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Changing in front of your child


EllieCee

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I read something about this somewhere today, and it got me thinking. Some say that parents shouldn't change in front of a child, because it's inappropriate. It reminded me of something I read in a fundie blog, which said that even a man's sister could pose as a temptation if she is dressed inappropriately. However, some say it's all right, as it's a natural thing. It's better that a young child see what the human body really looks like rather than to see it in porn or in the media one day.

What are you views on it?

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We are very open in our home. I don't run around naked or anything, but let's just say that the female form is certainly no mystery to any of my sons. They seem pretty darn well-adjusted regarding the issue (or non-issue, as the case may be).

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I'm a little more laid back about nudity than some people. Until my boys were about three and a half, I let them jump in the shower with me and their father. They also saw me nurse their sisters.

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We're pretty open in this household. My 5 year-old daughter and I still hop in the shower together occasionally when we're pressed for time and we often change in and out of our swimsuits in the same room at the same time. My husband has been trying to shield himself from her in the past year, mainly because he's uncomfortable with the idea of her being able to remember seeing him naked, in fear that it would embarrass her. But if she walks in on him or whatever, no biggie. We've never made a big deal out of it, hence it's not a big deal to her. I say to each their own on this issue, so long as a child isn't being forced to feel shame.

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We had no issue of changing, bathing ect in front of our children when they were under school age. When they didn't want to see us naked they quit barging in our room without knocking but we never started to undress in front of them at that age. Also we traveled a lot on trips or for fun and they knew they had to bathe or change in public with one parent or the other for time and safety reasons. So at the hotel they could either take a quick shower with dad or sleep in a few more moments and take one with mom. At the public pool or water park they had to change with either mom or dad in the same stall. When very little it was me and now that my baby is 9, he changes with dad close by but not in the same stall. Our sons never seemed to care and it wasn't even an issue in our home.

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I grew up in a very open home. I never saw my father naked but I saw my mother and other female relatives naked or getting changed etc and I'm not traumatized for life. I actually think it's very healthy. It teaches children that the body is normal and natural, instead of attaching shame to it. It also is a good way for them to ask questions and learn the proper names for body parts. I think it's also helpful for potty training. I don't remember my own, but when my brother was being potty trained, his father would take him into the bathroom with him so he could see what it was all about. That way, when he started using the bathroom it wasn't weird or a big mystery to him.

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We're pretty open in this household. My 5 year-old daughter and I still hop in the shower together occasionally

Reminds me of when I was younger. I also used to shower with my mother during really busy days. I also used to take baths with my sisters and my boy cousin.

Funny story, I thought girls were supposed to have hair down there when they got older. When I first saw porn, I was confused as to why they were completely hairless.

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I read something about this somewhere today, and it got me thinking. Some say that parents shouldn't change in front of a child, because it's inappropriate. It reminded me of something I read in a fundie blog, which said that even a man's sister could pose as a temptation if she is dressed inappropriately. However, some say it's all right, as it's a natural thing. It's better that a young child see what the human body really looks like rather than to see it in porn or in the media one day.

What are you views on it?

My mother and I still change in front of each other. It's no big deal. We have the same parts. When we're sharing a hotel room or something, I don't know why one of us needs to be inconvenienced to hide from the other.

My father changed in front of me when I was little, but I don't remember how old I was when he stopped doing that. But I also think it was no big deal.

I learned what girl parts and boy parts look like. And it wasn't at all sexual. Fundies are crazy.

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There's really nothing LESS sexual than changing in front of your kids. And with a little boy, if I'm out and about alone with him, I'm not going to send him into the men's section of the changing rooms by himself. I do send my six year old into the men's bathroom by himself, because it takes him like 15 minutes to poop and I got tired of lurking around the stall, but most parents I know aren't comfortable with that (I've gotten told off by more than one mom for letting my little boy go into the men's room alone, because then *her* little boy wants to and isn't allowed.)

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My son (2 in September) takes baths with my husband and me all the time. In this heat, I sleep in the nude or else with just some bottom undies on and we cosleep.

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I think that before puberty it's perfectly fine to change in front of kids or shower with them. If the kid feels weird about it then maybe you should reconsider, but I don't think it's a big deal at all for most families. My brother and I used to take baths together until he hit puberty. I also took showers with both my mom and dad occasionally, usually to save time. I frequently barged in on my mom in the bathroom. Kids really have no sense of privacy and I've had dozens of kids walk in on me while I'm peeing just from babysitting. I try to explain it to them and they'll obey, but they don't really understand it until they reach puberty and want some privacy of their own.

For babies and toddlers, especially those who were breastfed, I think it's especially ridiculous to make sure you keep everything covered. They ate out of the boob and came out of the vagina; it's not a big deal if they see it occasionally.

One thing I am weird about though is having sex in the same room as kids, even babies. I know a lot of people do it and I don't think it's bad, it's just not something that I could personally do. I would just feel weird about the baby being right there and not be able to do it, but I don't think it's bad or wrong when other people do it.

