Appropriate public pool/lake attire for 4 yo girl - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 31 Old 07-28-2008, 06:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 4 yo daughter likes to wear boys bathing suits to the town pool & local lakes, especially when we go with her older brother & his friends. I'm fine with it. My husband thinks otherwise. She switches between wanting to wear one of her girl suits (usually when she's going to meet some of her girl friends) and wanting to wear one of her brother's suits (when she's with mostly boys). When do you feel girls should start covering up on the top?
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#2 of 31 Old 07-28-2008, 06:37 PM
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When do you feel girls should start covering up on the top?
When they start feeling self conscious.
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#3 of 31 Old 07-28-2008, 06:39 PM
 
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Hmmm. I agree w/ the pp in theory, but I have a hard time imagining that I would feel comfy w/ my 4.5 y/o dd wearing a boys' suit. But maybe that's just b/c she's so girly and into all things girly I can't imagine her actually being willing to put on a boys' suit, much less wear one.
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#4 of 31 Old 07-28-2008, 06:40 PM
 
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Definitely by the time the have breast buds (6-9?) or feel modest, besides that it's parent's comfort level and cultural norms (if you care). Outside the US 5yo's and under commonly go topless, maybe older. Personally it would throw me for a loop for a few seconds if I saw a little girl swimming topless, maybe wonder if it was a girl or boy, then I wouldn't care.
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#5 of 31 Old 07-28-2008, 06:47 PM
 
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When ever she wants too.

However, if you are wanting to find a compromise....could you get a full body boy suit?

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#6 of 31 Old 07-28-2008, 06:48 PM
 
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When do you feel girls should start covering up on the top?
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Originally Posted by llamalluv View Post
When they start feeling self conscious.
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The chest of a 4yo girl is no different than the chest of a 4yo boy. It seems kind of silly to me that one should be covered and the other doesn't need to be. Girls tend to get modest around 7-9 years old.

I don't let either my son or my daughters go to the pool without a rash guard on top, for both sun protection and modesty (holding my son to the same standards of modesty that I'd have for a girl the same age.)

Would your DH have a problem with your DD wearing boy's trunks if she wore it with some sort of swim top? Would your DD find that acceptable?

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#7 of 31 Old 07-28-2008, 06:55 PM
 
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I'm with all these smart ladies. When she starts feeling self concious. Though, it might not be a bad idea to have a snappy come back for the people who make a stupid comment about your girl being topless. I don't know what the difference is either, but for some reason in North American girls are expected to cover up and boys aren't.

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#8 of 31 Old 07-28-2008, 06:58 PM
 
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ITA, when they want to cover up. i could have easily gone without a top until i was at least 9-10 years old, and did now and again.
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#9 of 31 Old 07-28-2008, 07:04 PM
 
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I agree with whenever she wants.

FWIW, my DD wears trunks and a rash guard. It's convenient and means less sunscreen.
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#10 of 31 Old 07-28-2008, 07:04 PM
 
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I agree topless is ok... i have a hard time getting my dd to keep a suit on and she's 5. She has no issues being naked in a public place, even if *all* the other kids have suits on. Depending on the location, i will allow it, but it's pretty rare these days (unless we're at home). I'm insisting on bottoms, minimum. Although, she does like her rash guard and i love it for sun protection.

would she wear a cute skirt type bottom?

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#11 of 31 Old 07-28-2008, 07:27 PM
 
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I agree with everyone opinion on this, when she feels like she wants to wear a top. However, I'm a bit anal about sun protection, so both my kids usually have a top on. My son has gotten burnt pretty quickly when he does not wear some sort of shirt.

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#12 of 31 Old 07-28-2008, 07:45 PM
 
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My son doesn't even go topless at the pool. I always put a swim shirt on him. So my DD wouldn't be topless at the pool either.
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#13 of 31 Old 07-28-2008, 09:19 PM
 
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My son doesn't even go topless at the pool. I always put a swim shirt on him. So my DD wouldn't be topless at the pool either.
Exactly.

And frankly, I'd let my DD go topless before I'd let her wear a bikini top. That actually makes me :Puke When I see little girls on the beach with string bikinis it really irritates me. It oversexualizes them needlessly, IMNSHO.

