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#1 of 43 Old 07-25-2004, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is really "friend of mine". Once again, I can't seem to log dh out. Oh well.

Last night we had friends over and our kids (5 and 2) were playing in the wading pool naked as usual (private fenced back yard). When our friends left, we walked them out to the sidewalk to say good-bye. As they left dh and I started pulling weeds in the sidewalk strip. The kids were with us and still naked.

Five, maybe ten, minutes later a police officer drove by and we all waved to him. We like seeing cops drive by in our quiet and friendly neighborhood. Well, he must have gone around the block because he came right back and stopped. He put his window down and said "What's with the naked kids?". I said "oh, its summer". Dh asked him if there was a legal age that they couldn't be naked. The cop responded "What if there is a pervert in your neighborhood."

Later, this led to many questions from 5-year-old dd. She wanted to know what was wrong with kids being naked, why a police office would be worried about it,... I think we did a pretty good job answering her questions and we had a good discussion. As a family we agreed to have a rule that everyone needs clothing if not in the house or back yard. For the most part, we require this anyway.

I'm sharing this with you all mostly because I just need to vent. It is so frustrating to me that we live in such a paranoid society. Why are people so afraid of nudity? Yes I am aware that there may be a pervert around. But is the way my children are dressed, or not dressed, really going to change the actions of someone with a sick mind?

I want healthy children who are secure with their bodies. I want to live in a community with people who are not so afraid.

Thanks for listening. I suspect you’ll all have a variety of opinions.

friend of mine
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#2 of 43 Old 07-25-2004, 12:58 PM
 
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Dear Friend o' papa's,

I'm sorry, that really stinks for you, although it seems far too common in this society. My friend's mom had the cops called on her for letting her 3-year-old son play naked in the kiddie pool in the backyard. It's unfortunate that our society tries to push this prudish shame about bodies and nakedness onto little children. And that the officer brought up "perverts" in front of your children... terribly inappropriate. Children the age of yours do not even need to know what the word "pervert" means. Besides, you were with your children!

It's something societal, and I don't know how it can change. When I lived in Germany, children frequently stripped down naked on hot days and jumped into public fountains and nobody blinked, not to mention that if you are at the beach or have been swimming in a city park and need to change, you just do it, regardless of age. People don't even react. It's just normal. We were talking with friends of ours about this very same subject last night and couldn't figure out exactly where it begins or what it was about American society that causes or supports this sexualization of human bodies so that even young ones get the message that their perfectly normal, beautiful bodies are dirty.

It's hard when you are expected to adjust your own actions to ease others' discomfort. I think the decision to be nude in the backyard and the house is a good compromise. Keep on splashin'!

jen

: mama to T 9/04 and E 11/08
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#3 of 43 Old 07-25-2004, 02:29 PM
 
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This happened to my family when I was a child. In the 70's!

My mom had my brother and me in a small pool in the yard, we were nude and only about 1 and 3 years old. Somebody in the neighborhood called the police, he told my mom we couldn't be nude outside.

We always thought that was a bummer! Especially in the 70's!!

Shannon
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#4 of 43 Old 07-25-2004, 04:25 PM
 
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Maybe I've already anticipated this one... my 3 yo ds really likes to be naked. I have basically told him that in deciding to live together as a society, we have decided upon some rules. Not all of the rules are great, but the main point is to make everyone feel better. One of the rules that society has come up with is that if we're not at home, we need to wear clothes. So it's okay to be naked at home or in the back yard, but not elsewhere.

I don't necessarily agree with how society came to be this way, but I wanted to explain it to him in a way that he'd be willing to comply with and which didn't make him feel bad about being naked.
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#5 of 43 Old 07-25-2004, 04:43 PM
 
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Yeah, my kids like to be nakies... as we call it! Only in the backyard or in the house... we used to let them run nekkid in the front yard, but... we got some looks....
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#6 of 43 Old 07-25-2004, 10:38 PM
 
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Oh man! The policeman said : "whats with the naked kids?"

"oh uh, we're just trying to set a bait for the weirdo guy across the street. We figure we'll hide behind the bushes and when he comes to snatch our kids we'll jump out and grab him."

It's really so sad when even the neighborhood patrol has to put this kind of fear and concern into kids.

--excuse me while i continue my snarkiness: "hey, mr. police-man, could you help us? How 'bout you stay nearby and come out with those hand-cuffs when we get him!?"

sometimes I absolutely abhor this society we live in

Laura
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#7 of 43 Old 07-25-2004, 11:39 PM
 
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On a related note, my sister suggested this week that my 2.5 yo dd wears dresses that are too short as she tends to enjoy "flashing" her panties. She assured me that she doesn't see anything wrong with it, put was worried about perverts seeing her.

