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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
M May 4, 2009, 3:41 AM

If you are trying to raise well-adjusted children who don’t grow up to become deviated or perverted,there should be NO age when nudity becomes taboo.It should be just as natural for the child at the age of 13,or 23 or 53 as it is at the age of 3.Children raised in such a way almost NEVER develop deviate tendancies,it’s repression that creates perversion.

David4Nudist June 13, 2009, 9:45 PM

I agree with you, M (05/04/09 - 03:41 AM) and others who also agree that this is okay. As my name imples, I am a nudist so nudity is no big deal for me. However, I live with a family of textiles (I’m the only nudist in my family). I was never taught the right way about nudity and my family (except for grandma on my dad’s side…and my dad) has never been nude around me. The thought of such a thing would be too embarrassing for them. But, why? Why are people in general embarrassed about the body they were born with? I live in the USA, New Jersey, in fact. While I don’t have any children myself, if I did, it would not bother me if they and/or myself were nude around each other in non-sexual settings. While nudism may not be for everyone, nudists deserve the same respect as anyone else. That means not shunning them away to secluded resorts/beaches/etc. while clothed people are free to go everywhere. Unfortunately, especially in this country, the freedom to be nude outside of those secluded places usually results in being arrested for quote “indecent exposure”. Why? Why do most people make a big deal about something so natural as the human body, the one we all were born with? And, since this article mentions kids, someone answer me this…why is it okay for babies and very small toddlers to be nude, but once they reach a certain age, they suddenly MUST be kept covered outside of private places?

luvy-wubby June 18, 2009, 12:27 AM

i get naked on front of my 15 year old boy..i am always taking showers with the doors open or even in the restroom open it doesnt bother him..he does the same thing…sometimes we sleep in the same bed together or just walk around naked..it is just me and him so it doesnt bother us

Rez June 20, 2009, 10:27 AM

I don’t care about my boys running around naked. Playing hide and seek running around.

billieblubird June 29, 2009, 9:30 PM

my dad use to be naked after the shower all the time and it never bothered me until i grew up and got married and my husband told me that’s not normal and it offended me because i didnt have a problem with it. i was old enough to walk into another room

Tim July 8, 2009, 7:49 AM

I don’t argree with cc who said a naked body is as wrong as an adult film lying on the table. My mom walks naked infront of me and my sister and we think nothing of it. My nephews mom walks around naked infront of him and his sister, and they don’t really mind. In my opinion family members of the opposite sex don’t have to cover up unless they can clearly see someone is uncomfortable with it. When your child reaches the age of 12, it might be a good idea to ask him/her is he/she is uncomfortable if you walk around nude. Or age 10 maybe.

Sjoerd August 9, 2009, 5:57 AM

I’m from Europe and I live with my mom and sister. I always walk from the shower to my bedroom naked and I’m a male. My mom does it too. It’s not weird if no one is uncomfortable with it. We have a healthy attitude towards nudity. I mean, if opposite sex members can’t see eachother naked, aren’t you saying that a naked body is always associated with sex???? I mean, it’s cool if you’re household likes to cover up, but I always hate it when people hear about a girl walking naked infront of her father and they comment like: isn’t she too old?, what’s wrong with her, she’s immature etc. It’s like they don’t accept the fact that some girls are very comfortable with their bodies and have a healthy attitude towards nudity. There’s nothing wrong with modest people, but there’s also nothing wrong with people who walk around naked.

Family Matters October 11, 2009, 9:08 PM

I think the first sentence says it all: When it comes to nudity, my advice is to take cues from your child.

In the age of hysteria, many people become overprotective of their kids’ “rights” without considering their emotional wellbeing. How can we teach our kids to feel good about our body without having the same feeling in front of them?

There is a MAJOR difference between nudity and sex and this difference starts … in your mind.

Anonymous October 31, 2009, 10:51 AM

nude

justagirl February 6, 2010, 11:40 AM

My sister and I (I’ m a girl) would take baths together until I was about 6. That’s also the age I stopped running around naked. My mom stopped seeing me naked when I was 9, just because she doesn’t want me changing in the same room as her. However, my sister, who’s a few years younger than me, still goes naked to and from the shower and doesn’t care if I change in front of her so I feel free to do that. Our bodies are different (I already developed) so I never take my panties off, but she has seen me without a bra. The first time she wanted to compare how far along she was in developing. She’s now getting there….she’s excited.