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#14 of 31 Old 07-28-2008, 09:21 PM
 
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I think I'd find the trunks more appropriate than the bikinis I see young girls wearing all the time (in my mind bikinis are a sexually charged item of clothing). She'll reach a point where she feels uncomfortable & switch.

Surviving sleep deprivation one day at a time with dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08).

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#15 of 31 Old 07-28-2008, 09:21 PM
 
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Hahaha - moonshoes we posted at the same time!

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#16 of 31 Old 07-28-2008, 09:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all your replies. I feel like I should allow it as long as she feels comfortable with it, but I do have an old boy's full-body suit of my son's that I'll get out and see what she thinks of it. She just got a pixie cut a few weeks ago (she had been asking for a haircut like her brother's for months, and after a lice outbreak in our family, we shaved it off and she's been so happy with it since) so she's mistaken for a boy quite a bit lately which doesn't seem to bother her in the least.
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#17 of 31 Old 07-28-2008, 09:25 PM
 
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While I agree that there is no difference between and boy and a girl at that age, I would never let my 3 yr old dd go topless in public. Why? Because of all the sickos out there who get a rise out of seeing a little girl not yet developed simply because she is a girl and someday there will be something there. If that doesn't bother you, than I don't think there is any issue. Of course a sicko will fantasize no matter what, but why give him fuel for his fire? The more they see, the more they get excited. With one in 3 to one in 4 girls in America being molested now-a-days, I prefer to keep my dd dressed modestly.
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#18 of 31 Old 07-28-2008, 09:28 PM
 
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Wow -- I hadn't thought that I'd the be voice of desent here but I think my limit is about the time they are out of diapers / swim diapers. Assuming, of course, that we are talking about the US -- I agree its cultural and I have no idea about how other countries would feel about it. But by preschool-age I think that girls need to start developing a sense of body modesty, which means keeping one's dress down and one's top on in public places. Is if a double standard? Yes. Do I want to be the one that fights that fight? Nope. Do I want my daughter to be teased or judged because of her lack of clothes? Nope.
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#19 of 31 Old 07-28-2008, 09:30 PM
 
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While I agree that there is no difference between and boy and a girl at that age, I would never let my 3 yr old dd go topless in public. Why? Because of all the sickos out there who get a rise out of seeing a little girl not yet developed simply because she is a girl and someday there will be something there. If that doesn't bother you, than I don't think there is any issue. Of course a sicko will fantasize no matter what, but why give him fuel for his fire? The more they see, the more they get excited. With one in 3 to one in 4 girls in America being molested now-a-days, I prefer to keep my dd dressed modestly.
: to both of the above pp. When I was little, it would have been fine. I wouldn't do it now. I don't even let my 2 year old outside without a shirt on. But that's just me. I don't like taking chances.
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#20 of 31 Old 07-28-2008, 09:40 PM
 
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Let her be!!!! If she wants to go topless, YEAH for her. If she wants to wear a rash guard YEAH for her.....her body is nothing to be ashamed of or covered for *other* people comfort.
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#21 of 31 Old 07-28-2008, 09:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by moonshoes View Post
Exactly.

And frankly, I'd let my DD go topless before I'd let her wear a bikini top. That actually makes me :Puke When I see little girls on the beach with string bikinis it really irritates me. It oversexualizes them needlessly, IMNSHO.
my dd needs a new suit, and it's hard at then end of the season. Target had one piece with holes at the side. dd and I both found that odd. I'm guessing it's a take-off of the adult mindset of giving an hourglass figure. Looked awful on my stick straight dd.

so glad to hear of all you wearing rash guard. For a while I felt my dd was the only one with wearing one. Though it does make her easier to spot. Target does have a lot on sale now, though the swimsuits are slim pickings.

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#22 of 31 Old 07-28-2008, 09:56 PM
 
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When they want to cover up, they should.

I would let my daughter wear trunks to a public pool, but I also have a 5.5 year old who plays outside naked and delights in streaking around. She is not at all modest!

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#23 of 31 Old 07-28-2008, 10:20 PM
 
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My instant thought was to connect this question to nursing in public. In what context are breasts sexual? What if they don't even exist yet? Aren't there lots of cases where my body is mine and about my own freedom rather than "the male gaze."?

