is it ever ok for toddler to be nude in public? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 153 Old 06-08-2009, 05:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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WDYT? I was at a wedding this weekend that was on a public beach. It would have been unlawful to ask other people at the beach to move out of the way or not walk behind the ceremony. As a result, (and thanks to the good weather) there were a lot of people passing by and onlooking the ceremony. There was even a father (shirtless) playing frisbee at one point very close by with his daughter. (maybe age 10?) Nonetheless... while I was sitting there and looking at the ceremony and setting, I spotted something far down the beach... coming our way.... it looked like a little boy around my son's size walking with two ladies.... totally naked! I couldn't tell for sure at first... but sure enough... he was 100% nude. while they were gawking at the ceremony like people rubber necking in traffic looking at an accident, they just walked slower and slower right in front of our view behind the bride and groom exchanging vows.

WDYT? Not a big deal or NO WAY... there are perverts out there and everyone on the planet has a cel phone with a camera!!
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#2 of 153 Old 06-08-2009, 05:28 AM
 
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The perverts will still be perverts if the boy had had clothes on. It's up to the parents and the toddler to decide if he wears clothes and no one else. I say no big deal.

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#3 of 153 Old 06-08-2009, 05:28 AM
 
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I don't feel comfortable having my boys out in public and nude, however if it was another child I wouldn't have a problem with it. I'd say 2yo and under I'd be comfortable with.

It's complicated.
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#4 of 153 Old 06-08-2009, 05:44 AM
 
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I still let my 4 year old girl do it on public beaches in Hawaii if she wants to.

The only time someone has tried to photograph my child is when she was in a bathing suit - it turned out to be tourist creepy guys and I called the cops when they would not stop photographing her.

So yeah, on small beaches we go to often if she wants to take off her bathing suit - rock on girl! I'm not going to teach her to be ashamed of her body.

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#5 of 153 Old 06-08-2009, 05:45 AM
 
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The perverts will still be perverts if the boy had had clothes on. It's up to the parents and the toddler to decide if he wears clothes and no one else. I say no big deal.
I agree. My boy was almost always nude on the beach until he turned 2. But I'm from Europe, so my perspective might be a little different.
Also, I find it unfortunate that nude babies and shirtless guys were in the background of the bride and groom changing vows, but you said it was a public beach... so you can't really blame them.

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#6 of 153 Old 06-08-2009, 05:48 AM
 
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If there is water than my boys will be naked, they are nearly 5 and 2.

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#7 of 153 Old 06-08-2009, 06:29 AM
 
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The perverts will still be perverts if the boy had had clothes on. It's up to the parents and the toddler to decide if he wears clothes and no one else. I say no big deal.
I totally agree! I also believe that perverts are very rare, most people are good and honest, and I'm not going to live in fear of people who might be perverts. . .I don't think there are enough of them to even think about. When we go to the beach (last minute) and don't have extra clothes our children strip and get in the water. . .*gasp* totally nude! Only in the last year has DD kept her panties on (but nothing else) when we go. Of course we live in Japan where nudity isn't too big of a deal (at my DS's school the children strip down to their undies to play in the sprinklers in the summer then all strip naked in front of each other and get dressed; at my DD's school, in the 2nd grade, the children all change into their swimsuits for swimming in the same room--boys and girls).

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#8 of 153 Old 06-08-2009, 06:50 AM
 
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If the couple chose to get married on a public beach (sounds beautiful), then they have to accept people playing frisbee or being naked.... the "nakee" one could have been my DS or DD!
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#9 of 153 Old 06-08-2009, 08:09 AM
 
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I wouldn't be comfortable with my own kids being naked in public at pretty much any age, but that's because I am incredibly paranoid about predators and perverts. However, if another parent is comfortable with it it doesn't bother me, I will just be looking around to make sure I don't notice anyone leering or taking photos without permission.
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#10 of 153 Old 06-08-2009, 08:54 AM
 
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It would be pretty common here (Norway). Even splashing around in fountains downtown. ^^

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#11 of 153 Old 06-08-2009, 09:00 AM
 
