April 2013 Moms

Seeing Parents Naked

The genitalia post has me thinking.  Is there an age limit for your children to see you naked?  Does it matter what the sex of the child is?  For us, H is very uncomfortable with my daughter seeing him naked or even in his underwear.  But that is just because she's a girl.  He said that he wouldn't feel that way if she was a boy.  He doesn't think it's weird that I walk around naked in front of our daughter. 

On the other hand, my nephew is 5 and my sister walks around naked in front of him.  My H also said that his aunt would walk around topless around him and his cousin when they were in their teens.  I thought that was weird.

I've never seen my father naked but I still see my mother naked.  I guess there is no age limit when the sex is the same, but maybe after 2 or 3 when they can recognize differences should be a difference when the sexes are different. 

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Re: Seeing Parents Naked

  • I don't have much to say on this because I'm not sure what we're going to do in this situation but I was just listening to the radio where they were quoting a 10 year study on this topic. They found that children that were exposed to normal nudity (getting in and out of the shower, getting dressed etc) were healthier in most areas of life. I thought that was pretty interesting. 
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  • We are generally not a "walk around naked" type of family, but once a child is old enough to tell others - like a teacher, etc that he/she saw Daddy's parts - I think that would be too old.  We don't need that going around and being misinterpreted. So i agree 2-3.


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  • image nyki06:
    I don't have much to say on this because I'm not sure what we're going to do in this situation but I was just listening to the radio where they were quoting a 10 year study on this topic. They found that children that were exposed to normal nudity (getting in and out of the shower, getting dressed etc) were healthier in most areas of life. I thought that was pretty interesting. 

    Did they talk about the sex of the parents vs the child? Or did it not matter in the study?

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  • I'm a private person, and so is FI (even more so than I am). We each have a girl. Even so, when my DD was little, she very rarely saw me completely naked. I tried taking a bath with her when she was a couple months old, and even that was really awkward for me, I never did it again. Even though she nursed til she was 2 1/2, I don't like flashing my boobs at her, and if we are changing in the same room together, I will turn my back, and will step behind the bed to change my underwear.

    It's not that I'm ashamed; I was in the Army for 14 years, I've showered with my share of women without shame, but I never recall having seen my own mother naked; it was not a normalcy in our household, and still isn't.

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  • I think we are a naked family. Not crazy naked but no shame we change in front of each other.

    I still nurse my son too.
  • We're still working with DS on the whole "naked privacy" thing. So at 4yrs old, he still sees me naked when I'm getting in/out of the shower and he comes into the bathroom (we only have one bathroom), and he will sometimes sit and wait for me to potty in the morning (we walk downstairs together every morning). He's started to notice the differences between girls and boys though, so at some point this year we'll really start to limit his exposure to me. But I get dressed alone in my room, and I don't purposely get naked in front of him. But I don't act ashamed or hide if he walks in on me, either.

    However, we're having a girl this time, so I know DS will see her naked for a while. It throws a new kink into the whole nakedness issue... is it different if they are siblings, with a bigger age gap (mine will be 4yrs apart)? And no idea how we'll handle it with DD and DH.

    For now, we're trying to approach it like it's no big deal. If we don't make a big production out of it, and treat bodies like it's natural, DS and DD shouldn't be TOO scarred ;) Especially as I breastfeed, etc... DS is going to be introduced into a whole new world ;)

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  • I second Pp about once the child is old enough to talk about it; both my own daughter and my friend's son had innocent stories taken wrong. I agree that normal nudity, getting dressed, showering, for either age is fine until 3 or 4, and then after that it really depends on the child's interest or reaction. I think some exposure is important to ensure your child is comfortable with showing you their body if something is wrong. My son had an ant bite on his penis that made it swell something awful at age 8 that would have been even tougher if we hadn't established why and when it is ok for parents to see privates. I guess that doesn't mean they have to see you naked. Yea, we are pretty much careful to have underwear on after about age 4, and I cover my bra area even with a bra on and my hiney, in front of my boys, but they are modest and get embarrassed, some boys wouldn't care.
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  • I think when the sex is the same it doesn't matter so much but for me personally I don't want DH walking around our daughter naked past like 1 probably. His underwear are okay but I would just think its weird it he was full blown naked with everything hangin out lol
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  • I don't think it is a big deal unless you make it one. There is nothing wrong with my body that I feel like I should be ashamed of, or keep hidden. That being said, as he gets older we will talk about privacy because I think its an important concept in relation to using the bathroom and exposing certain parts of the body. I feel like that will be a natural time to request my own privacy, mostly as a model.
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  • image mngildersleeve:
    I think when the sex is the same it doesn't matter so much but for me personally I don't want DH walking around our daughter naked past like 1 probably. His underwear are okay but I would just think its weird it he was full blown naked with everything hangin out lol


