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I have 2 boys, ages 2 and 5. We live in a house with 1 bedroom
upstairs that we all share. I am very comfortable being naked
and don't like to wear a robe to and from my bedroom when I am
getting dressed in a hurry. I also love to take baths and hot
tubs with my sons and don't want to make a big deal about my
body. My older son has started to be fascinated by my ''beautiful
nipples, cute butt and bagina''...his words, trust me that is not
what I would say! I have told him that those are my private parts
and it is uncomfortable for me when he to talks like that. I
don't really care but I can tell that my husband does. He has
said that it's probably time to put on the robe around them. I
also want to do what is emotionally healthy for my boys but am
feeling resentful that I have to make this accommodation. Any
advise? I haven't read about this subject and would appreciate
to hear what others know from experience from what the experts
say is best.
Wishing for a master bathroom.
Your 5 year old is growing up. You have a choice, either go
around naked and be talked about or cover up and don't hear
about your body from your 5 year old. I don't think you can call
them your ''private parts'' if you are not keeping them private.
This is a case in which you have to weigh your current desires to be naked w/
your sons reaching an age in which you may be stimulating them sexually.
Being a responsible parent means having to juggle what you want to do ideally
with what is really best for your children. I have 3 grown children who grew up
in a completely non-prudish home, but all people & kids need their own
privacy. We had ours & they had theirs. You may be setting your boys up for
really serious sexual issues in the future. You don't live in the Amazon jungle &
you don't have a private, separate master bathroom. Bear with it!
I agree there's a problem, your boys behavour isn't normal but
I speculate yours isn't either. For the sake of your kids, I'd
talk with their pediatrition. Tell him/her everything, then sit
back and listen.
Your oldest will be in school soon if he's not already and you
don't want him to have problems. Even if he got through school,
these issues could surface in the workplace and limit his
ability to contribute to his chosen field.
What's cute at five is deviant in just a few years. If you
don't call a halt to it you are setting your kids up for
put a robe on, i have two boys and while they are still likely
to walk in on me when i shower they aren't ''scoping out''
my ''cute butt, nipples etc'' it seems a bit icky that they
comment on your body? When my oldest was about 3.5 he said to
my husband ''Dad, did you know mom DOESN'T have a penis?'' My
husband was laughing so hard he almost slit his throat while
shaving...he of course said, ''son, you don't really want to
marry a woman with a penis''
They were more intersted in how i was able to pee without a
penis, not on what it looked like...
jammie wearing mom
Sorry if this offends you, but at a certain age it is
inappropriate for a parent to walk around naked in front of their
child. Quite frankly, for most kids the thought of their naked
parent is a disgusting one. Do your kids a favor and put some
Your child's sexual feelings towards you are
natural and innocent but you're not covering up around him is
inappropriate. Sorry to sound harsh but it's your job to
understand the longer term implications of these feelings he has.
Your husband's discomfort should not dictate how you relate to
your sons. He's a grown up, and needs to figure out why he feels
uncomfortable - that is about him, not you nor your sons.
We are very open with our son (no siblings), he sees us naked all
the time but at 4 he does show a renewed interest in my private
I have asked him-and I reinforce this often-the following:
Breasts: those are my private areas, I don't like to be touched
there. You need to ask me if you can touch me before you do it.
Sometimes I might say yes, but I will say no too.
Vagina: he hasn't shown any ''clinical'' interest in actually
seeing it but he does point to it or kneels down and wants to see
how I urinate. My answer is the same as above in the case of
pointing or touching.
However I don't discourage pure intellectual curiosity. This is
perfectly normal at 2,3,4 and 5 it just manifests itself in
different way at each stage because their brains comprehend more
at each stage. We started introducing the subject of private
areas around 3 and reinforce it at each stage. Children are also
referring back to heir bodies as point of reference and anything
different they need to understand.
I would suggest that you correct his pronunciation and highlight
Often times when my son was 2 and 3 he would say'' where is your
penis mommy?'' my answer was always the same: ''Mommies don't have
a penises they have vaginas-that's what makes mommy-mommy-and
At four he is interested in the mechanics of my breasts and in
showing me he knows his terms. I don't let him touch them often
-even the nipples- but sometimes, and if he's followed the
rules-ie: asked permission to touch first. I find that he's just
interested in understanding how does milk come out from there-I
have explained that they are for milk to feed babies when they
are really small.
If given a choice he will always choose dad first to take a
shower with before he chooses me. It's a recognition of his body
in the body of my husband. We take baths instead because I am
more playful in the tub, and that really is great way of
redirecting attention after truthful but factual explanations.
Lastly, we feel that it is important that children grow up with a
''real'' image of what women and men look like. Most women and men
don't look like ''Barbies'' and ''Ken''... being truthful and real to
us is more important than upholding some puritanical misbegotten
Naked, Open, and Happy
If I read this correctly you are saying that when your son talks
about his attraction to your body you correct him and tell him
that it is uncomfortable for you when he talks like that, but you
don't really care. Are you only saying this because your husband
has a problem with it?
Isn't this a little like saying no when you mean yes? If it
doesn't make you uncomfortable and you say it does, don't you
think you son knows that your words are not the truth? If this
is what is going on you are playing with fire. For starters he
will feel justified to not listen to you whenever he feels like
it and my guess is that he will continue to sexualize you because
your false professed discomfort is asking for more.
I would suggest that you begin by really being honest with
yourself and seeing what is true. How does it make you feel when
your son looks at you and talks about how hot you are?
Ultimately I don't think it makes any difference whether you put
a robe on or not. But you have already established a precedent
of not really being straight with your kids.
Wow. As a public health professional, a sex educator, and a mom
of a four-yr-old, I have to say I am disappointed--not by your
question, but by some of the responses that you received.
Whenever my son displays curiosity related to my breasts or
genitals that gives me a flash of discomfort, I always ask myself
how I would feel if he displayed the same curiosity about my
elbows, or my knees. He is curious about bodies and how they
work--all parts, especially those he doesn't have. And that is
normal. Like one of the (great) responses, I occasionally bathe
with my son, he sees me naked alot, and I let him sometimes touch
my breasts if he asks politely. I would also ask yourself how you
would feel if your son complimented other parts of your body
(which I bet he does). Would his calling your hair or your eyes
or your smile pretty make you uncomfortable? The issue is that we
are a hypersexualized culture, battling intense shame--and some
of the responses are great proof of how we are willing and really
programmed to read sexuality into the most innocent of
intentions. Your son isn't sexualizing your body, he's
appreciating it, and kids that age absolutely see their moms as
gorgeous. The language he has to describe it is limited (a four
year old friend calls everything he likes 'sexy' right now--not,
I assure you, because he is horny). You and your husband need to
come to some agreement about what you feel comfortable with--your
sons will pick up some undercurrent if you are not feeling
comfortable. If you, your husband or anyone else doesn't feel
good about being naked in front of your kids, then you shouldn't
do it, and that is totally fine. But remember that it isn't
because your kids can't handle it, it's because all of us are
raised in such a body and sex negative society. It sounds like
you are struggling to find a healthy, balanced attitude, and I
wish you all the best. Good luck!
sex positive mama
To original poster: I was really dismayed to see ''deviant'' come
up in this conversation. I felt the shaming responders are
speaking from their own issues, but you don't have to take theirs on!
