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being modest in front of your child

Posted by Awbrey (My Page) on
Sun, Nov 27, 05 at 23:41

I have a 3 year old boy, I came from all sisters and my dad was not around. So all my life I have grown up with girls!!! What age do you think you should not be naked in front of your little boy?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: being modest in front of your child

I think 3 is probably okay, but probably not much older than that. The only reasoning I have behind this is that is the age most public women's restrooms and locker rooms cut off young boys coming into these places at age 3. Then again I had female friends who showered with their fathers until age 10 or so, but I don't personally feel that that is appropriate. If it were me, I guess I would stop around age four or so. What about young kids of different sexes taking baths together???? What age do you cut that off?


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RE: being modest in front of your child

Thanks for the follow up, I dont know if I agree with not taking them into the bathroom with you just because of all the crazy people out there I would be scared someone would take him. As for showring with your father till the age of 10 I dont know!!! Some people are very unmodest and think its not a big deal, thank you for your input.


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RE: being modest in front of your child

The public places' cut-off at age 3 is just arbitrary, it seems to me. I mean, they could have made it 3.14159265359 (pi) for that matter.


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RE: being modest in front of your child

I would still bring my child into a public bathroom at age 3, 4, probably 5. I was just talking about undressing and being naked or bathing in front of them.


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RE: being modest in front of your child

But my point was merely that the public bathroom-meisters' decision is just a decision of imperfect human judgment, no better than yours. They aren't 'experts'; they are city planners, park rangers, and gasoline salespeople.


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RE: being modest in front of your child

When one of you is uncomfortable, then it's time to be modest -- and to use the occasion for a casual chat.

This is one of those cultural questions with no clear answer. I think when it's time, you don't really have to ask!

About the public restroom / locker room issue -- this is tough. I've experienced a couple unwanted stares from a boy who maybe shouldn't be in the women's locker room but what's his mom to do? Wish there were more "family rooms" around.


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RE: being modest in front of your child

How old are you talking about?


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RE: being modest in front of your child

Maybe I need to clarify the question. About how old was the boy to whom you refer? After all, a 4 yr old of the opposite sex, staring at you in a dressing room is not at all the same thing as a 12 yr old of the opposite sex, staring at you in a dressing room.


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RE: being modest in front of your child

This is a very interesting subject. My DH and I both take baths w/my 2yr old DD (started when she was 5days old)and was wondering when we should think about stopping this. I do recall taking showers with my Father but I believe I was about 3. And I have 2 younger brothers and took baths with them till I was about 5/6??
So I am intersted in knowing what is appropriate.
Mary


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RE: being modest in front of your child

Nowadays, I think if a girl is old enough to stand up to take a shower, she should not be taking one with her father. And, there is something wrong with a 10 year old girl showering with her father! Even if you choose to allow it, the age should be muchhhhh younger. I think a woman can get by bathing with her son for a longer time than a man with his daughter.

The age cut off at my pool to bring boys into the ladies locker room is older (I think 6). Still, I go in first to see if it's safe for him to come in and I close the curtain and such when I see boys in the locker room - don't want to scare them-lol.

I think it's fine for younger siblings to bathe together. As to how long, well, it depends on the age and sex of both. Same sex siblings can go pretty long if they want to...just think of highschool where they often shower together anyway.

Each situation and child is so individual, but I think parents bathing with the opposite sex for too long is the main thing that needs an early cut off. IMHO, if they are really noticing your differences, or you think they are old enough to remember, then they're too old.


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RE: being modest in front of your child

I think you should start being modest now, when your son is three.


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RE: being modest in front of your child

I think it completely depends on your level of comfort.

After all, in some cultures everyone is rather immodest by American standards and the children seem to suffer no ill effects.

The main thing is not to make a big deal about it. If you do, the child grows up thinking there is something wrong. Just say, "Mommy needs a couple of minutes of privacy" and leave it at that.

Personally, I'm probably considered immodest around my children, but that's my comfort level. Both my parents were the same way. It was never even remotely sexual, just the result of living in close quarters. Nothing was ever blatant, but I was taught not to be ashamed of my nakedness.

I think I'm pretty balanced. And so are my children.

-Keli


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RE: being modest in front of your child

I have to agree with Keli. I grew up in a home with one bathroom. If someone was in bathing and you had to go, it was not a big deal. I know this sounds really weird, but a fair amount of conversations were held in the bathroom. My parents walked from bathroom to bedroom in underwear or a towel, as did my sister and I as we got older. Bodies were just bodies. We all had one and the sexual aspect of a persons body was never an issue.

