Ducklings

We live in a society (the U.S.) in which we are constantly afraid of being “creepy” around kids or doing something that may be construed as sexually inappropriate. And while this is definitely culturally dependent, there is a lot of pressure on American parents to make sure they aren’t doing anything pedophilic. I mean, people are even chastised for taking naked pictures of their babies/young children because it could be viewed as “porn.” While some of these concerns are valid (it is probably a good idea not to post naked pictures of your kids on the internet, if for no other reason than the fact that they have no say in the decision), we tend to go overboard and become anxious about nudity around our kids. Seriously though, what would life be like if your parents didn’t whip out old pictures of you nakey on the potty for your first date?

The Benefit of Nudity In Your Home

There will come a time when your kids will run out of the room screaming in horror if they happen to walk in on you naked. But until that day, nudity can offer some great opportunities for realistic body image development and some self-esteem boosting that they won’t get anywhere else. I mean, when is the last time you saw a woman (or man) in a skimpy bathing suit that wasn’t photo shopped? And how did you get an idea of what your body would likely look like as an adult if it wasn’t for seeing your mom or dad strutting around in the buff on the way to the shower? Honestly, if it weren’t for you, your child would assume that every person had flat abs, perky breasts, no cellulite and that their head was disproportionate to the rest of their body. If you think about it, you’re kind of a hero.

When Should I Stop Showering/Bathing With My Kids?

This is a pretty common question that parents ask because they are concerned that if they engage in bath time with their kids for too long, it will start to become weird. But I think this is child dependent. For example, when do you think your child will no longer need assistance bathing? Parents often shower with their kids because it’s easier—they can bathe themselves and their child at the same time. If it isn’t for multi-tasking parents would get very little done. So if your child still can’t shower or bathe by themselves, I’d say keep on keeping on. I’m also going to venture a guess and say that at some point your child won’t want to bathe with you—listen to that request. When kids are able to have autonomy at certain developmental stages (and I’m not talking about when their 2 and can do everything “by themselves”) encourage it. It may make you weep in your pillow every night because your baby is growing up, but trust me, that is really good for them!

Why Nudity Isn’t Sexual To Kids

Kids aren’t sexual beings in the way that adults are. Sure, they touch their genitals because it feels good, but not because they experience erotic thought like adults do. Arousal resulting from erotic fantasy does not take place for children until they reach puberty. So when a young child sees you naked they see your genitalia the way they would see an elbow or a knee—just another body party. When we feel uncomfortable about nudity with our children, it’s often our own adult anxiety and our experience of nudity as sexual that drives those feelings. So try to relax. You’re doing a great job and your kids are going to be fine!

Kristin

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