We can still have boundaries without believing that bodies are
gross / curiosity is abnormal. We're so uptight in this country
about nudity, when in other countries, people are nude on the
beaches, and Asians have deep soaking baths for their nightly
family soaks. Parents' bodies are only ''disgusting'' if a family
has weirdness and shame about nudity, which kids pick up on. A
couple people said your son is sexualizing you - that is their
interpretation. I think he is in awe of your feminine beauty -
parts he doesn't have. How is this wrong or sexual? It's just
pretty body parts and curiosity. The line comes at touching (IMO).
I disagree that genitals cease to be private when they are shown.
Genitals always belong to their owner, and it is always your
choice whether someone is allowed to touch. That makes them private.
I generally like to downplay things. I casually say and act like
we all have bodies, no big deal (and some of us bleed, and that's
no big deal either). If a child tries to touch, I tell them that
part is just for me and I need a little space. I also remind
children that we only touch our own privates, not others'.
Obviously this isn't true in the grand scheme, but it's an
age-appropriate explanation teaching an important social
boundary. When I get compliments, I act neutral/disinterested.
I really liked the ''Naked, Open and Happy'' response, but she
points to being accurate, so I will say: calling external female
genitalia ''vagina'' is commonly used, but inaccurate. The vagina
only exists internally. The vulva is the external, comprised of
the labia majora, labia minora, clitoris, and vestibule of the
vagina. If you want to keep it simple, calling it vulva is best
I think nudity is fine until puberty
I just read the advice given regarding being naked in front of your boys,
summarized it seems like most everyone is telling you that you are being
inappropriate or even going to damage your children!
My parents were very open about their bodies, and I (a girl) showered with
father. I have boys and they, too, are very interested in my body and
see my breasts or I'm in a bra, they want to give me hugs. I tell them to
wait until I'm
dressed to hug them. I think it will be very clear to you when it is no
appropriate. I don't think that curiosity is a sign of discomfort. I think
will eventually feel uncomfortable seeing you naked and they'll probably
know. Trust your own feelings.
Btw, my husband used to be really uncomfortable with me being naked in
the boys, but now he is not - it was his issue, not mine.
Do we comment on our children's cute little butts? If so, is it
strange for them to return the compliment?
I think if you are comfortable being nude in front of your boys,
by all means continue to do so. They will grow out their natural
curiosity and will learn to be comfortable with women's bodies.
Which is good thing.
To be honest, I don't think it's appropriate at this point.
Kids talk about everything they do and see at home, to other
kids and teachers at school. (Trust me, my son told a cashier
that my mom doesn't have very much money after I told him that
we couldn't buy something). Not sure how comfortable I would
feel if all the other kids in my son's class knew I had a nice
this or that.
I don't think it's particularily healthy for your sons either -
as they grow up it may become confusing. Or if other boys
somehow found out, they could become the ''butt'' of jokes.
If our society was structured differently, perhaps it could
work. But given our current set up, I think you may be setting
yourself up for unnessary problems in the future.
I am concerned that my 5 year old daughter often see her dad with
out a shirt on. My husband doesn't wear PJ tops to bed (and
sometimes bottoms)and on some occasions they take a shower
together.Can she misinterpret this? Does he blur the boundary
between father and daughter? Or, how much is too much, for kids
to see their parents naked as a part of the day, getting dressed,
taking showers, etc? When do we need to be more sensitive and
Did you say ''without a shirt on''? If your daughter ever goes to
a swimming pool, she will see all kinds of men with no shirt on.
As for taking a shower together, I don't know, it's not my cup
of tea for children to take showers with naked parents of the
opposite sex (just the height difference, yuck!) but you'll see
in the archives that others think it's ok. but no shirt, is all
ok by me.
My dad was semi-naked around the house my whole life - including when I came
home from college. He walks around in his underwear. My father is a doctor and we
were raised to view bodies rather clinically or matter-of-fact. An arm, a chest, a
face: we all have them. I think our Puritan roots often cloud our view of things, but
family nakedness is the norm in many European countries and public nakedness is
the norm in many tribes that still exist today. It felt very OK for me to see my dad
in his underwear as he is my dad and we therefore have an intimate relationship. It
would not have been OK for me to have my dad in his underwear in front of my
friends, but he never did that. Having that intimate, close relationship was healthy
for us. My father was there when I delivered both of my kids and because of the
open relationship that was established when i was a kid, I didn't feel weird at all
about being exposed - I just felt supported and encourage by my dad.
My advice is to relax about this issue. I showered with my dad
in the late 1950s and I don't think there were ever any
thoughts of boundary issues (especially at your daughter's
young age). Going shirtless seems a non issue. That's what she
will see all the time at the pool, beach, etc. As the mom, I
might request that he wear boxers, at least, around the house.
But I think instilling a sense of body shame or wrongness at
her age makes ''playing doctor'' more attractive later. My kids
are now preteens, both sexes, and although they like their
privacy in the bathroom, if they walk in on me getting out of
the shower, it is a non event.
I am naked around my kids all the time. My son is 5 and my
daughter is almost 7. We sometimes shower together too. My wife
does the same.
I see absolutely no problem with this. Why make our bodies an issue?
There is a line of course - I don't allow them to touch me in any
sensitive areas, nor do I touch them except to help them wash.
And we are clear with them that it's completely fine if they want
privacy, it's not ok for them to be naked in public, and it's
certainly not ok for anyone to touch them if they don't want to
The result is that they are completely fine with being naked and
seeing us naked, and there's never even a thought of any
Around eight or so, your daughter will let you know she wants
more privacy. Our daughter stopped barging in on my husband in
the bathroom around 5, and they gradually had more privacy from
each other. Now that she is a pre-teen, there's much more
physical space between them, though they still love to talk and
Truthfully, I don't see anything odd about a dad with no shirt,
or in underwear, or sometiems naked.
