Dressing in Front of Your Children

Updated on August 03, 2010
P.W. asks from Halethorpe, MD
21 answers

At what age did you stop dressing/undressing in front of your children? My son is 2 years.


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answers from Columbus on

I don't think that there is a "right" answer to this question. But, I agree with the consensus. It's whenever you want it to be. My oldest is 7 & my husband & I still change in front of him. Yes, the kids have noticed the differences & have even commented on them. That's the best time to have small talks about the differences between boys & girls.

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answers from New York on

My husband have never be naked in front of my kids, but I do change and take showers in front of my 2 year old.
My 12 year old have always be shy, and she was the one that would leave the room if I start getting change around 7 I think.
In Mexico, public saunas are not only common but is almost like a tradition. Its a big business. And women and girls all age shower naked and nobody have problem with that. I grew going with my mother to this places and never see nothing weird but my daughter would have a heart attack if I ever ask her to go, lol.
EDIT: I just remember something! My mom is a massage therapist, and one day she gave my MIL a massage and ask me to bring them a towel and her oils, when I walk in my MIL was without bra...even if I have seen many women naked, incluiding my own mom, seen my own MIL was very uncomfortable, lol.
My husband is very privet and kind of old fashion about this, so when I came out and told him what happen he cover his hear and walk away, lol.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

My son is 10. He obviously knows the differences btwn men and women. He knows to knock before entering if doors are closed. There are several times when I am in my bathroom or closet and I haven't shut the door, he will walk in to ask me something. If I am naked or getting naked I don't make a big deal about it. I may casually get a robe or something. I don't scream and slam the door in his face. He doesn't have a problem (yet) with being nude in front of us. If his attitude changes about it, then so may ours.

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answers from Fresno on

I think the right age is whenever it makes you uncomfortable to dress in front of your kids. I have 2 girls, so it doesn't bother me to dress in front of them (they are 5 and 7). I guess in my mind, better that they see what a real mommy body looks like than to compare themselves to the models in Cosmo or wherever. From time to time one of them will wander in when my husband is getting dressed, and they really don't seem to notice. We don't really think it's a big deal, so I guess they don't either. (The other day, my youngest asked me, "Do you know what's weird? Daddy's winky-dink is totally different from all of ours! Do you think he knows?" LOL)

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answers from Sarasota on

When you are ready to stop changing in front of him. If he's asking questions about the differences in your body to his this may not be such a bad thing. It makes it easier for him to understand why girls and boys have different parts (if you are ready for those questions/and if he can understand the answers). If you are fine and so is he don't make a big deal keep it simple and go for what you know I hope this helps :)

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answers from Seattle on

We're a casually naked family. Meaning that I still see my parents and their gen naked from time to time, and we practice casual nudity inside our own home. Kiddo's 8.

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answers from Austin on

My dad's rule of thumb with us was when we were potty-trained enough that we needed NO help whatsoever, AND able to bathe on our own... he would teach us about privacy during potty training, and once we were on our own there we had to respect other people's privacy and expect them to respect ours. (My dad raised 4 (of 13) of us on his own...2 boys and 2 girls...)

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answers from Minneapolis on

We stopped when the kids got uncomfortable with it. My daughter was about 6 when she started asking her dad and brother for "privacy" and became very anxious about me closing the door when I was giving her a bath. She and I still change with each other as we are both "girls" in her eyes. My husband stopped at the time she wanted privacy for herself. I stopped with my son; I think he became a little conscience of it around 7. Once he started to react to walking in on me, I started to close the door. Right now he is just about 13 and will not change in front of him anyone. I think he was 7 when I stopped and hubby stopped when he was about 11 and my son became timid. So I think I would let him lead. You never want your kid ashame of the human body.

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answers from Houston on

i never stopped, i have both girls. my husband stopped undressing near my daughter as soon as she seemed curious about their differences., Which was well before age two.
Maybe i should stop, everytime my toddler sees me naked she smacks me on the butt

but moms and sons might be different, i think you will know in your gut when the right time is.

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answers from Spartanburg on

I have a 2 yr old boy and 4 yr old girl. My husband and I both freely dress/undress/bathe/use the bathroom in front of them. I am sure at some point there will be a sign from the kids that they don't want to see us naked anymore and a time when the kids seek out privacy for themselves as well, but I am sure that is years away. I think it comes down to the comfort level of the parent at these young ages, if you don't mind questions and the occasional poke or prod then I don't think it's a problem. I grew up in a house where we didn't shut doors, we just learned to look the other way. I am not traumatized or immodest b/c of it and nothing inappropriate went on in ethier.

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answers from Cincinnati on

I still dress and undress in front of my mother sometimes - we will often share a stall when we go try on clothes at department stores. However, I personally stopped dressing and undressing in front of my father when I hit pre-puberty - probably around age 9 or 10? I don't really remember how old I was, but I wasn't a teenager yet. That was when I began to feel uncomfortable and shutting my own door, and he picked up my cues and began shutting his door, too. Before that, our family had an open-bathroom-door policy, so it never bothered me. I think it's different for every family, and it depends on your own comfort level. You won't mess your son up by continuing to dress or undress in front of him (I lived in Japan for several years, and a family bathing together is very common there up until the child hits puberty) but if you are starting to feel uncomfortable, there is no reason to continue, either. Just do what feels right for you.

