At what age is it not OK for a child to be bare bottomed outside? - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-11-2007, 12:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My 2.5 yo DS was outside today with nothing on but a t-shirt. The sirt covered half of his butt. I didn't see anything wrong with it but I am used to him running around half dressed.

I started to wonder, at what age is a child too old to be outside in the front without anything on? Is this appropriate? If the little neighbor girl comes over, is that OK? Would her parents be ok with it? Do my neighbors care?

I wouldn't care if any of my neighbors young children weren't dressed but I'm not sure at what age I would care. I don't see anything sexual about it or find it gross or anything but at what age is it not ok? I'm not sure so I was hoping I could get some perspective from my fellow MDCers.

BTW, we came in after the little neighbor girl said "hehe look at his butt" and her older brother said "ewww, I don't want to see that". My ds didn't hear them and it wasn't the only reason we came in since it was almost bedtime but it did play a part in it. I didn't want my ds to think there was anything wrong with him being partly dressed.

As always, I'm looking forward to hearing your opinions!
SJ
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Old 06-11-2007, 12:21 AM
 
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My 3 yo still goes bare bum outside sometimes.

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Old 06-11-2007, 12:44 AM
 
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If in the privacy of your fenced in yard, any age.
Out in public? NEVER.
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Old 06-11-2007, 01:00 AM
 
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I think comfort levels are different for everybody, but for me, I became uncomfortable witnessing the discomfort of others (if that makes sense) sometime between 3 and 4. At home, both kids will still run through the house naked and have no modesty about it. They are six and minutes away from turning eight. But it's really just that--running through the house right after dumping all the clothes in the hamper and now on the way to the shower, or from the shower to the room to get dressed. But they pee with the doors open, etc. I guess I'm trying to say that I think they have no shame about their bodies and I'm really glad about that. But we've also stressed with each since about the ages of five years that public nudity is a social taboo in our society and that they are not to answer the front door while naked, doff clothing in the front yard, etc.
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Old 06-11-2007, 01:35 AM
 
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My 3 1/2 yr old still strips naked to get in the hot tub on our back deck. I see nothing wrong with it but DH thinks it's time for him to stop traumatizing our 8 yr old neighbor girl. She will go in side if she see him in the back yard naked. Last summer when he potty trained he spent alot of time bottomless and she would go running inside ever time.

I feel by next year he will have to stay covered

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Old 06-11-2007, 01:41 AM
 
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frankly, i'd be more concerned with any adults who could be sex offenders in the community. seems like you can always find one when you type in your address in your state's sex offender database, who lives not that far away or could be driving by, etc. in the privacy of your own backyard is one thing; out in front of the house, you hate to think it but could be setting up for trouble.

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Old 06-11-2007, 07:31 AM
 
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Personally, never. I've never let my DD show her bare bottom (or even top if I can help it, so far I usually can) in public. Keeping private parts private is very important to us.
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Old 06-11-2007, 09:38 AM
 
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I've only recently stopped being free about DD1 being bare in front of strangers or outside; she's almost 3. She's slimmed down and no longer looks like a toddler anymore, and I feel like it's time. She still goes outside in nothing but a shirt and underpants or a shirt and a diaper, but DH says he's not cool with even that anymore, so fully dressed it is.

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Old 06-11-2007, 12:24 PM
 
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Our general rule is after poty training is complete. that said, when we first started ava peed her pants and we just let her run naked (and since she was in a dress that mean buck naked. (we were at the community garden and had to get sdome work done.) Someone called the cops on us. and they were driving by at least 50 yards from my naked BABY. Police came out. he was so funny. he started out with "I know this is stupid but" . . . . apparently they have to check out every call of this nature and unless i wanted that lady to keep calling and driving by and them having to come talk to me about it (not that they could do anything or force me to do anything since there was laws concerning nakend babies and such) his solution was that her sister give her some ofher clothes so they would both be half dressed and he can say the with confidence the situation is hjandled and the baby is not naked . her sister was 5 years old. So apparently up through 5 or 6 half naked is at the very least perfectly legal.

my point is some people aparently have strong opinions about this. string enough to call the police.