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No big deal! I have mostly insisited on bathing suits and sun shirts for protection from the sun but if DS wants to run aorund naked for a bit, no big deal. We always strip him down all the way to shower off the sand at the outdoor shower by the beach. DD stopped being naked in public around 4 IIRC, just a personal preference thing, it wouldn't phase me if I saw another child her age naked.
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#12 of 153 Old 06-08-2009, 09:19 AM
 
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I'd say 2yo and under I'd be comfortable with.
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I agree. My boy was almost always nude on the beach until he turned 2. But I'm from Europe, so my perspective might be a little different.
Why age 2? Why is it OK before then but somehow not OK after that second birthday?

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#13 of 153 Old 06-08-2009, 09:29 AM
 
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Why age 2? Why is it OK before then but somehow not OK after that second birthday?
For us, by next summer, ds had already turned 3. And when in Rome... If someone had made a rude comment on ds's nakedness at 2, he couldn't have cared less (I got some nasty looks, but no comments), but at 3, I started worrying about his self-esteem.

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#14 of 153 Old 06-08-2009, 10:32 AM
 
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I totally agree! I also believe that perverts are very rare, most people are good and honest, and I'm not going to live in fear of people who might be perverts. . .I don't think there are enough of them to even think about.
I respectfully disagree that they are "very rare." Every time I hear the stats on the frequency of little girls being sexually abused, I'm blown away by how often it happens.

My DD (and future children) will not be nude in 'public.' We'll teach them not to be ashamed of their bodies, but to recognize that not everyone has the right to see their private areas... JMO based on my own negative experiences as a child.

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#15 of 153 Old 06-08-2009, 11:01 AM
 
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I personally always kept ds in a bathing suit simply because I realize we are in America, people have hang ups about nudity (even in very small children) and I don't want to make people uncomfortable. But at home, heck, he's still a nudist.

It certainly wouldn't bother me to see a naked toddler. I think if we were in many countries other than the US people wouldn't think twice about it either.

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#16 of 153 Old 06-08-2009, 11:08 AM
 
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if there were not any perverts, i would be ok with it. but that combined with the attitude that people have with being nude makes me uncomfortable.

...he prances around nude in the house though.

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#17 of 153 Old 06-08-2009, 11:08 AM
 
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I don't have a problem with kids being naked. Even if there is a pervert out there, I don't think their ability to see my naked kid is going to cause any harm. I'm right there, nothing can happen.

That said, if I was walking with my naked toddler on the beach and I saw a wedding, I'd probably whisk him away and clothe him just to be polite to the wedding couple.

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#18 of 153 Old 06-08-2009, 11:09 AM
 
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Just because of other people's extreme reactions to my child being nude I would not let them run around completely naked on a public beach. But inside they are both (3 &1 yr olds) naked a lot and will stand naked at the window ect. I do EC with my 1 yr old so I pee her outside all the time and when I do so you can see her tush. Naked toddlers no big deal to me. But sadly the North American society does not seem to agree.
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#19 of 153 Old 06-08-2009, 11:25 AM
 
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No big deal.
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#20 of 153 Old 06-08-2009, 11:28 AM
 
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I wouldn't be comfortable with my own kids being out in public naked, but other families may feel differently.

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#21 of 153 Old 06-08-2009, 11:47 AM
 
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The perverts will still be perverts if the boy had had clothes on. It's up to the parents and the toddler to decide if he wears clothes and no one else. I say no big deal.
Me too. This is the United States of Shame- as PPs have alluded. This puritanical American culture is the problem, not nudity. There are perverts all over the world, but for reason of shame only a few countries in it have a collective fear of nudity in public. I am not advocating secession from every cultural consensus. But personally, I will rebel against this particular stigma (and many others, but that's me) , for the common good and self-respect of the world as a whole and my family as individuals.
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#22 of 153 Old 06-08-2009, 11:49 AM
 
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we try to avoid NIP (nekkid in public) mostly because of the sun

and an excess of sand in the butt

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#23 of 153 Old 06-08-2009, 11:49 AM
 
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I would be ok with brief nudity - like changing clothes, swimming when you forgot a bathing suit - but it seems like they were going for a walk of some length with him naked? That just seems extra weird to me.

