Q & A: Bathing Together With Stepdaughter
have a situation where my partner, (who is also the stepmother of my 6 year old
daughter) has taken a bath with my daughter. They have done this openly with me
walking in occasionally to check on the situation. The results were a quick and
close bonding between both of them. To hear them laugh and have fun only
increased my love for my new partner.
Our comments are as follow:
As the girl's bioparent, your authority over her, in general, is equal to her
mother's. When she is in your custody, it is your responsibility to ensure her
well being. In this regard, your walking in to check on the situation, suggests
that you have been prudent, and have come to believe their bathing together
presents no risk of harm for your daughter. We don't see the situation, as you
have presented it, as being worrisome. However, it would appear that, probably
out of genuine concern for the girl's well being, the biomother is inadvertently
acting "as the master of two households"--an approach that typically
doesn't work well in stepfamily settings. Under the assumption that your prior
spouse doesn't know your current partner, we can certainly understand her
concern, but we don't feel your prior spouse's strategy for addressing the issue
is optimal; and suspect that this issue could easily intensify any strain that
may already exist between the two households.
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