Parenting Styles: Respecting Your Child's Privacy

Cover Up!

Your child may demand more privacy these days, but don't expect much in return. Chances are she thinks nothing of barging in on you in the bathroom or bedroom. But if you routinely walk around the house in your underwear or get dressed in front of your child, there's good reason to start covering up now. By age 7 or 8, he may be embarrassed to see you or your spouse naked (a telltale sign: Your child may giggle or turn away from you).

If your child is waiting for you outside the shower, it's fine to carry on a conversation, but put on a robe before you come out. You can also consider locking the door when you're using the bathroom or getting dressed.

Please Knock

These items will give your child the space she needs.

  • Signs for her bedroom door. Make or buy "Welcome," "Please Knock!" and "Do Not Disturb" signs that your child can hang depending on her mood.
  • A bathrobe. Towels can fall off. A robe lets your child cover up with confidence as he traipses from the bathroom to his bedroom.
  • A personal locker. Getting your child a little lockbox allows her to feel that her most prized possessions are safe -- and private.

Copyright ? 2006. Reprinted with permission from the September 2006 issue of Parents magazine.

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