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#1 of 32 Old 01-20-2002, 11:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How much of your body does your child see? I am wondering if there are other families out there that bathe together and walk around nude? Our dd is only 19 mo but I wonder how long we will be walking around nude or taking baths with her! What are your reasons for sharing yourselves in that way? Mine is to teach her that our bodies are perfect and that we should not be a shamed of our bodies. A form of acceptance...

What is your philosophy?
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#2 of 32 Old 01-21-2002, 12:17 AM
 
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Nudity is totally acceptable I think. My son (Lou) bathed with me until he was over 4...we only stopped because of my big pregnant belly Now he is almost 5 and Ian (the then pregnant belly) is big enough to get in the tub with him. I have no problem with nudity. It is no big deal to see us naked. I just don't see why it should be. I play it by ear...if my son at some point seems uncomfortable I will respect that. Of course we will also talk about it, too. But I will stay clothed only when he seems to need me to.
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#3 of 32 Old 01-21-2002, 02:21 AM
 
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On principle I would say the more opportunity children have to see confident naked parents, the better. However, in experience, I just got annoyed seeing Dad run around naked getting ready in the mornings at around age 5.
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#4 of 32 Old 01-21-2002, 10:59 AM
 
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My daughters see me nude a lot, like almost every day. It's either when I'm in the shower (glass shower stall) or getting dressed or undressed. No biggie. I think it's very important that young girls know what a *real* woman's body looks like and not just what they see in the media. They are now (at 8) starting to show they're uncomfortable at times, by immediately backing out of the room or averting their eyes. When this happens I reach for a towel or something right away because it's not fair for me to make them uncomfortable. I have started to warn them if I hear them coming and I'm not dressed and they usually want to wait to talk to me until I'm dressed. Dh is never nude around them, though, he's not comfortable with it.

We do bathe with our baby (5 months), and plan to do it as long as it's easier that way. I'm not sure when I'll be careful about keeping myself covered as he grows up; this boy thing is totally new to me. I imagine around age 4 he'll start showing that he doesn't want me to run around naked (not that I do often, but I'm sure he'll walk in on me).

Personally I think that as long as everyone involved is okay with it, it's okay. On the other hand, maybe some children don't know how to say that they don't like it so it continues too long and causes issues.

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#5 of 32 Old 01-21-2002, 11:20 AM
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I take showers with my 21 mo dd, and she sees me getting dressed. Dh wouldn't DREAM of showing of himself and I respect that.

I was thinking about this issue the other day. I was thinking/wondering about how a child "naturally" develops a sense of modesty. My dd (who weaned at 13 mo) was with me while I dressed and was pointing at my boobs saying "boobie, boobie". She reached out but right when she was about to touch it, jerked her hand back, scrunched up her face and giggled. Now why would she have the notion of doing that? She breastfed, she showers with me. It really got me thinking.

I remember seeing my mom in the bathtub. She would always cover her boobs with a washcloth. I thought that was strange (I was maybe 5-6). I did not appreciate seeing my dad once, and I'm still traumatized by the vision :

I would say that I'll probably stop dressing in front of her around the age of 3. Not hiding, not jumping and eeking if she comes into the room, just not deliberately doing it in front of her. If she wants to take a shower together, I'm sure she'll ask, and I'll be totally fine with that.
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#6 of 32 Old 01-21-2002, 02:44 PM
 
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Ds is almost 2 1/2 he sees me and dh naked all the time, baths getting dressed, undressed.
Just recently I've noticed my own 'modesty' about being naked, I think though, it has a lot to do with the fact that whenener ds sees my breasts, he wants to nurse!
He knows boys have penises, but I haven't gotten into the vagina dialog with him...
BTW-has anyone seen the Vagina Monolouges? Wow, what a great show!
I hope to accept my humaness and hope I can pass that along to my little one
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#7 of 32 Old 01-21-2002, 05:23 PM
 
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my children don't really see any of me naked.

i don't take them into the bathroom with me.

i don't change in front of them.

i don't nurse.

im fine with other people doing so, but it makes me uncomfortable.

im not "prudish" at all though......i wear small little bikinis....short shorts....low cut stuff.

i just don't want my kids to see me naked. i don't feel comfortable that way, and so we don't.
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#8 of 32 Old 01-21-2002, 05:30 PM
 
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Sleepies, I *never* saw either of my parents naked. It never even occurred to me that children could see naked parents. I'd rather have that than have what one of my friends had to go through--an exhibitionist dad. No kidding, she would have a friend over and her dad would be walking around nude. Totally inappropriate. There are times when it's okay, times when it's not, and if it's not comfy for anyone then it's gotta go.

