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Nudity + parenting
At what age do you stop showering or changing in front of your kids?
I get asked about nudity and parenting from time to time. It usually sounds something like:
Question: At what age do you stop showering or changing in front of your boys?
Answer: When I'm dead?
But seriously. If I had sons, I would not go out of my way to hide myself but rather continue to do my thing and be naked when I'm naked. The answer is the same as having daughters or kids of any gender, really.
I am naked when I’m naked - getting into the shower, getting dressed. As toddlers, my kids walked in on me in the bathroom all. the. time. Just because they reached some predetermined age doesn’t mean I’m gonna rush to grab a towel and cover myself. In my mind, doing so indicates shame. Think Adam and Eve; the story goes that the snake convinced Eve to eat the apple, then Adam did, and their eyes were opened to their nudity, prompting her and Adam to cover themselves up with fig leaves (curious choice, those fig leaves). Why would I want to perpetuate the idea that the body is shameful? Look where this idea has us today.
What is the counterargument? That it is inappropriate? That they will be embarrassed? Aren’t parents supposed to be embarrassing?
My kids know nakedness or nudity is not “Sex”. Besides, at some point in the future, they will likely find themselves naked with a partner. I want them to be confident in their bodies and be respectful of the bodies of others.
I’m a safe person; they’re my kids. I’m not engaging in any sexual behavior or activities with them (or in front of them for that matter). I’m also not walking around naked when their friends are visiting. Context is important.
Your children might be embarrassed at first, especially if you haven’t been naked all along as they grew up. Besides, being around naked people becomes “not a big deal” pretty quickly.
Look, I'm an adult female who does not have the body of a Victoria's Secret model. And that's okay! As it is, NO ONE sees other humans naked. If the only bodies children and teens (and heck, throw adults in here too) are allowed to see are models, celebrities, porn stars, or photoshopped images, they begin to develop skewed ideas of what bodies are supposed to be like. I'd rather have my child know that a #MomBod is normal and nothing to be ashamed of! I'd hate for my son to body shame a future partner because they didn't look a certain way. Make sense?
What do you think? Where do you stand? Share in the comments below!