Thursday, 28 August 2014

When should parents cover up in front of their children?

During my daily perusal of the news online I was saddened to see an article claiming that "experts" had pronounced that parents should make every effort to avoid their sons seeing them naked, once their children had reached the age of 7 or 8.

I have never had a huge problem with nudity around the house - or even in public at the Spa occasionally when bullied by my lovely German friend Claudia. (read all about that in my comedy
 post here)


madmumof7 and mum in Cyprus
Me and my mum
I was born in the late 60's with parents who had no issues with letting it all hang out - in fact my mum even now doesn't bother about changing from one t-shirt into another even with DH in the room which most MIL's wouldn't do.

 Quite rightly she says "Why not?"  After all her bra is no more revealing than a bikini and since she lives in scorching Cyprus she often wears a bikini top and shorts around the house. (she looks amazing especially for a lady of her age I might add!)

Anyway, back to my childhood. My Dad used to chat to us while he was in the bath, or walk from bathroom to bedroom naked. And to be honest his dressing gown didn't hide much. I don't remember it ever bothering me. But then, the research seems to particularly focus on boys seeing their mothers naked.

I have five sons (and 2 daughters) and we have a very relaxed attitude in our home - our children see us on the loo, in the shower, getting changed, dashing naked to the tumble dryer to grab underwear.....I've never given it much thought.

Now and again when I am standing naked having an extended chat with one of the older boys I might feel slightly awkward - I'm talking about times like when I'm at the top of the stairs, they've just come in from the pub and I've jumped out of bed to tell them about a phone call, or to ask a question. They don't seem to notice though. Is it because I'm Mum? Asexual? Or it's just all so old hat they don't even really see me in my birthday suit?

madmumof7  at Ladys Mile Beach, Cyprus in bikini
almost naked.
So, this article (I saw it on the Daily Mail online so I suppose I shouldn't worry too much about it) quoted an expert who maintained that at the age of about 8 boys develop a "sexual template" in the brain and if exposed to maternal nudity your son might be affected, becoming promiscuous or alternatively have no interest in sex in later life. This same expert was adamant that "in our culture nudity is very much a sexual matter."

Is it?  Not in our house it isn't.  Is cuddling and kissing my husband  or pinching his bum in a teasing fashion in front of the children to be avoided too? Is it too sexual?

I asked my older boys, aged 20, 18 and 15 if they had a problem with my occasional nudity. The 15 year old said it didn't bother him. The 18 year old agreed and my 20 year old (who was slightly bemused that I had telephoned him to ask such an odd question) said he had never really questioned it as he had grown up with it.

The article was tempered by quotes from a mum of 3 who said she was happy to be nude in front of her teenage son so I'm obviously not alone in thinking it's OK to reveal my saggy and scarred body to my family (and unfortunate Germans enjoying a day at the Spa).

How about you dear reader? Do you cover up? And if so how old were your children when you decided they were too old to see your boobs and/or bum? Or are you like me, happy to bare all until they ask you to get dressed!

madmumof7


22 comments:

  1. We never cover up, or intend to. I think it's important to normalise nakedness, in the hope that it helps the kids not have body hang ups. Really great post :-) #PoCoLo

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    1. That's what I think. The children have at least got an idea of what a "normal" body looks like without airbrushing.

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  2. I'm not overly concerned with it, but we're not a very 'naked' kind of family. I wouldn't mind if my kids saw me naked, but I just don't tend to wander around that way - I'm too cold for 10 months of the year! I think a cut-off of 7 or 8 is rather sad though and I wouldn't put a limit on it.

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    1. I know what you mean about the cold! Thanks for popping by

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  3. I think you're right to take that article with pinch of salt, these experts are always intent on blaming the parents. To be honest though I was raised in a more prudish house so am a little shy haha! Although that has changed a lot as I'm still breastfeeding my 2.5 yr old. I have panicked when he has decided to dive into the shower with me on a morning but am slowly giving in as he usually sits at the other end of the bath talking to his toys :) #PoCoLo

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    1. I think it does depend how you were raised. Breastfeeding does hep you lose some inhibitions though!

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  4. I don't deliberately cover up when my daughters are back from uni and if I had any sons, I'd probably be equally as comfortable. I guess it's all a case of how you've tackled the issue while they were growing up.

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    1. sometimes you can be more conspicuous deliberately covering up I think.

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  5. I am often found in a state of half dress as you say dashing to the tumble drier or what not. I think its healthy for my daughter and son to grow in a house that nudity is not an issue in .. i want my children to feel good in their own skin and me being seen being happy in mine can only be beneficial right?

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    1. totally my thought. And if they see me comfortable with my wrecked bod (I try not to moan about my figure in front of them) then they get to realise that it's OK to be less than perfect

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  6. Great post.Ive gone from being extremely prudish to letting it all hang out-childbirth will do that to you!Hoping to pass on a healthy attitude towards nudity to my two girls.#pocolo

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  7. I think it's more than ok - it's actually IMPORTANT, and for BOTH sexes. That's because there are far too many idealised, photoshopped, artificially "perfect" women's bodies out there. Many teens have never seen a "normal" woman's body.

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  8. My daughter is only a baby so no issues yet, but I don't think my husband and I are going to be concerned with covering up in our own home as she grows up. I just hope we can help our daughter develop a healthy attitude towards nudity and her own body. #pocolo

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  9. I cant be seen naked only because I have body issues. #pocolo

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    1. Thats a shame. Hopefully one day you will be more comfortable.

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  10. I'm happy to be nude when it's not cold (!) but my other half annoys me by always covering up - he's made so much out of it now that it'd be a shock for the girls. I'd far rather he'd been 'free and easy' at home!! #PoCoLo

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    1. free and easy definitely the theme in our house!

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  11. I am so with you on this - I get naked all the time and Grace doesn't bat an eyelid because she is so used to it. I think if you continuously have a problem with it, that is when it draws attention and becomes a problem. #PoCoLo

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I'd love feedback- but keep it clean and kind.