nudity

Mary - posted on 07/12/2011 ( 65 moms have responded )

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My son, 10, has often walked in on me when I am dressing. Is this wrong and how should I handle it without making it appear that nudity is something that is wrong. Would like personal feedback to my email if possible.

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JuLeah - posted on 07/12/2011

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Ask him to knock. In our culture it is good manners to knock, so make sure he knows that.

Evgenija - posted on 07/13/2011

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I think waiting until your child is 10 and not having explained some basic behavior rules is a parent's mistake. I started teaching my children about their bodies (and human's body in general) at the age of three. So now, when they are 10 and 8 (both are boys) they have a clear understanding of a menstrual period, conception, delivery, sex etc. Of course they don't walk around talking about these things as of cartoons, because while we were going through this process I taught them about privacy, especialy the privacy of their bodies. Think I'm crazy if you will :) but in this crazy world I felt I HAD to explain everything about body privacy, including watching someone else's body because I am scared to death of child abuse and want my children to be aware of all possible dangers outside. This way, they both know that our bedroom is our private space, so if they need me and the door is closed (never locked!) they knock and wait for me to reply, or just call me from behind the door and ask whether they can come in. Sometimes I just tell them 'Mommy's going to get dressed" and that's enough. They've never walked in on me.

Tania - posted on 07/12/2011

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I really don't think it's that big of a deal. There are nudist colonies around, after all. If it makes you uncomfortable, I would ask him to knock or put a lock on your door.

Lindsay "Lindy" - posted on 10/06/2011

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I see nothing wrong with my 4 year old son and 2 year old daughter seeing me naked, they take showers with me everyday, my hubby and I both sleep in the nude and when one of them needs in the middle of the night we get up and go tend to them naked and sometimes sleep with us in bed. We also swim and play out in the backyard naked as a family.

Misty - posted on 07/13/2011

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This "can" be a complex situation. I agree with most of the other posts, address the situation by enforcing a "new privacy" rule. Let him know that now that he is getting older, HE is going to want more privacy. Therefore, a good way to practice this is for HIM to show YOU the same courtesy. That way you can make him feel good that he's growing into a young man rather than making a big deal about nudity. I worry that if you did make a big deal out of the nudity part, that he will be even more curious and start to explore other avenues as he tries to satisfy his curiousity. I have three daughters, ages 7, 11 and 14. None of them think twice about walking in on me while i'm changing and they sure don't mind walking in on me while i'm using the bathroom. In fact, it almost seems as though we hold family meetings while i'm using the potty because often i'll have a full audience (husband, three daughters, dog and cat) while in the bathroom. I finally had to start locking my bathroom door and my bedroom door (I usually only use my master bath). I am remarried and while I was a single mom, my girls and I thought nothing of the whole privacy thing (of course they were a little younger, too). Then my husband came into our lives, and never really having been around children, privacy was an adjustment for him. I made it easy for him, instead of walking around in his boxers as he did when he was single, I bought him lightweight pajama shorts/pants or gym shorts (something comfortable) to wear over his boxers. He can still dress down and cool off, but he stays completely covered as well. I do feel that by the age of 10, boys and girls should know the basic anatomy of each other, along with the basics of male and female reproductive systems. I do, however, disagree with one post... I feel that it is totally inappropriate for a 3 year old girl and 5 year old boy to be touching each other's private parts. Asking questions about each other's parts is normal and should be answered honestly. I also feel that a 5 year old boy should not be showering in public shower that is designated for women. If there is no family or gender neutral shower at that location, the appropriate thing to do is to take your child home to shower. The parent of the boy may feel that there is nothing wrong with it, but other women may feel uncomfortable. I know I got off topic, but since someone did include this in a reply, I wanted to express my opinion on the matter. Hope this helps, good luck!

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65 Comments

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Jen - posted on 02/26/2012

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It really depends on the family. My little ones and i are nudist so for us no it's not a big deal.

Chrystal - posted on 12/25/2011

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In our home nudity is not seen as anything bad or private we walk around nude often. Right now our kids are to young to have any concept of privacy and haven't yet learned what embarrassment is so it's not an issue for us. But we've talked about if/when the day comes to deal with the issue of nudity. Our plan is if there comes a time when any member of the family feels uncomfortable by the nudity then it stops and nudity will be considered something done in private only. If it makes you uncomfortable for your son to see you undressed then he shouldn't and you can simply explain to him that you want to dress in private and he should knock and wait to be invited before he goes in your room. There is nothing wrong either way everyone has their own sense of personal space and comfort others need to respect that.