I'm pretty sure your daughter will let you both know when she's
wierded out by it. For us, My now 17 yo son was about 11 or 12
when he was wierded out by my not closing the bathroom door, or
changing my clothes with the door open, etc. It was at that
time too that he started needing more privacy for himself. My
13 yo son started this when he was 9 or 10 or so.
I don't think it's wierd and I wouldn't worry.
my 2 cents.
You're worried about his bare chest? Wow. My husband bathes
with our 5 year old daughter all the time. Its a wonderful
time. Totally fine. She sees us naked, getting dressed, etc all
the time too. I think it builds good body image.
Perhaps you get a weird feeling about your husband? If that's
it, you should follow that further. But if it's just your own
issues with nudity and sexuality, then let me assure you, her
seeing your husband naked is just fine. I'd start worrying when
she gets uncomfortable-probably about 10-11.
mom of 5 yr old
Every family is different, but here are some thoughts:
Nudity does not equal sex. Male does not equal predatory
(there is more of a stigma attached to male nudity around
children than female nudity). opposite sex parent child
bathing or showering together does not equal incest!
you are worried about ''blurring boundaries''; there are many
different ways of setting, blurring, violating boundaries.
Parents who have a deep inner respect for themselves and others
and understand the adult responsibility to nurture children
without exploiting them do not run the risk of accidentally
blurring a boundary between a healthy parent/child relationship
and incestuous-type interactions.
If parents and child are comfortable with what is happening in
terms of dad and/or mom and/or child walking around the house
not fully dressed at times, then it's fine. If dad or mom
starts to feel uncomfortable, or if the child starts to express
a wish for greater privacy, etc, then things can be adjusted.
neither prude nor pervert
a friend's husband bathes with their three year old girl. This seems highly
innapropriate bordering on worthy of making a comment to the couple that they
should stop. They are very ''straight'', for lack of a better term, which
makes it all
the more odd. What is the conventional wisdom on this topic?
I think that you will find that your opinion is probably in the
minority. My husband bathes (showers) with our 3 & 5 year old
daughters. I've never thought anything about it. My husband
frequently takes our daughters to the pool with another father of
a six-year-old girl. After the pool, they take them all into a
family dressing room. One dad, shampoos while the other dad
dresses. As soon as one girl expresses concern re: the
arrangement, then things will change. As long as they are not
concerned about their nudity (and I can guarantee that my
three-year-old is not...and my five-year-old asked recently why
we have to wera clothes to the pool, so I can also assume that
she is not very concerned...), then things will change
Your post appears full of judgement. The conventional wisdom on this topic is that
you should mind your own business.
I must be inappropriate/disgusting/etc, but I see no problem with
this. I bathe with my 4 y.o boy and 2.5 y.o daughter (i'm mom) as
does my husband. Big deal. Eventually my son will want privacy,
but for now we're happy and clean. Please stop sexualizing and
shaming, and mind your own business.
I think it's probably not at all inappropriate for this father to
bathe with his 3 year old daughter. My wife and I each
occasionally bathe or shower with our 2.5 year old on nights when
that's just the only way to make a bath happen. If you feel the
need to comment to your friends, I would advise you to be humble.
--showers with his dog, too
I think its great that her father is involved with her enough to get in the bath with
her. She is so young that her fathers naked body is just that a body nothing more
and most parents have very clear boundrys as what kind of intimacy they share.
Your boundrys are just different than there's. It is not your place to put your
boundrys on them. If all they are doing is taking a bath this is really there
resposiblity to choose if it is okay for their child.
I (mother) take my son in the bath with me, he is now only 6 months, but I plan on
doing it till it doesn't feel right for one or the other of us. Who knows when that will
hey we all used to be naked all the time, you know
The father bathing with a toddler girl is not necessarily
inappropriate. What is completely inappropriate is that you
feel you are the owner of the truth and have the right to tell
these people how to raise their kids. As far as you know they
are not molesting the child. There are different views on
things and some people are less conservative than others. I am
guessing you don't feel very comfortable with your body and/or
nudity. In any case, unless you clearly know they are molesting
the kid (by legal standards), it's none of your business.
Would it be OK if the mother bathed with her 3 yo boy?
I think it's OK for opposite sex parents to bathe or shower
with their kids until one of them feels uncomfortable with it.
Truthfully, it's not your business what your friends do in
their home unless there is obvious abuse.
mother of 2 clean boys
I (mom) bathe occasionally with my 3 y.o. son. Our whole family also plays outside
naked on occasion (sprinklers, pool, etc.). I believe that ''conventional wisdom''
that each family has their own set of values. This family seems to be teaching their
daughter that the nude body has nothing of shame about it. If the husband were
allowing his daughter to touch his penis or buttocks, or if he were touching her vagina
or buttocks, that would be a completely situation. If that isn't happening, please, let
go. Three years old is very young; to me, this does not seem inappropriate at all.
There's nothing wrong with fathers bathing with their 3-year-old
daughters. It may not be appropriate for your family's
boundaries, but it's perfectly normal in many families. My
husband took baths with our daughter until she was 3 or 4 and
there was no impropriety - just a parent with his child. He still
sometimes gives her baths now that she is 6, but doesn't get in
the bath himself mostly because there is no room or time anymore.
Unless there's evidence of actual abuse (not including the
bathing itself) then it's really none of your business.
Call me old fashioned or sexist or uptight but I agree it
ABSOLUTELY NOT okay for a father to be bathing with his
daughter! She is 3 years old and still needs assistance bathing
and someone present for safety reasons,but doesn't need anyone in
the tub with her especially not her Dad.Nor does he need to be
helping bathe her at that age.Or taking her to the potty.
I'm sorry but men are wired differently from woman when it come
to sex and they can get aroused by the most seemingly innocent
What is up with the mother that she allows or encourages that?
Some people are so afraid of not being PC or so into wanting to
believe that everyone has only the best intentions when it come
to children that they will allow their children to be put
potentially unhealthy situations. We want to pretend that
molestation doesn't happen or ''not in my family'' so much that we
would turn our head to something like this and convince
ourselves that it's okay and '' He's just being loving with his
daughter and men should be allowed to care for young children
just like women'' etc. Well that's all fine and good but the fact
is pedophiles are more likely to be male than female, and some
fathers do molest their daughters. Some men behave
inappropriately with their daughters ''out of love'' ( from giving
massages, to sleeping with their daughters alone or kissing them
on the lips a few seconds too long etc)just because they don't
know any better But many do know better and they get away with
it because no one has the courage to speak up.
So ,Yes,please do mention it(I'd speak to the mother) and don't
worry about how to broach the topic, just be honest and straight
Not afraid to speak up
Our family, and many, many I know, bathe with their children for
as many years as both parent and child fit in the tub together.