As creepy as it is, can I help it if some sicko has thoughts about her Barney panties? Am I less than vigilant as a parent if I don't keep her "discreet" in public? Isn't this just an extension of the idea that the girl with "suggestive" clothing on deserved to be raped by her date?

I think this fear mentality that is marketed sincerely as safety is one subtle but POWERFUL way that women are descriminated against in our culture. I don't think many men can understand how often fear guides women's thoughts and actions and as a result controls our behavior.


P.S. Sorry about all the "quotes." I am one of those annoying people IRL who occassionally "air quotes" in conversation.
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#8 of 43 Old 07-26-2004, 12:49 AM
 
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This is something that I've just come to realise about Americans. Back home, little children would go naked on the beach and nobody would think for a moment about it. I remember stripping off as a child at friend's houses to play in sprinklers etc, and all the other kids did the same.

Now, I'm so shocked by the prudish way that so many American adults behave with their children. I found it particularly when in the South recently - I didnt realise it at the time, but apparently I shocked everyoen by letting my girls (one and three years old) strip off ready to get into their swimsuits at a park. They were both running around and I was chasing them with their swimsuits, but it didnt bother me in the slightest. If there had been other naked kids there, I"d have given up on the swimsuits altogether. But dh told me afterwards that what I did was shocking, letting them go naked as I sorted out the bags and sunscreen etc.

Here at home, they go naked all the time in the backgarden, and in the house. Dh has heart failure when they run out on the front porch or to the car naked, and ushers them in as if they are committing some act of indecency. It drives me nuts, and he has toned it down a little so at least they don't realise that it's an issue. But I wouldnt care a jot if they came out the front naked, I just don't get this puritanism about children. Ugh.

As for perverts, they are no more likely to eye up your child if he/she is naked than if he/she is in a swimsuit, imo. And some of the swimwear and clothing that parents put on their kids is far more provocative than going nude! That was what astounded me about my experience in the South when I let dds go naked - that there were other little girls in skimpy bikinis that I would not allow near my child. So, dressing your young daughter up sexily is fine, but letting her go naked is indecent. I just don't get it!!

So, in our family, there are no two piece swimsuits and no short skirts, skimpy shirts, backless tops, or adult style clothes, but nudity is fine and dandy.
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#9 of 43 Old 07-26-2004, 01:07 AM
 
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My kids love to be nakie too. I hate that this (US) society is so freaking backwards. I'm sure my neighbors think we are whacked because we have let our 3yr.old swim in the kiddie pool/or be sprayed with the hose naked. Our dd only wears a bathing suit bottom to go in the kiddie pool and I'm sure people think that's wrong also, she's 7. I think us "normal" folk need to keep allowing our children to be children and not put off our sick society on to them. Maybe we'll wear off on to the rest of society.
You aren't protecting your children by making their natural bodies shameful. A pediphile is going to look at children no matter what they are wearing.

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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#10 of 43 Old 07-26-2004, 03:30 AM
 
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Where we live in Hawaii it is not uncommon for toddlers to go naked at the beach. Dd ran around naked at the beach as a toddler, even at some of the resort beaches. And she ran around the house naked all the time until she was around 5....now she runs around in her panties. I would be appalled if someone called the police or even made a comment. I don't even expect anyone to give us weird looks.

Our natural bodies are beautiful.

You should all move to my neighborhood.
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#11 of 43 Old 07-26-2004, 01:08 PM
 
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How bizarre!! If I had to keep my almost 3 yo in clothes all the time, I'd go bonkers - we went to friends' for dinner last week, and she was out of her pretty dress and in her undies within about 5 minutes of getting there, and stayed that way through supper.

I remember my stepdaughter's 4th birthday - we had a backyard party with sprinklers, and she stripped down out of her swimsuit so quick - now that's she's older she just rolls her eyes whenever we're going through the photo album and cracking jokes about how "you can tell who the birthday girl was, cause she's in her birthday suit!" A couple of the other kids did the same, and none of the grownups had a problem with it. What a waste of energy.
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#12 of 43 Old 07-26-2004, 10:36 PM
 