Laura - posted on 12/25/2011

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Hi Mary:

I don’t think you’re harming their body image by asking them to respect your privacy when getting dressed if you explain to them that mommy is modest. Remaining composed and neutral while telling them your wishes will help them understand that everyone has different preferences about being seen undressed and that’s _okay_.



Practicing nudity is a personal choice for us. You see, we're a house of nudists and non-nudists. As a result, we've become blasé within the family about being viewed nude, or not. Additionally, we have informed the kids that most of the world is much more modest and that there are local ordinance that may forbid public nudity. As a result, we get dressed when company comes over or when we leave the house. How my boys behave in public boys locker rooms is up to them and their fellow locker room occupants. Dad, however, accompanies them to all male/family locker rooms and educates the boys (and strangers) as the situation arises.



I'm a non-nudist which leaves me checking my overreactions to being caught nude by my boys, who love to hang out undressed (when it's_ warm_). When they walk in my room and find me dressing, my face may flush and I tell them to give me a minute for me to get dressed, but I do make a point to say that as neutrally as possible. (Not their fault because I often forget to close my door.) Yet, there are times when we are running too late to give modesty its due respect and everyone is rushing around in various states of dress. So, it seems each situation is unique; besides, the boys are quick to fuss when we’ve annoyed them so we haven’t had much trouble discovering their nudity boundaries.



Laura

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I have 6 kids they are 12, 10, 7, 5, 3, and 1 year old. They see me naked around the house all the time. Even my 12 year old son still sees me naked. I really don't see a big deal about nudity at home.

Brooke - posted on 11/19/2011

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I dont believe nudity is a sexual thing.. yes it can be, between a couple but as far as your own children I think this fear of sexual abuse has gone to far. I do get dressed with a closed door but if my children were to open the door on me I will not hide away. I am sure in years to come they will get to an age where they will not want to be walking in to talk to me while im naked. I do not walk around the house naked but I do in my underwear and not ashamed to do so, there is no difference to me then wearing a bikini on the beach. Having my children be confident is something that is very important to me, so I will teach them to never be ashamed of the human body but at the same time to have self respect.

It is each to their own, so if anyone feels uncomfortable with there child or children seeing there body then do something about it but if your anything like me I couldn't care less.

Julie - posted on 11/18/2011

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My ex. saw nothing wrong is the girls seeing him nude ... little did I realize he was grooming them for future molestation!
teach your son to knock on closed doors BEFORE entering -

Kitty - posted on 10/04/2011

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yes make sure he knocks it is the polite thing to do.. same as you wouldnt want him walkin in on you2 haveing sex would you!

Mary - posted on 10/03/2011

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we have a daughter who is 11 and son who is 10
they see us when we are getting dress. who the opposite sex body is nothing new to them
and they think nothing of it

Sarah - posted on 07/20/2011

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my son is 9 and has seen me too, I ask him to knock if the door is closed but its really no big deal to me

Amy - posted on 07/18/2011

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I agree about knocking & getting permission before entering let him know that sometimes humans need private time & def make sure he understands nudity has it's own time & place so he will never feel ashamed about his body.

Nicole - posted on 07/17/2011

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There is nothing wrong with that you just need to tell him to knock on your door and wait until you invite him because you like to have privacy.

ABIGAIL - posted on 07/14/2011

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why cant u try something like" my son from today we have few things which are going to change around here, in our sitting room, kitchen and mostly my bedroom! for example with my bedroom u will be knocking first before u enter and i will do the same with yo bedroom! from there see how well tis will work, and with time he will realise that both of u need some privacy, and why its important!

Erin - posted on 07/14/2011

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its only wrong if you feel it is. Nobody can tell you what your comfort zone is but yourself!
In my household, I find nothing wrong with leaving the bathroom door unlocked when I have a shower. My daughter needs to pee and we only have one bathroom!
I get her to help me get dressed right now as well, because im 40 weeks and 3 days, and despite efforts of keeping any dignity, I cant put my own damn pants on! She is 5 and a half, and is well aware that this is simply an "in our house" situation, she doesnt go running around stripping naked at friends, and she knocks on doors when we are out visiting friends or family. My husband will keep the bathroom door unlocked as well, but hes more restrained. He will make sure she doesnt get a chance to see him naked, its just something hes not comfortable with. He isnt her biological father, and I dont care one way or another. Thats his choice to make :)

Teresa - posted on 07/14/2011

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When my son was 3 or 4 he saw me getting dressed, actually putting on my underwear. I never thought anythign about it until he gasped and said. "Mommy, where'd your peepee go?" I knew then it was time to let him know girls and boys are different even without clothes. From then on, he was allowed in the bathroom with my husband but I keep the door closed. He's seven now and has an even bigger knowledge of the differences between the sexes and he knows everybody needs privacy when naked.

