Is It OK To Be Naked At The Presence of Your Kids?

Yes, it’s definitely all right. What matters more is how you feel about it.

Until her second birthday or thereabouts, your toddler is unlikely to pay much attention to whether you or anyone else has clothes on. But at some point, usually around 24 months, she’ll begin to develop a sense of herself as a separate person, which includes a sense of her body (and yours) as having private parts.

The question is, are you comfortable with your toddler seeing you naked? Some parents are very open with nudity, seeing it as a way to teach their children to accept and take pride in their own bodies.

Others feel it’s really only okay for their toddler to see the body of the parent of the same sex. Still others think any nudity is problematic, worrying that it will send confusing sexual messages or prematurely instill awareness of sexuality.

Once your toddler begins to grasp that she has control over her own body as an individual, she may start to resist you when you change her diaper or clothes in public. At this point she may also be sensing that public nudity doesn’t jibe with the rules of polite society. If she starts reacting to your nakedness with signs of embarrassment such as silly smiles, giggling, or shielding her eyes with her hand, it’s probably smart to cover up.

That said, if you feel strongly that you have the right to be naked in the privacy of your own home, you just need to do a little extra work. Tell your child that while the body is nothing to be ashamed of, going without clothes should be reserved for private times and places. Explain that you consider your home a private space where it’s okay to wear nothing if no one else is around.

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This piece was orinigally written by Susanne Ayers Denham a developmental psychologist at babycenter

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