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Same thing I told my DH when he would frown on the BABY toddling around in his precious little Kushies...little did he know we wrestled into those before he got home so he didn't think I let the kids run naked allt he time!!! However, the kids grew up..past 2 years anyway in Turkey and yes, naked kids at the sea is totally the norm up until about puberty, then boys wear underwear or something of that shape and girls swim in shorts and tshirts...white, see through, but hey, they have clothes on....my sensitive 7 y/o son hates to wear a shirt...so he goes topless most of the time..in my prudishness he must wear a shirt to the table...even though his brother 3y/o sit s there in just his Bob the builder undies....he too will have to adjust....but not for 4 years!!!! I almost hink it is a male thing....none of hte Moms around seemed to bat an eye and even let their girls run around the same way....so my theory is...if more men had to wrestle kids into clothes, they'd adopt the same attitude....we do have a warped sense of propriety though....if Brittnay spears wore nothing but lingere on stage (barney or otherwise) it would be a lingere show....but heaven forbid a child, prepubescent child run naked....my kids don't even know what it means to be naked...just clothes on, clothes off....usually its clothes off...even in the middle of winter which is just beyond me!!! (no they don't go outside like that..I'd get reported for trying to freeze my kids)

enough ranting....just had to add my 2 cents worth!!!
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#13 of 43 Old 07-27-2004, 09:39 PM
 
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I remember going to beach in Italy as a child and children there didn't start wearing swim clothes til puberty. They had semi-nude advertising and the Playboy channel on regular TV. People weren't hung up on issues like here. Sexual crimes at a VERY low. I don't know if things are still like that there. It was a totally different mind set.
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#14 of 43 Old 07-28-2004, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for responding. So good to know you are out there. Too bad we don't all live in the same neighborhood.



friend of mine

(still can't seem to logoff my dh)
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#15 of 43 Old 07-28-2004, 10:00 AM
 
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Ugh...At work a few weeks ago a Dad brought his 6 or 7yo DD to buy a shirt cause she was wet (tourist attraction with fountains outside-I worked in teh gift shop, we sell alot of overpriced shirts due to this!!) Anyway, the Dad took the lil goirls wet shirt off mid store and put the new one on-in innocence. I thought that was wonderful, just innocent (coworkers rolled eyes). Oddly, they were otherwise in religious clothing to a degree and she was dressed normal yet well covered. Albeit unrelated the Dad was odd...lol

People are prudish here. A 15yo with a pasty and thong on the beach is ok, but dare my 2 yo DS run naked! NOOOOO! Now I have let him at my Moms and the yget sooo mad-she has a yard but my Dad is very uptight. They (we asa kid) did have a pervert/sexual deviant neighbor but YEAY! he died 2 years ago and the street is happier now. (He did some gross stuff, none to children was proven, but to adults-yes) but his children were not around with their kids until he dropped, then they cleaned it out...anyway...

7yo DD saw some of the Simple Life when they were at the nudist resort and was intrigued-she wants to go! She is so much more innocent than these kids around here where everything is Dirty or sexual when it comes to nudity!
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#16 of 43 Old 07-28-2004, 02:34 PM
 
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I can't help but wonder if the police officer knows something about your neighborhood that you don't. While I agree that it is too bad, the norm for US culture is to be covered (well, sort of, anyway), even for small children. As with many things, if you chose to disregard that, then you get to deal with the resulting questions/looks/comments/whatever. In this case, the police officer was doing his job by asking questions because the situation could have been very different than it was and he was right to stop and ask some questions.
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#17 of 43 Old 07-28-2004, 03:15 PM
 
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A 15yo with a pasty and thong on the beach is ok, but dare my 2 yo DS run naked! NOOOOO!

you speak my mind!

britishmum, i hear ya! this seems to be yet another thing about america that i don't understand! in germany kids run around naked (well, not all the time kwim...). we have perverts too, yes. but like somebody else said in this thread, one could get excited about barney underwear.
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#18 of 43 Old 07-28-2004, 04:08 PM
 
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I would have reported him for talking that way in front of my kid. No child should have to hear those words that young. It's so sad. I like your compromise and I'm sorry you had to deal with that.
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#19 of 43 Old 07-28-2004, 06:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom
I can't help but wonder if the police officer knows something about your neighborhood that you don't. While I agree that it is too bad, the norm for US culture is to be covered (well, sort of, anyway), even for small children. As with many things, if you chose to disregard that, then you get to deal with the resulting questions/looks/comments/whatever. In this case, the police officer was doing his job by asking questions because the situation could have been very different than it was and he was right to stop and ask some questions.

so out of curiosity, what "could have" the situation been? Do you really think the policeman may have thought she was parading her child out naked in the front yard with some ulterior motive? I don't see any call for questioning why a young child is naked in front of thier own house. Lighten up!
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#20 of 43 Old 07-28-2004, 07:10 PM
 
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Did the police officer know this was their house? Did he know that this was parents and children and not something else? Did he know that this wasn't some abuse discipline sort of thing (like you hear about kids being paraded around in diapers for wetting the bed)? Does he maybe know that there is a sexual predator living 4 doors down but can't tell anyone that? Do you remember how outraged the nation was when the facts of Jeffry Daulmer (the canibal guy, can't remember his exact name and too lazy to go look it up) were reported a few years ago -- how a cop had found a young man running naked from his apartment and returned him without asking questions?