Stifler's - posted on 07/14/2011

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I just lock the door when randoms are over whom I would rather not have walk in on me naked. I'll be doing the same when my kids are older. I refuse to have kids in the toilet with me and when I'm in the bathroom, I need me time.

Claudia - posted on 07/14/2011

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I do not see a problem. I have 2 sons and will allow them to see me naked as they get older. To me, this just takes his curiosity alway.

Sylvia - posted on 07/14/2011

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I don't that would bother me (though what do I know? I only have a 9-year-old girl LOL), but it obviously bothers you on some level or you wouldn't be wondering whether it's wrong. If you're not comfortable with it, then you need to do something about it.

Tell him it's polite to knock, and you would appreciate it if he could remember to do that. And make sure you reciprocate -- knock when you want to come into his room.

Maria - posted on 07/14/2011

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Get a lock for the door. I have taught my children from a young age that the bedroom is personal space for them and me and to knock, waiting for a reply to come in..

Joy - posted on 07/14/2011

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Personally i think that nudity in and of itself is not wrong. However there is a sense of decency. I am teaching my three year old that it is alright to be nude and to not think of it as bad, but when in public and around others she needs to be clothed. She would run around in her undies all day if i let her. She has walked in on me changing and I have sat down with her and explained that there are differences (after her asking about them) and that they are things that she can expect to have happen to her as she grows up. However, it is not alright for her to look at me naked and that we need to have privacy. She knocks at my bedroom door and i knock on hers when she is changing to demonstrate this rule of privacy. I also have talked to her about not letting people touch her private parts as I'm nervous about predators out there and her normal curiosity of things. Don't know if it helps, but sitting down and talking to him may be something you really need to do.

Mazy - posted on 07/14/2011

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When I was growing up, I had two very "free" parents, so I ended up seeing a lot of them a lot of the time :P Right now I have two very small boys (2 years & 7 months). Sure, my husband & I are naked a lot and so are they & it's not a big deal, but we are practicing privacy early. Even though they both just barge into the bedroom or the bathroom, I still make a point of knocking on their bedroom door before I enter. I know it's "my" house, but that is their space & I want to respect them. My older son has started taking to knocking on doors before he enters when he knows someone is in there...which I think is nice. We will probably all walk around the house naked even when they are older, but I do feel that bedrooms are private areas of the house that should be respected, while someone is dressing, sleeping, or just reading a book. :)

Yolanda - posted on 07/14/2011

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My son was around 6 when I as combing his hair one morning, towel on top half only. He looked at me and said, put some clothes on Mom ! Now he is 15 and runs around in his undies whenever he can. :) I would ask him to knock though, it is a respect my space thing.

Linda - posted on 07/14/2011

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I don't have your e-mail I'm sorry, but there is nothing wrong with explaining to your son about Privacy, which has nothing to do with nudity. Knocking on any door when it is closed is proper and polite anywhere under any circumstances, and not respecting that is not acceptable. Of course at 10 he is curious, but nudity is a different subject matter than being polite and NOT walking into any room bathroom, bedroom etc when the door is closed.

[deleted account]

not sure why it is a big deal, we shared a bathroom with my parents growing up, someone was alway going to the bathroom, showing or brushing teeth all at the same time. no big deal!

Sandra - posted on 07/14/2011

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I have two sons, they are grown now but when they were growing up every once in a while one of them would open the bathroom door while I was getting out of the bath, I would simply say, "I will be out in a minute", and they would close the door and walk out. We never made an issue of nudity in our home because we didn't want our sons to feel like it was a big deal. Consequently, they never did.

Jane - posted on 07/14/2011

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As far as walking in, if its a constant thing, I totally agree, you need to have a talk about privacy. However, if it was an "oops" moment and it was an accident, it would be best to not dwell on the situation and it will blow over. Misty, I agree with you about public showering, I know its a rule at our local pool that 5 is the cut off age for both genders to be in the opposite locker room. But I've never felt comfortable taking my son in the ladies locker room and my husband never would take my daughter to the men's. If there isn't a family changing room, then we simply change at home before we come and go home and change after. However, I did allow my children to take baths together up until about 6 mo ago. My son is 8 and my daughter is 4. He knew the differences, but it never made a difference to him and they'd just play with bath toys. But then he got to the point of wanting to lay back in the bath and relax, not play and well, some natural boy functions would happen (woody!) and my daughter would notice and honestly, it was embarrassing to me as well! So we put a stop to having bathtime together.

