This topic may appear to be quite the taboo for many. However, there are those who don’t feel uncomfortable discussing it and doing it. And frankly, there is a lot of benefit behind this habit, as it promotes the idea that one should be comfortable with their body.
Our society has been taught that our body and our sexuality is something to be ashamed of, and we pass on this teaching through our habits which our children observe and learn as the norm.
Being naked in front of your children opposes this tradition, and it promotes an attitude that helps children to develop a healthy self-concept about their body and sexuality. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to be a nudist, but let’s discuss what is required.
- Children make up their own minds
Children have a mind of their own. No matter how much we think we can influence them through our own behavior, there will always be their opinion on these things which will come as a filter of what they are ready to perceive.
This means that being too open with your bodies can be as disturbing for them as being overly timid and cautious.
So, shrieking and covering up after your child sees you naked as you get out of the shower can send a message to your child that the naked body is shameful and should remain hidden at all times.
Then again, walking around the house naked while you prepare your coffee and thinking that you are demonstrating body acceptance may be too much for a child who is not comfortable seeing their parents’ private parts.
You need to know just how much your child is ready to accept and be aware of their sense of privacy.
- Kids have double standards, too
For some kids, there’s a difference between looking and showing. For example, they may feel comfortable with the nudity in the swimming pool change room, but they could still prefer their private stall for changing their own swim suit.
Also, perception plays a big role in how comfortable they are seeing nudity in their friend, to that of seeing an older person nude.
Many social norms and private rules come into play when nudity is in question. Your job is to help them find their way by sending encouraging messages that normalize the perception of the human body and its beauty.
Seeing others nude and revealing their nudity is a matter of personal sense of comfort, so you should always give them the space to find it.
- Time changes everything
It’s natural that your child’s perception can change as time passes. A typical example is that of toddlers running around naked but become more self-conscious with time.
Perhaps the most stressful time for a child is during puberty when even the most confident children experience lots of struggles with their changing body. This is when most children prefer to keep these changes to themselves as much as they can.
What should a parent do?
When taking all the variables into consideration, it’s best to:
- Maintain a positive attitude toward your own body.
- Avoid any disparaging or embarrassing remarks about your child’s body.
- Talk openly and share information about the body regularly.
- Find a book about the body which your child can read and discuss with you.
- Have open discussions as a family on what would work for everybody when nudity comes into question and review your conclusions regularly. If you have a child who chooses to keep their body to themselves, respect their choice and set rules for knocking at the door before walking into the bathroom/bedroom.
So, being naked in front of your kids is alright as long as they feel comfortable with it. You can’t waltz in the kitchen with your private parts if you know that your child might be terrified of the sight, and you shouldn’t terrify them with the idea that being naked is wrong. In the end, it’s a matter of personal choice and compromise.