I remember when I was a kid ... must have been 4 or 5 ... we were at a state park here with a lake and a beach and we were playing in the sand and this little girl came and played in the sand completely naked. We thought it was weird... first of all because our parents didn't let us run around naked (I got spanked once for riding down the street naked on my big wheel) ... but then she stood up and she was all filled up with sand everywhere... I don't think I'd do naked at the beach just for personal physical comfort... who wants sand in their butt? Of course I know some sand will get in anyway but...

eta - vegemato and I posted at exactly the same time, LOL

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#24 of 153 Old 06-08-2009, 12:00 PM
 
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Personally, I'm not comfortable with my child being naked in public, but I have no problem with other people's toddlers or young preschoolers who are.

But I wanted to comment on something else in the original post. You seem to be very annoyed that members of the general public watched the wedding. You commented that they were "gawking at the ceremony like people rubber necking in traffic looking at an accident".

This is part of having a ceremony in a public place. My husband and I got married at a public beach (at the base of a lighthouse). We had a very small ceremony with only our immediate families there. Including us, our priest, and our photograoher, there were about 20 people there. And LOTS of tourists who stopped to watch the ceremony. Everyone was very polite and stood a respectful distance away; but they were definately close enough to be in earshot and to take pictures. We did not think about this beforehand and we did not expect it to happen, but we considered it to be a delightful surprise. We love that you can see all the tourists in the pictures in our wedding album. And we still laugh that complete strangers have pictures of our wedding in their vacation albums.

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#25 of 153 Old 06-08-2009, 12:07 PM
 
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Given the world we live in I think it's a bad idea, but not because there's anything inherently wrong with being naked.

I agree with the PP that getting married in a public spot is an invitation to others to respectfully watch the ceremony. I think having extra people around to witness is charming.
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#26 of 153 Old 06-08-2009, 12:11 PM
 
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Another vote for no big deal. Perverts are horrible, but if you are supervising your child carefully, your DS or DD should not come to harm. To me there is a certain beauty to a child's lack of shame at their nudity. I wouldn't rob my kid of that just because there might be a pervert lurking somewhere. Though I agree it was kinda tacky to let him linger right behind the bride and groom.

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#27 of 153 Old 06-08-2009, 12:17 PM
 
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I respectfully disagree that they are "very rare." Every time I hear the stats on the frequency of little girls being sexually abused, I'm blown away by how often it happens.
Its usually not strangers at a beach who do the molesting though, or strangers anywhere. Its people the child knows. So I would be more worried about uncle jimmy giving her a bath than for her to be naked at a public beach, especially a toddler.

Jemi - have you read the Gift of Fear, by GAvin Debecker? It might help you sort through what need to be worried about and what doesn't.
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#28 of 153 Old 06-08-2009, 12:19 PM
 
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What bothers me on these threads is the fact that most posters think because someone doesn't approve of nudity in public, means they are afraid of perverts or they are teaching their children to be ashamed of their bodies. What happened to modesty? I have never been inclined to be naked in public or let my children run around without clothes on when there are others around. What we do in our house is different, because of the privacy factor. I also think a bathing suit does protect them from sun, sand, rocks, bugs that might irritate their privates, the same way I might put a sun hat on a fair child. I also agree that private parts are private, not to be displayed in public, despite the age. However, if I did see a very young child frolicking naked, I would probably smile because they are so darn cute!
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#29 of 153 Old 06-08-2009, 12:20 PM
 
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(I got spanked once for riding down the street naked on my big wheel)
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#30 of 153 Old 06-08-2009, 12:20 PM
 
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DD loves to run around naked at home after a bath, but she wants clothes on in public, and that's fine by me.

I wouldn't have a problem with naked toddler on a beach, but I think it was pretty disrespectful of the adults to hang around gawking at the ceremony, naked toddler or not. I'd certainly be mindful of kleeping out of the viewfinder of any cameras at the wedding (professional or otherwise) if I weren't an invited guest. Maybe that's just my perspective, though.
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