. I think you are BU (being unreasonable) but they're your children so whatever. I especially think you are particularly U (unreasonable) regarding FIL (father in law). It sounds like they've been playing rough and tumble or whatever and have collapsed in to a heap? She's FOUR for heaven's sake, let her be a child."

Although some people were stuck in the middle. One user commented: "The bath thing would make me very uncomfortable - whether it was my own mum or my MIL. I think you have to speak to her about it really. The rest wouldn't make me that uncomfortable though, just the bath."

Some parents pointed out that bathing with their grandchildren would make them feel uncomfortable too (Credit: Getty Images)

Someone else asked: "My kids love me getting in the bath with them. I'd say up to about aged 10. DS is 7 and often asks if I can get in bath with him or him get in bath with me. I would have no issue with my mum or mil bathing with my 4 year old. The 4 year old would no doubt love it! Does your 4 year old enjoy bathing with Grandma, or not? That would be what I based my decision on."

Another pointed out it could be related to different cultures: "I can't answer that fully because I don't have grandchildren and might not feel the same when I do but I always enjoyed bathing with my kids (when they were small and the bathtub big). But I am partly German and they are far more relaxed about nudity than the English - so to me its no big deal. If you don't like it, you'll have to raise it with her."

You can read the full debate on Mumsnet here.

What do you think of the debate? Does your parents bath your children? Do you think it’s a big deal? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter (@CloserOnline).

You might also like to read…

Should parents have access to their children's mobile phones?

DEBATE: Should you post naked pictures of your children online?

These 11-month-old conjoined twin girls have been successfully separated!

Closer magazine cover