23 answers

Kids of Opposite Sex Seeing Parents Naked

I have twins sons who will be 4 in December and I am wondering when (or if I already should have) I should stop allowing them to see me naked. Kind of a strange question, I know...but both my husband and I wander around our bedroom in various states of "nakedness" while getting ready, after showering, etc. and the boys see it all the time. We also go running daily in the evenings and then have the boys shower with us. They have asked me where my "wee-wee" is and I just tell them that Mommy is a girl and that girls don't have wee-wee's. Should I stop allowing them to see me?

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Wow!! 20 responses in about an hour! First, I am going to clarify that we do not take a group shower....that would be odd...what I meant was that one showers with my husband, and the other with me. I appreciate all of the input. I definitely have taught them about privacy in instances when someone is going potty, or when asked to shut the door...so they know that there are boundries. I think they will be ok and I would rather have them learn about the difference between boys and girls from me and not anyone else. I would never want them to feel ashamed of their bodies. We are not nudists or anything!!

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I don't think you have to worry about it at 4. Maybe 8, 9, 10?

I've never cared if my boys see me, and I still don't hide it -- if one of my teenage boys is nearby when I'm exiting the shower or I'm naked and my door is open, I say, "you'd better not look or you're gonna be scarred for life," and I go about my business. I know my boys will do whatever it takes to avoid seeing their naked mother. :)

I don't think showering with 4 year olds is a big deal, either.

3 moms found this helpful

At some point, you will become a little embarrassed for them to see you because they are really "looking" at different body parts. Until then, enjoy their innocence and not having to cover up every time they come in the room. It's just sort of a gut feeling.

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I don't think that there is anything wrong with it unless you or the boys are uncomfortable. Is someone making you feel like this is wrong? There is nothing wrong with the human body, and they shouldn't be made to feel that they should be ashamed. There is also nothing wrong with them being curious and asking questions. If the moment they start to ask questions, you shut the door on them, they are going to think they did something wrong.

I know families that were naked in front of each other throughout their childhoods, and those that were so protected they never saw anyone naked. Everyone has their preferences, so you just need to decide on yours.

6 moms found this helpful

I agree with Rebecca and AC. Just do your usual thing until you or they express discomfort. If you are getting dressed and forgot you left your shirt in the dryer, I see no problem walking around in your bra to go get it (heck, the kids see more skin on ads these days). My husband prefers giving our 4-year-old daughter a shower versus a bath, because he hates bending over the edge of the bathtub (bad back), he hates getting his shirt all wet, and he says showers are quicker than baths. But, he started wearing his swim trunks because he didn't like fielding questions about why Daddy has an "outie" pee-pee, while she and Mommy have "innies." However, he doesn't rush for cover if she happens to walk in while he's still getting dressed, either. He simply turns around or calmly walk into our bathroom. She doesn't even pay attention any more. We are trying to teach her about modesty when using the restroom, but she still needs help cleaning herself after she uses the potty, and my husband is the stay-home parent while I work the evening shift. She can't exactly hold it for 12 hours, and we don't want to risk her getting UTIs from cleaning herself improperly. I have also recently started teaching her how to change into and out of her bathing suit in public while keeping most of herself covered. We want her to have a healthy sense of modesty and decorum in public, but we also want her to feel comfortable with her own body and not have any sense of shame or embarrassment about the human body. Watch the kids for cues, cover up as you feel is necessary. But I wouldn't worry about it hurting them in any way.

5 moms found this helpful

... it all really depends on your own feelings on it and your kids cues.

I have 2 kids, 4 and 7 years old.
They see us naked.... we don't flagrantly parade around naked on purpose of course, but we just go about normal everyday things like changing clothes or taking a shower. IF they see us naked doing normal things, its fine. We don't act like we got 'caught' doing something 'bad' if they see us. Nor do we scurry around trying to 'hide' our naked body all of a sudden. To me, that is bringing more attention to it.

Our kids know their body parts. They know the difference between boys and girls. They know grown ups have hair in certain places. We don't treat it like a big deal.
My kids also know, about "privates" and 'strangers' and what is inappropriate or not with their bodies. They also know, not to parade around naked themselves, when outside family members are around or when at the beach for example. They know what 'privacy' is... and in conjunction with their bodies. They know, how to say they want privacy if changing clothes etc. They know.

Each family/parent/culture varies. And the child's 'cues.'
In certain cultures, they even take communal baths together... or sit in the hot springs together.

