When Did You Stop Letting Your Kid See You Naked?

Obviously my 10 year old doesn’t see me nekkid anymore. He can’t hardly stand to see me in my swimsuit. Thing is, I can’t remember when I stopped letting him see me naked. I’m not sure it was ever a conscious decision, it just evolved. He saw my chest for the longest time because I nursed 3 other kids (couldn’t nurse #4 longer than a couple months, but then only as night because I had to supplement for him in the daytime because I didn’t have milk for him, but that’s a whole nother story) after him, but there was a certain point where even that made him uncomfortable, so I made a point to cover up. Which in a way is odd because I’ve always made sure my nursing was such a natural thing at home.

Today I was changing into my swim-suit top, I’d already had my bottoms on and my 4 year old son walked in. I didn’t rush to cover up because he’d never really paid much attention before. I mean he’d say, “You’re naked! hahaha!” or, “You have nipples!” or “You have a biiiiiiiiig butt”, but today everything was different.

He looked  at me and said, “I like to see you naked.” I asked him why and he said, “because you’re a lady and it’s pretty.”

{{{SHUDDER}}}

That’s when the ick factor set in strong for me. I decided he will never see my nekkidness again. Especially with the smile he had on his face. My daughter who is 6 still believes she should be able to see me naked because she’s a girl. But even the way she examines makes me decidedly uncomfortable.

I remember checking out my mom’s crunch berries and fur as a kid out of complete and total curiosity and I can’t remember whether she was uncomfortable or not. Maybe seeing mom naked stopped when I decided to start pointing out what I perceived as flaws, but now, after having 4 kids as well and even now not looking good as her, there’s no way in hell I’d call them flaws. I RETRACT! I RETRACT!

I guess I’ve just decided I’ve had enough with everyone but the 2 year old checking out my goods. He just pokes my butt and says, “naked”, but it’s harmless and cute when he does it. Well, I think anyways.

How bout you? At what age did you stop letting your kid(s) see you nude? If you’re of a different culture than standard American, what’s the social norm for you? If you don’t have kids, what’s your parental nudity nightmare memory?

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61 Comments

  1. We try to avoid letting the kids ogle us, but it’s not always possible since I share a bathroom with the kids. My five year old is finally figuring out privacy, since he now likes to have his too.

  2. mom’s crunch berries

    That’s funny!!

  3. Crunch berries and fur! That’s a keeper.

  4. I don’t plan to stop “letting” the kids see me naked, but I always confine it to my bathroom and bedroom. That way, if they’re in any way uncomfortable, they can avoid a “sighting” by staying out of those rooms during prime time, e.g. post-shower and post-arrival from the office.

  5. So you think standing on the dining room table to change into my suit was a bad idea?

  6. Oh my. How funny.

    My almost-7-year-old daughter ogles me sometimes too. It does feel a bit uncomfortable. My 3-year-old doesn’t stare but she’ll ask, “Mommy, why are you naked?”

    Then again, I enjoy being naked so much that my children are pretty used to it. Mostly they ignore me and don’t really say much about it.

    I suppose I should go put some clothes on, eh?

  7. Don’t have kids, but still see my parents in the nude every now and then. 28, fwiw.

  8. “So you think standing on the dining room table to change into my suit was a bad idea?”

    Some things I cannot judge in the abstract.

  9. I’m struggling with that now too with 3 and 2 yo’s. I’m a BIG fan of the Nekkid… so were my parents. Immodesty is something I get honest. But I lived in an all-girls-except-poor-Dad household. I’m currently in an all-boys-except-poor-Me household. I’m going to have to cut off the crunch-berry sightings pretty soon, I’m afraid. (Fab term!)

  10. Adopt me?

  11. LOL. *rolls eyes* at Abbadon
    When did I end the nekkidness in front of my kids? Well, my kids gave a good clue by giggling and claiming “Daddy has a tail” or when I stepped out of the shower and my son giggled and said “Mommy’s bottom has a mustache”
    And yes, these extraordinary quotes are preserved in their baby books … children are so much fun
    ;-)

  12. I had the same kind of icky thing happen with my youngest daughter. It gives me the big wooly creeps! I still catch her sometimes trying to open the bathroom door when I am in the shower. I look over and she the door cracked and one eyeball staring back at me! So I have taken to locking it. I think I put the brakes on when she was about 7… she just seemed far too interested.

