Nudity at home, shared baths, etc. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 40 Old 11-27-2005, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We've always been pretty open about our bodies at home. We'll walk around the house 1/2 naked, digging through the clean laundry piles in the living room. Dd knows most of the names for her parts, dh and I rarely bother to close the bathroom door (when we don't have guests!), etc.

I sometimes join dd in her bath, but I'm starting to feel a little wierd about. I know that's just my own issue, but what do others feel about a "cut-off age" for a girl playing in the tub with Mommy? What about daughters & fathers?

FYI, dd is about 2.5
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#2 of 40 Old 11-27-2005, 04:50 PM
 
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My dd (also 2.5) and ds (6mos) both shower with me and dh. I don't feel like there is a cut off time except for when they are able to shower on their own. FWIW I showered with my mom until I was 6 or so.
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#3 of 40 Old 11-27-2005, 04:54 PM
 
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I bath with both of my children. My DS is 4 and my DD is 1. We are cramped in the tub but it works for us Most of the time the only way I can get a bath in is to bathe with them.

+ + =
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#4 of 40 Old 11-27-2005, 04:57 PM
 
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I still hang out nude with my mom when we swim in the pond, take saunas, or keep each other company when one of us is in the bath. I don't bathe with her, but that's cause we wouldn't both fit in the tub. My father is also not shy about nudity and we have both been naked in front of each other as adults during my childhood, especially when swimming (we aren't big on bathing suits )

DH bathes with both kids (he does the bathtime ritual in our home), but both kids shower with me. We sleep in the buff and the kids come into bed with us in the mornings. They are still toddlers and eventually I imagine there will be some natural modesty and clearly innapropriate times for nudity, but I don't want it to be a big thing in our household.

If you are uncomfortable being naked in front of your child, then that is something you should honor. Don't force yourself to do something that doesn't feel right because you think you should feel differently. I come from a very laid back family in nudity sense (possibly too many years lived in Europe ) but my husband can't remember EVER seeing his parents naked. Somehow he still wound up relaxed about nudity. Who knows how these things happen.

I know you will get replies from people who have very strong opinions about this. I don't think being naked in front of your kids is harmful UNLESS THEY TELL YOU IT BOTHERS THEM, then your should respect that.

Cheers!
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#5 of 40 Old 11-27-2005, 05:07 PM
 
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ITA w/ the PP's!! My oldest is7 1/2 and we don't hide our bodies yet. No biggie...is we did it likely would be a biggie...but it's all good!!

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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#6 of 40 Old 11-27-2005, 09:39 PM
 
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We are open with our nudity here. My girls know the difference between boys and girls because dad doesn't hide anything...and he shouldn't. To them it is natural, as it should be. They also know that they must be dressed in front of other people because they aren't family.

One of my early memories was when my mother, who was newly introduced to Christianity, decided suddenly that I couldn't see her nude anymore. I was about three or four. That was the first time I ever looked at her as being naked, and couldn't understand how it was suddenly bad. Guilt was introduced. I won't do that to my children. If my nudity makes them uncomfortable, or vice versa, then it will be a natural process and we'll go from there.

As far as them seeing dad nude, I don't know how I'll feel about that as they grow older. My girls are only 1 1/2 and 3 years right now so they're just little.

"The best things in life aren't things."

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#7 of 40 Old 11-28-2005, 12:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumnschild
One of my early memories was when my mother, who was newly introduced to Christianity, decided suddenly that I couldn't see her nude anymore. I was about three or four. That was the first time I ever looked at her as being naked, and couldn't understand how it was suddenly bad. Guilt was introduced. I won't do that to my children. If my nudity makes them uncomfortable, or vice versa, then it will be a natural process and we'll go from there.
That makes a lot of sense. I don't want to introduce shame and guilt in connection with nudity. But my own upbringing was so different, it's hard not to feel as though as some point I need to just cover up.