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I read something about this somewhere today, and it got me thinking. Some say that parents shouldn't change in front of a child, because it's inappropriate. It reminded me of something I read in a fundie blog, which said that even a man's sister could pose as a temptation if she is dressed inappropriately. However, some say it's all right, as it's a natural thing. It's better that a young child see what the human body really looks like rather than to see it in porn or in the media one day.

What are you views on it?

We did not because our son was older when he came to use (11). Therefore, we were actually strangers when we met.

My nephew (now 21) lived with my family. I was 16 when he was born, and was my sisters birthing coach. There was no father in the picture, and I helped take care of him. We were very, very close when he was little. I just did what I thought was best as far as helping my sister with him, and if I needed to take a bath (no shower at our house), he'd come in the bathroom with me. At about age 6 months, he became terrified of taking a bath unless my sister or myself got in the tub with him. Eventually he got over it and then it was just fun to take a bath with Aunt Sunny, who liked to use a lot of bubbles. At about age 4 we put a stop to it, just saying we wanted privacy. "Sorry honey, Auntie Sunny wants to take a bath alone, she wants her privacy. You can take a bath when I'm done."

I think it might have had something to do with the fact that he reminded me to shave the hair off my big toes, and to make sure I washed under my boobs (no he didn't say boob--just pointed).

Nudity is not a big deal in our house now because it's just me and DH. With my sister's other children, I would not be comfortable taking a bath with them, because our relationship is not as close and I live several hundred miles away now. I don't make a big deal about changing in front of her kids on the rare occasions that it's happened, say when we are at a public pool and we are changing in the locker room. The girl need help changing, so why should it be a big deal if they see my body in the course of normal daily events such as changing clothing?

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Guest Anonymous

I showered with my mom or sisters (15 and 18 years older than me) often until probably..2nd grade? I didn't like to do much alone. We still change in front of each other all the time, I've never even thought about it. I also change in front of my nieces and they will jump on the shower with me (they're 5 and 6). Also, when we're at home there is only 1 bathroom and hardly anyone ever locks it...if you're showering someone else (female) will come in to use the bathroom or brush teeth or whatever, nbd.

I don't remember my dad ever changing in front of me though.

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I grew up in a very open home. I never saw my father naked but I saw my mother and other female relatives naked or getting changed etc and I'm not traumatized for life. I actually think it's very healthy. It teaches children that the body is normal and natural, instead of attaching shame to it. It also is a good way for them to ask questions and learn the proper names for body parts. I think it's also helpful for potty training. I don't remember my own, but when my brother was being potty trained, his father would take him into the bathroom with him so he could see what it was all about. That way, when he started using the bathroom it wasn't weird or a big mystery to him.

I also saw my mom, sister or other female relative change in front of me and I thought it was ok and normal. I have two older brothers and I was used to seeing them walking around without shirts on and I was used to them sometimes walking around in boxers. One of my uncle and his wife had three daughters. My uncle never walked around shirtless in front of his daughters and there was one time during the summer in which one of my brothers played basketball shirtless in our yard. My uncle and his family arrived at our house unexpectedly. My brother came in from playing basketball and my cousins turned red right away and seemed embarrassed just because my brother was shirtless. My mom and I thought it was weird Later on my aunt told my mom that my uncle never walked around shirtless at home and that the girls probably weren't used to see a man or boy without a shirt in real life.

My brother also used to take his son into the bathroom when he had to pee to show about potty training.

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Mom, Dad, 19-year-old sister, and I live together right now. My mom is the least modest person in the world. My sister and I have always hung out in the bathroom while she's showering and getting dressed. My sister and I ran around naked until we were five or six, but now we're only topless/bottomless in front of each other in a dressing room, etc. I've only seen my dad naked by accident since I can remember, but it's not a big deal to see him in his underwear. I don't know if it would be different if we had a brother. Maybe my mom would be a little less "naked," but I think it's somehow less taboo for a mother to be naked in front of a child of either gender than it is for a father to be naked in front of daughters for some reason. Does that make sense?

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that makes sense to me. my mom was very casual about nudity in front of me. i remember sitting in the bathroom talking with her while she was in the tub, regularly.

She changed in front of me all the time, and it was just never really an issue.

i don't remember ever seeing my dad naked, though i did see him frequently in just his boxers.

My girls have seen me naked 100,000 times. I swear, i have not peed alone in four years. I nursed both of them, I change in front of them all the time, and I answer their questions as they arise.

My husband isn't comfortable with nudity in front of the girls...he never saw either parent naked and it just feels squicky to him. They have seen him shirtless and just in his boxers.

I don't know how i'd be if i had a son, but i imagine i'd still be cool with my own nudity around a son...i agree that there's something sort of different about mom's nudity in front of a child of either gender, though i'm not sure what that difference is.

eta: i don't have a mental cut-off point (ie, puberty) to stop changing/being naked in front of the girls. i guess i'll follow their cues, as far as wanting their own privacy, or saying "MOM, PUT THOSE SAGGY THINGS AWAY!". har.