LOL, I just remembered that when I was about 7 and learning how to shower rather than bathe, along with learning how to wash my own loooong hair my mom got in the shower with me--in her swimsuit!

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#9 of 32 Old 01-21-2002, 05:50 PM
 
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hehehe twin.

i saw my mom naked

but, i didn't like it.

it made me feel afraid to grow up.
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#10 of 32 Old 01-21-2002, 05:54 PM
 
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ROTFLOL...maybe that's why my mom wore her swimsuit, she didn't want to scare me! Hopefully I've scared my twins enough to avoid any early babies. LOL, they've seen the stretchmarks, the National Geographic boobs, the saddlebags, cellulite, and wiggly, jiggly flesh. They're not gonna want kids anytime in the next couple decades!

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#11 of 32 Old 01-21-2002, 06:05 PM
 
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hehehheheh twin you are too funny!

my mom actually has a great body, but....it was still scary.

i hear you about it being built in birth control though!!! hahhaha
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#12 of 32 Old 01-22-2002, 01:08 AM
 
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I haven't really thought about it that much - my husband is not naked as often as I am, I'm almost always caught once a day at the very least - and because I have a habit of smacking my little guy on his bare butt (I can't resist - its just too cute) - he does the same to me when he sees me naked - and we end up chasing each other around the house..... (screaming and laughing like crazy folk)

I never thought that to some people that might seem strange. I can't see myself doing that when he's in college !!! LOL :

But I haven't thought of a time to "stop" either.

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DS - Trenton 8/19/99
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#13 of 32 Old 01-22-2002, 01:23 AM
 
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my son is only 1 yo... I sleep nude and we cosleep. He sees me get dressed, get undressed, we bathe together... dh sleeps seperately, but he is very open w/ being nude. ds sees him go to the shower nude, change clothes, and he likes to go in the bathroom and watch him pee- he thinks it's sooo funny.
I posted a thread on this topic about a week ago. Asking others about their feelings on nudity- there were some great responses!
Anyways- my parents weren't very open about being nude around me. I don't remember ever seeing them naked. I wish they would've been. It took me a while to not feel so shy changing in front of other girls, or being intimate w/ men, or showering at the gym, etc.
Dh,as I said, is very open. I think he helped me get over my shyness and feel comfortable w/ my body being naked. I want to be open and casual w/ds about it, so he doesn't feel ashamed or awkward about nudity. I mean it's our bodies... they are beautiful...natural. I want him to fel that. I want him to be free of all the conditioning and taboo and sexual crap people lay on being naked. I want himto feel free to skinny dip!
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#14 of 32 Old 01-22-2002, 01:44 AM
 
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Dh and I have a longstanding tradition of destressing at the end of the day in the large jacuzzi tub that came with our apartment. Along came dd(now 5 months); we learned quickly that she loves the tub. It's her favorite place.

It's very convenient to do her bath with us, but we were just talking the other day about how long it's appropriate for Dh to participate. We love the whole routine, and the squeals that Dd makes as she tries to join our conversation.

I used to work with a woman whose adult daughter is still in therapy because long ago stepdad once walked through the living room nude. I'm sure there's more to the story, but it gave us something to ponder.

I guess if she doesn't like what she sees, it'll keep her out of boy trouble later.
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#15 of 32 Old 01-23-2002, 12:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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HimalayanGyrl701-
Tell us more... how did you feel seeing your dad naked? Why do you think your were anoyed? I'm curious. It happend to me too. A weird feeling that I can't quite explain.
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#16 of 32 Old 01-23-2002, 01:01 AM
 
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I think the Sears' advice is sound. However, my oldest is 5 and doesn't yet seem anywhere close to discovering his modesty.

I'm actually a very modest person, no skinny-dipping for me. Even around friends I am self-conscious about nudity. But I take baths with my boys and they see me get dressed and it seems to me absolutely normal and natural; in a sense, my body still belongs to them, just as it did when they were babies. It won't always, obviously. But they are still just little boys, totally innocent about sexuality. They run around nude all the time, they are totally unselfconscious about their bodies, which I just absolutely love, it is quite a thing to have the privelege of witnessing such freedom and innocence. It's quite a beautiful thing.
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#17 of 32 Old 01-23-2002, 03:20 AM
 
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I still bathe several times a week with both DD (just turned 3) and DS (4 months). DH generally has at least one bath a week with both of them. Esp. since they both still nurse and we co-sleep (therefore share a dressing area) I have no problem with nudity. DH does cover his "naughty bits" with a washcloth when bathing with DD.