  13. I won’t even shower naked!

  14. I don’t have kids, but the county health department has issued a notice that nobody is allowed to see me nekkid…something about panic and hysteria.

  15. At least your 4 year old has a healthy image of women.

    At what age did you stop letting your kid(s) see you nude?

    Two. When the comments began, it was time to cover.

    And I have never seen my parents nekkid *shudders at the thought*.

  16. This post made my day! It’s hilarious!!! My two year old still showers with both of us (her dad and me) and I am really not sure when that will become weird…I guess we’ll wait until she starts making comments and then dad will have to shower alone. I am sure I will be find nakey around her for many years to come, though. Although I do have a disturbing memory of noticing my mom’s pubic hair for the first time…I don’t want to scar my kid like that! :0)

  17. Well my family is a lil different I guess then others. I have a blood sister, an adopted sister, a mum and a dad. My blood sister (17 yrs), me (21 yrs) and my dad all frequently see mummy dearest in the nude but for good reasons: a) She’s menopausal and has an atmosphere of her own so when she’s hot…SHE’S HOT and the clothes come off until she cools off again. b) If she could be a full fledged nudest she would be. So seeing my mother naked is really part of every day life, but that is where it stops. I haven’t seen my dad naked since I was I think 9, and that was really pushing it for my parents I guess. I never really was bothered or curious about my dad, and I loved having baths with both my parents, but I was getting too old to have baths with my dad anymore. This will sound very weird to most of you but I clearly remember the day my folks told me I couldn’t have baths with daddy anymore…and I remember crying and throwing a fit and being totally hurt by it. At 9 years old it’s hard to understand why but of course now I completely understood. I can just imagine how hard my parents tried to figure out how to stop me having baths with dad without hurting me but whatev, they were right but I was just too young to understand :)
    Antaya S :)

  18. I am going through the same thing with my 5.5 year old son. BTW you have a great way with words.

  19. Much differently than the household I grew up in, where no one saw, talked or even thought about such things, I raised my son to make sure there is never any shame or embarassment or even unaddressed curiosity about bodies. However, I am by no means an exhibitionist. I am a single mom with one boy in a one-bedroom apartment, so the matter has always been treated not as one of sexuality, where dressing or bathing may expose (gasp) “sex parts,” but personal privacy, where we respect the need for space/time alone. We turn our backs or look the other way or stay out of the bedroom/bathroom when we need to change. We don’t call body parts by silly names that treat them like they’re something comical or strange, and so there never was any need for him to peek or gawk or laugh or otherwise make commentary about the differences, size, shape, attractiveness/unattractiveness, etc. If you shoo a child away or act startled if they walk in on you (or you on them) accidentally, it puts their sensors on high alert that something probably wrong is happening, and arouses their curiosities. It’s important to talk to them (maturely and frankly) about it so they know it’s just a matter of modesty or privacy or whatever you want to call it. We try to make sure we knock or ask if it’s ok to come in the room if we’re unsure what’s going on in there, and if one of us walks in on the other accidentally, one of us will say, “I’m changing” and the other will say, “Oh, excuse me.” and it’s no big deal. He’s 16 now and has a very positive/comfortable attitude about himself and others– he’s neither “prudish” (I hate the judgementalness of that term, but for lack of a better one…) nor overly preoccupied with bodies or sex; he’s balanced and extremely mature about such things compared to others his age. As far as what age it becomes “weird,” I’m not sure it ever did. Just somewhere along the way, probably parallel to as his own body started growing up, he became more careful about walking in and asked me to be the same, and that’s that.

    There’s a little book called “Ways of Seeing” by John Berger that I’d recommend to explain from where your son formulated an idea like, “I like to see you naked because you’re a lady and it’s pretty.” It begins, “Seeing comes before words, the child looks and recognises before it can speak”– your son (all of our sons) learned how to see ladies (and our daughters how to see themselves) long before he could verbalise it, and what they’re learning is definitely worth shuddering about.

