22 answers

How Old Is Too Old to Go Topless?

my neighbors have a 5-6 year old, and a 1-2 year old, and my son is 3. they recently put up an inflatable pool in their back yard which meets ours, and my son is always over there playing. last night both of the girls were outside playing in nothing but shorts. i felt pretty uncomfortable with the older girl being topless. she was standing on top of a toy primping and posing like a model, which i just got a really wierd vibe from. she was in a mood anyway, and was mean to my son (yet again) so i had him come inside fairly quickly. but am i being overprotective about the lack of clothing? i have a feeling it's very possible this child is allowed to watch all kinds of tv shows and movies not-age-appropriate, just from the lax parenting i have seen in other areas. it just really gave me a wierd feeling and made me really uncomfortable. is this the norm for a kindergarten/first grade age kiddo? my son is 3 and i had doubts as to whether he should be allowed to run around outside shirtless, you never know who might see him (and yes i know that is paranoid, as long as he is staying in our yard i do let him take his shirt off), but if he was a girl and as old as she is, i KNOW i would not let it happen. am i crazy?

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wow - 10 responses and exactly split down the middle! it seems like it's just a matter of opinion...so i guess it's a "to each their own" situation. i kinda feel from the mixed responses that it's not SO unusual, so i won't say anything. i grew up in the country with no visible neighbors, so i'm not used to seeing other people's kids half naked! lol. thanks for all your opinions, you make me see that while i may not be totally crazy, i might be being a little over protective. thanks again! (i have to watch my son very closely with this neighbor girl anyway, since as i said, she's often not very nice to him...i feel that their visiting days are numbered. so i can let this one lie. i'm more concerned with her being kind and generous to my very sweet boy who is half her age and has a tendancy to let her railroad him...)

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My youngest is 2yrs old and I wouldn't let her run around outside without a top on. However I think 2 or 3 would be that oldest that I would expect to see a little girl without a top.........So just to let you know you are NOT crazy.....

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I don't think I cared about shirts til I started getting boobs and my girls probably won't either. My hubby may very well have different feelings though, which I will respect.

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I am sorry, but I disagree with your opinion. 5-6yr is too young to have developed any mature anatomy, so I do not see any problem with how they are dressed for their own back yard. The primping and posing is not a sign of having witnessed inappropriate behavior either. These are actions that are common and appropriate for girls of that age bracket even without any inappropriate influences.

I am not sure how much stock you would put in statistics, but research has shown that children who are shielded from nudity and taught that viewing the naked body is "bad" tend to develope an unhealthy attitude toward their own bodies.
That being said, those are my and people's opinions... in the end, you need to decide what is best for you and your family.

If this a problem you cannot resolve within yourself, you might calmly discuss your issue with your neighbors, telling them that you are concerned about your son and ask that the girls wear shirts. You never know, the parents might agree with you and the problem will be solved!

Good Luck

4 moms found this helpful

My dd's five and six year old friends came over (sisters) and while playing dressup (inside) they were stripping down to their undies in my husband's home office! I was mortified and I mentioned it to their parents, who gave me a look like I was out of my miind.

My thought is this: There are sick people everywhere, why make it easy for them? I thought that the parents of dd's friends were taking a risk not teaching them to cover up around men they barely knew. Of course my husband is a decent man and father, but what if the guy in the next house they visit isn't?

As for their own back yard, I think that it is just plain better to cover up, or put up a privacy fence. I set the limit somewhere around 3-4 for back yard nudity.

3 moms found this helpful

My daughter is 5, almost 6 and there is NO FREAKING WAY I would let her run around topless. Not to mention the fact that there is no way she would be ok with it either. Personally, even when she was two I made sure she had at least a tank top on, maybe just a diaper, but also with a shirt.

3 moms found this helpful

I was frolicking topless until I was 10. Then again I hung around a lot of European kids, so that was considered totally normal. Plus I had the body of a 5yr old boy at that age. And I turned out pretty normal...

5-6 is still very young and it's ok to be topless in their own backyard, IMO. My oldest daughter is 9 and has already started developing tiny little breasts, so she's been covered up for a couple of years now. My 7yr old daughter could still get away with topless because she still has the body of a toddler (just much, much larger, of course), but she's uncomfortable being topless so it's a full bathing suit for her. I think once they start really noticing differences between boys and girls (which for us happened around 1st grade, right at about 6-7yrs old) they want to be more discreet themselves. Until then, let them enjoy the carefree attitudes of young children. The last thing we want is for them to get all uptight about the human body.

3 moms found this helpful

I guess I'm in the minority. I don't see that big of a deal with her being topless. She's in her own backyard and your son is WAY too young to understand what it means to be "topless" in the sense that you mean. Your son is boy. Boys run around with out shirts on all the time. I wouldn't let him in a store or anything, just because it's rude, but outside playing is perfectly fine.
My niece is 5 and she runs around with out a shirt on at home all the time. Not a biggie. Nakedness is what you make of it. If you teach your son to be comfortable around it, then he will be.

2 moms found this helpful

My daughter is 3 and we don't allow her to run around topless outside. This day in age there are too many weirdos and perverts, plus we decided early on we wanted to teach her modesty. I would be uncomfortable as well if she were posing and doing the things that you said. Even though at 5 or 6 her body isn't developed yet, I still think it's inappropriate. Kudos to you for being protective and for also instilling modesty in your kids! :-)

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5 or 6 year old girl definately needs a shirt, especially when there is company.

2 moms found this helpful

I would not see a problem with it because they are in their backyard . If they were at the YMCA or running around the grocery store then maybe. Could the neighbor be having an attitude because your son was not invited over?

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