Dad with daughter, mom with son, etc. It is only abnormal if the
intention or any behaviour in the bath is abnormal. For our own
family, naked bodies are normal, bathing is normal, being
together is normal.
My two older children are now reaching adolescence and they
naturally have become shy about their own naked bodies while
still being totally comfortable seeing me and my husband naked
(while we change clothes, come in and out of the shower, take a
bath with their little (8 yr old) brother, etc.).
Everybody's family is different. I hope that you can find a way
to honor this particular difference without judgment.
naked in Berkeley
I'm sure you mean well however, keep in mind that every family
has it's own set of rules. Many parents and kids are naked in
front of each other until puberty. Unless you have evidence that
there is abuse going on KEEP OUT OF IT, IT IS NOT YOUR BUSINESS
I shower with my four year old son every other morning,
alternating with my husband. Until I read your post, I wouldn't
have thought anything strange about it at all. I bet they don't
either. Don't say anything.
clean mama to a clean boy
While I cannot give you the ''conventional wisdom'' I can tell
you that I (mom) take showers with my two sons, ages 6 and 4.
I'm not sure if your concern is about ALL children spending
time with naked adults of the opposite sex or just girls, but
either way, my opinion is that nudity in the privacy of one's
home that respects the boundaries of other individuals is
completely natural. Of course, if there were any sexual
overtones, it would be totally inappropriate, but that's not
what you stated.
Perhaps you were uncomfortable with the physical proximity?
Again, I think it's natural and would be fine to bath with my
sons. Maybe you're concerned because it's a Dad and daughter
(rather than a Mom and son)? If so, that seems vaguely
I applaud the family for their openness and comfort with their
bodies and I hope you are able to see through your own issues
to what is, in my mind, completely natural.
Hmm... this sounds like none of your business. Unless the father
is otherwise creepy, I wouldn't judge this family and their bath
time routines. Does it bother the wife? Does it bother the
daughter? Perhaps they are more comfortable with nudity than you
are. End stop.
I bathe without my clothes on, too
Maybe he's a pervert. Maybe he's perfectly normal. Maybe the
guy down the street is a child molester; you don't know.
I take a bath with my two-year-old daughter from time to time,
and I'm not a child molester; sometimes it's the only way to get
her in the tub without screaming her head off; I don't know why
she hates taking a bath so much, but if she still hates it at age
three, and me jumping in there too is the only way to have a
peaceful and fun bath, count me in.
I think it would be highly inappropriate for you to share your
judgment of this practice with the parents. You will do nothing
but alienate them. Also, I think that you should be aware that
many cultures bathe together as a family. I feel like such a
culture exists in my own demographic as many of my friends and I
have toddlers who bathe with daddy. I just don't think it is
weird for a small child (who is practically still a baby) to
bathe with their parent. I think it is weird to think it is
weird, actually. Nudity isn't categorically sexual. It is
possible to have these boundaries firmly in place while nurturing
Not Hungup on Nudity
I appreciate that your posting comes out of a genuine concern,
but I think this behavior is cultural and entirely in the
normal part of the spectrum, even if it seems shocking or
inappropriate in your mind.
Every family has their own standards of nudity and privacy
regarding going to the toilet, taking a shower or bath, or
sleeping in a family bed etc. I think we need to be respectful
of our differences. Family bathing together can be playful and
delightful. The fact that a parent is nude with his/her 3 year
old child of the opposite sex doesn't, ipso facto, mean that
something nefarious or illigitimate or predatory is going on.
Especially since this is a 3 year old toddler, not a teenager!
Some families are extremely careful to avoid seeing one another
nude. Other families find nudity very natural and normal. I
don't think one is right and one is wrong.
I was raised in a family that had no problem with nudity; the
whole family would get into the tub together. We did not do
this with our own kids because my husband is from a different
culture and is not as comfortable with this. Fine! There are a
thousand ways to parent well. Please be careful not to impose
your particular morals, preferences or customs on other
If you see signs of child abuse, by all means, be an advocate
for the child and get 'involved'. Merely bathing together is by
no means in the realm of child abuse, in my non-professional
Well, we're a family where both parents regularly bathe and
skinny dip with opposite sex children (ages 5 and 9). I don't
find it the least bit weird or sexual. We all walk around the
house without clothes on sometimes, too -- out of the shower,
clothes are in the dryer in the garage... Have to admit, we also
often leave the bathroom doors open while, you know, using the
bathroom. People have different levels of comfort about their
bodies. Unless you've got a deeply rooted and closely examined
perception that there's something abusive going on, it seems
quite out of place to me to judge or comment on another family's
--- we do it, too
Wow - I'm so fired up by this post! Unless you have reason to think this father has a
history of sexual abuse, why would you find anything wrong with it? I actually can't
even imagine whether you are concerned about the father seeing the daughter nude
(should he also not change diapers?!) or the daughter seeing the dad's parts (and
what's your ''rule'' here? Should she also not see her brother or what about the little
boy having his diaper changed at the beach?!) Or do you think bath time has some
particular sexual connotation? Would you feel the same about mother/son?
My husband takes bathes with our kids and they love it since he's much more liberal
with the splashing than I am. And I consider myself super-lucky to have such an
active, involved husband!
Wow! Three years old is quite young to be worrrying about this,
isn't it? We have a pretty open situation regarding nudity at our
house, and my daughter (now 9) is fine with seeing my husband
(and me) naked. It's really no big deal at all. I'm sure she and
her dad took baths together when she was 3, and maybe even older.
I'm assuming that their bathing together is all about innocent
fun and getting clean. If there is any reason to think otherwise,
then the bath isn't really the problem.
On a related note, when our daughter was probably 5 or 6, my
husband came home one day very upset because a complete stranger
(female) had scolded him for touching his daughter in
appropriately! For him and our child it had all been totally
innocent tickling or poking or whatever it was. I think this
woman's comment was clearly a reflection of her own issues.
comfortable in my own skin
I'll be curious to hear how others respond, because my husband
occasionally bathes with our almost 5 year old and 2 1/4 year old
girls, and I really hadn't thought much about it. They get such
a kick out of pouring water on his head, washing his hair, etc.
I've just felt that there has never been anything inappropriate
about it and it makes them so happy! But, maybe I'm wrong. They
know not to touch other people's genitals and so that's never
been an issue while he's been in the bath with them.
Looking forward to hearing others' thoughts on this.
I wouldn't say anything to them. Unless there is reason to
suspect abusive behavior outside of the bathing context, this
seems totally fine to me.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with a 3 year old having a bath
with their opposite sex parent!
If there was inappropriate touching, that is where it becomes
wrong. If you saw the child act afraid of her dad, traumatized,
or behaving sexually inappropriate with other children (beyond
childish curiosity - something that she would never understand
otherwise) then perhaps your involvement would be warranted. But
bathing with your kid is not inappropriate in and of itself.
