ML pediatrician Dr. Cara Natterson gives us the naked truth.
Guest blogger Emily: Last night, my 8-year-old son walked in on me in the bath and appeared to be "mesmerized" by my va-jay-jay. His eyes were as big as saucers and he couldn't seem to avert his gaze. My husband quickly ushered him out of the bathroom, but it was beyond UNCOMFORTABLE. I've never worried about locking doors or "covering up" before ... but I think it's time to start!
Momlogic pediatrician Dr. Cara Natterson says:
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?
|Dr. Cara Natterson, a graduate of Harvard University and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and author of "Your Toddler: Head To Toe", is a pediatrician and mother of 2. She is working on her forthcoming book, Dangerous or Safe?|