ALSO, societal 'rules' on it may vary. If for example an older child tells their Teacher that they saw their parent naked or took a bath with them... it CAN be misconstrued.... and questioned. For example: a friend's 5 year old child told her Teacher she sleeps with her parents. No other detail. BUT the Teacher thought it was inappropriate and called CPS on them.
So...

Your kids, are definitely old enough, for you to Teach them about their body parts AND about Privacy AND about their body and strangers...

all the best,
Susan

5 moms found this helpful

Good question! When my son turned 4 (he's now 5) I stopped letting him see me completely naked, but I just felt it was time.

Now if I'm in my bra and panties I don't cover up. He sees me in a bikini all the time anyway. =-)

The answers you receive will probably be across the board as everyone has their own opinion about this. I've known parents who walk around the house naked when their kids have been older than 5. I just say go with what YOU and your husband feel comfortable with.

5 moms found this helpful

We practice casual nudity in our family (both growing up, and presently). About the only thing I've noticed different from our friends who didn't (while growing up) is that it was never "exciting" to see someone naked. Just life.

Hiding things makes them alluring (think of the 1800's and "Oh! I caught a glimpse of her ANKLE!"... or the modern day middle east. No one -in this country- really finds anything exciting about ankles. They're normal. Ditto in parts of the world where women are regularly topless, there's nothing all that exciting about breasts.). When nudity is no big deal... it's no big deal.

4 moms found this helpful

I think it's totally healthy and normal. If they see nakedness as natural then hopefully they can grow up in a state of mind not to be ashamed to be different - no matter how anyone looks. My 4 year old daughter knows nicknames and the proper names gentalia for both my husband and me - in a way, it teaches them to know appropriate and inappropriate ways of touching, too. She knows to 'wipe her pee pee' but that only her doctor or parents should look at her vagina (because she's had rashes recently and the doctor had to do an exam). Even though my daughter still sees my husband naked, I will take her clues to see when she is feeling uncomfortable with it. Right now, to her, naked is naked and it's really not a big deal. She already knows when she doesn't want to be seen (she will lock the bathroom door sometimes, but that's because she's learned it from me if I go to the bathroom and lock the door. Not always for modesty, but to give myself a 5 mintue 'break'!)

4 moms found this helpful

I don't think you have to worry about it at 4. Maybe 8, 9, 10?

I've never cared if my boys see me, and I still don't hide it -- if one of my teenage boys is nearby when I'm exiting the shower or I'm naked and my door is open, I say, "you'd better not look or you're gonna be scarred for life," and I go about my business. I know my boys will do whatever it takes to avoid seeing their naked mother. :)

I don't think showering with 4 year olds is a big deal, either.

3 moms found this helpful

I personally think it's when you or they express discomfort with the situation. If you are feeling uncomfortable, it's okay to stop. If not, when the kids hit pre-puberty, they will most likely stop on their own, shutting their doors when dressing, etc. That is what happened in my family. I don't think it's a big deal, and in fact I think it's good for kids to learn the differences between the sexes in a non-sexual environment.

3 moms found this helpful

At some point, you will become a little embarrassed for them to see you because they are really "looking" at different body parts. Until then, enjoy their innocence and not having to cover up every time they come in the room. It's just sort of a gut feeling.

3 moms found this helpful

My kids are 10 and 8, and sometimes we shower together. However, we are all girls. I don't think i'd be doing that with boys. My husband does still help my 8 year old wash her hair in the shower when I am too busy to do so; she has long, thick hair. He is also a nurse, so he is pretty indifferent to naked bodies-- all types! :) So, IDK. I am no prude, and our family is very close... my family never had much modesty. That being said, I think if you want a specific time suggestion for stopping the opposite sex showering, i'd say 5-- only to avoid the kids being picked on at school for saying they shower with mommy! :)

3 moms found this helpful

I have a 4 year old boy and he still sees me naked, and we, too, sometimes shower together. He does notice a difference, saying "your peep is inside" and I agree with that, because anatomically, he's not that far off. His sticks out, mine is in between my legs, so to speak. Matter of fact, no shame, no awkwardness. Which he does understand, btw, as he will appropriately say, in the context of a truly awkward situation, "AWKWARD!" It always cracks me up! Anyhow, nudity is no issue for us. My son does go into the bathroom to do his business and will close the door and ask for privacy, and he allows me privacy when I request it, but casual nudity isn't a problem as far as I'm concerned. And I'm not sure when it would be? I think if kids grow up without any particular stigma being attached to nudity, then it's no big deal at any point.

