Big Kid

When Should Your Kids Stop Seeing You Naked?

By  | 

When should your kids stop seeing you naked? That’s a question a lot of parents grapple with at one point or another. Parenting isn’t exactly none for its modesty. Truthfully: when’s the last time you went to the bathroom alone, or had an uninterrupted shower? For a lot of parents, it’s important that their kids feel comfortable with nudity, and understand that there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Particularly when it comes to family! That lesson starts very early, and it starts at home with people your kids love and trust. But there may come a point when that level of comfort begins to change, for you or for your kids.

So when should your kids stop seeing you naked? The answer will be different for every family.

There really is no right or wrong answer. What it boils down to is your comfort, and the comfort of your children. If you and your children are comfortable with nudity, and no one has expressed any discomfort or reservations about it, then there’s no reason to believe there’s a problem! There is nothing wrong with nudity, especially within your home and family where it is completely non-sexualized. It is totally normal, and it isn’t going to cause any sort of trauma.

PREVIOUSLY: Longest-Running Study on Same-Sex Parenting Confirms What We’ve Always Known: the Kids Are Just Fine

From a very early age, seeing mom and dad and siblings naked is how kids learn about anatomy, and how males and females are different. It can certainly be funny and sometimes strange when your child asks about your body parts in relation to theirs. But it’s always an opportunity to impart a lesson on body autonomy, self-esteem, and body image.

When deciding when your kids should stop seeing you naked, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First and most importantly, everyone’s personal comfort should be regarded. That means yours, and that of your kids. If you are no longer comfortable with your children seeing you naked, that is more than OK! Your personal comfort matters, too. There’s nothing wrong with telling your children that you would like some privacy, just as long as you don’t frame it as shameful or wrong if they see you nude.

PREVIOUSLY: Are You Sharing Too Much About Your Children Online?

Your children may start to give you cues that they’re ready for their own privacy, and you should respect that. This can happen as early as 4 years old, or even as late as 9 or 10. If they ask for privacy, or start closing the door when they use the bathroom or shower or bathe, they may be setting their own boundaries for what they’re comfortable with. This is a good time for you to stop changing or showering in front of them. But if your child doesn’t seem bothered by your nudity, don’t force it.

Finally, talk about personal boundaries, particularly if your child has started showing cues that they’re ready to have some bodily autonomy or privacy. Don’t be afraid to ask your kids if they’re comfortable with seeing you naked, or vice versa. But also, emphasize that respecting other people’s personal boundaries is incredibly important. For example, if your 8 year old no longer wants to bathe with their younger sibling, or doesn’t want them to see them naked, work with your younger child on respecting that.

When should your kids stop seeing you naked? That question is going to be answered differently for every family. Make sure no matter what age that happens, everyone’s comfort and boundaries are respected.

(Image: iStock/monkeybusinessimages)