Saying something to these parents will just make you look a)
Nosey b) Prudish.
When I was a kid my parents took me to Harbin Hot Springs, and
not only was I not traumatized, I think I have a healthy view of
naked bodies, both mine and others.
You won't catch me on that show How to Look Good Naked!
Naked is not evil
I don't think this is weird at all. I'm pretty sure my husband
bathed with my daughter when she was three and beyond. She is now
six and I can't think of any recent instances of them bathing
together, but we never officially stopped or anything and we
still think nothing of nudity around the house.
I think it all depends on the particular family and what people
are comfortable with. We have always bathed with our kids and it
just seems normal.
Well, doesn't it depend on the family's attitudes about nudity?
And about saving water? In my family, nudity is no big deal, it's
certainly not necessarily ''sexual'' or problematic. We often bathe
together to save water and to help do hair, backs, etc. We are
older parents, with one grown daughter who is 30 ( and was raised
similarly) and a 9 yr old daughter. No problems here with any of it!
I am sad to hear that you find this so inappropriate as to
consider meddling in their lives. There is absolutely NOTHING
wrong with taking a bath with your kids, particularly when they
are young. It is YOU with is sexualizing the issue. I often
take a bath with my two kids, who are 5 1/2 and 1 1/2 (of
different genders), and I feel totally comfortable with them
(plus then we all get nice and clean before bed. I think it is
a sad societal statement that people feel the need to hide
their bodies from their kids. What is wrong with this culture?
Being nude in your own home is not a crime!
I think that it is completely normal and very healthy for
parents to be comfortable around their children when they're
naked. Why should we be ashamed of our bodies? There is
absolutely nothing wrong with young children seeing us in the
nude. I am regularly naked around our 3 children and no one in
our family thinks that that is odd. I'd hate to teach the
children that they had to hide their bodies, because I am
hiding mine. They often beg me to take a bath with them. The
only reason that I don't do it regularly is because I like more
space in the tub and that's tough with all those little bodies
around me. My husband and I don't ''parade'' nude through the
house, but we never hide our bodies either. It would be highly
inappropriate for you to mention something to these friends.
You would impose your prudeness on them and that could very
well cost you your friendship. I would certainly be insulted if
one of my friends thought that bathing with my 3-yr old was a
Happy to be Nude
I don't want to sound rude, but your post seems more disturbing
than the behavior you're so upset about. The parents are, by
your own admission, normal people (as you say it ''straight, for
lack of a better term''). There is nothing wrong about a man or
woman, straight or otherwise, bathing with his/her same-sex or
opposite sex three-year-old child, unless said parent is a
pedophile (and in that case, there should be no child anywhere
near that person).
You sound genuinely concerned about children, which is
admirable and good; I really hope you find a more productive
way to channel this concern. I suggest the National
Association to Protect Children or any similar advocacy group
that does work to protect children who are really in danger of
being exploited (from your post, it doesn't sound like the
child you discuss is at risk, but many children are).
It's odd to you, odd to me, but not odd to them. I know perfectly
reasonable people with perfectly adequate sexual boundaries who
bathed with their children at an age that I would have found
uncomfortable. The ''conventional wisdom'' is to mind your
business. Now if the little girl came up to you and started
talking about things that seemed clearly sexual, I might worry.
But I seriously doubt that anybody who is unworried about you
knowing that they bathe with their kid is doing anything other
than bathing with their kid: trying to double-task, get clean,
clean the slippery darned kid, play with the kid, establish a
normal lack of queasiness about parents' bodies. Chill. REcognize
your own discomfort for what it is. Yours.
Honestly, I can't think of any reason he would need to bathe with
his daughter. I'm sure it was fun to have baths with her as a
baby, and maybe they are afraid to leave her in the tub alone,
but at three she is fine alone in the tub with an adult in the
room. When my children were around three, I started to expect
more privacy for myself when dressing, bathing etc. However - I
don't really think it is your place to tell them it is weird.
Unless the mom is asking for advice or you honestly suspect she
is being harmed.
Weird, but MYOB
My husband and I have been bathing with our two daughters since
they were born. They are now 6 and 8. We do not do it each
time they take a bath, but certainly once in a while one of us
gets in with them.
mom who thinks it's fine
I am always so perplexed when someone here asks these kinds of
questions. I am sure that there are plenty of customs in your
family/cultural background that I would find strange and
inappropriate, however I would never feel the need to point it
out to you.
A father bathing with his daughter is nowhere near inappropriate!
It is a normal cultural practice held all over the world. Privacy
the way that we have it here in the west is very original to the
''western developed'' world, not so in areas where people live in
small homes, with one communal space. Does that mean that these
dad's are molesting their daughters? Most likely not. I was
disgusted by someones response assuming that there is anything
sexual about this, it actually made me ill. Americans are so
caught up in their cultural mores that they often times forget
that people have the right to live differently than they do. Get
over it, leave this perfectly normal family alone and mind your
own, I am sure you can focus your time on something better. I
would recommend even an introductory course in Cultural
Anthropology, it might be quite eye opening
Hello, my son is now 39 months. He LOVES water and sometimes I
have him take a shower with me. At what age will this no
longer be appropriate? Many thanks
When is it no longer appropriate? Probably around 11 years-old, when your
likely become painfully self-conscious and not be able to bear changing
his socks in
front of any one. Certainly, at only 36 months, you've got a long way to
go. Keep on
showering together as long as both of you are enjoying it
I have very traumatic memories of showering with parents when I
was old enough to be showering alone. Not because of anything
that happened in the shower, but because it really sucks to be an
adult and have indelible pictures of my parents' naked bodies in
my mind... And to know that I was old enough to shower alone yet
they felt the need or desire to have me in the shower with them.
I still don't understand why a parent would do this. A child who
is old enough to shower or bathe alone, or with a parent sitting
nearby (age 5 or thereabouts for most kids) is TOO OLD to be
taking a shower with a parent. In fact, I think taking a shower
with a kid who's old enough to shower by themselves is setting a
kid up for poor boundaries, parent issues and issues around body
privacy and sexuality. I say this as someone who is not a prude
about nudity but feels that still taking a shower with my dad at
7 or 8 was highly inappropriate. It's never too early to teach
kids about good boundaries, but I think that ages 6-8 is a
particularly good opportunity to have an open dialogue about
bodies & sex, but to also let kids understand what is and is not
okay around nudity and touch and other body-related stuff
I'd say: right about now. Some things (such as the nude body
of the parent of the opposite sex) are better left completely
to the imagination. I agree with a recent poster that each
child needs to develop a sense of privacy and personal
boundaries around their sexuality, and what better way than to
see that modeled by parents who have a firm sense of privacy
and personal boundaries. At 39 months, your son is quite aware
of the world around him and beginning to form early opinions
about these sorts of issues.