I grew up in the 70's wearing swim shorts and no shirt at the bay. So did everyone else. Kids were kids. And I liked feeling my body in the sun, warm breezes, feeling free, running around. Modesty came when it came, around 8? 9? and it felt both exciting and restricting to be growing up, which is natural I think.

But if we're a culture that reacts oddly and with censorship to a 5 year old girl's bare chest, how are we ever going to make it be okay to nurse a baby in public and not call that "exposure" sexual?

Obviously I'm not saying breasts are never sexual, there's contexts where they are and contexts where they are not. To me being a little kid with a bare chest is definitely a context where "they" are not.

(by the way, in the sun, before 4pm or so, yeah, my boys have rash guards on too, too much sun exposure is not a good thing boy or girl)
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#24 of 31 Old 07-28-2008, 11:34 PM
 
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I had this fight with dh this summer as well. He insisted dd put a shirt on. I asked why. His answer "girls wear shirts". BS was my response. I refuse to sexualize my daughter by covering up something that isn't even there!

Ironically, dd has now started covering up on her own. Not because of modesty but because she fell off her bike when not wearing a shirt and scraped up her arms pretty badly.

When SHE starts feeling self conscious, then she needs to worry about it.

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#25 of 31 Old 07-28-2008, 11:39 PM
 
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My son doesn't even go topless at the pool. I always put a swim shirt on him. So my DD wouldn't be topless at the pool either.
:

I'm more worried about sun damage than I am about modesty or cultural norms.
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#26 of 31 Old 07-29-2008, 09:01 AM
 
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last year, when my dd was 3 1/2 going on 4, she spent most of the summer wearing just the bottom to her two piece tankini suit..... every where, at the beach, the pool..

this year she has done it just a couple of times.. at the pool.... she is 4 1/2.

im fine with it.
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#27 of 31 Old 07-29-2008, 10:33 AM
 
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I always wore boy trunks and a rashguard when I was little, or a wetsuit if I was surfing. I still do. I've never owned a "girl's" suit. My little brother has, but that's another story.
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#28 of 31 Old 07-30-2008, 02:58 PM
 
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My instant thought was to connect this question to nursing in public. In what context are breasts sexual? What if they don't even exist yet? Aren't there lots of cases where my body is mine and about my own freedom rather than "the male gaze."?

I grew up in the 70's wearing swim shorts and no shirt at the bay. So did everyone else. Kids were kids. And I liked feeling my body in the sun, warm breezes, feeling free, running around. Modesty came when it came, around 8? 9? and it felt both exciting and restricting to be growing up, which is natural I think.

But if we're a culture that reacts oddly and with censorship to a 5 year old girl's bare chest, how are we ever going to make it be okay to nurse a baby in public and not call that "exposure" sexual?

Obviously I'm not saying breasts are never sexual, there's contexts where they are and contexts where they are not. To me being a little kid with a bare chest is definitely a context where "they" are not.

(by the way, in the sun, before 4pm or so, yeah, my boys have rash guards on too, too much sun exposure is not a good thing boy or girl)
I nursed my dd in public for 2 years until she weaned - I never covered with a blanket and no one in public ever saw my boobs. It's possible to nurse modestly despite toddlers liking to pull up shirts. I always held my hand near her face, holding the shirt there so my hand was covering any skin.

No, I'm not ashamed of my body, I just prefer to reserve it's naked state for my husband - not every passerby who sees my boob hanging out to feed my baby and in some gross way finds that appealing.

So in my mind, it's 2 very different things.
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#29 of 31 Old 07-30-2008, 04:16 PM
 
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I think 4 is totally fine to still be naked on top.

Oh, and I agree with the others who have said naked on top is much, much better than a bikini top for a 4-year-old.
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#30 of 31 Old 07-30-2008, 11:00 PM
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I agree with most of the other posters, but as a mom of 4.5 yr. old twin girls I worry a whole lot more about the pervs out there than the modesty issue (which at 4 is non-existent IMO--maybe not at a public pool but definitely at a public beach at a lake. Just today I was at the beach with my girls and I could see which creeps were there to check out chicks (maybe even baby ones) and which ones weren't. It's sad and maddening. Everything today is over sexualized.

As for the comparison between NIP and this, I don't think they are really the same thing at all. I never NIP only because I had twins--BTW I'm still nursing them but looking forward to weaning soon!
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