c'mon mom

Mom Asks If She’s Wrong For Making Her Daughter Shower At School After P.E

Her daughter repeatedly said how uncomfortable she was.

A mom on Reddit is asking if she was wrong for forcing her daughter to shower at school.
Aleksandr Zubkov/Moment/Getty Images

At my high school, we had to take swimming to pass our physical education class. Much to my (and every other student’s) chagrin, we had to get our hair wet in the middle of the day. So if we didn’t shower, we’d have to walk around the halls with wet hair smelling like chlorine. Most of us decided to just shower and get it over with. Though we usually stayed in our bathing suits to shower.

Still, being in your bathing suit in front of a bunch of students was embarrassing and uncomfortable at times. No one was forced to shower, but we all usually did just to feel clean for the rest of the school day.

Now, a mom on Reddit is asking the internet if she was wrong for forcing her daughter to shower at school even though she was uncomfortable with it.

“I (F45) have a 14-year-old daughter, who I’ll call Mikaela. Mikaela has barely hit puberty and is less developed than the majority of her peers, which I believe is something she is self-conscious about,” the mom wrote.

“Last week, my husband and I received an email from Mikaela’s school saying that because it was approaching the summer, it would now be mandatory for all students to shower after PE. I understand the logic; Mikaela does PE before lunch and if she doesn’t shower, she’ll be sweaty for the rest of the day, which I don’t believe is hygienic. The school requested that we pack a towel and any shower gel for the next PE lessons to ensure the students were ready.”

She continued, “When I mentioned this to Mikaela, she said she would refuse to shower. Since the showers are communal, she told me she did not want to be naked in front of everyone else and would just get dressed. I told her she couldn’t do this as the school were enforcing it, plus I felt it was healthy for her to shower. Again, she asked me to email the school to say she wouldn’t be participating, but I refused to do so.”

The mom wrote that despite her daughter’s continued protests, she forced her to take her shower supplies to school for after gym class.

“I felt like I was doing the right thing,” she added. “However, when Mikaela got home, she’d been crying all day saying how she’d had to get naked in front of everyone to shower and she’d never been so embarrassed because she saw one or two of the girls laughing at her. I told her how sorry I was and that teenage girls are horrible and that she’s beautiful, but for hygiene reasons, she still has to shower. I suggested bringing in a swimming costume to wear to shower in, but she said that would bring even more attention to her. She begged me to email to school to not let her shower, but I said I had no good reason to, and I’m sure all of the other girls feel the same.”

After continuing to force her daughter to shower, her daughter is now angry with the OP.

“She told me she hated me and has barely spoken to me the rest of this weekend,” the mom finished her post. “My husband feels I should send an email as it doesn’t hurt and Mikaela is clearly bothered, but I don’t think it’s a big deal, she will eventually get over it, and it’s important for hygiene reasons.”

The Reddit community chimed in with their thoughts on this mom’s dilemma with several users trying to make this mom see that she is totally not seeing the bigger issue here.

“Perhaps all the other girls do feel the same, but that doesn’t help your under-developed 14 year old daughter,” the top comment reads.

“You, F45, ‘don’t think it’s a big deal’. Your distressed daughter DOES. What’s actually stopping you from supporting your child in a highly stressful time in her life? It’s approaching the end of the school year. Meet your child where she’s at, not where you want her to be, and email the school. Or set up a meeting with the teacher(s) involved. But support your child.”

Another echoed, “I will never understand how we treat our children with such a lack of basic respect and dignity – imagine if, every week, you were forced to strip off and shower in a communal shower with no privacy, in front of your colleagues, including godawful Sheila from HR. in this particular situation, though, it is your job to listen to your child and do everything in her power to meet her emotional needs, so the way you’re dismissing her absolutely makes yta (you the a**hole).”

The hill that this mom is willing to die on is so not worth it. There are several other ways for her daughter to clean up after a sweaty gym session that doesn’t requite her to strip down in front of her mean girl classmates. What this daughter needs is an advocate, and who better to do that than her mom? I truly hope all these answers she received on her “AITA” post helped her see that.