While my own parents were deeply narcissistic and so screwed up
in so many ways in my childhood, at the least they got this
whole issue right. I never recall seeing my father in the
nude, and I bathed with my mom until we couldn't squeeze in the
tub. As a mom, I wouldn't dream of letting my son in the room
with me undressed, and I still take the occaisonal tub with my
tween-age daughter. I hope I'm conveying a message to my
daughter of ease with her body, and a message of separatedness
and personal boundaries with my son. I think they are relieved
and appreciate of my clarity around this issue, and my husband
is in full agreement and behaves accordingly.
It's a good thing you're looking at this issue now before your
son gets any older
I'm not sure about a child of the opposite gender, but I
regularly swim with my ten year old and we shower in the locker
room (along with other adults and children). I keep expecting her
to feel modest, or awkward about my body, but that stage hasn't
arrived yet. I also think that maybe because it is part of our
exercise routine, we both feel comfortable showering together. At
home we don't shower/bathe together, but that is because of the
space in our shower as much as anything else. If it starts to
feel uncomfortable for you or your child, you should stop, but
until then you should enjoy the togetherness.
berkeley Y member
I have to say I am totally shocked by the responses from
this “progressive” community about this subject. What a skewed
view we still have of the human body. There was a lot of
postings about boundaries and sexuality. People, we’re talking
about a 39 month old here! Children at this age have no concept
of sexuality. If any of the posters are feeling concerned about
sexual feelings, it’s not coming from a 3 ½ year old. The most
interest children at this age have in the body is how bodies
look different. There’s no need to sexualize it by our adult
thinking that genitalia are for sex. The idea of sex enters the
picture at different times for different kids. But not at 39
As for boundaries, kids develop them when you set a respectful
example. We have a 43 month old who still bathes with her dad
and showers with him at the pool. We also have 2 teenage girls,
both who bathed with their dad until THEY decided they no
longer wanted to. One became modest very early – 4, if I
recall. The other probably closer to 6 (she would bathe at home
alone but was afraid to be in the locker room at the pool by
herself. When her sister wasn’t there, she showered with Dad).
We modeled boundaries by respecting both of their decisions to
close the door and be alone. If my little one asks her dad for
privacy, she gets it. If he is in the bathroom and asks for
privacy, he gets it. Those are boundaries.
Maybe I was just raised to have a healthier concept of the
human body. There’s nothing shameful in it. No one in our house
is freaking out if my daughter sees her dad naked because it
doesn’t register with her. Why create a weird dynamic around
the human body? We do explain that body parts are private and
that’s why she can’t lift my skirt up or pull my shirt down in
public. She understands that’s why we wear clothes – because
bodies are private. But while we’re still wiping her bottom and
giving her baths, her body is not that private to us. When she
is ready to be private with her dad, she will be. It happens
quickly and usually overnight. So, have a healthy, respectful
attitude and stop worrying about damaging your child
permanently. That’s just nonsense. And the rest of you –
perhaps some therapy?
Bare and Balanced
What I find interesting is that you refer to your son as a 39-
month old. I'm not a prude, but if you started referring to
your son's age as it really is - 3 1/2 years old now, since
your posting - then maybe it would sink in that he's perhaps a
little too old to do this.
Unless, of course, when he's of driving age you will be
celebrating his 192nd monthday
-It's high time you used years.
I didn't see the original post but I was very surprised by a lot of the
grew up in a Scandinavian household and our whole family still goes on trips to
springs around California. (In Norway some kids have co-ed PE classes and shower
together! It may or may not be related but they have very low rates of sex
there.) The idea has always been ''as soon as it's not comfortable for someone,
stop,'' -- our children will let you know when it becomes awkward to see you
naked. We have some friends who have a fantastic, huge Japanese bath and my
understanding is that the whole family ciimbs in there! Clearly it's a personal
and different people have different attitudes and comfort levels. (In an effort
if there was a consensus about this, I looked briefly on the web -- one site said
child over *4* was old enough to bathe him/herself and wash their own hair, and
a parent of the opposite sex needed to administer the bath then the child should
wear *underpants in the bath*!!!! That seems a little... extreme.) It is not
4-6 that children develop what is called ''gender stability'' (boys know wearing
skirt doesn't change the fact that they're a boy, etc.). This is the same age
start to get a little modest about ''the opposite sex'' (though this is likely
learned than inherent). By age 7-9 they usually get the idea of ''privacy'',
deciding what that actually means comes mostly from family/cultural teaching.
So it's really about your own comfort level and the comfort level of your kids
mostly comes from you). It's unlikely you can cause any psychological harm unless
you ignore their wishes when they tell you they wants to stop
Scandi (Not Nudist!)
I believe that sexual awareness comes in developmental stages and
I could tell when both of my boys became curious about my body.
One son was about 4 and the other well over 5 when that
developmental stage occurred - and then no more showers together
and I personally just felt more comfortable covering up around
them. I really believe adults sexualize alot of things that young
children are just sexually UNaware about - unless perhaps they
have been abused
I have to agree with the previous poster who was “totally
shocked by the responses from this progressive community.” This
is the kind of thing that makes Europeans snicker about us
uptight Americans. There are ways to teach your child boundaries
about their bodies without making them feel “uptight” about
their body or about nudity in general. Not to put this on any
religious group, but I just so happened to be raised Roman
Catholic and it took me almost the entire ten years of my 3rd
decade of life to get over the shame that I felt about my own
body and about sexuality. Those were some wasted years that I
would not want to wish on my son, or anyone for that matter. My
son is seven and he showers with both my husband and I when we
are in a rush or if he just wants to join one of us. We have
taught him about personal boundaries and private parts of the
body. He has his moments when he is shy about his body and we
respect that absolutely. Many people have told me that he is an
exceptionally well- adjusted, well-mannered and sweet little
boy. While many of my women friends lament about their children
no longer being affectionate, our son continues to be very
loving and affectionate to both my husband and me. I’d like to
think that this has to do with how open and affectionate a
family we are, and the fact that we practiced attachment
parenting when he was a baby. We must be doing something right
and I can’t help but think it has something to do with how
comfortable he is in his body, and how comfortable he feels when
he is close to my husband and I. I say, eschew the dominant
paradigm and become concerned about the things in this world
that will actually do some real harm to your child’s psyche. –
Barely on Albany Hill
Bravo Bare and Balanced! You summarized my thoughts exactly. I
have two sons, 2.5 and 5 years old. We have a big shower and so
the whole family gets in every morning together. It is quick,
efficient, and fun for the boys. We plan on doing this until the
boys can shower on their own, or they express a need for privacy,
which ever comes first. Why Americans feel this insane modesty
and shame about the human body baffles me. My husband, who is
from Europe, thinks we are whacko about this---he always says, we
can show extreme violence on TV to young children, but god forbid
they see naked bodies, or even worse sex. We, as a nation, need
to get over our fear of nakedness. Please understand that I am a
firm believer in clothes and privacy in public but I don't think
parents being naked around kids is bad
No shame about my body
I find it hard to believe that if my son sees me naked that is
going to scar him for life (I'm his mom). There are (adult)
people all over the planet who are more comfortable with their
nudity than us North Americans and I'm sure they don't hide
from their kids and I can't believe all the kids in nude-
friendly northern Europe, for example, are scarred for life. I
think we Americans sexualize nudity and that is why some of us
are so uncomfortable with it.