If you think about it, even a little girl will start to notice and question the differences between herself and her mother. I told my daughters this is what our bodies do as we become grown-ups and their bodies will change too. But, what's mine is mine and what's their's is their's and there are times privacy and modesty are important.

Why should a parent make a big deal about the differences of male and female? Let's face it, when parents make something taboo that's when curiousity can really take over.

Wendy


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RE: being modest in front of your child

I don't know why you would say that "a woman can get by bathing with her son for a longer time than a man with his daughter".

This thread reminded me of an incident involving a neighbor a while back; the mom ran half naked out her back door into the yard, screaming profanities at her 17 year old son because he had done something that she didn't like. Of course that's a little different, though.


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RE: being modest in front of your child

winter unfazed,
Probably for the same reason that it seems more acceptable(at least to me) for a woman to bring a boy into a women's room then it is for a man to bring a girl into the men's room.

In our society, be it right or wrong, natural or not, women are still seen as the natural care givers (givers of baths, etc) so a woman bathing any child seems more natural.

And, finally, to really spell it out...because if a girl goes to school and talks to her classmates and/or teacher about her daddies "pp" getting big in the shower or that she pulled on his "pp" in the shower, there could be some really big problems.

It's not just about what is acceptable somewhere else or what really "should" be acceptable. It's about what is acceptable behavior where you live.

That's why I would say it.


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RE: being modest in front of your child

I suppose the same kind of thing could happen with a boy saying some similarly eyebrow-raising thing about his mother, but I do see your point: it would probably cause embarassment, but not grand-scale shock.


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RE: being modest in front of your child

My oldest son is four and I have already cut him off from seeing me naked. He just started staring and asking too many questions and I was getting uncomfortable so DH helps keep him downstairs while I shower and dress (our bath doors are unreliable, one good push and they pop open). He has barely even noticed that he hasn't "seen" mommy in over four months. And as far as giving baths go...DH kinda took it over and now I'm not comfortable doing it so he is completely in charge of bath-time. Although I do miss the closeness of mommy-baby bath time when they were infants. (Sometimes I really wish I hadn't had my tubes tied)


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RE: being modest in front of your child

It seems 4 is about the usual cut-off for most families.


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RE: being modest in front of your child

I had to choose a group to sit in on during the mental health portion of my nursing school. I sat in on a class when I went to nursing school. It was for "sexual abuse for non-offenders" Mostly directed toward moms who had their children taken away because a partner had sexually abused their children. People who were there were court ordered because their child was sexually abused by either a relative or friend and were themselves charged with failure to protect. The class stated that after two it is not OK and is viewed as sexual misconduct in child protective services eyes. They used many educational materials and apparently this is the view of all programs like this in my area. They stated it was inappropriate after that age and could pave the way for a child to think if it is appropriate for you to be undressed or go to the bathroom with them, it is ok for other adults. Just FYI. i think 3 should be cut off too.


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RE: being modest in front of your child

I think cutting a child off from seeing you naked at 3 is absurd. Your body is not something to be ashamed of, and the child is rarely the one embarrassed by this.

Obviously, you cannot send a 3 or 4 year old into another dressing room than you alone...that is child endangerment. If they look at another adult of the opposite sex in the locker room, and that adult is uncomfortable, that's their problem, not the child's.

I only have daughters, but when my husband takes them swimming, our 4 year old goes in the men's locker room with him. Seeing naked men is not going to make a little girl feel like it's okay if she gets molested. You do need to teach children that it's not okay for others to touch them privately, but that is a completely separate issue from being naked.

Last summer we went to a water park and took my nephew, 10 years old. He went to the ladies room with me. He's old enough to keep his eyes to himself, and I would have felt just horrible if some strange man had assaulted him in the men's locker room because he was alone.

And as to nettasaura being uncomfortable bathing her own 4 year old son, I think that is just insanity. Most 4 year olds basically bathe themselves. They just need you to sit in there and make sure they don't drown. What would you do if something happened to your husband and it was just you left? Would you make him bathe with swim trunks on? He would think that you thought there was something wrong with him!!

From the posts so far, it seems like most of you are really nakedphobic, and I'm sure you'll all have a lot to say about my crazy ideas, but being naked is not the same as being sexual.

My personal thought on a cutoff from being naked in front of your children, assuming we're talking about simply changing your clothes, using the toilette, or taking a bath...never for same sex children...puberty for opposite sex children.


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