    1? What if he is caring for her and has to pee? Or take a shower? Is it different if you get naked in front of your son? Because my kid won't let me pee alone. I mean, I could lock him out but he may or may not bang on the door screaming, or climb on the coffee table.
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  • Keeping yourself covered doesn't have to be about being ashamed of your body; it's called modesty. I teach my daughter that ladies don't show their butt, or lift their shirts, unless it's to show Mommy if something is wrong (or hurting), or when we are at the doctor's office getting a check-up. When she gets older and has to change for gym class, then we will have another conversation about what's appropriate.
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  • image can_can:

    We're still working with DS on the whole "naked privacy" thing. So at 4yrs old, he still sees me naked when I'm getting in/out of the shower and he comes into the bathroom (we only have one bathroom), and he will sometimes sit and wait for me to potty in the morning (we walk downstairs together every morning). He's started to notice the differences between girls and boys though, so at some point this year we'll really start to limit his exposure to me. But I get dressed alone in my room, and I don't purposely get naked in front of him. But I don't act ashamed or hide if he walks in on me, either.

    However, we're having a girl this time, so I know DS will see her naked for a while. It throws a new kink into the whole nakedness issue... is it different if they are siblings, with a bigger age gap (mine will be 4yrs apart)? And no idea how we'll handle it with DD and DH.

    For now, we're trying to approach it like it's no big deal. If we don't make a big production out of it, and treat bodies like it's natural, DS and DD shouldn't be TOO scarred ;) Especially as I breastfeed, etc... DS is going to be introduced into a whole new world ;)

    I think these are excellent points and they're going to frame how I approach it as a FTM. I don't wander around the house naked, but I want it to be that if she sees me (or DH, but not sure if he'll be cool with it) I'm not freaking out, because it follows the whole body shaming thing! I don't want them to think it's dirty or evil.

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  • I don't recall every seeing my parents naked.  I am a very conservative person when it comes to that stuff and so is DH.  He feels really uncomfortable letting DD see him naked, so he doesn't.  I also don't like it, but she does see me naked from time to time.  I honestly don't walk around naked ever, so there isn't much of an opportunity...
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  • Being that my girls are older my FI doesnt walk around naked in our home. I have asked that he always have at least shorts on. Me, my girls saw me walking around this morning with towel that barely covered my ever growing stomach. They will walk in the bathroom and ask me questions while I am in the shower. Which does drive me nuts, Id like 5 minutes of peace. As far as my son who is in his late teens, as long as I have on whatever would cover ifI had a bathing suit on I dont see what the big deal is. No he will not see me naked. That would be weird. That being said we discuss privacy and to always knock on a door before entering and to not just barge into our bedroom. My girls share a room adn share a bathroom and are getting ready at the same time in the morning and are comfortable with eachother and changing. I guess we are a pretty open family lol
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  • I have thought about this as well, since DS is 4 1/2 and I am not sure when it's no longer appropriate or what we will do.  As it is right now, DS sees me naked pretty often like if he is hanging out in the bathroom while I shower and MH isn't home (we work opposite shifts), or I'm getting dressed/ready for church, going to the bathroom or if I take him swimming at the Y. (this one especially, is unavoidable as boys aren't allowed in the women's locker room so we have to go in the family room and obviously he sees me getting in and out of my suit) 

    He's never really made a big deal out of it or cared much.  He has noticed that girls have different genitalia (he says that girls sit down to pee because they don't have things coming out of them, or that girls have a line) but beyond that it's just NBD to him. 

    I know though, that eventually it won't be appropriate for him to see mommy naked, and I don't want him to think it's really NBD forever because obviously he needs to know to respect other's privacy when it comes to nudity as well as protecting his own around non-family members etc.

