24 answers

Is It Normal for a 4 Year Old Not to Wear Underwear?

I run a home daycare and one of the boys I care for has not worn underwear for over a year, since he has been pottytrained. This drives me crazy, since he is with me 9 hours a day and I have to deal with it. To me, this is so strange. Both my kids wear underwear and have since they were out of diapers. I am afraid to mention it to the Mom, but am sure that she is well aware of it and ok with it. In 9 years of doing home childcare, this is the first child I've cared for that doesn't wear underwear. I know that he gets dressed by himself in the morning, but that his mom doesn't check to see if he has underwear on. IIs this normal? Is this something that I should discuss with his parents and make a rule? Help please!

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So What Happened?™

Thanks for all the advice, good or bad. Honestly I think it is a matter of hygiene. I appreciate those of you who said they have no problem with a child not wearing underwear, but I have to disagree 100%. We, as parents need to teach our children hygiene. This 4 year old still does not wipe properly and every week we have an incident where I am scrubbing poop off of the inside of his pants, because the other kids and I can smell something. I know wiping and underwear are different subjects, but they go hand in hand here at my childcare. haha. I finally mentioned it to the Mom today at pick up,when I handed her another pair of soiled pants, I said, "did you know he wasn't wearing underwear today?" and she said "yes. he doesn't like to" and giggled. That was as far as I'll go as a professional. I've merely been dealing with this for over a year and was expecting him to start wearing underwear as he got older... but now I know that this Mom is not bothered or embarrassed by this in any way. I am looking forward to his descent into Kindergarten next year so that I will not have to scrub up messes and burn scented candles in my home anymore. To each his own, I guess.

Featured Answers

I really don't see why it matters as long as he's got clean clothes to wear and is otherwise well cared for. I had a little girl go through a commando phase and it didn't bother me if it didn't bother her. If you feel you must say something I would make it a light remark about him going commando. Maybe Mom doesn't notice or maybe she just doesn't think it's a big deal. Be prepared for her not to take it well, however, and feel like you're criticizing her parenting.

5 moms found this helpful

I really do not see why it is an issue? Is his not wearing undies causing some kind of an issue? If he likes to go commando, what is the harm?

3 moms found this helpful

Eh, my 4 yo DD has a tendency to not put on underwear when she gets herself dressed. She either forgets or just doesn't feel like they are comfortable. The only time I really push the issue is when she is wearing a dress or skirt because I do not want her to flash her privates to others. Is the lack of underwear actually causing a problem for you or are just bothered by the lack of underwear in general?

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I had to chuckle. I have a preschool and see all sorts of clothes come in and out of my school.

Here's my question to you, teacher to teacher: can you let it go? Is it worth the conversation with the parent? Some kids really don't like various clothing items: socks is a great example. What if the mom does know, and just doesn't care?

I have to tell you, honestly, that if my son was dead-set on not wearing underpants, I'd really be okay with it. Personally, if it were me, unless there was a total hygiene issue (coming to school in the same pants with racing stripes), this is a conversation I would avoid having. I am really very careful about making things "rules" with parents unless it's absolutely unavoidable or a hard line I need to take. Right now, in my group, my 'rules' for parents are that no sweets come to school in lunchboxes and that all the children are appropriately dressed for outdoor play for this current weather. I believe in letting my families allow their children to otherwise let them dress themselves. When we challenge a parent's usual practices with our own rules, we do often run the risk of offending. So, unless you are seeing significant red flags (child is dirty, hair never brushed, etc.), this is an area I'd encourage you to let go of. Eventually, the child will become more aware that all their peers wear underpants...or they will graduate to middle school/junior high, where there are requirements for dress.

Try to stay zen with this one. Over the years, I've had my challenges too! We bend, but we won't break, ha ha. The trick with all of childcare is to stay as flexible as possible. (and you can always just ask the child "Oh, I noticed that you don't usually wear underwear to school. Tell me about that." Do it when you have a moment alone with him, and see what he says. He might just hate underwear!:) )

Best,
H.

7 moms found this helpful

I'm so afraid he'll have a zipper accident!!
I'd make a joke of it to the Mom,

6 moms found this helpful

I really don't see why it matters as long as he's got clean clothes to wear and is otherwise well cared for. I had a little girl go through a commando phase and it didn't bother me if it didn't bother her. If you feel you must say something I would make it a light remark about him going commando. Maybe Mom doesn't notice or maybe she just doesn't think it's a big deal. Be prepared for her not to take it well, however, and feel like you're criticizing her parenting.

5 moms found this helpful

My son never wore underwear. My sister called it 'freeballing it.' Then we all started calling it the same...around 2nd grade he started wearing boxers. But we lived in a much warmer climate back then so I assumed he wanted it that way for some natural air conditioning.

4 moms found this helpful

Eh, my 4 yo DD has a tendency to not put on underwear when she gets herself dressed. She either forgets or just doesn't feel like they are comfortable. The only time I really push the issue is when she is wearing a dress or skirt because I do not want her to flash her privates to others. Is the lack of underwear actually causing a problem for you or are just bothered by the lack of underwear in general?

3 moms found this helpful

I really do not see why it is an issue? Is his not wearing undies causing some kind of an issue? If he likes to go commando, what is the harm?

3 moms found this helpful

I don't get why it should be a problem for you. He is wearing pants right?

3 moms found this helpful

My son is 6 and doesn't wear undies either...unless he's wrestling. My husband doesn't either, so I guess like father like son.

2 moms found this helpful

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