I Refuse To Make My Kids Ashamed Of Their Bodies So We’re A Naked House
BY NATALIE ROMERO
Photo © the__rish/Twenty20
Jun 19, 2019
He used to sit comfortably in the bouncy chair on the floor outside the tub every morning while I showered. I installed a clear shower curtain and would sing songs and play peekaboo and sometimes he would shake his rattle to entertain himself so that I could start each morning fresh and clean.
"We change in front of each other, often share a stall in the family change room at the pool and shower with the bathroom door open."
This became a tradition and as he got older he would get out of bed in his footed pyjamas, drag his blanket and just sit himself down on the carpet as soon as he heard the shower go on. Sometimes I would open the shower curtain and see his little sleepy face and I hadn’t even noticed he was there. Other times, he would pounce in ready to tell me about the random thoughts that were racing through his big toddler mind.
I was always naked and both of us were comfortable with this.
In fact, all these years later we are still comfortable with our nudity.
Our whole family seems to be comfortable with nudity.
We change in front of each other, often share a stall in the family change room at the pool and shower with the bathroom door open.
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It’s not abnormal for my kids to come into our room to tell us some anecdote from their day while they are stripping off their school clothes and pulling on their PJs. My son still talks to me through the shower curtain and often times it’s when he feels comfortable talking about difficult subjects.
Sometimes, they will rip off their bathing suits while in the pool, so excited to be swimming in the buff.
In our house we are equally as comfortable standing in front of each other naked as we are in track pants and a hoodie.
"I don’t ever want my kids to feel as though they should be ashamed of their bodies."
This has been our family’s way of life since the beginning, but now that our kids are getting older, I’m starting to wonder how long it can continue. Will there be a magic age where it will become weird or uncomfortable?
Will walking around naked in front of my kids have any negative impact as they grow into their preteen years?
I am perfectly aware that not every family functions like this. For us, I feel like this is one of the ways we address boundaries. Each of my children are learning to set their own boundaries and have control over their own physical being.
We talk openly about our bodies in our house. What our bodies do, how to keep them clean and healthy, how to make them stronger. They have been educated on puberty and what changes their bodies are going to experience in the near future.
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We have always had open conversations about good touching and bad touching. We don’t believe in forcing our kids to hug or kiss anyone, including us as their parents.
Yet I’m torn.
I’m torn between encouraging my kids to accept and appreciate their nakedness and pushing them to be more modest and private. I don’t ever want my kids to feel as though they should be ashamed of their bodies.
"We remind them that FaceTiming with their grandparents while someone is changing is not appropriate."
With two athletes who have very different frames, they are also learning that no two bodies are the same. I don’t feel the need to hide my squishy tummy or the stretch marks that have appeared on my thighs and my son appreciates the lean muscle on his thin frame. We don’t criticize our bodies and we don’t feel shame for how we are built.
We try to focus on all the wonderful things our bodies are capable of because the truth is, sometimes our bodies fail us. We prefer to focus on treating our bodies with love and appreciation so that we can continue to make ourselves healthy and strong.
I worry that if I continuously push them to hide behind closed doors that they will lose that openness. It’s so easy to get caught up in what society tells them a perfect figure looks like. I want them to remember what is real when the world starts telling them how they should look.
For now we have decided to use their comfort as a guide.
We knock on their door before entering their room. I ask for privacy when I need it. But if they are OK with both their own nudity and mine then so am I.
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They understand that while our home is the perfect place for them to shed their clothing, other places are not. We remind them that FaceTiming with their grandparents while someone is changing is not appropriate.
The most important thing is that we all respect each other and give each other privacy when asked.
I don’t expect this to continue. We are approaching the preteen years and as soon as they start to feel any awkwardness in being naked around their mother, I will take my cue and step back. But for now I refuse to make them feel any sense of shame around their body or to question their own comfort level.
They get to be the one to make that decision and I get to be the one to respect it.
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