Part of me really wants to be more open and comfortable with nudity, but I'm just not there yet, and I don't want my discomfort leading to discomfort for dd, kwim?
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#8 of 40 Old 11-28-2005, 12:27 AM
 
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We are very open about nudity at our house, and will continue to be until dd tells us to put some clothes on. My parents were very uptight about nudity, I remember accidently seeing my father naked when I was 4 and they flipped out, I still remember the shame I felt, it took me a long time to be comfortable with male nudity, as well as my own. I didn't see my mom naked until I was a teenager. I don't want the same for dd, I want her to be comfortable with different body images.

There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.
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#9 of 40 Old 11-28-2005, 01:10 AM
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We are a pretty open household. You kids will let you know when and if they are uncomfortable with nudity....theirs or yours. If you are uncomfortable with your own nudity and wish to be more comfortable with it then do things like sleep naked. You'll get used to seeing yourself in your own skin. If you'd rather not bath with your DD anymore then don't, but make it a gentle transition so it doesn't upset her. There is not numerical cut off age. You do what is right for your family. IMO A person being nude is just as sexual as a mom uncovering her breast to feed her baby.

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#10 of 40 Old 11-28-2005, 03:51 AM
 
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My breasts are exposed as I am nursing often, but I am not nude ever. I dress behind closed doors. I prefer my privacy. I stopped bathing with DS1 when he was about 4 or so.

Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012)  Married to awesome SAH DH.

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#11 of 40 Old 11-28-2005, 04:04 AM
 
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The problem I have with being nude is that DH makes coments. Good comments, but, I dunno, I just feel weird having DD hear them. I guess I shouldn't, as they could help her to see the beauty in the eh, Rubenesque female form, thus helping her self esteem later...yadda yadda. How do you keep the sexual parts of being naked separate from the relaxed and comfy "don't feel like wearing clothes" part of being naked? Or do you?

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#12 of 40 Old 11-28-2005, 05:00 AM
 
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I always have on at least panties and a bra but that's just going from bedroom to bathroom, if I'm lounging around I am always dressed in a top and bottoms of somekind ie tanktop and shorts or pajama pants. I just don't feel comfortable being naked other than when I need to be like showering or sex. Dh is like me in that regard, he has to have underwear on at all times too

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#13 of 40 Old 11-28-2005, 05:12 AM
 
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Maybe I will think about covering up around ds when the memories of him sliding out my birth canal are a little less vivid.

Ahem. Seriously. I was raised by hippies who did things like sauna with friends, so I saw all kinds of naked when I was little, and the men started covering up when I was six or so. We aren't hippies, but I expect that both our dc (dd is due in May, hooray!) will see us naked when we are bathing for as long as they are inclined to wander into our bathroom, and see us pretty much naked whenever we are alone among family and the weather is hot.

My mother and I take saunas and change clothes together, and everybody including in-laws got an eyeful of boob when I was learning how to nurse. Nudity is definitely not sexy in my book, unless you are getting naked in order to have sex.
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#14 of 40 Old 11-28-2005, 05:33 AM
 
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We're not shy about nudity here either. I bathe with DD and shower with her - she's 2-1/2. DH doesn't like to shower with her and he doesn't take baths so I do all bathing with her. However, he will often times give DD a bath.

We joined the Y recently. Their policy is that kids can go into the opposite sex parent's locker room until they are 6 years old.

My mom and I (and DD) have all seen each other naked within the past 6 months. I used to like to go into the bathroom with my mom for a bath and when she thought I was too old (probably just too big) she would let me put my feet in the hot water while she bathed and we'd get some time together.

I used to sleep naked too but we co-sleep and I am uncomfortable with that. Not so much because of any worry of sexuality but more because of practicality. DD is very cuddly and still nurses at least once or twice during the night and she's tall. I always wear underwear or pajama bottoms because I have been accidentally kicked during the night. DH always wears underwear and sometimes he'll add a T-shirt if it's cold at night.

I am a 40 year old unschooling, belly dancing, artist-mama of one almost 8 year old. I just had brain surgery and blogging.jpg about it a bit because it's just so surreal.
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#15 of 40 Old 11-28-2005, 10:39 AM
 
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i think the cut off date is when you or your dc is uncomfortable. i still bathe (not often, ut thats only b/c i dont gey much time to take a bath) w/ my 2nd ds...my first got weird about his nudity a few years ago when he became a teenager...ive never trewated it as a big deal so my kids dont either.
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#16 of 40 Old 11-28-2005, 01:12 PM
 
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I agree with PP that there is no numerical age associated with nudity appropriateness. Your child will let you know when and if they start feeling uncomfortable with your/their nudity.