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Old 06-11-2007, 02:41 PM
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I think what someone else said makes sense; once they're trained, nakey time should be limited to the house
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Old 06-11-2007, 02:48 PM
 
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Wow, I'm quite surprised. My 4 year old still runs about naked a lot of the time when it's hot outside. I do encourage him to have his clothes on but he prefers not to when he's in our garden. I hadn't really thought about setting limits at all, I would rather he decide for himself when he's rather keep his private parts more private. He's had other kids come round (slightly oder than he is) who've said something to him, but he's paid them no attention. But then we tend to walk around naked a lot in the house, he bathes with me often, etc so just not a concern here. He's not the type to just strip off at random times, this is limited to our garden, or close friends who have kids the same age, or other family.

And I know this is awful and I'm sending mixed messages, but I'll probably be more assertive about this when dd is potty trained because I'm more protective over her with this kind of stuff.
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Old 06-11-2007, 02:48 PM
 
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My personal feeling is that 3 is old enough for private parts to need to be covered while outdoors.
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Old 06-11-2007, 03:04 PM
 
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I have different standards for relatively "private" outside space and public outside space. My dd is 3.5 and tall (looks 4 or 5) and I don't care if she's naked in our backyard or on the patio play space at our friend's condo. (Dd and friend's dd are nekkid twins. )

I do insist on private part coverage in our front yard or around the neighborhood.
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Old 06-11-2007, 03:29 PM
 
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depends on where you are and live. Here in the NW we have a guy that has a website listing all the great places to see little girls. So for us, unless we are in a very private location. I always have clothes on them.
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Old 06-11-2007, 03:31 PM
 
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That's just something I've never started in the first place.

But DS is almost 4 and will be completely dressed when he walks out the door.
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Old 06-11-2007, 03:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jeteaa View Post
Here in the NW we have a guy that has a website listing all the great places to see little girls.
: How is that guy not in jail right now?! Sheesh.

I've never been comfortable with it here. I just don't have any remotely private yard space. If I had a little closeknit neighborhood where I knew folks and I didn't think anyone would call the cops, I wouldn't worry.
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Old 06-11-2007, 03:42 PM
 
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Hah! I'm living in Sweden right now, and I think I'm getting weird looks because I have bathing suits on my girls (5 and 3) when they go outside in the sprinkler. At the beach a lot of the under 5s go naked. I don't do this because 1) the amount of sunscreen needing reapplication, and 2) I don't think that guys like jeteaa posted about are limited to the US. I think it depends on your yard and your neighborhood.
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Old 06-11-2007, 03:46 PM
 
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My daughter loves to be naked. Loves it. She is 3.5. We let her be as naked as she wants in the house or in the backyard, which is enclosed by a fence. But not in the front yard or any other public space where strangers might see her.
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Old 06-11-2007, 03:51 PM
 
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Age 5-6, IMO.

Ds went naked through the sprinkler last year (age 5). But he's one of the only boys in the neighborhood and it was making the little girls (age 7-9) uncomfortable, so this year I'm asking him to put on a bathing suit, and he's pretty happy to do so, which suggests he's becoming a bit modest too.

Dd is 3 and still loves to be naked. I don't mind if she is, but dh is getting a bit weirded out by it, so usually we ask her to put something on if she's out in the front yard. Honestly, until she's about 5 or 6, I'm not going to put a lot of effort into it.

If we were in Sweden, they'd go naked until they decided to cover up!

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Old 06-11-2007, 03:55 PM
 
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My dd is 4.5 and goes naked in the back yard. It's moderately private, and she's never left unsupervised. If some perv wants to look, he'll get my garden hoe in the eye. In the house - it's impossible to keep clothes on her, and our family is comfortable with that.

Although my dh says he does not want her naked bum in his face while he's eating (she's a bit wild my dd...)

Front yard is rougher terain - at least panties on; she's starting to become more self concious (through no prompting of my own) I just tell her the panties are to protect her parts from getting scratched or getting road rash (she's not so quick on her feet).

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Old 06-11-2007, 03:57 PM
 
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We can't do our front yard as there is a busy street in the front... but the back yard... LOL

My almost 3 year old and my 5 1/2 year old run about naked alot. My 9 and 12 year olds do not... their choice.
I refuse to be scared into not doing things for fear of sex offenders... yes they are out there, but I refuse to have my kids live in fear or myself for that matter.
I guess it is up to you and your kids. I don't think 2 1/2 is too old, but then that is me.

