Being Naked Around My Kids :: Dr. Mom Answers

Dr. Mom Answers

When should I stop being naked around my kids?

The short answer is “When it starts being weird for you or them.” If that is too vague, then another guideline is when they really start noticing that their bodies are different than yours. Our bodies are beautifully created but we want out children to grow up with an understanding of the importance of privacy.

Keeping your toddler in the other room while you shower or get dressed is not necessary. Little kids have good/important questions about the human body, and it is great to have those unfold in a natural way.  I could give you all sorts of examples of the hilarious questions I have gotten but I think it would bump the rating for the site up to at least PG-13.

Adults tend to sexualize things far earlier that kids do. We worry and worry that if they see us with our top off it will pervert them forever.  Maybe if your 16 year old son saw it you… but not your 16 MONTH old.

When kids are little, be clear about the boundaries. Kids of all ages should learn to knock before opening a closed door.  They should not touch their private parts of others, nor should they allow others to touch them.  Generally kids seem to understand that the parts covered by a swimsuit are the special parts of their bodies that should stay covered in public.

Stop Being Naked

What about same sex family members (mom & daughter for instance, or two brothers together)?

For most families, it is fine for the same-sex children of any age to change clothes in the same room – and there isn’t anything wrong with that. That is how our family operates, and it is easy and natural. It also prepares them for the real world – if your kids end up on team sports or in the local locker room, it would be nice for them to not get a shock when they see another naked person for the first time.

What about the kids being naked?  When should they stop being naked around others?

Once your kids and are completely toilet trained they should start learning to follow some rules about nakedness themselves. For instance, they shouldn’t be naked in your front yard or at your friend’s house. We used to joke that my little kids always seemed to end up taking their clothes off places, but when they inevitably did, we directed them back to more appropriate behavior. Once the diapers are gone, the clothes should stay on.

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MaryRuth

MaryRuth Hackett is a wife of 13+ year and a full-time mom to her 4 children. She has a PhD in Education reflecting her passion for Lifespan Human Development.In her academic life she researches, reads, & write about child development, parenting, identity development and program evaluation.She is a soccer mom who has recently discovered gardening and is an avid reader although her literature choices are lately limited to the likes of Margaret Wise Brown and Sandra Boynton.

Comments

  1. says

    Agree!! We started making my boys leave the room when I got dressed when they started asking what different things were… around 2 for the oldest, and the youngest just kind of stays with his brother so it’s not a problem. We say “please give me privacy” and now even the kids use that term too. But since they’re boys, they can be in the room The Hubs whenever (dressing, showering). That might be weird for some people, but we feel like it’s ok. Like you said, we tend to over sexualize things, and they’ll stop coming in to talk to him when they don’t want to anymore…
    meg recently posted…from House to Home: A new seriesMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks Meg! It is good too that the little boys grow up seeing that women/girls need privacy sometimes. Sounds like you guys are doing great with your little ones!

  2. says

    Perfect advice. I have two girls, 11 and 6, we’ve reached the point that when I’m in the bathroom either bathing or otherwise occupied that it is off limits more out of respectful privacy than not wanting to be seen naked.

    We change in front of each other all the time though for the reasons you mentioned. The way I see it we are all females, this is what their body will look like at some point in their lives and it’s nothing to be ashamed off. And as you said the shock value of communal showers in sports, college and etc will be gone.
    Felicia recently posted…One of Those DaysMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks for your comment. I remember being shocked at the YMCA once when I was a young lady. I had always seen my sister and my mom and the much older women had bodies that looked very different! So maybe there will still be some shock but can you imagine NEVER seeing a grown woman before? The female form is beautiful and something to be cherished and celebrated but in a respectful and private way!

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