Its the police's job to ask questions when things look unusual. This wasn't the community norm, it was "in public" in that he could see it from the street, he is supposed to ask questions. How outraged would we be if we read in the paper that two children were kidnapped from their homes, abused, kept naked so they couldn't run away, and a cop saw them and didn't ask questions?
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#21 of 43 Old 07-30-2004, 10:45 AM
 
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Just the other day I took 4yr dd to a park that has a huge water play area (water squirts from hole in the cement). dd was playing in her sunsuit (covers all but forarms and lower leg) it's very modest but I use it for sun protection. Anyway, when she was done she sat down with another mom and myself to eat with us. dd got cold and took off her suit. I made dd cover her body with a towel, to protect her back and butt from the sun. A lady walk over and said dd really needs to be covered up because if a pervert doesn't get her he might come after this lady's dd.
I guess this should be another thread, but of all the child abuse that you guys know of, did any start because they saw a naked kid. I know of atleast 3 abuse issues and none were done on naked kids. One was a babysitter, one in a video arcade, one uncle/nephew.
I pesonally believe that if more people saw a naked body on a regular basis, it wouldn't be shocking or sexually exciting. I was a RN till having my dd and don't think anything of naked people.
I know of some parents that never let their kids see them naked. Even at 4yr dd will still choose to shower with me than play by herself while I shower. I find it quicker and easier than having to wash her leaning over the tub.
Oh, I could rant forever. sorry so long.

mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
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#22 of 43 Old 07-30-2004, 11:29 AM
 
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I too am an RN..still have a license, but stay home with my kids...anyway...I totally agree...The more natural everyone views a "naked" body, the healthier we all would be...but then look how long it has taken us to get to where we are with breastfeeding in public.

But all these comments about covering up your child so the perverts don't get them....isn't that just another example of blaming the victim in this country? LIke wearing something or not wearing something makes another individual go insane and act on insane thoughts? REally now....how logical is that???

Someone is or is not a pedophile...whether my kid has on clothes or not...And if I am there and supervising...I bet the pedophile doesn't get to my kid!!!

I have boys and they both see my husband and myself in various states of being clothed....and of course, as an RN, if they ask questions they get A/P 101...with the correct names for things...not that they always use the physiologically correct names...but they know waht they are...and what their purpose in life is. Just matter of fact..this is nature and natural...

We definitely live in a society that is very uncomfortable with the human body. Is that our Puritan roots we can't seem to shake?
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#23 of 43 Old 07-30-2004, 12:32 PM
 
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Chel,
If someone walked up to me and said that in front of my child I would have tore her a new a$$. : What is wrong with people? It sickens me to think I live in society that thinks like this. How confusing and scarry for a child. How did your dd react to this woman? So sorry for you both...Tina
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#24 of 43 Old 07-30-2004, 05:57 PM
 
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I'm a pretty mild mannered person. I basically started talking to dd, we were about to leave anyways. dd already knows that she has to wear clothes when we visit other people and in public. I just said we were in public and needed to get dressed. She does understand that we can change the rules. All our friends can handle naked kids so she is frequently naked for water play at private houses, and I think she just associates water play and being naked. My friend with me entertained the manners police lady and later said this lady has caused trouble before at a playground and also only has 3 boys. The county neighboring us tried to ban gay people, so I'm not too suprised over what people think.
Though I did nurse in public till dd was almost 3 and never got a rude comment in my city. The only person to every say a thing was dd friend's sister (5yr) ask what dd was doing. Her mom stopped nursing her siblings around 9m-1yr. My mom was the only crazy person I had to deal with. She told me she saw a lady NIP in the mall and wanted to tell her that so-and-so store had a nice nursing area in their bathroom. I went on about nasty bathrooms and dear mom said that the breast in public might excit teenage boys. I personally think most teenage boys would be more embarrassed, let alone turned on by saggy, stretch marked covered boobs of a "mom".

mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
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#25 of 43 Old 07-30-2004, 06:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chel
I pesonally believe that if more people saw a naked body on a regular basis, it wouldn't be shocking or sexually exciting.
ITA


And you're right, the abuse cases I know of also did not involve nudity.