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I think that before puberty it's perfectly fine to change in front of kids or shower with them. If the kid feels weird about it then maybe you should reconsider,

The common wisdom among people who go to clothes-optional festivals & religious rituals is that little kids LOVE to be naked, tweens & young teens hate it, and older teens are all for it as long as no adults are around. I was around a few clothed teens w/topless/naked parents this summer and they seemed exactly as embarrassed/uncomfortable as teens with 100% clothed parents in other settings - that is, they find older people occasionally embarrassing and not one bit attractive/sexy.

I actually find the modesty-police parents who are so concerned with their kids sexuality more of a problem. When I was a teen and some of my friends' dads were all "you look like a slut go change" it made me intensely uncomfortable, and the modesty stuff some of the internet fundies say I find creepy and sexualized.

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I'm sure this will make some swoon with horror, but we still use our hot tub with everyone naked. There's not anything at all sexual about it. The fact of the matter is that detergent in laundered swim suits is a constant problem in spas, and so we just avoid the problem by not wearing any with just family. It is usually in the late evenings when we all use it as a family, but there ya go.

Of course we use swimsuits when we have company over.

The naked human body does not need to be viewed as a purely sexual thing. I asked our family doctor about this one time, after the boys were in school, I think, because they were still unfazed by the sight of me nude or nearly nude. She told me it was no big deal at all, not to worry about it, and the thing to keep in mind is that when the children start covering up, the parent should start covering up. Well, that day, so far, has not come, so I am not going to lock the door every time I change my clothes or take a shower (the master bedroom and bathroom are pretty much all one room, with just a partial dividing wall.

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The kids see us in underwear all the time. Since everyone hangs out in MY bedroom most of the time, I get dressed in here with them in here and noone cares or even looks up from what they are doing. Naked is only by accident now and they will laugh and say "I saw Dad's butt!" or whatever if he is runniong from the shower. They kids are all private and get dressed in their rooms.

WE have 1 bathroom with a solid shower curtain, so people are always coming in when you are in the shower. Noone cares, you cannot see through the curtain and thats what you do if you cannot wait until the person in the shower gets out.(This ALWAYS happens when I am in the shower, suddenly everyone has to pee :/)

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Bathed with my parents (both sexes) as a young child (in Japan). Went to the public bathhouse too, which was sex-segregated but I certainly saw older women in all manner of undress, it's just not a big deal at all. Personally I thought it was healthy because you realize what actually living people of all ages look like. Yes, old women are wrinkly. It's okay. I'm not beautiful naked, but you know what? Neither are most people in the neighborhood. It's okay.

Interesting topic though because I've been on threads where the prevailing opinion seems to be that there's something terribly wrong about a young kid seeing parents naked, and something perverted about bathing or showering with young kids, particularly of the opposite sex.

On Imamother (I know, I know) there's been discussion of young kids bathing together (again, my household did this) saying that from a fairly young age they make the kids wear underwear in the tub if they're in there together. That seemed pretty extreme to me (and to be fair, other more "modern" posters there also said similarly).

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Since everyone hangs out in MY bedroom most of the time, I get dressed in here with them in here and noone cares or even looks up from what they are doing.

As with your family, the master bedroom is the hang-out place for our family, too. This is a bit strange since we have a nice living room and a nice family room, but that's just the way it's always been. *shrugs*

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My mother and I still change in front of each other. It's no big deal. We have the same parts. When we're sharing a hotel room or something, I don't know why one of us needs to be inconvenienced to hide from the other.

That's pretty much what my mom used to tell me when I was growing up - "We've got the same parts, mine are just bigger." Mom was also always the casual one about being naked or changing in front of my brother and me. Well, hey, we were also the kind of little kids that would just barge into the bathroom even if she was using it - no privacy for mom! But Dad, even with my brother, you NEVER walked in on him if he was changing or in the bathroom! (He had his own bathroom, just off our laundry room, that he used.)

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Yeah, I'm pretty easy going about nudity too, despite my puritanical upbringing; I never saw a naked man (other than David - thanks Michaelangelo!) until I was married.

But with my two sons (ages 3 and 4) both my husband and I change in front of them and shower with them. I've scaled back how often I'm naked in front of them in the last few months but they are free to charge into the bedroom or bathroom as they please. They are not yet self-conscious about it.

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I don't think it's a big deal. If anything, I think most Americans are too hung up on the idea of nudity and need to chill out a little. I also think the general squeamishness about it leads to really unreasonable results (like the rule at my gym that bans children over the age of 3 from the opposite-sex locker rooms - sorry, but I'm not sending my 4 year old to the men's locker room alone to change clothes). I prefer having privacy but, if I am in a changing room or at the beach, it makes much more sense to have my child with me than let him wander around unsupervised.

I also think this whole obsession with modesty and projecting adult ideas of sexuality onto children is just wrong and sort of creepy. I would like to think that children are innocent, at least for as long as possible, without having to worry that my toddler sees any nude woman as a sex object, or that the 6 year old down the street is trying to "defraud" the neighborhood by running through a lawn sprinkler in her bathing suit.

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How long do you all take your boys into public women's restrooms with you?

My son is 7 (almost 8) and I still take him to the ladies room. He goes into his own stall, but NO WAY am I sending him to the men's room alone.

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