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Nude in Front of Kids?

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Christina Aguilera says motherhood won't stop her from enjoying "naked Sundays" with her husband. But when is it not OK to be nude in front of your kids, or for them to be nude in front of you...or others? Pediatrician Dr. Cara Natterson gives us the naked truth.

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When it comes to nudity, my advice is to take cues from your child. As soon as your son or daughter becomes modest, respect that desire for privacy.

Generally, toddlers love to run around naked and they don't take notice whether an adult has clothes on or not. By the early school years -- kindergarten or certainly first grade -- you will often hear your child make comments about adult nudity. This is a reasonable time to think about covering up a little more in front of your child.

If your child simply doesn't notice or doesn't care, then I recommend imposing a little more modesty once your child starts to develop. This occurs in the tween years. But nudity should not be demonized--rather modesty should be encouraged. This shift in the tween years is especially important as you are starting to have discussions about personal privacy and the most basic conversations about sexual behavior.

Many parents are concerned about bath time. Siblings often bathe together for years. This is not a bad thing. Use similar guideposts as to when you should impose separate bath times--when your children start taking notice of each other's bodies and definitely if they are embarrassed or uncomfortable in the bath, end the routine. I find that by kindergarten or first grade, most kids want to shower by themselves instead of bathing with siblings.

It is important to note that conversations about private parts, inappropriate touching, strangers and the like should start well before any of this. I encourage parents to begin having regular conversations about these things around age 3.

Do you walk around naked in front of your kids?


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73 comments so far | Post a comment now
Rainy July 10, 2008, 8:44 PM

I think that there is nothing wrong with nudity. My sister and I bathed with our father when we were young. He covered up his private areas. This is how we learned to bath ourselves. When we got larger and could not fit all three in our tub, my sister and I would bathe together. We did this to learn and to save on water. Our society needs to lighten up.

Rahlan July 20, 2008, 4:53 AM

I don’t have any kids of my own, but I know that I’d fully leave any choices of nudism or modesty up to them.
Personally, though, I don’t think children should be accustomed to seeing naked bodies though.
To me, being naked is something extra to be shared with a spouse. The body isn’t a sex object, far from it. But one should be able to look at their spouse, clothed or not, and think, “That’s all mine.”
Honestly though, being nude, at whatever age or degree, should be one’s choice, and only a part of their comfort. This is a bit of a mention towards any nudists that believe clothes are wrong and shouldn’t be. For one, clothing helps with one’s individuality. You can make your own look. True, it can also create “clones”. Some people feel far more comfortable naked, some prefer clothing for the way it feels, not just because it covers up.
Clothing helps make more diverse, and unique people in this world. And because of it, chosing to be a nudist is also a unique thing.
Both choices should be respected, because if either were forced, then we’d lose yet another choice to make for ourselves.
So I say, for your children’s sake. Encourage them, and show them that they can be comfortable being nude, and yet wearing clothing isn’t something done out of shame.

Dawn July 21, 2008, 10:46 PM

We are very open about nudity at bathtime in our family. 2 sons at 10 and 6. Daughter is 8. With one bathroom we all see each other in the shower. My son washes by himself now but doesn’t mind being seen undressed by any of us. The 2 younger ones sometimes shower together. She helps wash him which saves us time.
A few years back when my oldest was 7 me or my husband would shower with each kid. My husband would wash one, he would hand me one to dry and I would hand him another to wash. That way we accomplished 5 people with only 2 showers needed. We took turns day to day with that so one of us got a private quite shower by ourselves every other day.
Now, only one needs help and we all chip in. Things have gotten easier but there is no shame.

Sarah July 23, 2008, 10:19 PM

I am a 45 year old mother and my two daughters aged 16 and 18 live with me and we walk around the house naked all the time. We see nothing wrong with it. If were in a rush in the morning, I and one of my daughters will take a shower together to save time. People need to lighten up. The human body is beautiful. I am just jealous that my 18 year old has bigger breasts then me.

Anonymous August 8, 2008, 12:05 PM

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cc August 29, 2008, 12:23 PM

I have to disagree with people that think it is Ok to walk around naked in front of their children after the age of at least 4.
For sure.. It is a memory most kids do not want.
And children are maturing much younger now.In the same way you wouldn’t leave pornography lying around the house, I would think you wouldn’t give a child access to a adult naked body.It would be very confusing when the sexual feelings come into play.
Lots of emotional things to work out when they get older and realize they had sexual feelings towards mom or dad.

dont kare November 25, 2008, 11:50 PM

i dont get how everyone seems to be against this, i mean are they even going to remember this in later years? it also helps to clear up a lot of sexual confusion and makes it slightly less akward when they ask where babies come from.

Deb January 5, 2009, 3:53 PM

We have 4 children 3 girls 19, 17, 15 & 13yo boy and none have any issues over being nude and never have had either in the company of each other or me and their dad. The mornings are crazy with everyone wanting the showers which is a good thing they are not shy. They have been brought up not to be embarassed over their bodies.

Tasha January 6, 2009, 1:40 AM

There is nothing wrong with naked sundays, my husband and i have done it for years. our house is not overlooked and have a hot tub and sauna in garden. We have 4 daughtrs aged 13 to 19 and they have never had a problem with it. My mother, sister and her 2 children often come round too and we all have a good day.