I have no problem with nudity and just plan on taking it as it comes. DD does sometimes want to go to the bathroom by herself, but I think that is more about getting her own HUGE amts of soap than privacy (though she no longer invites her friends to "watch" her pee, but is fine with mom or dad or some other adults--- nana, poppa, etc...).

I *really* did not want to stop being naked yet around DD because that would make it soooo hard with having a new baby (hey, she even saw the birth, me totally naked squating without a problem).

Just this last year my niece started wanting to dress privately (she turned 8 in September) and wore a swimsuit when visiting and taking a bath with her brother (6) sister (5) and DD (2 then). We just had them all wear swimsuits so she wouldnt feel awkward (she didn't feel weird seeing them naked, jsut being seen, but thought it would be easier).

Whatever works, works.

 

 

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#18 of 32 Old 01-23-2002, 07:06 AM
 
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Since day one we have all bathed together almost daily.

These days though, all the girls inc. dw have a giggle when I get undressed. :

a

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#19 of 32 Old 01-23-2002, 02:33 PM
 
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My mom left when I was real little, so I don't remember ever seeing her naked...
My father came into my life when I was already 4 or 5 so I think he refrained fro ever being naked around me.
I saw my brother naked once, and I remember asking him why we were different. I didn't understand why nobody would tell me.
I've always been shy about sharing my body, even back when I had one to show off. DH is very open about it though, and it has helped me to open up some.
My DD is 7 months and sees me naked all the time. Nursing, bathing, changing, using the restroom.... she see's it all. My DH ont he other hand has never seen me use the restroom, nope... never. I'm a prude. I tend to change in the open room but when he isn't looking.... I think my body image problems stem from other places though.
I will probably continue to be naked around Malia until she shows discomfort about it. With her it is so natural and innocent, ya know? I mean she was born by means of my vagina, I just can't see being discreet with her

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#20 of 32 Old 01-23-2002, 04:39 PM
 
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My mother and I have been openly nude around each other our whole lives (showering together or in front of the other, changing, whatever). It doesn't come up that much anymore, but we are still comfortable (at age 60 and 30). My dad was always very relaxed about nudity. I remember our family skinny dipping together when we were kids and if he had to change, I wasn't asked to leave the room. He didn't strut around, but he didn't hide himself. I have never gone to great lengths to hide myself from my brothers, and for some reason in our house, no one ever closed bedroom doors.

It was a non-issue in our family, and our "modesty" never kicked in. I think modesty has to be created and is not innate. Dh and I are openly naked around our 20 month old, and don't see any reason to start hiding ourselves.
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#21 of 32 Old 01-24-2002, 12:25 PM
 
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our dd is only 8m old, so this isn't something we've had to think much about...yet. my dh loves walking around nude, so i bought him a robe for xmas for the neighboors sake. i tend to get cold (we live in minnesota), so i usually have something on around the house. as far as nudity goes though, i have no problem letting ella see us naked while she is young. ella and i have always bathed together. no doubt i will have the same problem as sweetpea had once i get pg again as my belly with ella was HUGE (could barely fit in the tub with myself! hee hee).

i remember seeing my mom naked when i was young and it never bothered me. we still change in front of each other (she has the nicest, perkiest boobs! much less saggy than mine and she's 60!). my dad used to walk around in his tidy-whiteys and i admit that embarassed my a bit...mostly if i had a friend sleeping over and we entered ou kitchen to the site of my dad, sipping coffe, in his undies. agh! that was past age 9 though.

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#22 of 32 Old 01-25-2002, 01:20 AM
 
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We're naked where it's appropriate--getting dressed, in the hot tub, etc., but not while cooking breakfast or some such. Ds #1 is 7 years old, and doesn't seem disturbed by it, sometimes he sits on my lap in the hot tub. It's nice to have the skin-to-skin contact again. Ds #2 gets plenty of that since he's 10 mos.

A lot of this is simply practical: I can't imagine not being interrupted while dressing, and I'm not about to try to be discreet while nursing in my own home. Not to mention having Ds#1 present at the birth. I wasn't about to dress for that event!

Personally, I love seeing my naked boys (all three ). The kids' inherited their father's tush!
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#23 of 32 Old 01-25-2002, 03:16 AM
 
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My son bathed with me until he was 3 1/2, and saw me nude (after a shower, getting undressed, etc., I didn't walk around naked) until around 7 1/2. Then he began getting modest, and so I began closing doors when I changed. He is currently, at 9 years old, in a phase where he thinks nudity is gross!