  20. “Mommy’s bottom has a mustache”

    WTF, Anna???

    LOL

  21. i remember showing with my mom and brother up to 5 yrs old or so. that’s when it stopped for me. then I got “the talk”, and it wasn’t cool for me to see family members nekkid anymore.

  22. T- Not if if it isn’t bothering anybody. ;)

    The Big G- I would NOT want to see my parents naked right now. yes mom, I know the feeling’s mutual.

    rittenhouse- hahaha, bummer huh?

    bookmamma- ah, don’t rush the unnakedness till ya have to. *sigh, it’d be much easier if I was in an all girl pad

    Abbadon- If you were my child you would have been bottle fed.

    Anna- Daddy has a tail? bwahah hahahaha Garren insists that I have a very tiny penis. It must be tiny because he can’t see it, right?

    mamabeeyotch- yeah, I’m thinking of puttin the brakes on madeleine too. I’m stealing big wooly creeps for something some day. I like that. haha

    threeboys1mommy- hahaha, I”m almost there.

    Nigel- so that’s why san diego got set on fire that one year!

    porknbean- you got the comments at 2? you’ve got one advanced kiddo huh?

    moderndaymom – hahaha, I remember showering with my dad believe it or not. I think my mom was out of town, maybe my sister was being born, so that has to place me at about 4 and 1/2. All I can remember is a hairy body and him putting his hand on my head and forcibly turning me 180 degrees so I couldn’t see him. sorry dad, I still remember, bwahaha hahahah

    Antaya- aw I don’t think it’s weird. if dad’s not being perverted it’s all what you’re used to.

    nikimeiners – you made it to 5.5? you win! ty for the kind words too!

    gunsofbrixton – I totally agree with you about not calling private parts weird names. I’ve always thought if you call an arm and arm you might as well call a vagina a pooter. I keed I keed. we call it a vagina. Thank you for the book recommend. I’m interested in checking it out because I sure as heck don’t think my kid got his ideas from Spongebob. *crosses fingers

    Abbadon- yeah, that’s pretty good isn’t it?

    static monkey- stupid talk ruins all the fun! They should really make it a board game. Like pictionary or something. Can you imagine how much more interesting the “talk” would be as Pictionary?

  23. No later than one year old. The matter is complicated since my daughter since she was 8 months old demanded I get in the back with her. So it makes quite the silly picture, me sitting in a tub in swim trunks surrounded by toys.

  24. awwwwwwwwww, it sounds cute to me. I’m so glad there’s digital cameras now. I’ve taken tub photos of my kids before and was sure someone was going to think I was taking innapropriate photos of my kids. See how I’m always paranoid?

    The only thing innapropriate about these photos is you can be damn sure I’ll use them as blackmail against my kids later on.

  25. What an interesting conversation. And by interesting, I mean uncomfortable

    Heh:

    Especially with the smile he had on his face.

    Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiice. The boy likes chicks.

    Hey, the way I see it, it’s a good thing.

  26. I don’t think kids should be seeing adults naked (parents, of course) after, say, age 3. When they can walk, talk, feed themselves, and go to potty, the next thing they should learn is the concepts of privacy and modesty.

    And talking about mommy’s body parts touches on being disrespectful.

  27. Modesty is certainly important bart and my oldest son is quite modest…….just waiting for the other ones to grow up enough to not only be modest, but to stop picking their freaking noses and eating their boogers. I HATE THAT!

    Course I should count my blessings. They don’t wipe their boogers on the wall. Er, as far as I know.

  28. OK, I’ll stop eating boogers if I can see you naked. Deal?

  29. I took my daughter into a shower room at some national park, I think Yosemite, when we were camping and she was about 6 months old, and hosed her off. She saw me and a whole bunch of other naked men.

    She’s 23 now, but that was the last time she has seen a naked man.

  30. Abbadon- If you were my child you would have been bottle fed.

    :oP>

    How much for a table dance, Mom???