I didn't see the original post so perhaps this is off-topic,
but my kids grew up in Japan and there it's common for families
to visit their neighborhood bathhouse together, either for
necessity (some older apartments in the cities don't have
baths) or to relax after a long day (even if you have a bath,
you can go soak in huge hot-tubs and have a steam and sauna for
about four bucks). Hot-spring resorts are also popular
destinations for families on vacation. My kids loved going to
the baths! Bathing facilities are always segregated by gender,
but boys up to the age of about six are commonly seen on the
women's side, bathing not only with their moms but a whole
bunch of naked women of all different ages and sizes (lots of
grandmas). Very educational. People are more matter-of-fact
about nudity in the bathing context and it feels healthier.
Come to think of it, it's also really common to have company
trips to spa resorts at the weekend, so not only do Japanese
people routinely see their family members naked, they often see
their coworkers (of the same gender) nude... I don't think the
experience has affected my son negatively. He's now fifteen and
has a respectful and tolerant view of the human body. Of course
there are plenty of shy people in Japan and Europe, but they
seem fewer by far. Does it have something to do with the strong
influence of Christianity in US culture? I guess it is all
Hot Spring Fan
Hi - My husband and I are talking about the concept of showering
with our toddler (girl - 1.5 YO). I'd like to hear perspectives
on showering with kids in general and with the other sex parent
Thanks for the insights
Ever since he could stand up, we've both taken turns
showering with our toddler, who is almost 3. Since you
wanted ''insights,'' here's why we do it: it gets him clean.
-Not much else to add
I think it's a great idea, so long as shame isn't part of it. Be
prepared to answer lots of questions, and when she's about 3, dad
should be prepared for a yank. Kids are curious after all, but
it's just like (post-nursing) children wanting to touch our
breasts - we tell them it's not okay to touch mommy's private parts.
We have a 2yo (girl) who showers regularly with either me or my husband (or both
on mornings when she is in a shower mood). We have found that it has been a great
opportunity for us to teach her about the differences between boys(men) and girls
(women). She just accepts that Daddy has a penis, just like she has a vagina and her
pee-pee comes out of her urethra. We've gotten a book on the human body that she
LOVES to read (especially the part about babies, since I just had my second baby &
she was curious about WHAT was in Mommy's tummy). Although we have very
strong beliefs about WHEN people should start having sex, we also have strong
beliefs about talking about sexuality the same as going potty or learning to run or
why we eat vegetables. My husband and I were both raised in such a way that sex
and nudity were fairly taboo and we don't want our children to have to overcome
those taboos when they are in a position where it is appropriate to have sexual
regular family showerers
my husband and I both bathe with our children (one of each gender
and 1 and 2.5 years old) we find it more convenient than leaning
over the tub to play with and wash them. It also nice not to have
to worry about getting clothes wet. as for body parts, we name
them all as they come up tummy, penis, leg, hand, etc. Vagina
hasn't yet come up since our daughter isn't talking yet and my
son hasn't noticed or asked.
sometimes I wonder at what age we'll stop bathing with them - I
guess we'll know when we get there or soon they will just be
bathing with each other.
rub a dub dub
It's pretty fun to shower with a toddler, but you have to be a
little careful. My little boy (2 years old) doesn't like it when
I take a shower, and half the time doesn't want to take a bath,
but if I'm in the shower and ask him if he wants to come in, too,
oh boy does he! It's great fun for him and very easy for me to
clean him, but it's more difficult getting myself clean. If I use
regular soap (Dial whatever), then it could easily get into his
eyes, so I have to use his baby shampoo, too. If I wash my hair,
then I have to squat while rinsing so that the shower doesn't get
the soap on him. Since he's still nursing, that means he has
access to breasts, which he will try to pinch and poke and then
laugh about it. You also really have to guard against slipping in
the bathtub. I don't think he's ever showered with his dad, but
one time when he was a year old, he toddled over to a guy friend,
reached up through his shorts and grabbed some pubic hair! Very
uncomfortable for the guy, so maybe your husband should make sure
he keeps his eyes open. I don't think kids have real long-term
memory until after age three or so, if you're worried about him
or her remembering and being weirded out about it.
I can't tell you what the general recommendation is for this.
But I can tell you that I showered with my mom when I was very
little. I'm female. (My father wasn't in the picture.) I
don't remember the exact age. But I was old enough to
remember. There was never anything weird about it for me. In
fact, I remember it being fun because of the spraying water and
feeling safe with my mommy!
I read this post and was delighted to be reminded of one of my favorite experiences
with my daughter when she was little. We had a very tiny tub with a seat at the back
and I began showering with her when she was really just an infant. I remember her
pleasure at being ''naked in the rain'' and my joy holding her sweet little body in my
arms while we giggled and lathered and washed our hair together. It was one of the
most lovely moments in our day and much easier than leaning over the tub to bathe
her and waiting for her to finish. I highly recommend the practice! We even jump in
together to this day (she's in college) if we both need to use our single shower at
the same time. We are a family of two women who are very relaxed about our naked
bodies and are very physically affectionate when we're clothed. It was the same in
my family of origin, although the presence of brothers and dads seemed to alter the
climate a bit when the kids started to reach puberty. I think the most important part
of this is to communicate ease with your body. If you can't, don't. It sends the
naked in the rain
My daughters are 3 and 1 and shower with daddy several times a
week. They have a blast and there is nothing weird about it.
We realize that will probably come to an end soon. but, we
will enjoy while we can.
