How old is too old to let your children see you naked?
I have seen this question raised online for as long as I can remember, even before I was a mother myself. Honestly, I am stumped by it.
I was raised in a very open family. I saw my mother, at least, naked on and off throughout my childhood. Not because she was “letting” me but rather because I needed to ask her something and I walked in.
When it comes to my kids I plan to take their lead. Right now they’re only 2.5 years and 1 year old. They don’t know any different. They do not know that society tells us to be covered and modest.
I do not plan to strut around the house naked but if my child walks in on me I will not rush to cover myself up. They will not be made to feel shame for seeing me. They will NOT see me shamed of my body.
However, when they decide they’d rather not see me or my husband naked then I will teach them what that means. That means knocking before they enter a room, not walking in on mom or dad on the toilet, and that means being respectful of other peoples space.
This also goes for when they decide they need privacy. I will lead by example.
What does the research say? There’s no general rule but of course answers vary depending on country and culture. I found a website with a pediatrician’s answer.
She says “the general rules that I advise parents to use is that once a child is aware of your naked state, inquires about your nakedness, or begins to make observations about your anatomical differences from himself/herself or the opposite parent, it is time to cover up.”
I challenge this reasoning. If my child is questioning nakedness and our differences I plan to answer them honestly and teach them.
When my child begins to learn of modesty, wanting to be private about baths, changing clothes, etc. Then I will do my part to abide by their wishes.
There are so many things that parents can get judged for. It astonishes me. I may be judged by this take on nudity with my children, but I think it’ll teach them some important lessons.
- Modesty is to be respected when space is asked for by another person
- Bodies are not to be ashamed of
- They will see mom and dad not ashamed of how they look
- They will see that beauty isn’t lost after your body changes (age, weight, pregnancies)
I find so many protect their children from what is unrealistic, like pornography, but then they also shelter their kids from what is realistic, mom with saggy boobs and stretch marks. In my opinion, if you want to shelter your child from the unrealistic then you need to show them and teach them what is realistic.