More on nudity and children

Every parent knows how many times you trudge into your child’s room at 2 in the morning to get water, find the pacifier, calm them after a bad dream, etc.

The wife and I both sleep nudie. The oldest child is 5, and while I try not to change clothes in front of her, I frequently go into her room at night au naturale. At what age is it no longer appropriate for your kids to see you nekkid?

Maybe this will turn into a GD or GQ, but I am looking for answers from the other dopers. Both those who sleep nudie and those who don’t.

My dad paraded around nude at home and we thought nothing of it, nor did he, until I (the oldest of three girls) started maturing. Then he abruptly stopped. He never made a big deal of it.

I think uptight repressed people that are uncomfortable about nudity make it a bad thing, which it’s not.

[minor hijack?]We couldn’t keep my youngest sister dressed. She just loved to be naked! That was more embarrassing for me for some reason, as she’d strip when we were having pool parties for the junior high kids and she’d streak![/minor hijack?]

I think it depends on the individual kids involved. Some can handle it, some can’t. I don’t have kids myself, but I know lots of parents who hang out at a nudie beach. Kids of all ages and maturity levels there…

I suppose at some point she will start to feel self-conscious about being naked around me. That is probably the point at which I will cover up more.

I don’t streak around the house. If I am changing clothes where I get totally nude, I go in the other room, but if she walks in, I don’t make a big deal of it. Same with going to the bathroom [hijack] she loves to see me “make bubbles” in the toilet, and is a little upset that she can’t[/hijack]

I think that your kids will grow out of waking in the middle of the night and needing you before they start getting grossed out by your nudity! I don’t know many 10 year old girls who still wake their parents in the night for a glass of water.

Abe Babe, I think your sense of timing sounds about right. When she starts feeling more private about herself, it’s probably time to cover up yourself.

But do what feels right. I’ve read various opinions about this from so-called experts and their judgments sound like arbitrary crapola to me. I mean, of course if you raise your kids to be uptight about nudity, then yes, they’ll be upset seeing parents naked. But if they grow up thinking nothing is wrong with it, then who is some outside expert to tell you at what exact age it’s suddenly not okay?

I don’t think children should see their parents completely naked, but how does that make me uptight and repressed? Personally, I think children who see their parents naked learn that it’s okay for adults to expose themselves whenever they feel inclined, but I’m not ABOUT to accuse posters of this board of being bad parents who fail to prepare their children against perverts and pedophiles. Every family is different, and I am neither an expert on the subject, nor do I have the right to judge, but neither do you.

:confused: I don’t understand this. It’s not like the parents are meandering down the street to the mailbox or bus stop in their birthday suits- slight nudity when getting dressed/sleeping/performing bodily functions doesn’t equal the spontaneous shedding of clothes whenever one feels the urge.

I remember taking showers with my mother when I was a young child, and she used to sleep in the nude as well. I think it was a good thing for me to see a “mature” female body when I wasn’t yet close to that stage, simply to know what adults look like. Once I started growing, my mom was more careful about the issue of privacy (both hers and mine), and I think that worked out just fine.

One thing we need to remember is that naked is our natural state! There’s nothing unnatural about parents and children seeing each other unclothed. It’s only the existence of clothing in the first place that’s created the whole naked=sex association.

I saw my dad naked lots of times when I was a little kid (5 and under.) I even took baths with him. It didn’t seem at all unusual at the time.

I wouldn’t be comfortable seeing him naked now, but that’s just because I’m a lot more culturally indoctrinated than I was at 5.


There is nothing wrong with children of any age - or young adults - seeing their parents naked. Through peer pressure and societal pressure they may develop their own self-consciousness or embarrassment about it. However this isn’t natural. Being naked and being unashamed is natural.

Nudity and sex are NOT the same.

It’s the best, best thing for children too see what a “normal” adult looks like. Otherwise the only “grown-up” breasts/penis/pubes they are going to see is in porn mags. In which case your son is going to grow up with an inferiority complex that his dick isn’t 12" long, and your daughter is going to grow up paranoid that her pubes are in a triangle not some Brazilian/landing-strip thing, and that her breasts aren’t 48DD and perfectly spherical and uplifted sans brassiere.

