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parental nakedness around toddlers

  1. #1
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    parental nakedness around toddlers

    ok, this is a little personal, but we've never been shy around either of our kids. i've taken both kids into the shower with me as has their dad. we never really thought about it, but i was reading about it recently (what to expect, the toddler years) and they say that mothers should not be seen around their young sons after about 2 years of age. they say that it will mess up sons because they are "attracted" to their mothers and if they see their mothers naked, it could harm/damage them.

    what do you think? at what age should mums not be seen by their sons and fathers not be seen by their daughters?

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    wanfamily is offline Registered User
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    A lot of it is cultural. In Japan (I lived there for 8 years), it is perfectly natural for families to bathe together naked - especially in the onsens (hot springs). (The what to expect books also tell you to avoid sushi and as my doctor told me when I was there - there wouldn't be a Japanese population if that was the case!) My personal viewpoint is that it's fine. If you see nothing sexual in it, neither will the children. BOth me and my husband bathe with our children. Yes they notice things (boys have a willy and girls don't), but there is nothing sexual about it. As they get older, if they feel embarrased or uncomfortable, we'll stop, but I have many adult friends who are still fine with seeing their parents naked.

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    HappyV is offline Registered User
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    carang - where did you read that?
    It's based in Freudian theory, an to a large extent is discredited, in the sense that our cultural mores (at least in 'Western' culture) has moved away from the idea that the female body is inherently temptational.
    Of course, other cultures may percieve it differently.

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    Frenchy is offline Registered User
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    My mum told me my dad used to go naked in the house when we (my brothers and myself) were young... till the day i just stopped in front of him and stared at the thing... I was probably around 5 or 6 years old and sincerely have no memory about it at all !! But my father felt so embarassed that he stopped going around naked ;))
    I think there is a time when children need to learn about intimacy, yours and theirs, but 2 years old seems a bit young to me...

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    carang's Avatar
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    GREAT!
    thank you all so much! i didn't think we were doing anything wrong. (i wasn't worried about my daughter, more about my 4 yr old son.) i thought it would be better for them to grow up unashamed of their bodies and what better way to do it than by example....then a few days ago i read that passage and it started me "thinking".... ALWAYS a bad sign!

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    Koan is offline Registered User
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    I wonder a bit about this sometimes, we're a naked house too.

    My son is only 17mnths old so we won't be throwing on the clothing any time soon. Right now he shows a lot of interest in the body. He points at me and names body parts, and will even pt at himself and say "No!" where he doesn't have the same parts.

    I didn't grow up in a naked house, but I figure we'll wear clothes if it gets weird. If not, that's fine too.

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    carang's Avatar
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    my children bathe together all the time. one of my son's first words was "penis". my daughter loves pointing out his penis and saying, "XXX has penis, I have b-jay jay."

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    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    In the house I grew up in, we were rather free as far as clothing goes. I think by the time younger brother was about 6 or 7-years-old, my mother would shut the bathroom door when using the toilette and he didn't bathe with her anymore. As far as girls in the family being naked in the same room together--that has never been a problem. The saying from where I'm from is "We've all got the same parts, right? It's nothing you haven't seen before." So, high school dressing rooms without private dressing stalls and community showers are the norm and everyone is pretty relaxed about being naked in the same room with the same gender. However, growing up my dad and brother still often sat around the house in their undies and on a hurried morning you might see my mom running around frazzled in her bra and undies and an open housecoat. We never felt weird about any of this and where I'm from, no one else would either. In Mainland China, people are VERY FREE about being naked around members of the same gender. When I studied there, the city I lived in had bath houses (most people do not have hot water in their homes) so once or twice a week you would trek down to the local bathhouse and some women spend hours in there, sitting naked, brushing each others' hair, scrubbing each others' backs (and other parts too!) and exchanging the day's gossip. That was a bit too free for me but I was not offended by it (never adapted enough to scrub anyone's backside, but...).
    This is such a cultural issue and personally, our family is not shy (and at the same time we have proper modesty) about our body parts. And if anything, I think this has fostered a better sense of positive body image as well has kept shame about one's body and sexual parts to a minimum.

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