P.S. I noticed the differences in our bodies before I stopped being comfortable naked around my father. Personally, I think it was good. The male body wasn't this huge mystery to me - I actually didn't think much about it either way.

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answers from San Francisco on

I think our bodies are normal and natural. As long as you are comfortable and your son doesn't show any problem with it, I wouldn't do anything different. My son is 4 and doesn't have any issues with me being naked.


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answers from Dallas on

I dress in front of my kids, but they are both girls. My hubby didn't really have an issue with child #1 b/c she never really noticed, but with my 2nd girl, she started pointing out differences at 2 and started trying to stare at his privates while he got out of the shower, etc. It made him uncomfortable so we keep her away and distracted while he's naked. No big deal. We always said that as long as they are young enough to not remember it was ok. :) Everyone has different comfort levels.

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answers from Philadelphia on

I have four daughters so i never really stopped . I wonder how others feel... for us it is not a big deal. We are all girls :) My husband is very private though. I think if it was all sons it would be reversed. I would say ehn you are uncomfortable... or your son is asking questions... it is over....

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answers from Washington DC on

We didn't have a specific age, but we (I) just kept a good eye on them and noticed how they reacted to me in the nude or undies. At age 2, they knew was nude was - we didn't make an issue of it, kept it as a normal thing that we didn't discuss but when around age 5, one of my boys started doing a double take - that's when I knew it was time to shut the door and explain the concept of knocking!! We've always been pretty lax about some things, like, the kids will walk in on me while I'm going 'potty', and for the longest time, I didn't care, it was no biggie. By the time they were 5, one noticed more than the other, but they both started really realizing that Mommy was naked!! We didn't make a big deal out of it, just explained that from now on when the bedroom or bathroom doors were shut, we had to knock and wait for the person inside to say come in. That rule was meant for everyone, not just mommy.

They've seen me nude a few times over the last couple years - it's gonna happen, but again, I do not make an issue of it and I don't rush or overly react - I just say in a stern but kinda joking voice "Out, Out, Out!! or I'll chop off your head!!" (they've seen Alice in Wonderland so they get a kick out of that - but they do get out and knock!)

I remember when I was around 7-ish, I barged into my moms room for some reason. She was in the process of getting dressed. My mother was the type to NEVER be nude or in undies around me or any of us kids. So she reacted by practically screaming for me to get out. Needless to say, I remember that because she freaked me out with her reaction and unfortunately, I remember it quite vividly to this day!! So when one of our boys walked in on my husband and myself having.....relations, I calmly stopped my husband :-) and asked what he wanted (he was 6 at the time). He has never mentioned it since and since we didn't make a big deal out of it, I think *hope* it will disappear in the recesses of memory not worth remembering!


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answers from Indianapolis on

My kids are 4 and 2, and I still get dressed/undressed in front of them. Perhaps in a year or two.

I agree with Adansmom - if you're uncomfortable, stop doing it. I am modest by nature, but I don't want them to be ashamed of their bodies or to feel like they can't ask questions when something is wrong because they're uncomfortable with it.

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answers from Denver on

I still undress in front of my mom and I'm in my 30s. For opposite sex kids, I would say when they start being embarrassed and walk out of the room. At age 2 they're still more babies than kids so no worries...

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answers from Dallas on

My daughter is almost 16 and I still dress in front of her and she will dress in front of me. No biggie. I want her to be comfortable with her body, there is no shame in it.

IF you are uncomfortable, then it is time to stop.

For us, it just doesn't bother me. I am comfortable in my skin and have no problem dressing in a locker room with strangers or at home when daughter happens to come into my room to get something when I am dressing.

You do what feels right for YOU.

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answers from Kansas City on

if you dont make a big deal about it, it's not a big deal. We change whenever, and I'm uncomfortable having closed doors between me and the kiddo if she's awake, so she's seen me change tons of times. The only thing that's been weird is that she thinks bras are boobies and when we see bras in a store she likes to announce that we're passing the boobies. :-)


answers from Kansas City on

if you feel uncomfortable, its time. my son is almost four and for awhile now it has made me uneasy. i've had to teach him mommy needs to potty by herself (a little difficult since he's still finishing up potty training so he has different rules), and to stay out of mom's room when she's getting dressed....he is used to going wherever so it's taking some training. it would probably be vastly different if he was a girl. but that's just me.



answers from Huntsville on

My daughter is 4 1/2 and I still dress/undress in front of her. I think it might be different if I had a son, though. My husband certainly doesn't let her see him without clothes! He probably started that when she was one! lol

If you are still comfortable with it, it might be ok for another couple years. But, you also want to teach him modesty & that we shut the door when we go potty & we dress/undress behind closed doors.

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