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#24 of 32 Old 01-26-2002, 03:52 PM
 
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I haven't read through all of the replies, but this is an issue our family has been thinking about now that our older son is 6 1/2. We do not walk around undressed, but we also don't close doors while we are changing, nursing, etc. I have heard that once your child seems to wants privacy while in the bathroom, etc. then that is a sign for the parents to use more discretion as well. Makes sense to me.

Both dh and I occassionally bathe with a child/ren, although I will only join ds#1 if we use bubbles (I have never mentioned 'why' to him)
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#25 of 32 Old 01-30-2002, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks every-one for your thoughfull replies. We are almost all in the same boat it seems. Good luck to all.
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#26 of 32 Old 01-31-2002, 12:04 AM
 
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I have been very open with my children, I suppose, with regards to nudity. I don't feel ashamed or uncomfortable with them seeing me naked. They are also both very clingy and would not like it if I closed the bathroom door to get dressed, undressed, showered, etc. My son is just now starting to develop some modesty (at almost 8 yrs old), so I have practiced more modesty around him. I think it's good for the kids to get a realistic view of what a woman's body looks like. They love me and accept every last ounce of me - I hope they can apply that to others down the road.

DH does not undress or go to the bathroom in front of the children. I'm ok with that, because I think a man's body can be frightening to a child. My dad always slept in the nude, so I saw him naked a few times as a kid and didn't like it. Seeing my mom naked never really bothered me, but I remember asking about why she had "hair down there."

Anyway, it looks like this discussion is winding down, but I had to add my thoughts...
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#27 of 32 Old 02-01-2002, 04:45 PM
 
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My sons are 14 & 8, and our family is very comfortable with nudity. I was raised very european, and raised my children that way. When I was 14 & visiting family in Germany, we all (teens included) did the sauna and ran outside to spray each other with freezing cold water from the hose (considered healthful!!) For us it is normal, healthy and totally non-sexual. We still go to hot springs together, nude of course- except for ds 14, who got modest a year or two ago. His modesty was accepted without question. He doesn't display any discomfort with our nudity, either. I don't tend to walk around naked, but change clothes without concern, and ds14 doesn't turn away or stare. No biggie for him; he grew up w/it and gets to see exactly what a real woman's body looks like.
DH was raised extremely modestly. For him (and so many people, sadly) nudity=sexuality- now THAT is unhealthy!! (no wonder breastfeeding has been sexualized in our culture...) Being with me has been a shocker and wake up. He never even let his daughters see him without a shirt on before I met him! Thought hot springs were for depraved hippie sex fiends! LOL!! Would undress under the covers...that blew me away. Now, 3 1/2 years later, he's a different man. His younger dd has come with us to hot springs and he is so much more comfortable and mellow- in every way. He says he feel 'freed'.
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#28 of 32 Old 02-04-2002, 05:25 PM
 
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...um, my parents never 'covered up' so to speak until I left home in my late teens!..It was no big deal to me - infact I thought it was the same in every household!..Both myself and partner are often naked in front of dd...infact dh and dd take a bath together every saturday when I'm at work...as for dd she's in a perminant state of undress...she hates clothes!..
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#29 of 32 Old 02-05-2002, 05:07 AM
 
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DS is 25 mo and has started wanting to "See Mama" or "See Dada" when one of us is in the bathroom showering or otherwise in a state of undress. DH has a totally wrong attitude about it and implies that there's something stimulating for him in it. I think it's a great sign of curiosity and trying to figure things out. He's already made the connection between him and dad because everytime he pees in the tub now he grabs himself and says "Dada!" and shakes it! (hope that's not some of those forbidden graphic details). He also is very curious about mommy's pubic hair and walked in one day and pointed to it and said "toe pay". ????? I haven't figured that one out, unless it was an attempt at telling me to put on my 'pan-ties' so I'd hurry up and be dressed and come play.
Anyway, I'm much more comfortable with nudity than dh. He's got the sex hang up thing. I hope to prevent ds from adopting his attitudes.

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#30 of 32 Old 02-05-2002, 05:26 AM
 
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We don't worry about nudity in our family. I'm often in a state of undress or partial dress as I'm trying to shower and get myself and everyone else ready in the morning. My dh doesn't flaunt but doesn't hid, the girls see him naked when he's getting in or out of the shower or getting dressed. My girls are very often naked and I don't worry about whether they are dressed or not except undies are required at mealtime. My youngest is really noticing penis's lately and discusses how "daddy's is really big compared to Luke's" (our friend's baby) and if boys have penises why don't girls, and what do girls have then, etc.

My parents always slept naked and they never hid it and I often saw them naked when they got up or were getting dressed. It seems like my dad became uncomfortable with it about the time I reached adolesence, which seems appropriate. I think whatever people are comfortable with is the best approach.
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