Nudity can be a taboo topic for many of us — When is it appropriate? How much skin should you show? Are nude beaches worth it? And when you throw kids into the equation, things can get even more complicated. The one big question most people have as they (and their children) get older is when you should stop being naked in front of them. Turns out, there’s no right answer, but from my own experience, gender plays a major role.
Every parent knows what’s best for their family, but it’s also so important to look for your kids’ cues.
Every family is different. Some parents raise their kids in a more open and natural environment, which can mean nudity isn’t a big deal for a number of years. Others choose to be more conservative and give each other space and privacy from the start. Every parent knows what’s best for their family, but it’s also so important to look for your kids’ cues. Follow their lead when it comes to drawing a line about nudity. It’s no big deal to change in front of your tiny newborn or take a bath with your toddler, but if they start to turn their head away, get red in the face, or even gawk at your birthday suit, then you may want to consider creating new boundaries. My son is only 5, but when he barges in on me as I’m getting out of the shower, he sometimes stares and seems embarrassed, so we’ve readjusted our routines to make sure he (and I) are always comfortable. He’s still fine with me seeing him naked, but the minute he starts to change, I’ll give him his privacy.
My daughter, however, is much more comfortable. She’s only 3, so sometimes she’ll giggle and say things like, “Whoa, those are some big boobies, mommy!” But she’s never uncomfortable, and until she hints she is, I plan on being more relaxed around her when it comes to undressing. My mother never stopped discreetly changing in front of me when I was a kid, and I actually think it helped me with my body image. We would usually share the same dressing room when we would shop for clothes, and she didn’t hide under a robe after getting out of the shower. She was comfortable with her imperfect body, which made me learn to love mine as I got older.
After talking to some friends about this subject as well, the answer we’ve all come to about this hot topic is just to listen and watch your kids. If they want privacy, give it to them. If they seem comfortable, don’t stress too much about closing your bedroom door in their face to change. By letting them figure out their own boundaries and comfort zones, you’ll be able to talk to them about how to establish them with other people. And if they have questions, make sure you’re open and honest. You’re their parent, so you’ll know the right time. Just don’t feel bad (or weird) if your child’s right time is different than their friends.
Editor’s Note: This piece was written by a POPSUGAR contributor and does not necessarily reflect the views of POPSUGAR Inc. Interested in joining our POPSUGAR Voices network of contributors from around the globe? Click here.