i was checking out facebook yesterday when i saw a link that rachel sarah posted to an article from the new york times. i popped over to read it as the subject was something we’ve dealt with. (the article has since been posted at ohdeedoh as well.)
it’s about when, and if, parents think it’s appropriate for kids to be naked, whether at home alone or with guests.
we’re a naked family. we have talked about how we don’t want our kids to grow up with the spoken & unspoken taboos about their bodies & sex. we believe that by letting them tell us when they are uncomfortable being naked or being around us when we are naked, they will grow up with a stronger sense of self & a better handle on self-confidence. they will be less aware of their bodies as bad things.
now, this doesn’t mean we haven’t had a few issues & funny things happen along the way.
the big girls used to come home from daycare when they were about 2 & strip. they would start at the front door & there was literally a trail of clothing to wherever they ended up. i can see the shoes, socks, shirt, shorts & diaper (times 2) so clearly now in our house in tempe strewn all over the dark green carpet. we also potty-trained them naked so that they would be more aware of the sensation of urinating. it worked. they potty-trained very quickly & easily.
once they started kindergarten, they learned all those taboos we didn’t really want to teach them & they are kind of shy about being naked now. even saying they don’t care to see daddy naked anymore, although that seems to bother them sometimes & not at other times.
now, the boy is different.
he has equipment.
i don’t really want to make him stay clothed, but i definitely don’t want to watch him tug on his p3nis all day long. our rule for him is that he has to be in his room by himself if he wants to do it. otherwise, he needs clothes on & has to stop. masturbation isn’t a bad thing & i don’t want him to think that it is, but i do want him to know there is a time & a place for it and that’s alone and in his room.
so the rules are different for the girls and the boy in our house. if they’d done the same thing, we’d have made them put their drawers back on, too.
on the flip side of what we allow in our house, we also grapple with what others think is appropriate. i don’t have hang ups about nudity, so it doesn’t bother me to see my kids or other kids in their birthday suits, but i know that it does make others uncomfortable. if someone else has a rule about keeping clothes on in their house, i try to make the kids keep ‘em on. while looking at pictures last night, i found many that had naked tushies in them. most of them were at our house, but some were at my parents’ house. (we spend a lot of time there during the summer and my parents don’t seem to have issues with nudity. being a doctor & a nurse may have something to do with that.) i have some pictures of the girls skinny-dipping at a 4th of july party with tons of people around & didn’t think twice about it, while the bestie’s husband had a mini flip out that their daughter swam naked. they were 5 at the time & i wasn’t worried about it.
it’s another one of those “to each their own” things. kind of like breast feeding, co-sleeping & religious choice. i’m not hurting anyone by letting my kids run around like dirty hippies, ya know?
how do you handle nekkid-ness?