Naked bodies AREN’T dirty. They AREN’T something to be ashamed of.

Nudity is way overrated. I really believe that familial and societal pressure regarding sexuality and nudity cause a lot of guilt/embarrassment later in life.

Little kids like to explore their bodies and that includes the genitals. How do you* handle that? Do you tell them that it’s bad and , “Don’t do that!” because of your discomfort? Ideally no, you teach them that touching themselves in that manner is fine and it should feel good, but that it’s something you do in the privacy of your own room.

Do you refrain from kissing and hugging your mate passionately in front of the kids? Why would you? If you’re groping and having sex, that’s one thing, but I think kids should know (by demonstration) that their parents love each other and what a healthy relationship looks like. You wouldn’t want your child to see you hitting your wife because that would be setting a bad example, so why wouldn’t people want to show them good examples of loving relationships? Plus, it’s gotta be fun to embarrass them when they’re teenagers!

Okay, I’m rambling.

My point is…how do you show them that nudity is okay without fucking them up in their adult life? I don’t have an answer really, because I think it depends on the child and the parent. If you’re comfortable and she’s comfortable, I would think it’s fine. If she’s noticing differences, it may be time to cover up…you just don’t want to make it a big deal.

That’s my HO, of course.

*By “you” I don’t mean YOU Abe, I mean anyone.

You’ll know…the kids will say…“Aw Ger-O’sss Mom” when you inadvertantly wander into their room with nuthin’ on.

That’s all.

Your assumption that nudity in the home victimizes children/puts them harms way of perverts and pedophiles isn’t judgemental?

[slight hijack] Friday night I was getting dressed to go out. My husband was giving our 15 month old daughter a bath, and when it was time to get her changed and put to bed, he called me to help out. I was wearing a skirt and bra. We were standing at the changing table, and my daughter pointed to my left breast and said “boobie!” My husband thought this was quite funny, and since he laughed, she continued to point back and forth - “boobie, boobie, boobie, boobie!” Teeheehee…[/slight hijack]

I think it’s important to make sure kids understand that it’s not OK to pull their clothes off when they’re in public. I think I became aware of that at around age 5. As far as parental nudity is concerned, I agree that the kids will let you know. When they become uncomfortable, it is time to cover up.

The same issue always arises for me when I’m playing with my friends’ children, and it’s time for me to go. The conversation will go as follows:

Me: Bye Sugar. You wanna hug bye-bye?
Baby: Nooooooo!
Baby’s mother: Hug your Auntie Shrew!!!
Me: No no. That’s okay.
Baby’s mother: Go hug your Auntie Shrew right now!

ARGH. I don’t want any child to learn that it’s okay for affection of any kind to be forced, certainly not on my account. In the same way, I don’t want children to be so immune to nudity that they become vulnerable to the dangers of the outside world. If a teacher, principal, other child, other child’s parent, or stranger exposes him/herself, I want the child to be concerned. I certainly don’t want the child to react with, “Ooh, just like Daddy’s.” But I’m probably rare in this respect, and I’m okay with that.

It’s not an assumption. It’s something I’ve carefully considered and decided upon. Because my father was molested by his own father, sexual improprieties were a huge issue in my house. I make my judgments based on my prior experiences and my own ethics. No assuming required.

Theres another issue here. Given the present climate you never know what someone is going to take as being indecent with a child. In a time where people are turned in to the cops because they took a picture of thier kids playing in the bath and had it developed at a photomat, theres no telling when somthing your child says to a teacher about seeing mommy or daddy nude might get misunderstood and get blown out of proportion. Its a paranoid world we live in.

Very true, bdgr.

Shrew, I am sorry to hear of your family history. I now understand your feelings on the OP.

Perhaps you could agree that it is best for each family to do so in their own homes. And that nudity is a natural state. And that to make it a negative or bad thing for a child could also affect them for life.

I think I could have avoided a lot of therapy if this sort of thing had been avoided very early on.
What happens is the kids subconscious sometimes starts to formulate fantasies of themselves
with the person. It’s not the kind of thing one would want etched in their retinas for the rest of
their lives, but only those of us
who have had folks walk about naked can testify to whether they remember it or not.

Way too much concern about nudity.