    :oD>

  31. OK, I’ll stop eating boogers if I can see you naked. Deal?

    we still have that little issue of boogers being wiped on the wall

    She’s 23 now, but that was the last time she has seen a naked man.

    hahahahahahaha

    How much for a table dance, Mom???

    you couldn’t afford it

  32. My boys (4 and 7) see me come out of the shower and tell me, “Daddy, your bollocks is huge”.

    Not stopping till they do.

  33. I’ve got two girls, so…I don’t know yet.

    They’re still in the calling my boobs “boo boos,” stage, so I think I’ve got a ways to go.

  34. Hey as long as your little boy likes CHICKS, you’re on the right path :)

    My little girl is just 13 months, so I have a ways to go…

  35. When my youngest was 6 months old, I started bathing her and my son, 3 years, together. It was at this time that he asked me why his baby sister didn’t have a pee pee. I tell him that since she is a girl, she has a girl pee pee, and he is a boy with a penis. Sorry, couldn’t call the ‘vulva’ , a vulva. I hate that word. There needs to be a better one.

    When the daughter was 2 and starting to potty train, she was very observant each time I took her into the restroom with me – mom’s with young kids rarely close the bathroom door anyway. So, one day I’m doing my business in a department store stall, the kid squats down to check out the tinkling sound (via the space between the seat and the bowl) and loudly proclaims, ‘You dot a fluffy in dere’. Uh…ahem…snort…hee hee…hahaha.
    Of course, when I tell the husband through laughter, his eyes light up for a different reason.
    They all want a piece of ya in some way.

  36. I have no memories of either parent nekkid. It’s something for which I am deeply thankful.

    I almost got an accidental eyeful of Dad a few years ago when I walked into the bathroom he was using. he thought he wa alone in the house and I stopped by my parents’ house for a surprise visit. Surprise!

    I backed out screaching with my hand over my eyes, so I didn’t see him turn his back to me fast… and hit the wall. Though, I did find out about it later when I found him on hands and knees in that same bathroom scrubbing the floor and wall. I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants. So I guess I shouldn’t laugh too much about his aiming abilities when he’s surprised.

    Your bottom has a mustache.

    Hee. A brazilian wax job will talke care of that for you. Or if you don’t like wax, shaving your butt would do. So… handlebar, fu manchu, or toothbrush?

  37. She’s 23 now, but that was the last time she has seen a naked man.

    Michael, darling. Think about it.

    She’s 23 now. I THINK she has seen a naked man since then.

  38. “Your bottom has a mustache.”
    The reference to my “bottom” was for the FRONTAL view people. Sheesh… all you thinking I have a hairy butt! He referred to my “private” parts as my bottom. ;-P
    My son wasn’t even 3 at the time and I’m not the tree huggin’ granola type of person to teach the specific anatomy parts to toddlers. Truuuuuuuust me, he learned the specifics of the female anatomy soon enough.

  39. Gosh Both my kids still see me nekkid. M is five, almost six (a girl) and B is two almost 3. I lost all modestly after birthing two children, then having my baby house demoed via my vagina so I guess I don’t think about it much. After reading this and the responses I gues I should reconsider!

  40. At some point as a boy growing up, I did not want to see my mom naked anymore! I think I was 8 or 9. Your son sounds like a healthy young chap. Any man who says to a woman, “I like to see you naked because you’re a lady and it’s pretty” is a-ok in my book. Just not to his mom after he’s like 9!

  41. morris- hahhaa, kids are ruthless aren’t they?

    porknbean and anna- seems to me I stopped telling madeleine it was a vagina (course you’re right the correct word is vulva) when she started talking about her BE-NINE-UH as loudly as possible in public. I think we actually said bottom for quite a while.
    hahaha, fluffy sounds the best. oh and anna, I’m sure we all knew what you meant when you said, “bottom” but if we acknowledged that, then it wouldn’t be any fun.

    prudie- LOL! Just be thankful pops was only peeing. IYKWIMAITTYD

    cathy- I am sooo staying out of this conversation between you and hubby.

    KD- your son’s too early to worry about this, I say enjoy your nakedness while you can! In fact, you could even get away with putting a stripper pole in your living room right now if you wanted. I keed!

    dadshouse- gah, spoil all the fun you act like the Oedipus complex is all bad or something. Freud would like this thread I think.