We are pretty open here too. DD is 3 and DS is 6 mos, and we all bathe together, walk around nude looking for clothes, etc when we don't have company! DD knows all the names of body parts, and knows what some of them are used for. DD has been heard to say "Baby brother! How's your penis?!" and when role-playing "Here comes my baby out from my vagina!" (this has been WITH guests over )

Like a PP, I remember seeing my dad naked when I was 7 or so. My mother was so po'd at me because she thought I was already in bed. To this day I remember the shame and guilt at seeing him. It shouldn't be that way.
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#17 of 40 Old 11-28-2005, 01:44 PM
 
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I grew up in a VERY open family, it was never a big deal to us. I'm the same way with my children.

My husband grew up in a very private family, saw his mother in her bra once at 14 and says he was traumatized. Seriously, I think it WAS a big deal because it just wasn't done. KWIM?

As long as all parties are comfortable, then I think it's fine.
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#18 of 40 Old 11-28-2005, 01:50 PM
 
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Lish, I'm really curious about your experience with nudity in your family. I don't want to teach my kids to be ashamed of their or other people's bodies. But I wasn't raised around comfortable nudity. Did your family just continue to be comfortable with nudity (looking for clothes nude, leaving the bathroom, sleeping nude, etc) into adolescence?
Do you talk about this with your kids, is it just not thought about and is normal? How do you teach kids to be clothed around company and not teach them shame? Modesty but not shame?
Hope that all made sense.
If you could share more, I think it would be helpful to many folks here. Thanks so much!
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#19 of 40 Old 11-28-2005, 01:55 PM
 
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im glad i found this....i thought we were the only ones
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#20 of 40 Old 11-28-2005, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mammafish78
im glad i found this....i thought we were the only ones
I think it's pretty common actually. We had a discussion on a completely main stream site and the answers were pretty much the same.

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#21 of 40 Old 11-28-2005, 05:53 PM
 
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Hi all, Here is a fathers point of few. I was not raised by hippies but I did go through that stage in high school. A lot of the ideas that have shaped my parenting life come from that mind set. I have always been very open with my children. I was always in charge of bath time. For that matter I was in charge of anytime that happened from the time I got home from work till bedtime. That has always been my choice. Anyway, bathtime has always been special, fun ect. Not a chore. As soon as the girls were old enough to stand they would join me in my shower. At one time I had a five year old and a three year old chase me to the shower each evening stripping cloths along the way.

All four decided on their own when it was time to use their own shower. It was always around age five or six. I never made an issue out of their decision as I was myself thinking the time had come. I also like to swim in the nude and it was always common to to have a naked baby or two in the pool with me. As the girls got older it just became natural to respect their need for their own privacy and also to cover myself so as to never make them feel uncomfortable. It was just a natural progression.

My girls all grew up to be very modest in their dress and more set on their carrer goals than fooling around with guys.

I think that if you do what is comfortable for you and your children, then no harm will be done.
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#22 of 40 Old 11-28-2005, 07:41 PM
 
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I still shower with my DS, he's almost 3. I always ask if he wants to come in the shower with me and he always says yes. If he were to say no, I'd respect that. I grew up in a "no nudity" house and was taught to be ashamed of my body, I am trying like crazy to reverse that and teach my DS that nudity is ok.

I usually change clothes in my room with the door open, if DS comes in, it is not a big deal. DS sometimes runs around the house naked after bath time and I let him. DS also showers with his father from time to time.

Zen doula-mama to my spirited DS1 (2/03), my CHD (TAPVR) warrior DS2 (6/07) & a gentle baby girl (8/09)
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#23 of 40 Old 11-28-2005, 11:33 PM
 
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Both myself and dh bathe with our children about twice a week. Ds is 3 and dd is 6 months. We have a huge jet tub and ds LOVES it when it's a big tub night . We're only really naked around bath time because I get cold easily and prefer to be dressed and warm. But I don't have a problem being naked. Like most of the pp's, once it becomes an issue with either myself, dh, ds or dd then we will respect whomever wants more privacy. I've just started suggesting to ds that he might want some privacy while going to the bathroom. But he would rather I stay with him and discuss the meaning of life .

