(I wrote this post about a week ago… but since our funny little trip to Target the other day, I figured today would be the perfect Thursday to post it.)
I recently found a post on the iVillages "due date" board that sparked an idea for this TFT post. The topic was this: Family Nudity… are you comfortable with your kids seeing you and your hubby naked?
I was surprised by the variety of replies. Some said they have no problem… unless someone is uncomfortable or becomes uncomfortable, they are pretty open. Some said once the kids start asking questions or naming body parts. Some said once their kids were 3 or 4 they stopped the openness.
Interesting to me.
In our house, we are often found walking naked from the shower to the bedroom to change, or sometimes if I’m changing in the bedroom and I need laundry from the basement I’ll walk through the house naked. We have always done this in front of Porter, and while he does notice body parts, we don’t hide it from him. Porter watches us change. He usually hangs out in our room and plays on the bed. I have no idea how long we’ll do this for. I guess I never thought about it. I assume once Porter is older it would probably be uncomfortable for him to see his mom walking through the house naked. Maybe not as awkward if he were to see Ryan once he’s older, but who knows.
Now, body parts. This one is even more intriguing to me and I wondered if I’m "doing this right." A few weeks back I was out with some mom friends (one with a baby, two have 4yr olds and one has a 5 year old). Somehow we were on the topic of anatomy and what our kids call it. I was saying how Porter knows what his penis is, and he will refer to it as that. He’s known to walk around the house "naked booty" and grab his penis and say "Penis!" We jokingly call his butt his "booty" and if I’m changing in front of him he’ll slap my butt cheeks and say "Mama booty!" He knows my boobs are called boobs. Just recently, he saw me changing, and pointed at the appropriate area and said "Mamas penis!" I was a little stunned, and wasn’t sure what to say. Do I tell him the right name? Well, I surely didn’t want him thinking I had a penis, and surely didn’t want him saying that in public. I told him "No, Porter.. boys have penises. You’re a boy. Mama is a girl. Girls don’t have penises they have a vagina." He stared at me blankly after that explanation. He’ll learn about it someday, why not sooner than later. (and… well… all this educating little dude ended up landing me in an embarrassing dressing room in Target HAHA!)
Back to the hanging out with mom friends…. two of my friends (with 4 and 5 year olds) said that their girls didn’t know their female parts were called a vagina. They just call them their butts. And the moms refer to them as their butts. As in "Wipe your butt in the front." I thought this was a bit odd, but hey, whatever works.
So, my questions for you this week:
- How does your family view "family nudity"? Do you walk around uninhibited without thinking, or are you careful to not let your kids see you naked? What ages are your kids? Male/Female? (And furthermore… what about moms/sons and dads/daughters being nude around eachother).
- What do your kids call their body parts? Do they use appropriate names or do you have made up names for them? When did you teach them these names? What ages were your kids beginning to notice body parts?