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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
Alisha September 28, 2010, 2:38 PM

I am raising two daughters, 13 qnd 15, and one son, 11, by myself and we walk around nude at home all the time. I don’t ever want my kids to think that their naked body is ‘bad,’ ‘shameful.’ or ‘disgusting.’ My kids have seen each other naked from the time they were infants and they are not ashamed or embarassed by it. When my son was born, my daughters spoiled him rotten and they bathed with him when I said he was old enough and they could do it safely. Showering together is common in my house. Occasionally my son and I do it, My daughters always shower together and their brother showers with them often. Nudity is a NON-ISSUE in my house.

Lyn October 7, 2010, 1:35 PM

Nudity is a complete non issue in our home too. We have 12 yr old twins- a boy and girl. Though I have noticed that my husband, in his own quiet way is becomming a little modest around our daughter when dressing or getting out of the shower now. And that’s fine. It’s up to the individual and being repectful of one another’s comfort levels. The kids and I see one another naked often. Basically just when showering or dressing. They like to shower and dress in our master bedroom still, though once in a while they use their own down the hall. It’s a natural thing. We don’t even think about it or notice really. Like one person above said so well- there’s a BIG difference between nudity and sex. There’s no shame in the human body. I don’t want my kids growing up with any kind of self image and body issues.

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phill January 14, 2011, 2:30 AM

i wot to ce u naked so bad

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how old ar u

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Beth April 3, 2011, 1:47 PM

I’m a 47 year old mother and my 23 year old son and I see each other naked regularly.Often,when he’s taking a shower,I’ll take all my clothes off and come join him and he doesn’t mind at all.We shower together frequently and find nothing wrong with it.We like the convenience of it whenever we both need one and especially after yard work on a hot summer day.People need to get a grip.The human body is beautiful and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.There’s nothing wrong with simple nudity.


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