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.
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.
What questions do you have for Dr. Mom?