Another Dear Abby got me thinking:
DEAR ABBY: I need an unbiased opinion. I am the father of a 12-year-old daughter, "Lia." She catches an early morning bus for school, and I leave for work at the same time her bus picks her up, so I'm in charge of getting her ready in the morning. Although we have two bathrooms -- one upstairs and one down -- neither of us wants to use the downstairs bathroom to get ready. All our stuff is upstairs. When I wake Lia up each morning, she heads into the shower and I go feed the dog. I then go into the bathroom and shave while she's in the shower. While I'm shaving we discuss sports and life in general. When I'm finished, I leave until she's done showering and goes back into her room. I then take my shower. Is this wrong? Lia's mother thinks it's inappropriate for me to be in the bathroom at all while she's taking a shower. I think it is efficient because neither of us is willing to use the other bathroom, and I find it's a good time to find out what's going on in her life. Who's right? -- RIGHT OR WRONG IN WISCONSIN
Stop – Think about your answer. Now, here’s what Abby responded:
DEAR RIGHT OR WRONG: Your wife is correct. It's not a matter of "right or wrong." It's a matter of what is appropriate. At 12, your daughter is becoming a young woman. Either you or Lia needs to start using the downstairs bathroom. If you can't agree on who that will be, then draw straws. You can bond with her over breakfast.
This really got me upset. I feel like Abby was shaming the father when really he was doing nothing wrong. I assumed that there was an opaque shower curtain and the daughter didn’t mind. What’s the big deal? It’s an innocent time for the father and daughter to hang out. Her privacy is protected and it’s a good, efficient use of space and time. Studies show that men communicated better side by side versus face to face so it’s a win for father/daughter communication and for timely getting ready in the morning.
What’s your thought – Daddy trying to hang on to his little girl inappropriately or good, efficient use of time and space? Also what do you think is motivating the mother to intervene?