2 moms found this helpful

Our first daughter never thought twice about daddy being different, but we thought age 4 was a good time for him to start covering up before she came in the bathroom after his shower-our second started noticing around age 2-so that was it for her! And my dh NEVER showered with the girls-he also left the bathing of bodies to me starting around 2 years old, he just washed their hair. In my opinion, I would cut way down on them seeing your naked.

2 moms found this helpful

I have a 4 soon to be 5 year old son and we shower together (along with my 3 year old daughter). On weekends when my husband is home he showers with him. I have been starting to let him washing himself to help him learn to do it on his own so that he can start taking his own showers, but I don't see this happening for a while though. I personally do not think anything is wrong with being naked at this age. I will take his cues (or my daughters whenever she is ready) on when he doesn't want to shower with mom no more.

The only thing I do make sure of though is that going to the bathroom is private. I have taught our kids that if a door is shut than you knock on it first before just barging in.

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I'm no prude, but I thought I would put a more conservative thought on the board: If you are asking the question "Is it okay?" or if you have ever had a doubt, or if you ever have to rationalize why it's okay, that's because, in my humble opinion, the "Okay to nakedness" window is smaller than the other people here seem to think. When my 4 year old girl asked her daddy, in underwear, pointing "Is that your ball?" I knew it was time for him to be in shorts on the lower half from now on. Modesty is not a sin and it isn't unnatural. It encourages reverence and respect of the human body. I don't need for my kids to be comfortable seeing me or my husband naked. I agree with the other comment about Private Parts Being Private. I know everyone has a different comfort level, but family showers seems a bit extreme.
This is just one mom's opinion and I hope no one gets offended.

1 mom found this helpful

I agree with the idea tha twhen you or they feel discomfort it is probably time to stop. Personnally 4 sounds on the "getting too old" to me btu I certainly wouldn't say you are doing anything wrong. I have a 6 year old daughter who sees me change on rare occasion but I started the "privacy" discusion aorund 4-5. It is less about my privacy per se and more about getting her to understand she should expect privacy. Her father topped being naked around her around 2-3.

Regarding a child's privacy, I would encourage you to make sure they understand the difference between seeing Mom and Dad getting dressed versus seeing other people naked or touching private parts. I think good and bad nakedness is sort of a tricky concept and you want to be sure they know this isn't okay with their friends or other adults.

1 mom found this helpful

I stopped dressing in front of my son recently (almost 4) b/c he started asking questions and making comments. I just shut our door now or try to get dressed in the bathroom before coming out. I would just have the boys shower with your hubby.

Hi, my daughter is 3.5 and I stopped allowing her to see my husband naked or urinating when she began potty training at 2.5. I witnessed her "stand over" the toilet like a boy would and realized she was mimicking her dad.

We are prudes but we don't have alot of prolonged nudity in our house, as far as showering, the only time my daughter who is 7, sees my husband showering is when he takes her to the pool. II am told that when there are other guys there, usually teens, they will usually show respect for the presence of a little girl by facing the other way.

I would take this opportunity for them to learn about privacy.
I would stop letting them see you naked.
Teach them that bodies are private things not to be shown to everyone and that knocking is a good thing.
everyone showering together is really odd to me. But that may just be me I like to use my shower time as a bit of quiet time away from the chaos of the kids.

4 is about the right age to start teaching modesty. I know its a bit inconvenient, but you can just shut your door for a few minutes and tell them to wait till you're dressed. Since they are showing that they can see/pay attention to the differences between boys/girls physically perhaps its time to show them that boys and girls aren't naked together unless they're married.
I have 5 boys and it always seemed like between 3 and 4 was the age.

I always stopped mine from seeing me at about 4 years old. Sometimes it is unpreventable but for the most part, I try to keep them from seeing me undressed. My husband has always kept them from seeing him undressed unless they busted in on him. I think it would be a good idea to start now.

With my older daughter, she finally got to a point that she would turn around if she walked in while I was changing. I think they hit that point where they don't want to see it and just don't look. I do have to ask the 4 year old to let me use the rest room once a month, I certainly don't feel like explaining that in great detail yet.

With that, my 4 year old knows privacy, knows her private parts, and does not discuss any of this in public.

It is all a personal choice.

According the child expert Dr. Sears, when the child starts asking questions, pointing your differences out and wanting privacy for themselves, then it's time to cover up. Usually between the ages of 3-6 depending on the child.

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