Jean - posted on 07/14/2011

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It's acceptable and expected that you will be naked at various times while at home. The best thing to do is to tell your son that, while your bedroom door is closed, you need a little privacy so that you can get dressed in peace. Don't make a huge deal out of it, it's not wrong, but yes, boundaries need to be set, especially at his age and before he hits puberty.

Caron - posted on 07/14/2011

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I allow my son to see me in my underwear only. There has been no nudity from when he was about 7 or 8 years old. I know he sees me as ‘mom’ & not a naked lady, it just feels too weird naked. I mean your underwear could just as well have been a bikini & feels a lot more comfortable to me. My son is 17 years old now.

Naomi - posted on 07/13/2011

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nudity is nothing to be ashamed of.
we've always had an open bathroom door policy, but obviously if we have visitors or relatives over it is closed.
when my son asked me why i said 'poppy doesn't want to see my big bottom', but it is nothing for my children and i to walk naked into the living room to get dressed in front of the heater.
my 18yo just says 'mum put some clothes on but he still walks around in his underwear!!

Misty - posted on 07/13/2011

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Kristen, I didn't say I had a problem with a 5 or 6 year old boy using a women's restroom. If his father isn't present, I wouldn't expect a mother to allow their young child to use the men's room by himself. I do, however, feel that is it's inappropriate to allow the boy to shower in a women's public shower. If you're in a restroom, wouldn't the door generally be closed? Some of the showers are not private at all. As I said in my last post, the mom of the boy (you in this situation) may not have a problem with the boy taking a shower with strange women, but as the other gym member, I would not want to shower with someone else's 5 year old son. Also, if I read correctly, your little girl grabbed him once in the bath? It happens, but that doesn't mean it's appropriate. If it were my children, it would not happen again if it even happened in the first place. I taught my children at a young age to keep their hands to themselves, especially when it comes to other's private parts. As their mother, of course you have a right to raise your kids as you see fit. To each their own. I wasn't slamming you, I was just expressing my opinion. Everyone has their own parenting techniques. That's what makes us unique. That's all it was.. an opinion. Please don't be offended, it wasn't meant that way.

[deleted account]

I tried to set limits on my son around the same age, but he actually does not seem to notice I am naked! He has learned that he must knock if the door is closed and wait to be invited in, but otherwise I am fine with it. He seems to see me as Mommy, not as Woman, so far at least!

Rachel - posted on 07/13/2011

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I agree though, that it will probably only be a big deal if you make it a big deal. The question is HOw do YOU feel about him seeing you. Is it causing you or him any distress? Then follow your own heart on this one.

Rachel - posted on 07/13/2011

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At 10 he will have if not already have questions and is probably needing some answers. We had the "talk" about bodies with ours and explained that When the door is closed then only come in without knocking if it is an emergency.

Kristen - posted on 07/13/2011

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The YMCA rules stipulate a child under six is allowed in opposite gender restrooms, so we are within their written rules, if not within misty's unwritten rules. And my kids weren't 'touching each others parts' - makes it sound repeated and reciprocal, geez! I thought I was just offering a related experience, didn't know I was also inviting the judgment of strangers...

Sherri - posted on 07/13/2011

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I have 3 boys 14, 12 & 5 they still see me and my husband naked daily. The constantly barge into the bathroom all the time. There is no privacy in this house. A closed door means nothing, the are always just walking right in. Heck my 12 yr old walked in when I was doing my hair the other day and used the facilities.

We have never made it a big deal, hence it isn't a big deal. It is absolutely fine till they seem to have a problem with it in my book.

Mary - posted on 07/13/2011

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I hope that you are not getting upset with each other all because of my question, that was not my intention... I was simply hoping for more insight as to how other moms felt about it and what theire suggestions might be, especially those that might have the same type of situation. Anyone that may wish to discuss this more privately with me, please contact me on my Yahoo Messenger. mohrmary1@yahoo.com

Thanks to everyone

Mary

Jenn - posted on 07/13/2011

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I beg to differ. My best friend is black and she wasn't raised much different than me. She doesn't raise her children much different than me either. Maybe she was raised different than her own culture.

By the way, when anyone types in all caps it comes across as yelling. My mistake for thinking you were mad :)

Karen - posted on 07/13/2011

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i have never hide away from my children , its a personal thing if you think its wrong and are uncomfortable then just ask that next time they knock and wait but carry one with what you are doing as normal as possible . having five kids my house is like piccadilly circus. i think it teaches them some respect towards women , my son came home once and was shocked at the reaction by some of his peers to a nude lady in a magazine ,he just said he'd seen one loads of times and didn't know what all the fuss was about . so if he walks in just carry on getting dressed as norm.there is nothing wrong with a naked body

[deleted account]

I DIDN'T SAY IT WAS A "BAD" THING JENN...I AM JUST TRYING TO UNDERSTAND IT...AND PLS DON'T TAKE THIS THE WRONG WAY BUT BLACK PPL ARE BROUGHT UP DIFFERENTLY...OUR PARENTS DON'T GIVE US THE SAME RIGHTS AS YOU'RE SPEAKING OF...DIFFERENT CULTURES JUST DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY I GUESS...