I often shower with my son (now 3.5). At various points he has
preferred it to baths (though right now he would rather have a
bath). We both love it and I see nothing wrong with it. For me
it's easier than giving him baths because I'm getting in the
shower anyway, and it's not any extra prep work. We also have a
sort of game with the water stream, I have no idea how it
started: one of us is in the water stream, and the other one says
''Get out of there, Reorge!'' or ''My turn, Reorge!'' Then we both
burst into giggles.
I also remember when I was really young, not showering with my
dad but seeing him naked, and it was natural and no big thing. I
think seeing your opposite parent naked is a good way to
encourage a healthy attitude toward bodies in general and
particularly toward sexuality.
I'm a mom and shower with my 4 1/2 year old son every day. I
haven't had any problems. I'm not exactly sure what your
concerns are but I'm sure your daughter will be fine if you
are. If you're not comfortable with it, that might be a
different issue because she might pick up on the vibe.
We (both my husband and I) bathe with my 2.5 year old daughter in
the tub semi-regularly and sometimes she joins us in the shower
as well. I suppose we'll stop when it starts to seem weird but it
doesn't yet. I imagine it will seem weird when she develops more
awareness of things sexual. At this point her awareness consists
of being able to identify boy, girl, man or woman, and that's it.
My husband and I have been pretty loose about nudity in the house
(both our own and that of our children) since the kids were born.
Now that my older
daughter is almost six, though, I'm starting to feel uncomfortable
with my husband walking around naked in front of her--in part
because his groin, and all its apparatus, are right at eye level
for her. We are fairly progressive parents, but suddenly I'm
beginning to squirm. Any thoughts?
What does your daughter say or how does she act
when your or your husband are naked around her? Most
kids will let you know when they are no longer
comfortable with nudity. If you and your husband
keep an eye and ear out for how she is reacting, youwill know
when/if it is time to cover up.
I grew up in a family that attached little importance to physical
modesty. My spouse grew up in a family with one modest parent
and one hyper-modest parent (we have to take it on faith that her
father, like other ordinary mortals, does indeed have occasional
bowel movements). In our own family we are relaxed about nudity.
It has not been an explicit or conscious policy, but I hope it
gives children the healthy message that their is nothing
mysterious about body parts, their parents aren't embarassed
about their bodies, and they shouldn't be embarassed about
theirs. I don't think there is any age threshold when you should
stop sending that message. And perhaps it is more, not less,
important for children to get that message as they get older. I
believe that a better understanding of the human body, and more
comfort with their own body, helps young people develop a healthy
Still, I do think we each have our own comfort level. For
example, my 3rd-grader is ridiculously modest, e.g., usually
wears a belt with his pajamas (perhaps his maternal grandfather's
modesty skipped a generation). At the same time, I am surprised
that my middle school daughter is not more modest about her
changing body, especially with a teasing younger brother in the
house. It took me a little while to realize that the problem was
me -- if she doesn't feel embarassed about her changing body, why
The only conscious decision we made is to use correct names for
body parts, e.g., vulva (not vagina, unless that really is the
part you are discussing). Depending on your own upbringing, this
can be very hard to do! Children are curious, and if you can
talk matter of factly about body parts, they ask about it all.
The only drawback that I can see to the open discussion of body
parts is that all of our children, when very small, have
occasionally said things that made other adults wilt. But this
seems pretty minor -- if grandma and the Safeway cashier fall off
their chairs because they distinctly heard a tiny girl say
''clitoris,'' who has the problem? Not the child. On the other
hand, my elementary-school children have come home and laughed
about the great confusion that exists among their peers when it
comes to boys' and girls' bodies.
I look forward to what I anticipate will be a great many posts,
some of which will undoubtedly make me feel like a prude!
Don't Worry, Be Naked
When our oldest daughter was about the age yours is, we faced
the same issue. We decided not to rush to cover up. Attitudes
to nudity are obviously highly variable across cultures, and
mainstream American culture seems to us very pathological.
Nudity and touch are sexualized much more than in some other
countries, and some people are left so modest (prudish?
pathologically ashamed of perfectly normal bodies?) that they
can't name their own body parts aloud, and are uncomfortable
being seen naked in locker rooms, doctors' offices, and by
lovers. Many, especially the young, are too uncomfortable to
negotiate safe sex, or contraceptive use, with tragic results.
There are plenty of communities in which young mothers have felt
pressured not to breastfeed because they and others are
uncomfortable about exposed breasts.
We feel our policy has paid off. All of us are comfortable with
are bodies, and our kids can talk about their bodies very matter-
of-factly. Such a contrast with my own childhood. Despite
frequent camping trips, shared motel rooms, and the constant use
of beaches with no bath houses, I have never seen my own father
naked. My first glimpses of adult male genitalia came from
flashers and during an attempted sexual assault. My shock and
perplexity at their appearance left me that much less able to
think clearly about what to do about the threatening situations
I found myself in. I was also completely unable to tell my
mother about some health problems I had, and that I was
beginning puberty, because I was just too embarrassed. Not
rushing to cover up nudity sends the message that there's
nothing abnormal or bad about human bodies, something my
husband's family always knew, and reinforced by their casual
attitude to nudity.
Anonymous, but not under cover!
My child is not old enough for this to be an issue with us, so I have to talk
about my experience as a child with very loose parents.
My parents were naked around me all the time. And you know what? It wasn't
an issue for me AT ALL! Why? Because it wasn't an issue for my parents. I
promise you, if you don't make a big deal about it, it won't be a big deal for
her, and there is a very important added benefit: your daughter will grow up
much more comfortable with her body, because her parents modeled that
THEY were comfortable with their bodies.
So, your husbands penis is at your daughters eyel level. So? I would encourage
you to really follow where your thoughts are going and what your fears are. Are
you afraid your daughter will develop sexual feelings for her father? If she
does, it makes no difference if he's naked or not. Childrens first sexual
feelings are *usually* for their parents. They are unconscious and, as the child grows
and develops, will move on to more appropriate ''targets'' (so-to-speak),
especially if parents don't make a big deal about it and realize that this is
perfectly normal and has NOTHING to do with whether or not they walked
around naked. Being nude does not (neccessarily) = being sexual, as I'm sure
you are perfectly aware.
Will your daughter be curious about daddy's penis? Perhaps, perhaps not. I
never was, as a child, particularly curious. I was so used to seeing my parents
naked that it just wasn't all that facinating. And, getting back to the added
benefit: I grew up with a MUCH better body image and am much more
comfortable in my body than just about ANY of my other women friends. I
definitely think my parents attitude about their bodies (and respect for mine)
played a big role in this.
So, my opinion is, if you can be comfortable, your daughter will be too and it
will probably not really be an issue - and could ultimately teach her healthy
ways of thinking about her body.
happy daughter of nude parents
this page was last updated: Nov 7, 2011
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