  42. He looked at me and said, “I like to see you naked.” I asked him why and he said, “because you’re a lady and it’s pretty.”

    I don’t see anything particularly shudder-worthy here. He’s only 4 years old, and knows what looks ‘pretty’ to him. He likes you, Mom, but he doesn’t like-you like-you.
    He might say the same thing about a flower, right? I don’t think his appreciating your (or anyone else’s) human beauty is a bad thing. He’s way too young and innocent to be feeling what you think he might be feeling.

    I mean, little kids are naturally and unconsciously attentive to physical beauty. They like the prettier schoolteachers better. The cuter little kids are usually the most popular ones. Nothing

    I understand why it creeps you out, but I think you should spare yourself the worry. A kid that young just can’t possibly enjoy beauty for anything more than its own sake.

  43. awwww, laura thinks I’m teh hawt. I know that’s what she meant. It’s all nuance.

  44. What as conversation. & I read it all b4 I commented. 1st i grew up i a family of 14 kids & one real bathroom. Sure some of my sisters had moved out b4 i was a teenager. I slept in the basement. I used the laundry tub to wask in the morn. This was the 50’s & 60’s. With one bathroom someone was always walking in on someone. Walking in on your sister during her “period” is not something you wish for, darn those cheap locks.

    I have 4 kids, girl, boy, boy, girl. The boys have just kinda always wanted privacy. The 5 year girls is never up at 6 when I take a shower. So i have no idea when they stopped peeking…”who’s that at the door”

  45. “Obviously my 10 year old doesn’t see me nekkid anymore. He can’t hardly stand to see me in my swimsuit.”

    I don’t think anyone has asked the most important question. When do we get to see you in a swim suit? ;-)

  46. “I remember checking out my mom’s crunch berries and fur…”

    I just about fell out of my chair when I read that. That’s one for the book when you get around to writing it.

    I have always had body image issues so I don’t think there was ever a time when any of my kids have seen the full monty. Every once in a while, and only because she is STILL nursing, the little imp will pop off the boob and look up at me and say;

    “mommy what big nipples you have!”

    And that’s when this here Big Bad Wolf has decided that Little Red Riding Hood has had enough for the day! Well that and the fact that my nipples now resemble noodles.

  47. That’s one for the book when you get around to writing it.

    I’d buy the book too. Of course I’d hope to get my copy autographed… and pictures would be nice.

  48. I’ve been wondering the same thing lately. My daughter’s four, but lately she’s pointing out things much more often. Like the crotchital area. Which is a leeetal creepy.

  49. I don’t think anyone has asked the most important question. When do we get to see you in a swim suit? ;-)

    That’s the second most important question as far as I’m concerned…

  50. It is truly interesting to read this blog post, as well as the comments.
    From an anthropological perspective, it is both fascinating and scary.

    As a Swedish citizen, I must admit that the American view on the body and sexuality never cease to amaze me. It is very extreme.

    In my family, we are not afraid of our own bodies. We acknowledge our own bodies as our own, not as objects for others, not as someone else’s property. This also mean that we are not afraid of being naked.

    I have three teenagers, and they are all very relaxed about their bodies, with a healthy view on nudity, and I am very happy about that.

    In the summer, we visit different beaches, but one of the favourites for all of us is a nude beach.

    ***********

    So I would like to say to you, who told this story:

    He looked at me and said, “I like to see you naked.” I asked him why and he said, “because you’re a lady and it’s pretty.”

    This is so beautiful! I can’t see what is icky about it!
    If you see this as bad, you will destroy his positive view on the body.
    You will damage his ability to see beauty as it is.
    You will project all your shame into him.

    Please let him appreciate you!
    First of all, it isn’t sexual. It’s a small child appreciating beauty.

    Don’t steal that away from him!