Karen - spouse to dh for 11 years, mama to ds (Nov '02), dd (May '05) and ds and dd (Jun '08)

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#24 of 40 Old 11-29-2005, 11:49 AM
 
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Please be careful.
Because not everyone has relaxed feelings about family nudity.
Becasue some people feel that if your beliefs are not just different than theirs, that they are wrong and harmful.
Because some people are very zealous about their "sharing" their opinion.
Because some people will try to force their opinion on your family.
Because some people have found themselves defending their family values to CPS.
Because CPS workers may not share your values.
Because CPS workers have the power to make your life hell.
Please be careful.
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#25 of 40 Old 11-29-2005, 12:11 PM
 
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I remember my mom taking baths with us, and she was always very open and relaxed about her nudity.. But she didn't want to cover up when I got to be uncomfortable with it. She would get ready for work (fixing her hair, slathering on her makeup) totally nude, and not get clothes on until the end. She went to the bathroom with the door open. She scared my best freind to death one morning..She was naked, getting ready for work, my best friend was going to use the bathroom, and since mom never wanted to get clothes on, she got an eyeful.. She does this to this day.

The only thing that I feel is important is to respect when the children don't feel comfortable with it. Because she didn't respect me, and went without clothes anyway, it has given me issues with my body, and my nudity. I don't know if I will be nude around my child very much, just because it was so uncomfortable for me.
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#26 of 40 Old 11-29-2005, 12:19 PM
 
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I was just thinking about this the other day. DS is three and we still take the occasional bath with one another but we are starting to talk about "private parts". It doesn't feel weird to either one of us yet so I'm not going to worry about it.
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#27 of 40 Old 11-29-2005, 12:26 PM
 
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My parents divorced when I was 13 and from then on it was just my mother and me and we were pretty much open about being naked, I don't remember it being an issue either way.
My dd is 5 and ds is 7, and we all still run around the house naked. I did stop showering with my son about a year ago but my dh still showers with my daughter.
To me if we don't make a big deal out of it then it won't be a big deal KWIM? In other words I would rather they get their education of nudity at home than be curious about it because it is a secret and sneak around to see it!
BTW I have a friend who recently was talking about teaching her DD (10 yo)to shave and they got in the tub together to do it. So we had this same conversation, she said her teen boys still see her naked, its just not an issue. Her boys are very well adjusted and incredibly moral.
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#28 of 40 Old 11-29-2005, 12:41 PM
 
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I don't bathe with my 12 yr old son and haven't in many, many years, however, he thinks nothing of walking into the bathroom when I am bathing or using the toilet. I do walk around nude at times (after shower, before shower, when it is simply too darn hot, etc) and nothing is thought about it. Both my boys bathe together (12 & 2y10m). Guess it all depends on your comfort level...
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#29 of 40 Old 11-29-2005, 12:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DBZ
IMO A person being nude is just as sexual as a mom uncovering her breast to feed her baby.
I completely agree!

Ann-Marita. I deleted my usual signature due to, oh, wait, if I say why, that might give too much away. 

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#30 of 40 Old 11-29-2005, 02:24 PM
 
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My DS will be 2 on Saturday, and while I don't cover up or anything like that around him, I'm not too fond of being nude around him... just because I don't like people looking at my body.

I know that is my own issue, but hey, it's my issue.

DS is already old enough to start learning that when I use the bathroom, that is personal time when I want to be alone (that has nothing to do with nudity, just my desire to go to the bathroom alone... LOL).

When he gets older and more independent, I'll just tell him shower time is mama's personal time and I prefer not to be bothered in there unless it's important.

I think it's totally OK and appropriate to ask children to respect our privacy. There's a big difference between gasping and covering up if your DD/DS walks in on you, and just saying "Hey, I'm getting dressed... please knock first or something, OK?".

If this wasn't done in the right way, I can see how it would be confusing/frustrating for a child, and/or send mixed or bad messages.
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