SS March 28, 2010, 4:10 AM

Well I am the father of two beautiful girls, ages 7 and 5. This may sound a little odd to some, but in our household we have a “bottomless” lifestyle. It all started with my wife. She hates to wear panties, but doesn’t mind wearing a top, so all through out our married life she has been nude from the waist down in the privacy of our own home. As for myself, I usually always wear at least shorts, but that’s just because of my personal preference. So our girls were basically born into this lifestyle, and basically they only wore diapers and vests in their baby years before they began toilet training then we let them go bottomless, and believe me that bottomless children toilet train much faster! There is no shame about their bottomlessness with me or from their bare bottomed mom. We have taught them about the human body, the differences between boys and girls, and even sex when they were around 3 and 4. They are so open and free with us. We do take showers together at times fully naked, and after they go put on their tops while I wear my shorts. So in our home the females are always nude below the waist, except when my wife has her period, then she puts on panties, and all this has already been explained to the girls. We have rules, and they understand once they leave the privacy of the home they must cover their bums and vaginas, and I must thank my wife for that as she has been an excellent example to them of how to behave and socialise properly while also teaching them that in the privacy of the house, it’s okay to be bottomless. I have no problem with it, my wife and daughters are extremely comfortable with me being around them with their bare butts exposed. There is no judgement or shame from anyone. Maybe one day they’ll choose to wear panties inside…I don’t know. It is entirely up to them. That is just my take on it. It’s all about personal comfort and to each his own. That is just my take on it, and this bottomless life we have works for us :)


Anonymous April 12, 2010, 10:29 PM

Shame of nudity is not natural. It is artificial effect of civilization. Nudity is normal and beautiful because our bodies are gift from God. Nudity is also natural, and because of these there is nothing shameful about nudity. Shame is lack to acceptance of one’s own sexuality and might point towards some sexual identity problems, and trasvestite personality. I you do not want your kids to be gay/transexual, teach kids to accept their own sexuality/body and not to be ashamed if their bodies and sexualities and to be proud of them if they take good care of their bodies. Teaching kids sexual shame makes them feel worse than people of other sex and unhappy about their sexuality, because all people have tendency to be ashamed of bad things. If you teach your kids to be ashamed of a body you pass them the message that they should be ashamed of who they are (boy or girl). This may lead to serious sexual identity problems and to deviations like homosexuality/transexuality.

Anonymous April 12, 2010, 11:23 PM

Some people are very strange here! One person wrote in one sentence that USA is crazy because US sexualized nudity which should be considered normal and in another sentence the same person criticized mother who walks naked at home in front of her male and female children. This is crazy -not walking naked but considering being naked in front of children as unappropriate, and saying at the same time: nudity is normal and natural. That’s so wrong. Personally I do not see anything wrong in nudity regardles of sex, age and relationship. Nudity is natural, and parents should teach their kids to accept their bodies and sexuality as good gifts from God. People are ashamed of bad and dirty things. If you have, old, moldy, stinky and dirty carpet, you throw it away or at least you put it in garage because you are ashamed to put it in your guestroom. In your guestroom you will put beautiful carpet, not ugly one because you are ashamed of that ugly one. If you teach your kids to be modest you aoutomatically teach your male child to be ashamed of being male and your girl child to be ashamed of being a girl. In such case do not be suprised that rising your kids in modesty and shame of being nude will lead to their sexual identity problems which will make them homosexual or transsexual. If you want your boy to accept himself as a boy do not make him be ashamed of his body. The same applies to girls. Do not be ashamed of being naked in front of your kids (regardles of sex and age diffrence) if you want them to accept their sexuality. You can carry message to your kids not only through your speech but also through your behavior. If you tell them that nudity is normal do not expect them to be ashamed of it, and do not be ashamed of your own nudity in front of kids, because otherwise you are just a hypocrite who says one thing and does exact opposite, and when your kids start to grow up you will loose their respect because of your hipocricy. How your kids can see nudity as a natural and normal thing when you as a parent are ashamed of it and concealing it like it was crime or something shameful? If something is natural and normal why are you ashamed of it? If you really want to rise your kids in normal way, do not be ashamed of your nudity in front of your kids and do not expect them to be modest and cover up their nudity -just treat it as a normal and natural thing so they can grow up and accept their own sexuality. One 15 year old boy wrote here that he is confused because his parents conceal their nudity like criminal conceals a crime. He is confused and such confusion is dangerous to his sexual identity and self acceptance. How can he be proud of being a boy and feel good about it if he is expected to be ashamed of his genitals in front of his father, mother and 10 year old sister? He feels like it is a crime to be a boy. I think that it is very, very wrong to be ashamed of nudity and expect some one to be ashamed of it and modest. Modesty has negative impact on child development and people should not be afraid of nudity in front of other people regardless of sex, age and relationship expecially within family environment.