  51. cylkis- hahaha @ the sister period thing- my dad called tampons “skinned rats”

    ttf- I still have some more poundage to go before anything like that’d be happenin

    auds- oh you totally brought back memories for me with the whole popping off the boob thing! I’d forgotten that. It used to crack me up when they’d go “pop” and look up at me and smile. awwwwwwww, I’m verklempt

    cathy- a book huh? well that’s you and auds and my mom that would buy one. that’s good money right there. ;)

    mommypie- I’d like to think it doesn’t seem as bad with girls, but it is isn’t it?

    Abbadon- haha, you know I”m not asking you what the first most important question is.

    Carl- as an American I find the Swedish view of American culture interesting. I’m surprised you’d think Americans are afraid of their naked bodies. Have you ever seen an American movie? Actors and actresses are not afraid of being naked.

    As it is, the societal norm outside of Hollywood is to cover up. I didn’t write the rules and it’s not a rule I’m interested in changing.

    I can see that you would find it fascinating because it’s different than what you’re used to. I suppose in a sense that’s why you’d find it scary as well. Things we’re not used to are scary.

    I did ask for people’s customs and opinions regarding nudity and I appreciate your candid response.

    First of all, it isn’t sexual. It’s a small child appreciating beauty

    I will agree with you that it’s not sexual and I should have given lauraw more credit when she stated pretty much the same thing I just quoted you as saying. My son was just admiring me and I should really view it in that light. I’m glad that’s been firmly implanted in my brain now.

    If it makes you feel better, he was unaware of my reaction and I just continued to get dressed.

    I will not, however, let him continue to appreciate my beauty at least as far as in the naked sense, because in this country, the societal norm for familial nudity is modesty and I’m ok with that.

    That and child protective services would come get my kids if I let them “appreciate” me that way.

  52. Yeah, I hear ya on that one. DCF or whatever they’re called in your neighbourhood can be downright prissy like that, I guess.

    It’s no big deal in my family, I guess. I grant you, outside the immediate family is one thing – and my sister is a much greater prude than anyone else – but walking around with nothing but a pair of briefs is not uncommon.

    Anyways, I dunno when my turn will come to have to handle this issue. I figure, unless my (future) kids or my (future) wife makes a large noise, I’m not gonna bother much. But they had better not say anything about the beer belly, that’s all.

  53. This also mean that we are not afraid of being naked.

    I have three teenagers, and they are all very relaxed about their bodies, with a healthy view on nudity, and I am very happy about that.

    You won’t need to remind me …I will not be sitting on your couch.

  54. Good point, KKFF.

    Being completely nude and waltzing around the house…that’s unsanitary!

  55. Kare-kare and musli – How true! LOL

    but one of the favourites for all of us is a nude beach.

    No thanks. I have a problem with gritty sand in my tender crevices.
    Word of advice, don’t visit San Francisco and sit around in the nude – as many of the inhabitants do. MRSA infections – of the butt and scrotal regions – are very high there.

  56. No thanks. I have a problem with gritty sand in my tender crevices.
    Word of advice, don’t visit San Francisco and sit around in the nude – as many of the inhabitants do. MRSA infections – of the butt and scrotal regions – are very high there.

    Wow! advice noted and stored FOREVER.

    Musli, in my house there is no way I wanna see my teenagers waltzing nude nor would they care to see me. -NO shirt, NO pants…..get the hell off my couch!

  57. Yeah, man, that’s all we do in SF is sit around starkers and pass around STD’s and MSRA infections. WooHoo! Yay, us!

  58. don’t act like you don’t abbadon

  59. Just meandered over from San Diego Momma – had to stop here and have a chuckle. We’re currently in the same dilemma with our 5 year old. She still sees us naked – and doesn’t seem to be aware that she’s nearing the end of that. I figure that when she starts kindergarten in a few weeks that she’ll start hearing things about the male anatomy that will open her eyes and explain some differences… and thus not want to see anyone besides herself naked.

  60. Last time my daughter saw me naked (oh, last week or so) she told me it looked like I have a baby in my tummy. She’s 4, so it might not last much longer. Not sure if my self esteem can handle it.

    My son tried to pull out my pubes recently, so he has been banned temporarily. He’s only 2 – got a ways to go.

  61. Hah, your pubes? 2 year olds are the best!


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