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Old 06-11-2007, 04:42 PM
 
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I think 3 is the max age i'd let my children go out bare bottomed.
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Old 06-11-2007, 05:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ElliesMomma View Post
frankly, i'd be more concerned with any adults who could be sex offenders in the community. seems like you can always find one when you type in your address in your state's sex offender database, who lives not that far away or could be driving by, etc. in the privacy of your own backyard is one thing; out in front of the house, you hate to think it but could be setting up for trouble.
I'm not exactly sure why this is relevant. Yes, odds are all of us live uncomfortably close to someone who has sexualy abused a child, but I would be willing to be that most pedophiles don't see a naked five year old running through a sprinkler and then have an irresistable urge to swoop in and take off with the kid as the kid's mother watches.
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Old 06-11-2007, 05:19 PM
 
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DS1 ran around naked until he was...4.5 or 5. I don't remember exactly which. I had a lot of hassles over this particular subject, which would take a long time to detail.

He pretty much quit going naked on his own. He started to pick up that the other kids in the neighbourhood didn't run around naked, and he had one or two friends who were uncomfortable, so he was required to put some pants on before asking them to play. He pretty much figured it out how it worked from those clues.

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Old 06-11-2007, 05:21 PM
 
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I refuse to be scared into not doing things for fear of sex offenders... yes they are out there, but I refuse to have my kids live in fear or myself for that matter.
I guess it is up to you and your kids. I don't think 2 1/2 is too old, but then that is me.
I ran around naked a lot as a child. Neither of the pedophiles who got their hands on me ever saw me naked, though. I'm not entirely convinced it's that much of a trigger for that particular kind of sicko.

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Old 06-11-2007, 05:21 PM
 
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I've never allowed dd to be naked where others could see her.
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Old 06-11-2007, 05:49 PM
 
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My 4.5 year old is naked outside virtually everday now.

She'll be too old when she decides she's too old (or wants privacy). The worst someone can do is look at her and that's just not a big deal to me.

At the rate she's going (not developing modesty at the rate some of her friends are, thankfully) she may just be a nudist.

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Old 06-11-2007, 07:07 PM
 
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I'm not exactly sure why this is relevant. Yes, odds are all of us live uncomfortably close to someone who has sexualy abused a child, but I would be willing to be that most pedophiles don't see a naked five year old running through a sprinkler and then have an irresistable urge to swoop in and take off with the kid as the kid's mother watches.
No, not very likely at all.
But what IS very likely is that they will take pics. And possibly post them on the internet. There are tons of websites with "Upskirt" type pictures of little girls playing at the park, and little kids naked/just in undies playing in front yards, sprinklers etc. These websites are the same as porn sites, but the kids aren't doing anything sexual

It is really sad, and it is NOT uncommon at all. A simple google search an you can find many websites dedicated to these types of pics. I will not post links for obvious reasons.

And even if they don;t share the pics, they will enjoy them a lot I am sure.

There are also cases where kids are kidnapped later on after a Pedophile sees them running around their front yard naked or partially clothed.

I am not a super paranoid person, I don't think that there is someone just waiting to take my child.
But I do worry that if a person who is very sexually attracted to little boys were to see my son outside naked I might be putting him at a higher risk for something happening to him. Because now that predator knows there is a sexually appealing (to him/her) child that lives in that house. And what if they are the really aggressive type that would actually kidnap a child? They can now watch, plot and wait for an ideal chance to snatch my son. That is what worries me. And I know this can happen even if your kid is fully clothed, but I fell like if he is naked it might put ideas into a sick persons head, where there wouldn't have been otherwise.

So I have NEVER allowed my son to run naked in the front yard of our home.
We live in a bigger city, so I think that plays a part of my worries. And we are also in the Pac NW like a PP who mentioned that website that lists great places to view little girls in the area:Puke
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Old 06-11-2007, 07:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all of the great replies! I just knew if I posted here I would get different perspectives that would get me thinking. I never really thought about sex offenders *shudder*. I'm not the paranoid type but just the thought creeps me out! I like the idea that once a child is potty trained to have them dressed.

I am going to keep my ds dressed in the front but I don't think I'm going to be super strict about it. I'll definately keep him dressed if the neighborhood children are out since I want to respect them and not make them uncomfortable. As for the backyard, I don't really care since it is a prety private fenced in yard.

Thanks again!
SJ
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Old 06-11-2007, 08:09 PM
 
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I can't keep 'em dressed, but then we have quite a bit of privacy here. They are always naked. Pretty much all summer. I'm guessing this will be ds's last summer being naked, but that is up to him. He is starting to like being clothed more. Dd luuuuuuurves being naked.:

It's summer, we're in Vermont, we have a pond,we are in a private location. it's what works for us.
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