To scorn a naked body is teaching that there is something dirty or wrong with it. I think that is wrong.
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#26 of 43 Old 07-30-2004, 06:42 PM
 
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While we may consider it to be nothing at all, some judgement is needed nowadays, in that one should only allow these things in the back yard.

Don't advertise, I would say, for one never knows the mindset of others that may be looking.

I only read recently of one such prevert that was doing his thing, if you get what I mean, while he watched children on swings.

If they can get this lustful watching children on swings, then I prefer to have my grandchildren naked in the backyard, away from the stares of others.

What a world this has turned into.

WK
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#27 of 43 Old 07-31-2004, 12:27 PM
 
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Wow...i came over to this area of the boards hoping a topic like this would be posted and it was. I have a vent to add....
My neighbor came over last night and informed me that another neighbor is reporting me to social services for abusing my children. This is because my sons (4 and soon to be 3) would rather be naked and i let them go naked in the house. Actually at this point they are into dressing themselves and usually have a shirt and/or shorts on. Last summer was when they loved to be naked. We live out in the country and have 3 acres. Our front door is over 100 yards from the road which is a dead end road. Our backyard is our front yard, but i've taught my children that they need to have clothes on when they are outside and have enforced this since last summer. Sad, but i am aware that it offends people when they are naked. Now, my dh could care less what other people think and doesn't care if they are naked or not. So, on days when he watches them, they might run outside naked. Usually when i come home, they are half dressed. Well, apparantly this neighbor whom i've never met, is going to report me for abusing my children for letting my dh let them go naked.
Of course, this woman who informed me of the other neighbor calling social services came over drunk, and it's usually her opinion that she does not like to see my children naked in my house (she visits once in awhile) and she also told me as soon as she walked in my house that i need to wean my children now because they were taking all the milk from my baby (i nurse a 4, 2, and 4 mos old all in excellent health).
My dh said to not be upset until he talks to the neighbor planning to do the reporting and finds out what if she even said that. But, stuff like that gives me the creeps, because it's like if you do something slightly different (and natural) then that's abuse???!!!

I wish you mama's where my neighbors then i could let my kids be kids!
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#28 of 43 Old 07-31-2004, 01:39 PM
 
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First of all That is great that you are able to nurse 3 children. I think I would be over whelmed!

Second, how do these woman know you nurse all your children? Maybe it is time to not hang out with or allow their involvement with your family! This kind of thing really makes me mad. There are real abused children in the world every second of the day. Why aren't they being advocated for? It floors me how someone can hesitate turning in a neighbor that they know is abusing their child and find a hundred ways to justify themselves. Yet, a Mom who loves their child and is doing great by their child is hasseled and called a freak. Wtf?

Apparently, in our society it is okay and expected to treat your kid like shit. Swear at them, call them degrading names and spank. But, if you treat a child with respect and nuture and GO OUT of your way for your child...well, that is abuse! It is like people are protecting low standards because raising the bar would require a little f****** work on their part.

Mamma don't sweat your rude drunk neighbors words. She was probably just drunk and angry and you were there! Keep up the great work loving, caring and protecting your children. And get the neighbors out of your business! Best wishes, Tina
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#29 of 43 Old 07-31-2004, 07:41 PM
 
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Don't let your children be naked inside the house.

Don't let your children be naked while playing outside.

Don't let your children change clothing in public.

Don't take pictures of your 1 year old without a shirt on.

Make sure your children know that they are inviting attack if they don't wear clothing.

Make sure your teenage daughter knows that she is asking to be raped by wearing that skirt.

How stupid do these statements sound yet so many of us have heard them in some form. A lot of people consider me "prissy" but I wouldn't bat an eye at a naked baby/child playing in water or just hanging out. It's nice to be naked. As adults we are usually just too embarassed to lounge around naked but deep down we know if feels nice and free!!! So of course little kids naturally want to be naked. And so what? There are worse problems in our world than my kid running around naked.
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#30 of 43 Old 07-31-2004, 11:52 PM
 
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Kinipela>> I agree

Joshuas mommy>> I agree with you also

Kirstie> YOU are lucky to have a great, easy-going and strong-sounding man and the gentleness and patience to nurse 3 children at once Dont fret, please, be the strong mama I believe you must be and tell these nosey-neigh-sayers to get a life!

Whitenite: No-one is advertising anything but freedom to be natural and innocent. I'm afraid you may be under the misunderstanding that perverts or sex offenders are spurned on by clothing or lack-there-of. The truth is these types are fully responsible for their actions----whether or not people/children have clothes on or not. NO ONE MAKES ANYONE DO OR FEEL ANYTHING---ESPECIALLY NOT A WELL-MEANING MAMA OR CHILD.
laura
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