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  • Probably around age 2-3.  I know my brother and I stopped taking baths together when I was about 4-he was 2.5 because we were having the private parts conversation.  I don't think I've seen either of my parents completely naked.  My dad likes to walk around in his underwear, and maybe I've seen my mom from the back naked but not the front.  Not sure if that was intentional, or if I just respected their space.
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  • I don't go around the house naked but my daughter does see me change most mornings.  Last week she started asking specific questions about my boobs while I was putting my bra on.  Since then I have gone into the bathroom to put my bra on.  It's not that I don't want her asking me questions, but I don't want her going to daycare and asking the same questions or telling about my boobs!
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  • My son knows the difference between boys and girls (he will be 3 next week).  I am home alone with him A LOT and he's always in the bathroom with me, sees me getting dressed, goes shopping with me, etc... and he often showers with me at night (since I go to the gym and it's just easier than bathing him and then showering myself).  He does not even pay attention to me in the shower- he plays legos with his back to me.  He doesn't "touch" me or stare or anything, and is perfectly comfortable in his own skin.  We're not shy about walking from one room to the other naked with him around, but once he seems to start to pay more attention to me being naked, it'll end.  Or if he reaches school-age, whichever comes first.
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  • No nudity here.  I never saw my parents naked, and my only sibling is a male who is 10 years older so I've never seen him naked either.  H is a step-father to my 13 yr old DD so obviously neither he nor she goes around naked.  I don't go naked because I was raised in such a modest, private household.  I did take DD into the shower with me when she was 2 and under, mostly after we'd been swimming and we were just getting in to rinse off.  But, she hasn't seen me naked since then.  DD's father stopped going naked in front of her when she came home and told me that he had a "tail".  So I agree with the PP's who said that once they're old enough to notice and talk about it that it's time to stop.  But, I also know families who were always open, and the mothers went around naked in front of both sons and daughters who were in elementary school and they all turned out just fine.  I think it's a personal preference.  I've just been raised in a very modest way and so that's how I continue to be.  Although, I do wonder if the extreme modesty in my family is why I'm so embarrassed about being naked as an adult, even with H.  I hate that I feel that way sometimes, but I do feel a certain level of shame in nudity.  I don't want my kids to be that way, but I'm not sure how to prevent that other than to try to explain that your body is private, but nothing to be ashamed of??  I don't know.
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  • I only have a dd, so take this for what it's worth. If this baby is a boy, things will probably be a little different.

    DD is 6. I'm okay changing in front of her, showing with her (doesn't happen often) or what have you. We're generally not a "walk around naked" family, either, but I sleep in a t-shirt and undies and will go wake her up in the morning before I get completely dressed.

    I'm pretty sure she's never seen dh naked, but he does hang out in (baggy) long-johns quite often.

    If #2 is a boy, I'll likely be much more modest as he gets older - probably starting around 2yo. And I'll probably buy a robe. Wink

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  • image sherina825:

    The genitalia post has me thinking.  Is there an age limit for your children to see you naked?  Does it matter what the sex of the child is?  For us, H is very uncomfortable with my daughter seeing him naked or even in his underwear.  But that is just because she's a girl.  He said that he wouldn't feel that way if she was a boy.  He doesn't think it's weird that I walk around naked in front of our daughter. 

    On the other hand, my nephew is 5 and my sister walks around naked in front of him.  My H also said that his aunt would walk around topless around him and his cousin when they were in their teens.  I thought that was weird.

    I've never seen my father naked but I still see my mother naked.  I guess there is no age limit when the sex is the same, but maybe after 2 or 3 when they can recognize differences should be a difference when the sexes are different. 

    I'm kind of in the same boat as you concerning our own parents, although I have seen my father naked (and try to repress it all the time LOL). The last few years has made my mother cover herself up more, though, in running from the bathroom to her room or vice versa. I think it'd be weird being naked in front of my (potential) son(s) after they hit 3 years or so, and girls I meh at. Ladies are ladies, and I want my daughters comfortable in their own skin and able to express themselves as needed (NOT HALF NAKED GOING TO SCHOOL /slap). More so in the line of asking questions and such. I'm honestly not sure how FI feels about this (we're expecting a girl). Never hit me to ask him.

  • image nyki06:
    I don't have much to say on this because I'm not sure what we're going to do in this situation but I was just listening to the radio where they were quoting a 10 year study on this topic. They found that children that were exposed to normal nudity (getting in and out of the shower, getting dressed etc) were healthier in most areas of life. I thought that was pretty interesting. 