Jenn - posted on 07/13/2011

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Why would I have such a hard line about my house and that I pay the bills? We are a family! My husband's money pays the bills but I care for our home and our children help. It isn't his house, his electricity, his water. It is our
Family home! We don't lock doors but we certainly allow privacy. Not sure why that is a bad thing???

[deleted account]

WHY DO YOU KNOCK ON DOORS IN YOUR OWN HOUSE WHERE YOU PAY THE BILLS? I DON'T BELIEVE SO MANY OF YOU ARE SAYING THAT...

Jenn - posted on 07/13/2011

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Nudity isn't wrong and he shouldnt be made to feel that it is. Simply require that if a door is closed, knock. He will want this same courtesy in a couple of years, trust me!

Cynthia - posted on 07/13/2011

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I dont think it is a BiG deal. He's your baby. Hope you didnt snap at him, next time just say"Im dressing,and I will be out in a second!" Kiddos will ultimately know when dressing is a private move. Right now they just see mommy's face. smiles!

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MY BOYS GETS NO PRIVACY IN MY HOUSE!!! POINT BLANK!!! THEY'LL GET PRIVACY IN THEIR OWN HOMES WHERE THEY PAY THERE OWN BILLS!!! THAT'S WHY SO MANY OF OUR KIDS ARE DOING THINGS THEY SHOULDN'T BE RIGHT UNDER OUR NOSES!!!

Elizabeth - posted on 07/13/2011

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All I can say is that you stress when a door is closed they must knock and ask if they can come in. Just explain that sometimes when the door is closed you need a few minutes of privacy. That way the nudity part really isn't the problem just that everyone needs privacy, including your son as he gets older.

[deleted account]

You shouldn't feel bad about that at all...He should know by now the correct names of each body part anyway. Use those times to teach in the moment. It won't be embarrassing to either one of you unless he doesn't know...Besides, if he knows what you have, he'll be less likely to let his curiousity have him out in the world feeling on little girls because he doesn't know what breasts are or what a vagina is...

Heather - posted on 07/13/2011

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I am a mom of a daughter and of course we have the same things,but I think I would feel more comfortable changing away from a boy child if I had one. I don't think its necessarily wrong but inappropriate at a certain age of the opposite sex and being your child. Just like them being in your bathroom if you are using it.You could simply explain that you have different parts that do different things and he's getting too old now to see these things and will have more questions the older he gets. You shouldn't have to delve too far into the SEX chat yet but the discussion could go into that direction even innocently so be prepared. Best of luck to both of you.~Heather

Sharon - posted on 07/13/2011

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I have a 13 year old that has done the same thing. If possible, just close your door and tell him that if he needs you, to knock when the door is closed. It is a respect and privacy issue, not a right or wrong issue. Everyone likes privacy. Would he want you to watch him get dressed? Usually around age ten to twelve kids get where they don't want you around when they are trying on clothes or anything. Have you tried talking to him about it? Approach it as a privacy issue.

Kathy - posted on 07/13/2011

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To me it's more an issue of privacy and respect. In our house you do not have the right to just barge into a room that has the door closed without knocking. It teaches respect of privacy, as well as manners. You wouldn't just walk into your boss's office with the door closed without knocking--this is the exact same thing. Your bedroom is your personal space and he MUST respect that. You can also afford him the same courtesy as you enter his room by doing a knock-while-you-open sort of thing, showing him that you will respect his privacy too. He IS too old to be seeing you naked, but that does not necessarily need to be the point if you don't want it to be. This is a good opportunity to teach respect for others and reaffirm your individuality and your right to privacy as a fellow human being. This is a good age to do that as you are approaching preteen/teenage years.

[deleted account]

I think it depends on how your family is in your home. I know some people that are very open with their children as far as nudity as they see it as natural and healthy. We definitely require knocking when a door is closed, but we are also very open with each other. I have two girls and usually don't close the door when changing. My husband closes the door, but he also wears his underwear to the bathroom and doesn't care if they see him. If your uncomfortable with him walking in, having a discussion about privacy is absolute. Nudity isn't wrong and you shouldn't promote that, but discussing with your son about privacy and how are bodies are private and we get to decide who we want to see them is very appropriate! Good luck~

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