Q: When should kids be allowed to bathe or shower alone?
A: You can allow your child to shower alone as soon as he expresses an interest in having some privacy and you're certain that he can get himself thoroughly clean, which includes washing and rinsing his hair and cleaning his private parts. You also have to be sure that he'll be safe. Some kids ask to be left alone as early as 5 or 6; others enjoy having your company until they start approaching puberty, closer to 9 or 10. Bathing alone, however, can be risky because of drowning dangers, and it can take just a few seconds for even older kids to slip and drown in only a few inches of water. Because of this, many experts suggest waiting until your child is at least 8 before allowing him to dunk in the tub alone. When your kid is ready to bathe or shower solo, buy a nonslip mat and remind your child that this is a grown-up privilege and that goofing around and playing games in there is very dangerous and could cause him to get hurt.