Kevin May 8, 2010, 8:10 PM

I’m 19 now, but as long as I can remember my mom and I have seen each other nude at home and when we travel. I have no bad feelings or regrets.

Anonymous June 6, 2010, 1:25 PM

I am 15 years old and i still go naked in front of my parents its no big deal.

Anon. June 20, 2010, 12:34 PM

My wife and I have 3 boys 16, 13 and 9. We belong to a family oriented nudist club. We were only nude when we were at the club, never at home. When our oldest was 13 he became shy. We would be nude, and he wore gym shorts. About 6 months later, he started going nude again, and showing us the fact that he had hair and a boner.
One day at home, he asked why we were nude at camp and not at home. I explained that we were always nude at home until he started school and told every one that we were always naked. Once again we are nude at home, and don’t have to go to camp. Last month we found that his favorite H.S. science teacher is also a nudist and is a member of our camp. you should have seen the look on the boy’s face when he saw his teacher nude.
My wife said if she were 10 years younger and unmarried, she would make a play for him. (so would I) He had joined our club after accepting his current teaching position. Never thinking that one of his student’s family were members. He has 2 younger brothers, our sons age, who will spend the summer with him at camp. I assume that we are going to have a great time this summer, especially after I have an above ground pool installed at home. It will have complete privacy, so the teacher and his younger brothers can visit. We also invited his parents, if they are in town.
Of course nothing is said at school about our nudity. Our boy does pop a boner in front of his teacher. The teacher’s younger brothers also do.

Anonymous July 9, 2010, 11:08 PM

I love being naked

Oreilly July 17, 2010, 2:54 AM

I walk around the house nude all the time. In fact, the moment I walk through the front door, I take off everything, even my shoes. Completely in the buff. I even answer the door nude. Being a single Mom, I invite my two teenage daughters to be nude. I invite their friends to be nude when they come over as well. Interesting enough, most of them take off their clothes the moment they walk in the front door.

Jennifer July 17, 2010, 11:07 PM

Nudity is fine. I personally don’t walk around nude, but I have a teenage daughter who never puts clothes on. She’s nude as long as she can possibly be. She walks the dog nude during the night nude! Without shoes! She is also apparently very horny and I have on several occasions, walked in on her masturbating. At first it was weird, but now it’s not even a big deal, and she does it in the backyard while she sun tans. I think every neighbor has seen her nude at one point or another.

Sonny September 13, 2010, 7:52 AM

I’m a 16 year old boy. We have both naked Saturdays and Sundays. Unless we go out, shopping or to visit friends, my mom, dad and my younger brothers and sisters remain nude. Mom has one rule, we must shower or bathe in the morning and after using the toilet.. My best friend (a boy) some times stays with us. He too is nude.
Dad has a small two room cottage at a nudist camp. My friend and I stayed there for the entire summer. For eight weeks the only thing we wore was a pair of sandles. The family would come out on the week ends. If it got cold during the night we would share a sleeping bag. That is the nicest part of being nude with a friend. We learned a great deal about each other and have decided to go to college together a year from now. We both want to be able to room together nude.


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