    Oooo! That would make sense in my house growing up :)

  • My DH has never stood completely naked in front of our daughter.  Although he'll sit on the toilet in front of her.  But if she does come barreling in the room while he's putting on underwear, he calmly turns around without making a big deal about it.  He is uncomfortable showing her everything.  

    Me, I'm naked all the time around my daughter.  Because I'm pregnant, I sit in the bath with her to bathe her b/c it's so much easier on my back.  I saw my mom naked all of the time, and probably still would have no problem going into the bathroom if mom were taking a bath or something and vice versa.

    My parents made me be more modest about being naked when I hit puberty... at least around my dad.  

    I grew up with a sister and have a daughter so when my son is born I'll have a better idea of what I'm comfortable with as far as mother/son because I've never seen that dynamic.  As a baby/toddler, I don't think it's an issue at all.  

    I agree NOT making a big fuss about it and starting dialogue about body parts at a young age so the topic is a comfortable one for all members of the family.  There is nothing to be ashamed of in terms of body parts.  I think we all just have personal preferences and levels of what we are comfortable with.  

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  • We are more on the naked end of the spectrum.  DS sees both me and DH getting in and out of the shower, plus getting dressed.  I also think it's good for him to see us using the potty as an example, especially DH.  How else will he learn how the potty is used?  I certainly don't think I want to teach him that our bodies are anything to be ashamed of.  On the other hand, I don't plan to walk around naked in front of him when he's a teenager.  There will be a time I'm sure when it will start to feel like any of us is less comfortable (probably nearer to adolescence) and we'll play that by ear.
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  • I grew up in a household where we were not modest.  We wouldn't parade around naked in front of everyone but we certainly wouldn't run for the hills if someone walked in when we were taking a shower.  During adolescence, my brother and I became more private with our bodies.  When I reached adulthood,  I have never seen my brother or father naked but certainly did at a younger age.  I'm not scarred for it.  Before my mom died, I had to bathe her several times and wipe her backside because she was unable.  Neither she nor I felt any kind of embarassment or shame during this time. Don' t ashamed of your body but certainly set up appropriate boundaries with children.

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  • I showered regularly with DS until 2. There was no way for me to get a shower in otherwise. Since then only on the odd occasion. He still follows me into the bathroom and sneaks in when I'm changing. I don't wander around naked, and I'm trying to teach him "private spaces", but I don't freak out if he sees me naked for a few seconds. He has seen me naked more often than he's seen DH. I would like him to see DH naked more now so DH can teach him how to pee standing up, and how to care for his penis etc.

    Now that he's approaching 3 I'm becoming more private and trying to teach him that sometimes we need privacy. With this little girl I'll probably do about the same only reverse because it's important I teach her about her parts.  

  • I don't think age as so much to do with it as your comfort level - and your kid's.

    DH and I don't try to hide from our kids when we get dressed, and if they ask to shower with us, we see no reason to say "no". If it becomes weird at some point, then we'll reevaluate, but we're not there yet.

    I remember MIL nearly choked last year when she called and I told her DH couldn't come to the phone because he was in the tub with the girls (DD1 was 2). I wonder what she'd think if I told her he still does it.

     

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  • DD just stopped showering with DH in the fall. Now she only gets in the shower with me, though she does see him get in and out of the shower. I imagine we will reach that point where we'll want more privacy. I don't know exactly when with the age difference between the girls being 4 years, it might be awhile.
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  • I am very modest and so is DH. It's funny- both of our mothers aren't very modest. His mother is from Europe and will sun bathe topless in front of her whole family. My mom had 5 siblings and they shared one bathroom so she seems to have no issue with nudity.

    DD hasn't seen either myself or DH completely naked. I will change with her in the room but I may turn my back if I am changing my bra. DH will change his pants and shirt but never underwear with her in the room.

    As for showering I don't really see why she needs to come into the bathroom with me for that. She plays w/ DH or watches TV and I shower. I do let her come into the bathroom while I am peeing but that is mainly so she gets an understanding of what she should be doing while we are potty training.

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  • Funny story that I thought of regarding this issue. My friend has a son that is now six so this scenario may have happened about 2.5 years ago right after he turned 4. They were on a trip and she took him into the bathroom so they both could use it. He went first and then she did. He looked at her and said, "Mommy, I like your hair pee-pee." DEAD!!!!! I just giggled writing this.
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