Anonymous January 9, 2009, 3:31 AM

I did not hesitate to speak replenish the Idear on all kids have to have supervishion now I know .yep thats right!thats why my comments are direct and to the point.THIS IS NOT PORN I’ts ART KEEP ON READING .This is about how I’d watched a few yatchs out in the bay one year in the distance . And there was a lady with a 9- or ten year old girl on the empty beach.The lady was reading a book and the child was playing with her dolls .I sat on the sand dunes in the shade this was the olny spot where thers shade .and set up my Pastel and art board and drew both of them about 10 meters away .I’d was kind of siting the other way its easy to draw on side ways for me.The child ended up takeing her swim suit off and had not drawn any swim suit on both of them yet .Then ended up drawing the green one on the Veary nice Mother or was it her older sister don’t know! don’t care drew nippels on the lady that was seen through her swimsuit for real .I drew the childs privet part .I dident fell like articulated or eney thing but did feel a slight freedom of drawing skin now taking glances at both of them. The lady had finushed reading her book .And wonded over to me her child stood there too .She asked if I had the time the and when dose the beach close I told her. Then seid I’v included you and the girl with elegants of corse in my pastel sketch I’m veary good and not shy I ges I knew her fairly well her out line of shapes
she seid ha you are spoiled some what in what you draw here .We realy got talking about the subject of nudity and she was happy in what I had done .I seid well it would be diffrent if I would of taken an incent photo its all to do with a persons up bringing and history or due to religious reasons too.I seid that it could be seen as soft porn .SHE asked if I felt eney thing when I did this I seid natraily to me I was not spending an obbsesion amount of time on the aires we both seid that all kids have to have supervishion.I we taked for a long time about how I felt twords what was sexual and what was not she keeped on asking qustions but made me feel ok .She seid here husbin is the olny person who she feels atractive too .I seid yes I could see that slight line around her finger where a weding ring had been .It got a little darker she found me a veary intresting person. I put my towel over the girl and seid to stay warm . become very clear about what we were talking a bout not to any stranger in the street .But it was ok to tork about the stuff that was natrail with her childs anatomy and the drawing just as it was wile she stood . The lady asked if I had autism Yes I seid how did she nail that one! shes a Psychology person she just seid to me becarefull of the attitudes from parents out there becouse of my honesty mothers become bossy and over protecteve if I’m going to draw peopel like places like this .She asked if I could take a photo on her camra thay both held the painting and stood behind it I have sinced lost her contact details.what do you think from David Greer david gr@kol.co.nz

Robbie January 20, 2009, 11:31 AM

Every family is different and every kid is different. When I was growing up nudity was what happened when you took a bath or shower, dried yourself off and went to your room to get dressed. If one of us kids happened to be there while any of that was happening, with any of us, it wasn’t even a thought someone was seeing you nude. If you were taking a bath, you were supposed to be nude. If my mom, dad or my sisters were there too, so what. We all just grew up that way. I saw everyone in my family nude from time to time and they all saw me. So what! We never thought of it as anything.
Nudity was never an end in itself - nudity happens as we go from day to day living.
Every family is different.

John January 24, 2009, 5:34 PM

Nudity is good. If god intended us to wear clothes, we would have been born wearing them. why hide your “privet parts”? Your just covering up your natural beauty, there is nothing weird about being nude. It’s a body people, get over it

John January 24, 2009, 5:37 PM

Nudity is good. If god intended us to wear clothes, we would have been born wearing them. why hide your “privet parts”? Your just covering up your natural beauty, there is nothing weird about being nude. It’s a body people, get over it

linda February 1, 2009, 5:00 PM

once my 15 yr old son entered my room when i was changing,,,,he saw me completely nude,,,,for 3 days we couldnt face each other

michael February 5, 2009, 10:17 AM

Well i think there is absolutely nothing wrong with that,all ypou need to do as parents is just to talk to them let them feel at home ,welcome,and what is good or bad,i mean they are children they must see your nakedness even when you try to hide

bob March 4, 2009, 3:14 PM

it is ok to get nude in front of kids i have 4 kids 3 daughter and 1 son

john March 9, 2009, 9:00 AM

i walk in front of my kids nude and like it n like to c them nude they r cute is that bad

David March 17, 2009, 7:45 PM

I am a 15 year old boy and can perhaps through some perspective on this from another angle. I wish my parents had gone naked themselves, because it would have saved me A LOT of wear and tear through adolescence, as well as save me quite a bit of discomfort during hot summers. Since, for the most part, I consider myself “past” the awkward part of adolescence, I can say that if my parents were naked even a few times during childhood, it would have helped a lot. It is very confusing when they never go naked, ever, expect me to cover up completely in front of my sister (13), and yet be perfectly fine with changing in the same room with my brother (11). These conflicting messages made for a VERY uncomfortable adolescence, and my parents occasionally being naked early on, or at least not locking every door, would have helped a lot.

IdiompomaBido March 20, 2009, 7:44 AM

very intresting

John March 23, 2009, 6:23 PM

We have a big joint family and we often get naked its no big deal. Me my wife and one daughter 17 and son 15 swims in our indoor pool naked.


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